gommi arcade x nooka at ac gears

text by michael a. traverzo

last friday, the gommi arcade x nooka "future shock" watch collaboration kicked off with the official launch party at ac gears in nyc. about 400 guests browsed and mingled throughout the ac gears shop, sipping on hennessy black (one of our great sponsors), while listening to the beats of power 105's dj challez. guests included celebrity stylist, alexander allen, who you can learn more about here, bmx rider nigel sylvester, jamie falkowski from time out new york, double up dance group and dustin canalin from udrcrwn to name a few. william yan and robin from 9th street parlor were also in attendance. special shout out to malcolm and zak, ac gears, hennessy black, smart water, as well as honey, for making this a night to remember (well for those of you who didn't have too much hennessy black).

nookas own, michael a. traverzo tended the bar.

also, be sure to check out the unique clamshell blister packaging designed specifically for the release of the gommi watch. it features some sick artwork by joe perdomo.

black and white photos courtesy of freddy mejia, color photos courtesy of matthew waldman.

learn more about hennessy black here! be sure to try hennessy black spice and hennessy black berry, as these two drinks were a huge hit at the event!

the gommi arcade watch is available here, as well as both ac gears stores!

be sure to check out the gommi arcade interactive art Installation at ac gears greenwich ave. store march 26th - april 30th!

weekend in pittsburgh

after a stellar night at the nooka X gommi arcade launch party at AC Gears on greenwich avenue in NYC, my boyfriend and i headed to pittsburgh PA with artist and friend, hiroki otsuka and his boyfriend andy. a posse of new yorkers descended on pittsburgh to attend the opening party for Playboy Redux: Contemporary Artists Interpret the Iconic Playboy Bunny, curated in part, by our dear friend Eric Shiner. Hiroki was one of the featured artists, and in fact, i will be seen on the playboy channel's coverage of the show with him! the highlight of the opening was the pajama party which filled the museum with locals and a lot of people from NYC. the show is still up, so if you are in or near pittsburgh PA, check it out. more info here. nooka was well represented on the wrists of hiroki, andy, eric, frank and myself. learn more about hiroki otsuka here.

the fun continued as eric gave us a private tour of his favorite bars. it was rare for me, but i was out bar hopping til 4am and had a great time with nyc performer maine, artist ain cocke, and eric's local posse. the drag shows were interesting enough to be classified bone-fide performance art, and even the crowd at the bars was enough to make simple people-watching a renewed pleasure [we ended up at a private club called the moose house before late cocktails at eric's loft]. hanging out with maine anders was a hoot! i really enjoyed the physical city as well – with its rusting bridges seemingly to appear out of nowhere at the end of a street to its ever changing views from the hilly landscape – it's a stunning place – part big city, part back-country, and part ghost town. there were enough museums and things to see to keep one busy for a weekend, and i highly recommend it.

and, as much as i enjoyed the warhol museum, i do not think it belongs in pittsburgh when there is not one in NYC. i am not saying that there shouldn't be a warhol museum in pitt, but 1. andy warhol made his career in NYC. even i am old enough to remember nights rubbing shoulders with him at the VIP rooms at palladium and area [i was an underaged club kid, luckily in a time when NYC allowed teens into clubs!]. NYC was his inspiration and his home from early adulthood til the day he tragically died. 2. he put pop art on the map! the "pop" in "pop art" = popular which implies it requires a LARGE audience, which quite simply is not happening for the work in it's current location. i think it's more appropriate for the warhol museum in pittsburgh be in the house he was born in or lived as a child with the permanent collection and foundation in the city he loved – NYC. just sayin....

In-Land Out-Cast : A photographic exhibition by Olivier Pin-Fat

In-Land Out-Cast
A photographic exhibition by Olivier Pin-Fat

3 April ? 30 May 2010
[Opening party on Sat 3 Apr from 6.30 - 9 pm]
at Kathmandu Photo Gallery, Bangkok

Possessed by Bangkok as by a witch's familiar, the electrifying cult photo-artist Olivier Pin-Fat takes feverish forays into "a living necropolis, a derelict interior--phantasmal, emblematic, broken and concrete-entombed"; a film noir whose cast are the city's spirits - "its detritus, its insane, hungry, homeless, ostracised, unsure if they're male or female, alive or dead, unformed and undefined."

Kathmandu Photo Gallery is at 87 Pan road (near Indian Temple), off Silom road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 THAILAND.Five minutes walk from either Surasak or Chong Nonsi skytrain stations.
Tel : (66) 02-234-6700
Fax : (66) 02-661-4413
Email: kathmandu.bkk@gmail.com

Open daily: 11 AM to 7 PM, closed on Monday.

The Straits Times : Keep stories from the past alive

I agree with this writer that we need to step up on the effort to revatilse the Oral History Unit before many generations fade into oblivion.

History is not just about famous people and should begin at home.

We should all make an effort to know our own family heritage, however humble it might be.

Otherwise, a whole generation of Singaporeans will suffer from historical amnesia.

Kelvin, creator of the Tiong Bahru Heritage and Friends blog, is collecting old photographs of Tiong Bahru Residents, especially those who grew up here.

So if you are time starved to "ïnterview" your family members, perhaps you can just make an effort to pull out some old family photos and contribute them to Kelvin who is involved in this worthy project.

Mar 31, 2010
The Straits Times
By Ho Kwon Ping

HAPPY birthday, Father. This week you would have been 93 years old, and this remembrance is my birthday present to you. Although you left us a dozen years ago, and my youngest son barely remembers you - he was three when you died - I'm surprised by the sudden clarity of some memories.

I remember, after your initial series of small strokes but before you fell into the long coma, we'd have our weekly lunch. We'd often be the only customers; you'd always order the same food, often tell me the same stories of your life - relived afresh in each telling. Or how after dinner at home you'd retire to your study, smoke your cigarettes surreptitiously, and write laboriously in pencil another page of your memoirs.

Your memoirs started as something to do after you'd long retired. You had no great story to tell, no ambition to be a great writer, or to be remembered in history. You hoped your grandchildren might remember you, but it was at the end simply a story that you wanted to tell and leave behind, for its own sake.

