Fair Dealing

O...kay. Fair enough.

Quoted from the Wikipedia article:
In other cases, a fair dealing for the purpose of criticism or review; for the purpose reporting of news; for the purpose of judicial proceedings or professional advice would not constitute (a copyright) infringement. In the case of criticism or review and the reporting of news, a sufficient acknowledgment of the work is required.
As long as the purpose is to criticise, huh? Alright! ;)


Click on the article for the enlarged version

Freedom Writers

Like Rent, this is a movie that piqued my curiosity because of its cool poster. The ad is GV's. But no info from its homepage when Freedom Writers will be screened. Checking with Eng Wah site, 29/03/07 would be the show date.

Then again, I prefer reading the book from which the film is inspired (thanks goodness it doesn't use the full, lengthy title of the book: "The Freedom Writers Diary : How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them").

Won't be surprised if there's such thing like "Freedom Bloggers". Oh wait, there is! "Freedom Project - Freedom Bloggers". They don't use that chilling "Don't pretend you know our blogs" tag, though.

Could 'Negroamor' happen in Jamaica?

Brasil has an exhibition/ community initiative where simple but large images of the city's under-represented persons of African descent are projected or printed unto the architecture. It is to promote negroamor or black/self-love. The response to it as you can imagine is two-sided. Some privileged persons termed 'white' have objected to being bombarded by the images while it has reportedly promoted self-awareness among blacks in Bahia, Brasil. There is a very engaging website which accompanies the project. Please check it out at http://www.salvadornegroamor.org.br/
Granted, it isn't in English but it is more about the sound and beautiful images. This project makes me wonder if something like this would ever be possible in Jamaica and more specifically Kingston with its multiplicity of oppressed and politically controlled areas, skin-bleaching culture, corruption and beuaracracy. This sounds harsh but Jamaica has developed a way of covering its neglected underbelly and exposing the sweet images of one-love Jamaica. Could a project which uses our artists to transform the environment also help transform our mindset?
- thanks to Tracey-Anne Clarke for providing reference information

National Biennial 06 Artists' Talk

The National Gallery's artists' talks are always inciteful and informative and sometimes controversial. These events allow the public a further understanding of the works they loved, hated or were indifferent to. These talks are rarely recorded and so are often the only opportunity we have to interact with artists in these major exhibitions. The gallery is also one of the few institutions in Jamaica to consistently host these forums.
The talk takes place on March 1st, 2007 at 1:30pm at The National Gallery. The artists featured this year are not necessarily the same ones featured on the poster. The artists speaking are Omari Ra, Michael Elliott, Heather Sutherland Wade, Michael Layne and Franz Marzouca. The Biennial closes on March 10, 2007.

Singapore River Hongbao 2007

A belated Happy Chinese New Year, everyone. Just some photos to share (coz I didn't go back home for CNY this time despite the established routine for the last 6 years. *grumble* coz I'm so bloody responsible to my work & that is a weakness. *grumblegrumble*).

Ha! Enough with the negative vibes. Exercise grumbling so that you'll be sufficiently bitter for some mythical creature to act as if he/she doesn't notice and thus, not obliged to eat you.

1 & 2. Two exhibits about Nian (the eyes, see the eyes) by the artist, Mr. Tan Keng Seng.

3. Also by the same artist, to welcome the Year of Pig (More about Chinese zodiac: here). Love the interwoven patterns.

4. He who is known as the Chinese god of wealth or fortune or prosperity: Cai Shen.

5. Click to enlarge the text (it's about 'raree show') in the yellow banner.

6. Just another reminder how much I lose for not knowing the language. :-\

7. Blessing by the ..., uhm, never mind. See the above.

8. Not a believer in Chinese zodiac myself, but hey it sounds like it's going to be a good year for me. Heh.

...when wind & cloud unite.

