Is the World your Oyster?

Travel to See the World Unravel

National Day Parade 2011 国庆庆典2011 건국 기념일 퍼레이드 2011

A glimpse of Singapore’s National Day Parade 2011 in pictures and captions.


This year’s National Day Parade (NDP) logo depicts the passion and dynamism of the NDP 2011 theme “Majulah! The Singapore Spirit”, which calls on all Singaporeans to move forward together to overcome challenges and build a better Singapore.

The five figures symbolise brightly burning flames whose soaring motion reflects Singaporeans’ constant drive for higher levels of success as a nation. The two central figures form the shape of a heart which represents our love for Singapore and the compassion in our society as we celebrate 46 years of independence.  The five stars stand for our nation’s ideals of democracy, justice, equality, peace and progress.

The shades of red reflect Singaporeans from all walks of life.  The overall vivid red colour signifies our unity, determination and can-do spirit that bond us in times of success and adversity.

Courtesy of NDP 2011 Official Site.


First up, the pre-parade segment.

Close-up of  NDP Red Lion (Parachuter)

Courtesy of


Act 1: Dynamic Defence Display

Chinook flying across Marina Bay

Courtesy of


Chinook hovering above water in front of Merlion

Courtesy of


Act 1: Parade & Ceremony

21 Gun Salute from Floating Platform

The canon balls were actually being fired from canons placed on platforms floating on water.

Courtesy of


Act 2: Birth


Act 3: Growing Up

The Dugong, a specie native to the Southeast Asia region, was featured in Act 3.

Courtesy of


Unfortunately, the official NDP site did not upload videos on Acts 4 & 5.

It’s okay though since the pyrotechnic and firework displays stole the show for the last 2 acts.

Firework display from the Marina Bay Boulevard Waterfront

Courtesy of


Firework Display from Marina Bay Sands Skypark

Courtesy of


Firework Display from Fullerton Hotel

Courtesy of


Close-up of Firework Display

Courtesy of


Leave a comment »

Terracotta Warriors 兵马俑 테라코타 전사

Been wanting to catch the Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor and His Legacy exhibition at the Asian Civilisations Museum running from 24 Jun 2011 – 16 Oct 2011.


Clay mates

China’s terracotta warriors invade Singapore

Thousands of warriors, exotic animals, and even an entertainment troupe – no one gets a send-off the way China’s first emperor did. Even in death.

One can glean as much from Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor & His Legacy, an ongoing exhibition at the Asian Civilisations Museum. The show, comprising 100 artefacts loaned from some 12 museums from China’s Shaanxi province, marks the first time authentic – not replica – pieces of the famous terracotta warriors will be shown in Singapore and the region.

Terracotta Warriors is also complemented by Life After Death, an adjacent exhibition by Singaporean artist Justin Lee featuring his familiar pop art-rendered versions of the warriors previously seen at the National Museum Of Singapore. A free downloadable iPhone app also lets viewers interact with the exhibition by way of augmented reality.

While there are only 10 of these grand clay life-sized sculptures on display – a result of the Chinese government’s recent decision to limit the numbers of figures to be loaned for any single show – the complementary artefacts attempt to make up for the lack of visual impact by way of contextualising.

Accidentally discovered in 1974 outside Xi’an by a group of peasants attempting to dig a well, archeologists have now unearthed 1,900 of an estimated 8,000 unique, life-sized clay figures of soldiers and horses.

The pits from which the warriors were dug up are part of Emperor Shi Huangdi’s massive tomb complex stretching over an area of 56.25 sq km. The mausoleum itself – built by an estimated 700,000 people and approximately the area of two football fields – has yet to be excavated. “There’s an aura of mystery that surrounds it,” said Kan Shuyi, museum assistant curator and co-curator of the show.

Divided into three sections, the exhibition begins with a look at the pre-dynastic reign of Shi Huangdi and ends with a sampling of artefacts from the Han Dynasty that followed.

In the peripheries of China proper, the Qin Kingdom was initially looked down upon by the then-dominant kingdom of Zhou and known mostly for breeding horses for the latter’s kings, said Kan.

But as the delicately ornate pieces, including an exquisite ceremonial dagger with a gold and turquoise hilt, reveal, these uncouth, uncivilised horse breeders were apparently anything but.

“Their craftsmanship and aesthetic levels were very high,” said Kan.

The select pieces on display here, which include a larger-than-normal general, a charioteer, an infantryman and a horse, among others, weigh between 150kg and 200kg each. And while the pieces are mass-produced in makeshift local as well as palace kilns, Kan pointed out the great attention to detail that make each piece virtually unique.