Now, many years later, I realise you've left much behind, more than we had both thought. That slim volume entitled Eating Salt - a title you chose because the Chinese adage 'to eat salt' is to have tasted bitter hardship, which was your formative experience during the war years in China - is your legacy to us, a window into a world which only your generation experienced and understood.

Yours was a time in history which we can only imagine: The notion that it took two weeks, by steamship, rail and road, to travel from Singapore to Canton, for example, is inconceivable, not only to your grandchildren but also to me. And how your university life in Canton was disrupted for several years by the war and you decamped to Chongqing, and joined a student troupe to entertain the Red Army's peasant soldiers. Reading your memoirs has been a coming-of-age ritual for each of your six grandchildren, and a revelation for each of your children.

Recently, there has been a spate of biographies about the more famous people of your generation: Mr S. Rajaratnam, who was your friend and boss when you became an ambassador after independence, at a time when Singapore had no career diplomats to speak of; or of the many other old PAP cadres and Barisan Socialis activists whom you may not have known but who shared your anti-colonialist, leftist sentiments. Their voices, like yours, speak to us from a time which few living Singaporeans today remember.

Not only you, but my mother has also told the stories of her life. Her short, weekly, bilingual essays in our local papers gave glimpses into her childhood in pre-war Shanghai, and her adult years in post-war Burma and Thailand.

Despite all this, my knowledge of both your lives is patchy at best; my children's knowledge is even sketchier. Their knowledge of our country's founding fathers is limited to the social studies course they plough through in primary school, or the memorisation of facts concerning the story of Singapore's independence. They may know the bare facts about the political drama, the struggle in these transformative years, but how much do they know of their own parents' stories, and their parents' parents?

An entire generation of Singaporeans may soon suffer from historical amnesia, and we cannot afford to take this condition lightly. It is not just about remembering 1965 and beyond; it goes further and deeper into a need to understand our own individual, distinct heritage.

In all societies, the tribal tradition of oral history, the transmission of wisdom from one generation to another through the stories of the tribal elders, has been critical for the preservation of the tribe's identity. We are not so different. If we do not know from whence we came, how can we know where we want to go?

As we grow and mature as a society, knowing the history of our forebears is critically important to give us a sense of perspective, of identity and direction. And not just the famous names like Rajaratnam, Goh Keng Swee, Lim Kim San and more. How many of us know the stories of how our own fathers and mothers suffered during the Japanese Occupation, or how our grandparents left their villages in China or India, many never to see their families again, in order to escape unbearable poverty? For better or worse, economic prosperity over the last 30 years, globalisation over the last 10 and Facebook over the last five have somehow distanced our younger generation from remembering the fact that Singapore was a very different place as recently as 1950. Dr Goh's farsighted vision in creating the Oral History Unit to tape-record the recollections of first-generation Singaporeans has not carried on with much vigour after he retired. Neither have many people drawn on these rich legacies. One person I know who did was my wife Claire Chiang, whose book Stepping Out drew on the oral histories of Singapore's business pioneers.

Another commendable effort is the recently published Singapore: A Biography by Mark Frost and Yu-Mei Balasingamchow in partnership with the National Museum of Singapore, with the intention of providing an alternative history by acknowledging the pioneers as well as ordinary immigrants who were all equally part of the 'Singapore Story'.

We need more such works, to remind our young that there are alternative stories of the Singapore dream, and the first place to find them is in their own homes over an extended family dinner.

The Government should revitalise the Oral History Unit, give it more funds and charge it with the task of recording the lives of my generation, the baby-boomers who are rapidly passing into retirement - and into obituaries.

By working through our schools, and by providing our students with the techniques and templates of interviewing, it is possible for every Singaporean family to receive a transcribed, professionally edited oral history of their clan or family elders, to cherish and pass on to the next generation.

Some American high schools do exactly this: Students are assigned to draw up their own family trees, and to then interview all surviving, contactable members of their family. After the phenomenal success of Roots in the 1980s - a book tracing author Alex Haley's slave lineage back to his tribe in Africa - many families started their own Roots projects. Whether Italian, Irish, African, Chinese, Korean - stories of each family's forefather and mother crossing the ocean to the Promised Land, became part of the American myth, the American Dream.

We too must extol our Singapore Dream. In the same way we attempt to stay on the cutting edge of technology, we need to devise the best methods to celebrate our history for subsequent generations. No doubt we are a young society - barely 50 years compared to America's 250. But it is no less compelling for us to begin to remember, in each Singaporean household, those who came before us.

'Remembering Singapore' - an active remembrance of our collective heritage - should be an effort embedded not just in our history curriculum but also in the arts and media - as well as the family home. Recent efforts by the National Museum to incorporate new means of photographic exhibition and digital media are good first steps towards generating more awareness. To this end, we need to actively embrace various formats of storytelling so as to engage our children and convey to them the times and lives of those who came before them.

Immigrant societies like the United States celebrate the achievements of their forefathers and mothers, no matter how humble. The American Dream glorifies in particular the little person who made good: the miner's son who went to college; the CEO whose father was a car-assembly worker; and so on.

Maudlin though this theme can be when milked by Hollywood, the American Dream remains powerful because of its omnipresence. It has affected almost every American household - regardless of race or religion - at some time in its history. Most American families know their immigrant roots, family heroes and legends of triumph against adversity.

It is not only Americans who are keenly interested in their family heritage. The younger generation in China is devouring memoirs by those who went through the Cultural Revolution, seeking to understand a dark part of China's collective heritage. Everywhere, the search for roots remains a strong impulse, as we increasingly find ourselves unmoored and drifting in a spiritually becalmed, global ocean.

My youngest son is still schooling in Singapore. He doesn't know it yet, but I'm getting ready (if his school picks up my suggestion) for a long, leisurely interview by him on the story of my life. And in turn, his day will come in due course.

And thus, our tribe continues: In the same way, Father, that your story has touched my children, I hope mine will inform future generations. And thus too, will the Singapore Dream be continually burnished - and nourished.