Satisfying how a simple play on 'bright' & 'contrast' result the above image. The original photo was taken some days ago in one hot afternoon. Altogether windy and cloudy, but no fish with golden scales was seen transformed to a dragon.

plush plush

Perverseness, Painting and Dante's Inferno:Interview with Marvin Bartley

This was a very bold thing for yourself and Camille Chedda to enter the National Biennial while still students. What were reactions to to this?
Well the reactions were varied but the underlying issues that aroused from the reactions of friends was that we should go for it, we all had our doubts and inhibitions as to whether or not we would get in. However it was generally all good.

You started off painting images on canvas but now you use digital photography, why the switch and how was it recieved?
Let me start by saying its acceptance was not great at all because of the value systems that people around me are used to. Example your expected to paint in a painting department so anything contrary such the photographs i now produce is unacceptable, i was even advised by many to paint the images that i produced through my photomanipulated processes. The images for them never really seemed complete in their photogrphic state. The reason why i switched media was the fact that my photograps were way more developed for my ideas that my classical painting methods ever were. Also it was for me a way of callenging the value system that has been set up by the society with regards to the value of painting over that of photographs and finally to engage myself in a much newer medium than paint.

You mentioned deriving some of your imagery from classic European artistic sources such as Dante's Inferno. How did you, as a young Caribbean art student, become attached to these sources?
Thats something i myself would like to know the answer for. Just kidding. I became very interested in classical imagery and literature in 2003 after seeing works from contemporary realist painters Philip Thomas and Andre Green who were just leaving and preparing to leave the college. There works dealth in a serious way with the classical techniques. Ive always had great respect for formalism and thats why i chose to look at classical references for my inspiration being that classical art is the backbone of formalism.

How do you feel your work which is now digital, sits within the kind of academic representational painterly tradition that has been coming out of the art school in the last few years? I am referencing of course young male artists such as Khary Darby, Phillip Thomas and Andrae Green.
Well I first of all think that it sits quite fine among their works with respect to the contemperary treatment of the image however it sits alone with respect to the process and finish. Khary, Phillip and Andrae all to me challenge simillar technical and formal issues that men have struggled for centuaries with, now i questioned myself as to why i would want to do te same thing when i have new media that i can challenge to gain new ways and approaches, so for me photo-manipultion is my main stay. Rest assured i have not abandoned painting with paint.

Being the first Edna Manley college student expected to mount a final year show wholly in digital prints, how do you think you will be recieved by the major collectors of representational paintings?
I wont try to predict responces but i can say this you'll all have one big surprise when you see what i now have.

Biennial 07: Invitation to Discuss

This biennial is a particularly important exhibition for various reasons. It stands out as being one of the first years where on can think of a set of artists being shown who utilise digital media and processes. Renee Cox, controversial New York-based artist is exhibiting several photographs and students from Edna Manley College are exhibiting alongside seasoned practitioners. There are many more questions that could be asked and discussed in response to the Biennial and I invite you to do so here. It is remarkable also that I have not seen as much publicity for such an immense exhibition. Which artists stood out for you? What does a show like this say about Jamaican culture and its industries? How does this show affect audiences? etc.

The rats can't be whining...

Reading this Asiaone.com article, "Pay hike in nine S'pore sectors forecast for 2007: Survey" (06/02/07), I cannot help but thinking "Lucky rats". Okay, so I am one of them rats. Lucky me then. Yay. The joy of being one of the winning rats is overwhelming. Riiight.

That news might also complement the subsequent Asiaone.com article, "Drop in S'pore entrepreneurial rate downplayed" (10/02/07)

The first article mentioned from the 9 major sectors, they sound so positive except for "Information Technology".

The nine sectors - snapped from Kelly Services' Singapore Salary Guide 2007.

Will we then witness the escalating numbers of entrepreneurs in that sector? That correlation might be simplistic, I agree. But with free wireless broadband access in Singapore public areas for 2 years--nah, make it 3 years from Dec 2006 to Dec 2009. Full detail from IDA: here--I'd be interested to see how many would take a plunge to be their own bosses.