Emperor Shi died in 210 BC at the young age of 49 but, preoccupied as he was with the idea of immortality and life after death, construction of the tomb complex began even before the dynasty was established – at the very beginning of his kingdom of lowly “horsebreeders”.

Remarked Kan: “It’s a very massive entourage for the afterlife.”

– Photo & Article: Courtesy of TODAY online


Found this clip from youtube featuring the preview of the Terracotta Warriors.

For more background information on the significance of Terracotta Warriors as part of the burial tomb of Qin Shi Wang, do watch this National Geographic documentary.

Behind the scenes on the preparation of The First Emperor’s Terracotta Army exhibition at the British Museum. Lots of arrangements had to be made to accommodate the weight and height of the Terracotta warriors and horses. It’s impressive how the British Museum converted its magnificent reading room into the main gallery for The First Emperor’s Terracotta Army exhibition.


Leave a comment »

Foie Gras

How much I crave for foie gras right now.


The following article is copied from Luxury Insider – Fact File: Foie gras.

All Rights Reserved for Luxury Insider.

Fact File: Foie gras

[fwah grah ; Fr fwah grah] the liver of specially formed geese or ducks, used as a table delicacy, especially in the form of a paste (pate de foie gras)


Some 5,000 years ago, the Egyptians discovered that ducks and geese ate large amounts of food to prepare for their year-end migratory flight. As a result, their livers not only swelled to a much larger size but also became much tastier upon cooking.

The practice of force-feeding ducks or geese is believed to have originated when the Egyptians first fed their geese with figs. Since then, this delicacy has been enjoyed by the Greeks, the Romans and the Jews.

However, it was the French who improved on the feeding technique called gavage, and who developed novel preparation methods such astorchon and mousse. Many of these are still in wide use today.

What is Fole Gras?

Foie gras refers to the fattened liver of a duck (foie gras de canard) or a goose (foie gras d’oie). The extremely high fat content gives it an incredibly rich flavor and silken texture that melts in the mouth. Surprisingly, the fat contained in foie gras is actually unsaturated fat, which has coronary benefits.

Foie gras is available in many variations:

– foie gras entier: Whole liver lobes, cooked and cured, ready for the chef’s preparation. Contains no extra additives or mixes. This is definitely the premium product.

– bloc de foie gras: Small pieces of foie gras molded into a fully cooked block. Traditionally includes the addition of truffles. Under French law, anything called “bloc de foie gras” should comprise 98% or more foie gras. If termed “avec morceaux” (with pieces), it must contain at least 50% foie gras pieces from goose, and 30% from duck.

– foie gras broyé: Pieces of duck and goose liver ground into a mixture. The proportion is around 35% duck and 50% goose liver.

– mousse de foie gras: Pieces of foie gras puréed smooth and whipped into a mousse-like consistency. Legally required to contain no less than 50% of foie gras.

– parfait de foie gras: Puréed duck or goose liver. Extremely similar to mousse, but legally required to contain no less than 75% foie gras.

– paté de foie gras: Foie gras puréed with other meat products, such as pork or veal, into a spread-like consistency. Legally required to comprise 50% or more foie gras.

Sources of Fole Gras

Foie gras is available throughout the year, though winter is the peak season for goose production. It is produced through a prolonged process of manual feeding known as gavage, and only selected birds such as Toulouse or Strasbourg geese and male Mulard ducks are used. They are fed a grain mash comprising corn, fat and vitamin supplements.

France is the world’s leading producer, as well as its greatest consumer. Foie gras from the Alsace, Périgord and Gascony regions is particularly sought after for its extremely delicate taste. Other countries that produce this delicacy include Hungary, Bulgaria, Canada, Israel and Madagascar.

foie gras pic

Fole Gras Dishes

Foie gras d’oie is more expensive than foie gras de canard due to the higher cost of farming geese. The more delicate taste of foie gras d’oie lends itself better to traditional French preparations that generally involve low heat, such as the terrine style.

Foie gras de canard however, is more flavorful and retains its characteristic taste and texture even after undergoing hot preparations such as pan-searing (poëllé) and grilling. Despite its comparatively lower cost, it should not be regarded as a lesser cousin, as there are many who prefer its richer taste.

Foie gras is often served at the beginning of a meal, when one’s taste buds are most receptive. To best bring out the rich flavors of the dish, foie gras is commonly paired with bread – specifically brioche.

Chefs are also fond of complementing the richness of foie gras with ingredients such as figs, raisins and fruit conserve. These sweet, fruity pairings usually bear a tinge of acidity, which cuts through the fattiness of the foie gras.