The writer is chairman of the board of trustees of the Singapore Management University. Think-Tank is a weekly column rotated among eight leading figures from Singapore's tertiary and research institutions.

Tattoo Artist Carlos

Tattoo Church Studio – Tokyo, Japan

Carlos aka Captain is a Brazilian born tattoo artist who runs Tattoo Church Studio in Tokyo, Japan. Tattoo Church has invited some of the top international tattoo artists to appear there and have built up such a good reputation that people from all over the world go there to be inked. Let Carlos give you the word up on life as a tattoo artist…

Tattoo Artist Picture

LOST: What Will Happen Next? / LOST - Answers?! (Song parody)

Heh. Seeing this youtube, "LOST: What Will Happen Next? / LOST - Answers?! (Song parody)" makes me realize how much I miss getting hooked (and puzzled) to this TV series, LOST.

The Importance of Being Trivial: In Search of the Perfect Fact

The Importance of Being Trivial: In Search of the Perfect Fact. Written by Mark Mason, this non fiction book is a real fun. Still reading...

Ris Low killed the Radio (987FM) Star

This has to be the best reason not to tune to 987FM. Seriously. She should not be allowed on radio!

Though, it sure adds to publicity (albeit a bad one) to 987FM. The ridiculous news about Ris Low being late to her own radio show has made it to MSN Entertainment, "HAVE YOUR SAY: Beauty queen late for her own radio show".

If you tuned into the Shan & Rozz Show on MediaCorp's 987FM on Monday evening you would have heard Ris Low, the former beauty queen.

Not as a guest - but as a radio DJ. Yes, the girl who coined words like "boomz" and "shingz" is apparently now putting her extensive vocabulary to good use on air.

Now, if only she could turn up on time for work. Ms Low was two hours late for the Shan, Rozz & Ris show on Monday. Her reason: "I was at the hair salon and ... blame it on the rain, it was so good for sleeping!"

Ms Low, who is no stranger to controversy, later went on to say that while she liked Mr Wee (Shan), she thought Ms Lee (Rozz) - who was sitting in front of her - was "not nice" and unfriendly. Talk about starting off on the wrong foot.

Then again, this is one girl who has done pretty much everything in the Big Book Of Wrong Things To Do (credit card fraud, using vulgarities on her blog, etc) and made headlines for all the wrong reasons (remember her performance as a condom ad spokeswoman, being molested at Park Mall).

So why is she on radio?

TODAY asked 987FM's senior creative director, Georgina Chang, who said: "She seems to evoke a very strong reaction from Singaporeans and the last time Shan and Rozz interviewed her, that stirred a lot of interest. I see it as a good way to pep up the evening show."

In fact, she pepped things up even before going on air, with netizens responding in force on various online forums. There have been hundreds of postings about her debut, both good and bad, and even a Facebook page, "Ris Low Is Awesome. She Makes Me Look Smart".

"Is it legal to air such bad English?" Benjamin Seah posted. "She is high Ris(k) for radio, this is a new Low," posted Yu Ren Jie.

"I think Ris will add a lot of fun to the show! Her choice of words are so funny!" commented jemsified.

Ms Chang noted: "We've had a lot of people reacting strongly to the news and people claim they're not going tune in, but I know that people will tune in anyway ... even if it's just to find more things to complain about."

And what did Ms Low have to say about this brouhaha?

"I'm sure to bring more people to tune in to 987FM. I'm comfortable but I'm not sure about them. I'm settling down pretty well," said Ms Low.

Still, turning up late for a radio show that you are supposed to DJ, bad mouthing your colleagues to their face ... I've a feeling she's not going to last the week. And then we'll see who has the last laugh.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Ris Low on radio - What gives?".

The Castle Green Condominium MC names late-payers of conservancy fees

The Castle Green Condominium management committee has been pasting lists of residents' names on notice boards next to letter-boxes and in lifts at the blocks where they live, including the amounts - ranging from over $1,000 to $10,000 - they owed. Man, when I read about it from Straits Times, the first question comes to my mind: is it defamation if the announcement is only about facts??? I don't think so.

Nevertheless I think the management committee of this The Castle Green condo might better be saying goodbye very soon. I don't think their action of naming (and shaming) the inconsiderate, lazy debtors is a popular one. It's right, alright. But ain't popular.

A CONDOMINIUM in Yio Chu Kang has resorted to publicly naming residents who are late in paying their maintenance fees, in what is seen as the infamous 'Owe$Pay$' tactic being used by loan sharks.

The Castle Green Condominium management committee has been pasting lists of residents' names on notice boards next to letter-boxes and in lifts at the blocks where they live, including the amounts - ranging from over $1,000 to $10,000 - they owed, reported The New Paper on Tuesday.

Next to each list is a notice warning that legal action may be taken against those who fail to pay up the late monthly maintenance fee, which is about $700 every quarter for residents in the 664-unit condo along Yio Chu Kang Road. Owners of bigger units have to pay more.

From Straits Times, "Name and shame".

Scam | George Caparros: "Benefit...Please Read"

Don't you just love the lousy scams?! Heh. This asshole claims to be an auditor in Europe & yet sent the email using a 'tw' domain (I believe it's Taiwan) email.

From: skwang (skwang@isu.edu.tw)
Medium riskYou may not know this sender.Mark as safe|Mark as junk
Sent: Mon 3/29/10 7:01 PM
To: gg.caparros@hotmail.com

Greetings to you,

I am George Caparros an external financial auditor in Europe. I got your e-mail address through private internet search.

I have sufficient information enough to claim out over Ten Million Dollars from a Bank if only you will stand as next of kin to one of our deceased customer who died without a wil.

I have my reasons for contacting you personally in this deal if not I can handle it alone; but in my next email I will explain why I need your assistance.

Do not worry yourself on how this will be done, I have studied the transaction and I have the master plan.

This transaction is hundred percent legal, no risk, but has to be confidential, no third party communication

If you are interested and want to learn how this will be done, kindly respond with your full name, age and private cell phone number, upon receipt I will send you a detailed email on how to achieve this goal.