I used to think I could be one of them. That is till I stare at my reflection in the mirror. A rat (Yes, yes. A winning one maybe. But still...) blinks back at me.

PS. the top left image is modified from the book cover, "The Corporate Rat Race: The Rats Are Winning: A Game Plan for Surviving and Thriving in Corporate America". Touch-up keywords: motion blur, reflection, layer.

sealy can't do better

Black scandal bag: Camille Chedda speaks about her work

Where does working with the black scandal bag come from?
It started in my third year where I was using images of my face to create works about how we (or just myself) mask our identities as Jamaicans. It was also about being unable to speak and being trapped. I decided to use the black scandal bag because it garnered many interpretations based on its everyday uses. It contains, and I was containing my words. It covers, and I was hiding my ugliness, my truth, my identity. It protects, I was being shielded from people's words, abuse, pressure etc. It preserves and I was trying to preserve my sanity.

How do you connect the use of this material/object to references from your ownbackground(race, class, identity, experience) as well as Jamaican culture, society and politics? The bag has many uses among Jamaicans. People buy groceries and the items are placed in these bags. Some people use it to protect themselves and objects from getting wet. It acts as an agent that protects while being a very dangerous material. As children we are warned not to put our heads in scandal bags because we could suffocate. There are many stories of babies being found in scandal bags after being disposed of by their mothers. Murderers wrap their victims' bodies in garbage bags. Weed, guns and bullets are other things found in these bags. There is also the saying that some women should bag their heads because they're unattractive (facially). These are some of the things that have influenced my work.

How do you feel about your work being shown in the Biennial due to controversial issues that have been spoken about in various articles and reports as well as the fact that you are still a student?
t seems like people are questioning if my work is 'art', because of the materials I use. I didn't know how people would react to it because I never thought of it as controversial. This is the first time Marvin and I are exhibiting works in the National Gallery. It's an achievement for me to know that we're in an exhibition with other great Jamaican artists and we're still studying.

How does something like digital media/video become a part of your Black Scandal bag work?
I needed another outlet that painting and photographs wouldn't allow. I think the video communicated my feelings best because it was straight forward, something I couldn't achieve with any other medium.

Lastly, what ideas and artists do you associate yourself with?
I did some research on scandal/garbage bags. Surprisingly though, I didn't know about the Abu Ghraib situation until I saw it in your(Oneika Russell) solo exhibition! I knew that people were being tortured but had never seen the images. That added more context to my work. I had been dealing with the body, so I looked at Ana Mendieta and Kiki Smith's work and how they understood the body. I also used Marcus Garvey's words, writings on the body, transatlantic slavery, newspaper articles, and relations with my peers, family and people in society as some references for my works.

"If I Were The Finance Minister"

Try out this simulation game, it's fun.

As always, I'd love to see the extreme & how it impacts the budget:
a) If expenditure all up (max +10%), financing all down (corporate income tax 15%, individual income tax 15%, GST 1%).
Budget Position = -$9,039m

b) If expenditure all up (max +10%), financing all up (corporate income tax 24%, individual income tax 24%, GST 10%).
Budget Position = $3,561m

c) If expenditure all down (max -10%), financing all down (corporate income tax 15%, individual income tax 15%, GST 1%).
Budget Position = -$3,441m

d) If expenditure all down (max -10%), financing all up (corporate income tax 24%, individual income tax 24%, GST 10%).
Budget Position = $9,159m

The 'expenditure' in the simulation game is categorized as follows:
1. Social
1.1 Enhancing our housing & living environment
1.2 Providing good & affordable healthcare
1.3 Helping families & providing social safety nets
1.4 Educating our next generation

2. Security & External Relations
2.1 Ensuring a safe & secure home

3. Economic
3.1 Building a competitive economy
3.2 Providing a good transport infrastructure

4. Government Administration
4.1 Building an efficient & responsive public sector

Whereas 'financing' (at least the variable components in the game) is grouped into:
5. Corporate Income Tax
6. Individual Income Tax
7. Goods & Services Tax (GST)

Now I'm interested to find out what if all components under 'Social' to be down max -10% (and people ask why I'm an antisocial. Heh), 'Security & External Relations' to stay unchanged, 'Economic Building a competitive economy' to be up max +10%, 'Economic Providing a good transport infrastructure' unchanged, 'Government Administration Building an efficient & responsive public sector' unchanged...