Leave a comment »

Marina Bay Sands’ Art-Science Museum – Permanent Galleries

The permanent exhibition, the ArtScience Gallery, consists of three galleries – Curiosity, Inspiration, Expression. Visitors go through these galleries to explore the connections between the arts and the sciences, and undergo their own journey of creativity.

– Courtesy of Wikipedia


At the Inspiration gallery, visitors were given the opportunity to create their own piece of artwork inspired by the great innovators such as Leonardo da Vinci with his flying machine and Zhuge Liang with his Kong Ming/sky lantern. Well, there were little objects to play with, mostly related to the exhibits. There were the sky lanterns and the architectural motif of the art-science museum from the permanent galleries. I had more fun with the objects from the featured galleries such as Salvador Dali’s melting clocks and the significant objects from the art works of Vincent van Gogh. Play around with the transparency, zoom, rotate and colour functions to make your creation more professional, just like how you work with Photoshop. If you use the objects as they are, your art piece will most likely appear incoherent and raw.

I experimented with the booth and created a couple of art pieces.

Let me know what you think of them.

Singapore’s Central Business District with Sky Lanterns


Art-Science Museum Motifs in the Desert


Salvador Dali’s Melted Clocks against Marina Bay Sands


van Gogh’s Moon against the Night Sky Backdrop with Art Science Museum


Juxtaposition of van Gogh’s, Dali’s Art Pieces with Art Science Museum



1 Comment »

Art Garden (Exhibition for Kids!) 艺术园 아트 가든

Singapore Art Museum


Gosh! An inflatable helium balloon on the grounds of the Singapore Art Museum? That’s Walter by Dawn Ng which was featured at 8Q a year ago. Walter, I believe, is going to be the iconic symbol of Art Garden, an annual interactive contemporary art exhibition for children from June – August.

Courtesy of Singapore Art Museum


In this post, I shall feature each of the art pieces mentioned in the above abstract advertising the Art Garden.

With a twist – It’ll be somewhat like a walk-through of the art pieces in real-life  in line with the galleries in the museum.

Just like a real visit to the museum (:

Let’s enter!


Straight up Front of the entrance….

Dancing Solar Flowers by Alexandre Dang (in the background)


I love the individual pieces of clover leaves however the piece on the whole fails to impress. It lifts your spirits no doubt, but not awe-inspiring. It looks great with the elephant (another art piece by  a different artist) in the foreground though. A juxtaposition of the presence of colours and the absence of colours.


To the Right of the entrance…

Mummy Dearest by Justin Lee


Basically the exhibit space is full of shaped-fabric with velcro. Imagine those cardboard paper dress-up dolls that you play with during your childhood days. You have a doll in birthday suit and a variety of clothing to choose from. Then you clip one of the pieces of clothing to the doll and the doll is all dressed-up. That’s what the little boy is doing in the right-hand corner of the photo. He took a life-size suit to ‘velcro’ on the boy doll in birthday suit.

Quite a packed gallery. Guess the kids enjoy playing dress-up in life-size.


To the Left of the entrance…

Paramodelic Graffiti by Paramodel

What are all these boxes and crates of Tomy railway tracks for? Is it part of the exhibit?

The boxes and crates aren’t part of the exhibit but the Tomy railway tracks are.


This art piece is still in the progress of construction. However, there’s already an extensive network of train routes filling the spaces of the gallery as of now. Oh I do hope that there will be model trains running on the tracks. Not sure if they’re able to defy gravity by running vertically on the tracks though.


Further Left of the entrance…

There are 2 exhibits in this gallery.


Tree of Love by Benjamin Phua


There are several wooden structures which serve as shelves for the clay figurines. They are the ‘trees’ of the exhibit. The clay figurines are rather ‘raw’, meaning unpolished and amateur, just like what a kid creates. My favourite part of the exhibit? The tree canopies with its angular edges.




Fruits by Wil Pimkanchanapong


An interesting interactive art piece. If I were a kid, this art piece will be the highlight of my trip to the Art Garden. Basically the art piece is created by the kids themselves. Look at all the trays of fruits at the background. Yes, the kids are tasked to make the individual fruits with cardboard paper. Pay a dollar to the staff (in royal blue tee) and they’ll hand you a cardboard paper with your selected fruit (there are a couple of fruits with varying difficulty to choose from, namely: starfruit, mangosteen, apple, banana, pear & orange). Complete the paper fruit with the instructions on the cardboard paper. Some glue and cut steps are required. Hand your completed paper fruit to the staff and they’ll hand you the real fruit to munch on. For instance, if you complete a paper starfruit, you’ll get a fresh starfruit. I’m going to have so much fun with this as a kid.


Check out the opening hours and activities at the Singapore Art Museum site!


Leave a comment »