Best Regards
George Caparros

The Birdsong Trilogy by Royston Tan

Have you watched this?

If so, you will find the opening of the Birdsong Trilogy familiar. :p  And with this, we sit through a lot of drama, tears and beeeuutifool shots. And song and dance makes a come back too! Here is just my 2-cents worth of what I think about the Birdsong Trilogy that was shown on Okto. Just 2-cents, nothing more... :)

Part 1-Passion


A love story between a baker and doctor told through 3 songs composed specially for this production. This delightful musical pairs one of the most prolific stage actresses Denise Tan with up and coming star Eric Gwee. Filmed in the heartland, the innocence of love is captured in the most unlikely of places.

In a way, the baker reminds me of Giselle in Enchanted. which is in a way exaggerated more than usual.Understanding it is working in a musical manner,but it seems quite off,and looks like the local version of High School Musical,only that it’s in a confectionery.So in a way it is like Enchanted meets High School Musical in adult version.

When my mom actually sees this part,especially the baker keeps singing, she actually says..."Siao Zhar Boh"(Crazy Woman in Hokkien),which is kind of true that I agree.

Part 2-Betrayal

Storyline:A young man relishes being in a triangle with 2 different women - an older woman whom he loves, and a younger woman whom he beds. A simple story about a cougar, a nubile girl and a young man dictated by lust. Set entirely in a bedroom, watch the sexy drama unfold with a series of twist and turns.

Too Chim to UNDERSTAND...

Part 3-Forgiveness

Storyline: An intimate telling of a story about a boy of 10 who is terminally ill, and is abandoned in the hospital. A counsellor is assigned to him and she is quickly touched by his gregarious spirit despite the pain that he is going through. She resolves to ensure that he is surrounded by love even as he slowly fades away. As the 2 individuals share those final days together, it appears that the boy is not the only one being caged in by pain.

Can cry lor. The interaction between the counsellor and Zijun is extremely touching! And this third part of the feature is more like a silent movie,with minimal conversation. 

Being a Royston fan, I guess I just want to take this chance to congratulate Royston on the successful TV premiere of his 1st English Feature made for TV.

Photo Credits:http://oktonite.sg/microsites/BirdsongTrilogy/index.htm

"But our world as we knew it had already been completey destroyed..."

Oh yes. If ever I succumb to the pressure of Life & choose to be an ostrich & hide my head within the ground of despair, I'll remember the above image & remember how cool--no, alive--it is to live a life spiced up with adversity. :)

DIY Singapore International Film Festival Booklet

Here is a god-send from Hatta, who used to work with the Substation - a DIY Singapore International Film Festival program booklet! It is even complete with stills from the films! Just to borrow his words, you can finally 'sit down with a cuppa kopi, read and analyse and choose the film to watch'. Hatta made it using Word and basically PDF-ed it. Use it together with the official SIFF program schedule. Click here to open it.

If you think this is useful, feel free to pass it on to your friends if you need to make changes, get in touch with Hatta at
hootie_inc@yahoo.com and he will pass you the original MS word document.

Origami Workshop by Ekkasit Khemnguad

Origami Workshop by Ekkasit Khemnguad
Ekkasit grew up with Japanese culture as his mother was the head of Japan Foundation's Activity Department. At the age of 5, Ekkasit was introduced to the art of origami by his mother and fell in love with it ever since. Aspired to be an origami master, Ekkasit has been hard at work from folding different intricate pieces to coming up with difficult designs like the Ganesh origami that gained him a reputation. In November 2008, he co-founded Thai Origami Club with having more than 2500 active members. Ekkasit will showcase his talent and demonstrate that origami is much more than just folding a paper crane. The workshop will include easy-to-follow basics as well as some challenging designs.

Origami Workshop by Ekkasit Khemnguad
Saturday 3 April at 1.30 pm
5th floor, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
**Seats are limited. Reservation is highly recommended.
For reservation and other inquiries, please call 086-991-6041.

Art Monaco'10 Special Edition art fair

Art Exhibition: Art Monaco'10 – Special Edition
Artist: Jirapat Tatsanasomboon and Pinaree Sanpitak
Dates: 29 April – 2 May, 2010
Venue: Grimaldi Forum, Monaco

Thavibu Gallery will present works by the well known Thai artists Pinaree Sanpitak and Jirapat Tatsanasomboon at the Art Monaco'10 – Special Edition art fair, which will take place at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco.

Pinaree Sanpitak is 48 years old and has exhibited widely with solo shows in Thailand, Singapore, Japan, France and the USA, as well as participating in the 1999 3rd Asia-Pacific Triennial in Australia, and the 2nd Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial in 2002. Her works are found in museum collections in Asia and beyond.

For over 15 years Pinaree has evolved her primal images of femininity down to two recurrent emblems - the vessel and the mound. Far from exhausting her subject, the industrious, explorative artist resourcefully and imaginatively continues to create interesting modes of manifesting intimate interpretations to the female psyche within contemporary society. Pinaree recently collaborated with master glass-blowers from Murano, Venice in Italy to produce unique breast-cloud sculptures that are both solid yet ephemeral in their transparent lustrous presence.

Jirapat Tatsanasomboon is 39 years old and one of Thailand’s most talented and upcoming artists. He graduated from Silapakorn University in 1999 and he has participated in several exhibitions in Thailand and also in Korea (2003), USA, New York (2006), Singapore 2008), and India (2009).

Jirapat applies a pop-art style to his paintings and plays around with well known images and icons of western art and transforms these well known icons by changing their appearances and putting them in a new and alien Thai setting. The interaction between the Thai and western characters may be viewed as symbolizing interactions at various levels: east-west, modern-traditional and USA-Thailand.