...and Corporate Income Tax to revise from the current 20% to 18%, Individual Income Tax from 20% to 18% & GST from 5% to 7%.
Budget Position = $1,237m

Hey, following the above scenario, I'm even tempted to further revise Individual Income Tax from 20% to 15% (Darn, that's the lowest the game allows. I am striving to be a good antisocial), it results to...
Budget Position = $592m

Good enough, I'll say.

The legacy of tourism:

The 'Dangerously Close to Tourist Art' Lecture given on the 2nd of this month touched on a few points that have been up for discussion for quite a while now. What kind of art can bear the 'intuitive' label? What separates the gallery intuitive from the craft market intuitive? What role does the tourism industry play in the formation of the arts in Jamaica? Another issue raised was that of how much do we have to give in order to gain from tourism?
This is the moment to ask these questions about the relationship between tourism and art as with the restructuring of government art & culture now fall under the Tourism ministry. This strikes me as an odd placement as tourism sells a product. It is interested in Jamaica as a commodity. This may ultimately influence the development of the arts in Jamaica either through new cultural policies, 'Brand Jamaica' strategies or other product-oriented ideas. What are your views?

With No Pseudonym Comes No Responsibility?

I don’t know. I really don't.

Reading this article, titled "S'pore's PAP rebuts online critics anonymously--daily" (03/02/07) I must say I agree with Mr. Baey Yam Keng saying: "The identity is not important. It is the message that is important."

No, that's not because I'm an anonymous myself. Not because I'm affiliated to any political party, either. I agree because he's been consistent in his stand.

Quoted from Mr. Baey's Parliament Opening Speech (10/11/06):
We have to accept that it will be very difficult, in fact, impossible to monitor and rebut all negative online comments against the government.

We should also consider relaxing regulations on traditional media to allow people to vent grouses and frustrations, without always demanding for constructive suggestions. Singaporeans can then engage openly in meaningful, level-headed discussions without fear of prosecution. Erroneous assumptions, wrong ideas, narrow mindsets, prejudices and biases, loyalties, tolerance and wisdom can all be brought to the light of day and seen clearly for what they are.

I believe in the Singaporean’s ability to discern wisely.

Even if we may not be able to do so accurately, that is our judgment and that judgment should be given the opportunity to be sharpened.

Many would definitely hope that this "Message--not identity--does matter" would supersede the earlier statements such as this:

Quoted from Email Interview With Dr Lee Boon Yang, Minister For Information, Communications And The Arts With Straits Times (13/04/06):
We encourage the free flow of information and exchange of views within our political system. However, for political debates and discourse to be constructive and taken seriously, people have to take responsibility for what they say and should not remain anonymous.

and this:

Quoted from Response from the Senior Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Balaji Sadasivan in Parliament Sitting (03/04/06):
We recognise that in our society, people will have their diverse opinion and some will want to share their opinion. But people should not take refuge behind the anonymity of the Internet to manipulate public opinion. It is better and more responsible to engage in political debates in a factual and objective manner.

Perhaps, this is just Mr. Baey's way to disagree with his colleagues' views. (And what's wrong with that? Such a difference of opinion--no, 'dissent' is not the right word here--would lead to further debates. Oh, yeah. It will make an interesting notion in The Arena.)

Whatever it is, in the end of the day, we don't want this kind of drama, "MALAYSIA: Marina Mahathir takes up bloggers' cause" (31/01/07) to repeat itself here, do we?

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