Habitat by Atthaphon Suetrongprasert (sudkoo)

Exhibition : Habitat
by Atthaphon Suetrongprasert (Sudkoo)
on April 8 - May 1, 2010
at Number 1 Gallery

see more detail in rama9art

“Tradition via Contemporary” by Wattana Wattanpun and his Collaborative Artists

Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University and Office of the National Culture Commission, Ministry of Culture request the pleasure of your company to attend an opening reception of Art Exhibition
“Tradition via Contemporary” by Wattana Wattanpun and his Collaborative Artists

To be presided over by
Mr. Somchai Seanglai Secretary General of the National Culture Commission, Ministry of Culture
Friday April 2, 2010, 6.00 pm. at Art Center, Chiang Mai University Nimmanhemin Rd.
The Exhibition will be on view until April 30,2010.
Open daily except Monday and holidays
For more information please call 053-944821, 089-4291883
email: wattana100-1@hotmail.com


Lecture and Discussion April 2, 2010
1:30-3:00 pm. “Cultural Commodities: Opportunity and Challenges”
Dr. Sirikiat Rachusanti, Dr. Napong Sanguannapapon, Nusara Tiangket,Somsri Pewon,Tasanee Yaja
16:00-17:30 pm. “ Lanna in Traditional and Contemporary Perspective”
Dr. Anan Kanchanaphan, Ajaan Wattana Wattanapun, Dr. Apinya Fuangfuskul, Dr. Chitrlada Buraparat.
CMU Art Center (Small Auditorium)

We have a date!

Come 15 May 2010, Singaporeans are invited to celebrate the Freedom to Love with Pink Dot once again.

This year, Pink Dot honours kinship and family – in support and in recognition of our parents, siblings, relatives and friends of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Singaporeans.

Growing up gay is never easy. But it is through the unconditional love, support and understanding of family members and friends that they are able to pull through; with the care, kindness and concern that sustains over periods of anxiety and hardship.

We believe that everyone inherently wants to feel accepted - like they belong. This is why family values matter greatly to Pink Dot.

Beyond the emotional and psychological well-being that strong familial ties can provide, family values also go towards affirming who we are as a community and as a nation: cohesive and compassionate.


Come make Pink Dot with us on 15 May 2010 (Saturday) at Hong Lim Park.

More than 2,500 people came last year and had a wonderful time. Help us enlarge the Dot this year to show the world that Singapore is a great place for everyone, straight or gay.

Bring your families, friends and colleagues!

Jean-Francois Julliard of Reporters Without Borders to PM LHL: Stop Libel Actions

They claim themselves to be 'reporters without borders'. Not 'within', but 'without'. Giving a false impression that they influence many countries without affected of any borders.


Whoever they are (no matter how grandiose they perceive themselves to be), they are getting too much when issuing an open letter to Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong to stop libel actions against the foreign media.

These 'reporters without borders' have weakened their position. If they do dare to report facts, they should not be deterred of any libel actions by any government. They should persistently fight all the way (to bankruptcy if needs come to be. Because Fact is the most significant thing in Life, isn't it?!).

'Reporters without borders'. Maybe they have no borders as no countries want to be associated with these 'reporters'. Yeah, that's one way to see it...

INTERNATIONAL media watchdog Reporters Without Borders has written an open letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong calling for a halt to libel actions by him and government leaders against the foreign media.

In the March 25 letter, secretary-general Jean-Francois Julliard cited recent cases in which leaders took court action against foreign publications, and referred to this week's apology from the International Herald Tribune (IHT) to three leaders for an article which implied that PM Lee got his job on account of his father, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

The letter, also posted on the group's website, began by noting that a foreign newspaper 'has yet again been forced to apologise to you and your father and pay you a large sum of money for publishing an article you did not like'.

This was a reference to an article titled All In The Family, written by op-ed page contributor Philip Bowring, a Hong Kong-based journalist and former editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review. It referred to Singapore as being among the countries in Asia which practised 'dynastic politics'.

Singapore's three leaders - PM Lee, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and MM Lee - demanded an apology, damages and costs.

The article was published online and in the paper on Feb 15 and 16 this year.

From Straits Times, "Stop libel actions".

Media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders has urged Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, his father Lee Kuan Yew and other top officials to stop taking "libel actions" against journalists.

RSF secretary general Jean-Francois Julliard wrote an "open letter" to the Singapore leader Thursday asking for a meeting about the group's observations and proposals "for guaranteeing press freedom" in the affluent city-state.

His letter followed an apology and payment of damages by the New York Times Company to the Lees and former prime minister Goh Chok Tong over an allegedly defamatory article.

"A foreign news organisation has yet again been forced to apologise to you and your father and pay you a large sum of money for publishing an article you did not like," Julliard said.

He urged the government to "put a stop to the libel actions" being taken against journalists.

The New York Times Company on Wednesday issued an apology to the Lees and Goh over an article about political dynasties it published in February in its global edition, the International Herald Tribune (IHT).

The article, entitled "All In The Family", was written by Hong Kong-based columnist Philip Bowring.

Davinder Singh, a lawyer for the three men, said the New York Times Company and Bowring would pay damages totalling 160,000 Singapore dollars (114,000 US) to the leaders, who said their reputations had been sullied by the article.

An apology that appeared in the IHT's Wednesday edition said the article may have implied that the younger Lee did not get his job on merit.

Singapore's leaders have won hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages in defamation cases against critics and foreign publications.

The leaders have defended their actions as necessary to protect their reputations from unfounded attacks.

"Freedom of expression is not a source of political unrest. Quite the contrary," said Julliard, who proposed a meeting with the prime minister.

"We have no comment," the prime minister's press secretary Chen Huai Liang said in response to an AFP query.

Last year, Hong Kong-based Far Eastern Economic Review and its editor paid more than 400,000 dollars to settle a defamation suit filed by Prime Minister Lee and the elder Lee, the founding father of modern Singapore.

A Wall Street Journal senior editor was fined 10,000 Singapore dollars in March 2009 for contempt of court over three articles that were ruled to have insulted the city-state's judiciary.

From MY.sinchew.com, "Stop suing journalists: RSF tells Singapore leaders".

rime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Prime Minister’s Office
Orchard Road
Singapore 238823

Paris, 25 March 2010

Dear Prime Minister,

A foreign news organisation has yet again been forced to apologise to you and your father and pay you a large sum of money for publishing an article you did not like. This time it is the New York Times Co. that is a victim of this double punishment because of a compliant judicial system that always rules in favour of you and your family in all the lawsuits you bring against foreign news media.

Before the New York Times Co., you succeeded in punishing the Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER), FinanceAsia.com, The Economist, International Herald Tribune and Asian Wall Street Journal for their coverage of the political and economic situation in your country.

Threatened by a trial, the New York Times Co. apologised to you and your father, Lee Kuan Yew, for the article “All in the Family,” written by Philip Bowring and published in the 15 February issue of the International Herald Tribune. As well as an apology, this US media company had to pay 114,000 US dollars in damages.

Your lawyer, Davinder Singh, said Bowring’s article violated an “agreement” between your family and the International Herald Tribune, which was sentenced in 1994 to pay a large sum in damages for an article entitled “The claims about Asian values don’t usually bear scrutiny.”

The now defunct Far Eastern Economic Review agreed last November, after a long legal wrangle, to pay you and your father 290,000 US dollars in damages. Despite a lack of evidence, Singaporean judges ruled in favour of your family both in the original trial and on appeal without a thought for media freedom.

Reporters Without Borders condemns the judicial harassment which you and your father have practiced for years in order to prevent foreign news media from taking too close an interest in how you run your country. It does serious and lasting harm to press freedom in Singapore.

Your government has repeatedly displayed a disturbing inability to tolerate foreign journalists. Last October, for example, Ben Bland, a British freelancer who strings for The Economist and The Daily Telegraph, was denied a visa and permission to cover an APEC summit in Singapore. “I was forced to leave Singapore after the government refused to renew my work visa without any explanation,” Bland told Reporters Without Borders.

But the censorship has above all affected local media and local artistic production. In October 2009, for example, the ministry of information, communication and arts upheld a ban on a documentary by Singaporean filmmaker Martyn See about government opponent Said Zahari. Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOI2...

In response to the publication of the Reporters Without Borders 2009 press freedom index, in which Singapore was ranked 133rd out of 175 countries, your law minister, K. Shanmugam, described it as “absurd” and “disconnected from reality.”

Unfortunately, the facts show that we are right.

In the six years since you became prime minister and said you favoured an “open” society, we have seen very few improvements in the situation of free speech.

We therefore think your government should take the following measures as a matter of urgency:

1. Put a stop to the libel actions which you and your relatives have been bringing against Singaporean and foreign media that cover Singaporean developments in an independent manner. As the UN special rapporteur for freedom of expression recently said, the prime minister, his minister and high officials must refrain from suing journalists over their articles and comments.
2. Amend the criminal code so as to abolish prison sentences for press offences.
3. Amend the press law, especially the articles concerning the granting of publication licences. The current restrictions are preventing the emergence of independent media. The film law should also be relaxed.
4. Reform the national security law so as to abolish administrative detention, which allows the authorities to imprison people because of what they think.
5. Reform the Media Development Authority so that it is no longer able to censor and can solely make recommendations about TV programmes and films.
6. Allow government opponents and civil society representatives unrestricted access to the public media.
7. Guarantee the editorial independence of all the media owned by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Media Corporation of Singapore (Mediacorp).
8. Transfer the money that your family has obtained in damages from foreign and Singaporean news media to a support fund for imprisoned journalists that Reporters Without Borders proposes to set up.

We regret that you, the members of your government and your father keep citing the need to guarantee Singapore’s stability as grounds for controlling the media and maintaining its draconian laws. Countries that show the most respect for press freedom, such as Finland and Norway, are peaceful and prosperous democracies. Freedom of expression is not a source of political unrest. Quite the contrary.

You have perpetuated your father’s legacy by continuing to harass and intimidate news media. As a result, aside from a few websites specialising in Singapore, no news outlet can publish independent news and information about issues affecting the political situation in your country.

We would be very honoured to be able to meet with you in order to talk about our observations and our proposals for guaranteeing press freedom in Singapore in person.


Jean-François Julliard

From Reporters Without Borders, "Open letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong".


You're cordially invited to “MOSAIC OF TEMPERAMENT” The 3rd Art Exhibtion by See Moom Muang Group (19 Art Professors from Rangsit University)

The Opening Exhibition: Saturday 27th, March, 2010 6.00 pm. onward at HOF Art Gallery Ratchadapisek Rd. soi 19

Pls, see all information at attached file of release. And welcome u all, if need to know more in detail of exhibition via call my mobile: 089 926 2196

Beach Girl

Tattoo Beach Girl

Natural Six by Six Artists

Natural Six March 14 to April 10 2010 at La Luna Gallery Chiang Mai
Come and Celebrate!
ABC-Art, Bubbles and Chocolate! What lse do you need in life? You can get it all at La Luna Gallery if you join us for our SIXTH ANNIVERSARY ON MARCH14.

As it is a Sunday we will not do our usual evening vernisage but invite you to visit us during

SIX MAGICAL HOURS from noon to 6 pm.

And if thai isn't "Sx" enough, there is even more. Our main attraction will be the opening of a new exhibition by six artists, some of them new to La Lana, some of them old friends.

Aptly named "Natural Six". the artists have all been inspaired by the beauty of our surroundings, from forests tofowls and from stones to ships in Halong Bay.

Naturally, most of the art is with an edge (some even with four!) otherwise it would not be La Luna. However, we do ake a smaill step in the direction of figurative art with this exhibition,
but come and see the many different techniques and expression for yourselves.

We are also very proud to introduce beautiful bamboo products designed by Cindi Novkov in
our gallery. Bowl, Tables, Lamps and Sculptures now grace our wooden room upstairs and will be part of the Natural Six exhibition.

THE FIRST "66" VISITOR on March 14 will draw a number when arriving, and all tickets ending on "6" will win a nice gift. If you draw "66" you will be the luckiest of all and take home the first prize! And there is beautiful art, cool chocolate and bubbly wine and good company to
enjoy for those who do not win.

So please join us a grat afternoon at La Luna on March 14th from noon to 6 pm.
Partcipating artist are: Louise Truslow, Soon Lai Wai, Patchrin Meelarp, Bordin T. Silpolan,

Jirawit Sursit, Wisuttisak Booddee and Cindi Novkov.

See examples of their work here and more on our website www.lalunagallery.com


For more information:
La Luna Gallery
190 Charoenrajd Rd., T. Watgate.,A Muang, Chiang Mai 50000
tel. +66 53 306 678
E-mail: lalna@lalunagallery.com

nooka sighting: joe jonas

joe jonas was out this past sunday sporting the white zub zirc. the pictures are courtesy of jonasworld.org.

be sure to pick up your white zub zirc here!

follow nooka on facebook and twitter!

Homegrown Films at the SIFF 2010

Here's a list of the Singaporean films screening at this year's Singapore International Film Festival!

Sinema Old School / NC16
16th Apr (Fri), 7:00pm

KITCHEN QUARTET by Nicole Midori Woodford
MASALA MAMA by Michael Kam
HENNIE by Ethan Page
RICE by Taj Jenkins Musco
SCOT FREE by Chia Pei Zhen
Get tickets

Dir: Thomas Lim
The Arts House Theatre / PG
16th Apr (Fri), 9:15pm

Tak goes to Macau with his uncle Wai to win money at gambling to afford his ill mother’s operation. They win big at initial tries, but lose it all when Wai runs into Tak’s former lover, Winnie. Believing he killed Wai in a furied brawl over Wynnie, Tak is lured into a gamble he cannot refuse: Winnie’s freedom in exchange for information known to a local policeman, Kin. To gain Kin’s trust, Tak befriends his sister Amanda and unexpectedly falls for her. As Tak grows closer to the siblings—and Kin inches closer to discovering Tak’s true intentions—Tak must decide where his true loyalties lie. Get tickets

Sinema Old School / M18
17th or 24th Apr (Sat), 11:30am

QUE SERA SERA by Ghazi Alqudcy
CONTAINED by Harry Zhuang Weifu, Henry Zhuang Weiguo
SUNRISE by Platon Theodoris
LIFE WITH UMMU by Lai Huiyi Tanya
THE 25TH OF LAURA by Joshua Simon
MU DAN by Lincoln Chia
Get tickets

Dir: Yeo Siew Hua
The Arts House Theatre / R21
17th Apr (Sat), 9:15pm

Over the summer break, Zhi Wen decides to move out of his parents’ house to live with two friends. After discovering that Ah Pin and Mark are professional bicycle thieves, Zhi Wen slowly finds himself entrapped in a strange world of vice and deception. A magical personality game they play will finally cause them to switch identities with one another. The film is the tale of the three little pigs set in the modern landscape of urbanised Singapore. Will the three little pigs live happily ever after? Get tickets

Dir: Sherman Ong
Dir: Chen-Hsi Wong
The Arts House Theatre / PG
18th Apr (Sun), 9:15pm

Memories of a Burning Tree: Smith comes to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to tie up some loose ends. He meets Link, a tour guide, who agrees to help him. Along the way, they are offered help by Abdul, a gravedigger, and Toatoa, a metal scavenger, who themselves are searching for answers to their own journeys. Their search eventually leads them to realise that this is a never-ending journey of dreams and disappointments.

Conversations on Sago Lane: An HDB estate on Sago Lane houses one of Singapore’s highest concentrations of elders, who have survived successive waves of relocation and redevelopment since migrating from China during their childhood. Get tickets

matthew waldman X graniph

for years nooka staff and friends of mine always looked forward to the souvenirs i brought back from trips to japan. and the most beloved/coveted of these is always the fresh crop of graniph t-shirts! i literally keep half a suitcase empty to make room for the 20 or so t shirts of theirs i would buy each trip. this being no secret, my dear friend tomoyo in tokyo made an introduction to the design team of graniph and the project below was born! so, special thanks to tomoyo, yamada and graniph for making this happen – i'm really very thrilled. i of course, will blog again when it gets closer to the release date and i have more samples to photograph. verbage from the press release is below.

nooka and graniph are thrilled to release a new collaborative t-shirt, designed by matthew waldman this may, available in japan only. the limited edition t-shirt features a star made of the nooka’s popular Creatures of the Night CAMO print. This exclusive design is printed on a heather grey shirt, with sizes ranging from extra small to large for men and women. Anyone who purchases this collab t-shirt can enter to win one of the 2 creatures of the Night watches. this campaign will hit graniph shop sometime in may 2010.

Graniph is a clothing design company based out of Shimokitazawa, Japan, that specializes in producing designer graphic T shirts. Using a unique design strategy, Graniph releases as many as 100 new designs every month featuring different artists and designers around the world.

this t-shirt will be available in countries with graniph shops and online for other regions from their site. you can also get the nooka camo watch here, and the music skins here, not to mention the fabulous nooka strip [belt] and yellow zub watch muscle boy michael is wearing in the photo.

Liberation by Utai Nopsiri

“Liberation”  solo exhibition of Utai Nopsiri
Utai Nopsiri returns to town with his latest works after having received huge success from the first solo show “Only Appearance” in 2007.

     Utai Nopsiri has been creating sculptures for over 10 years and was the recipient of several awards.  Introduced to 100 Tonson Gallery by Chatchai Puipia in 2006, we are very proud to have discovered and introduced to public, such strength of vision borne from Nopsiri’s conviction, dedication and energy.   After his first sold out show, Nopsiri has created the second series of abstract teak wood sculptures under the title “Liberation”.   Nopsiri's strength has propelled him into the international spotlight of contemporary recognition.

     In this exhibition “Liberation”, Utai Nopsiri continues his conceptual framework and artistic working process. Instead of using technology or any electricity-related tools, the artist created each sculptural element by hand and his craftsmanship. Viewers can appreciate every detail, having been done in precision and focus.

     “Sometimes when I’ve got some sparkling ideas, I somehow feel a paradox. It is as if I have a dual character, yet, either delicate or rough, the origin is the same”  
6 pieces of wood sculptures will be on view at 100 Tonson Gallery between  May 6th – June 6th ( every Thursday – Sunday, 11 am – 7 pm)
For more information, please contact 100 Tonson Gallery

Artist  Profiles:
Born 1970 in Chachoengsao and lives and works in Nakornphrathom.  Nopsiri graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Slipakorn University. Nopsiri's work is unique in that his large wooden sculptures are entirely painstakingly handcrafted without the use of electrical tools. He was lifted from obscurity after being discovered working in a tin shed-cum-studio in a bustling market just outside of Bangkok by 100 Tonson Gallery. After putting on his first solo show “ Only Appearance” Nopsiri received a great response from collectors and the art audience at large. Participated in group shows such as Beasts, Breasts & Beauty, Alliance Française Singapore 2008, and Showcase Singapore, in 2009.  He is now tipped to be one of the young up and coming artists to watch.  His awards include 3rd Prize (Sculpture), 51st National Exhibition of Art, Bangkok (2005). 2nd Prize, Krung Thai Bank Award, 52nd National Exhibition of Art, Bangkok (2006). Awards from two years of Toshiba's Brings Good Things to Life Art Competition. Entries selected for exhibit, three years of the National Exhibition of Art, Bangkok. He also took part in Art Project at the Thai Italian Art Space during 2000.

Exhibition:  Liberation
Exhibition Date:  May 6th – June 6th , 2010
Opening Reception:   Thursday May 6th , 2010 at 7 pm.
Gallery’s opening Hours: Thursday – Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

100 Tonson Gallery
100 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Rd., Lumpini,
Pathumwan, Bangkok, 10330 Thailand 
Public and Media Enquires:
Tel. +66 (0)2 684 1527 : +66 (0) 81-910-9440 Fax +66 (0)2 254-7227
e-mail info@100tonsongallery.com

'Mama' Shop Talk from Berlin - by Mathias Ortmann

The so-called Big Three of the international film festival circuit –  Berlin, Cannes and Venice – always offer a good deal of spectacle and some good films as well but what they show is, naturally, a selection with absences. Their programming may leave a lot to be wished for and it then falls to the remaining film festivals out there to see to it and perhaps make some corrections. At this year’s Berlinale, again, Singapore wasn’t really in the spotlight and the country represented by but one short film entry: “Masala Mama” by Michael Kam which screened in the Kplus shorts section. So, let’s see whether it got the job done and may have opened the door a bit further for more Singaporean films to make it in.

In some old-fashioned neighbourhood “mama-shop”, a Chinese boy browses through a comic but gets exposed a wannabe shoplifter through a botched attempt at snatching the magazine. This happens as, on his way out, he bumps into a handsome Indian policeman who is introduced to qualify in turn the Indian owner of the store, complete with moustache and lively eyes, whose alacrity in serving the new customer does all the necessary telling; the unavoidable swear word (“faggot”) will from now on serve to summarize the ensuing confrontation between the boy’s father and the shop-owner. The sensitive lad himself is set apart from his schoolmates by his obsession with comic strip magazines and his own talent for drawing; also from his father, obviously, and his paternalistic and authoritarian way of life and everything it stands for. But he is hardly a rebel, rather your occasional daydreamer, the very type of fringe existence so easily overlooked.

Over the course of events he unexpectedly finds a companion in the Masala shop-owner, who is the exact anti-thesis to the boy’s father: impulsive yet civilized, attentive and, surprisingly, friendly; perhaps a little wicked, too. Of course he acknowledges and supports the creative pursuits of the boy, even encourages him, thus eliciting a true instant of awkwardness overcome from the kid. When he tries to thank him for taking his side in the confrontation with his abusive father, also to make amends for his own cowardice, perhaps, he gives him a hug when he has no words. Thus a bond is established and our two comrades can at least imagine the world being a better place, where courage paired with tolerance actually wins the day – fiction finally takes over!

The plot layout is simple enough, the characters are handy stereotypes but not cardboard and the actors conveniently type cast. Among the short’s qualities I particularly cherish the measured approach it takes to being partial and the gentle handling of its content. It doesn’t bark at what observations of narrow-mindedness it features. But, and that eventually belittles the impact, it also remains mostly lukewarm. Some interspersing shots don’t really add much to the development and the editing could have been minimally tighter. There are some very situated and stiff performances which, in a way, only adds to the film’s charm. “Masala Mama” displays a lot of love for detail and endearing art direction while not being overly nostalgic in its presentation, which is something we have seen too often before. The themes of homophobia and physical abuse seem real enough and in terms of sequences and pacing, an efficient and palatable balance is held almost to the end.

So many varying emotional tones and a range from covert communication to yelling and picking a fight, all in less than 9 minutes, trans-cultural, cross-generational and drawing together seemingly opposing life spheres, actually goes quite well together. The short is heart warming, indeed, and that is because in all the aforementioned mix it doesn’t insist on elaborating too much on contrast and applies a relaxed and evenly tempered visual treatment to most of the scenes. It is, stylistically as well, an example of applied kindness and it provides fresh insight into the kind of little wonders that (hopefully) every troubled childhood encounters at some point.

All things considered, “Masala Mama” is a nicely done, well crafted film of equal parts soft humour (“You…me…very trouble!”) and good production value. Its one major flaw is that it is lacking in conceptual consequentiality: just when the exposition takes a flight – we’re done already! Now, that’s too mean, really. In the end you feel somewhat cheated for the best and are left wishing that the allocation of screen time were reversed. More of that imagined sequence with the shop-owner and the boy as super-heroes and their joint exploits, some intervention on behalf of the non-conformist dreamer, would have been a delight to watch.

What “Masala Mama” does prove, however, is that there are plenty of interesting approaches, precious trigger points for creative storytelling in the specific cultural blend that is Singaporean society today, that the alert observer could pick up. There is much uncharted territory in Singapore’s history too, past experiences as yet undisclosed in her film production at least, which it should be well worth for any inventive and dedicated filmmaker to explore; and for such films to meet with audiences the world over who have an appetite for some unfamiliar dish with a characteristic flavour. “Masala Mama” did just that.

Based in Berlin, Mathias Ortmann writes profoundly and intensively about Singapore films. Many of his writings can be found on the Sinema website. This is the second film review by Mathias written exclusively for SINdie.

Blog Archive