Mozart's Requiem in Bangkok - March 16th & 18th, 2011

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791)
REQUIEM in D minor (K 626)

Wednesday March 16th, 2011 - 7.30pm
at Siam Society, Bangkok
131 Asoke Montri Road, Sukhumvit 21
Free admission

Friday March 18th, 2011 - 7.30pm
at Assumption Cathedral, Bangkok – 23 Oriental Avenue, near Oriental Hotel
300 baths (100 baths for students)
- concert to be confirmed -

Fuengalada Prawang & Kamonporn Huncharoen, Sopranos
Sassaya Chavalit, Mezzo – Soprano
Nutthaporn Thammati, Ténor
Tulanan Narasetapisarn, Basse
Mahidol University Baroque Choir & Orchestra
Bahtiyor Allaberganov, Organ
Henri Pompidor, Conductor

The Siam Society under Royal Patronage proudly presents W.A. Mozart’s Requiem, to be performed by the Mahidol University Baroque Choir and Orchestra under the baton of Henri Pompidor.

Universally recognized as one of the greatest choral masterpieces, the Requiem has long been shrouded in mystery. In July 1791, Mozart undertook the commission for an Austrian nobleman, little knowing that he was to write the requiem for himself: he died on December 5 of the same year, at the early age of 35. Inevitably, the secrecy surrounding the anonymous commission, the circumstances of Mozart's death, the unfinished state of the work, and its completion by his copyist, the composer Süssmayr, have precipitated two centuries of romantic speculation and scholarly controversy.

The completed work follows the traditional Latin liturgy and was first performed on January 2, 1793 at a benefit concert for Mozart’s widow Constanza. Since then, it has gained tremendous recognition and has been performed at many prestigious occasions including the memorial services of Joseph Haydn, Frederic Chopin and John F. Kennedy.

In 2002, on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, a worldwide “Rolling Requiem” project was launched in memory of the 3,000 victims, consisting of a continuous series of performances of the Requiem, circling the earth, crossing all time zones, each beginning at 8:47 a.m. local time, thus marking the time the first plane hit the World Trade Centre.

This masterpiece choral music will be performed at the Siam Society, 131 Soi Asoke, Sukhumvit 21, on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 7.30 p.m.

A second concert is scheduled March 18th at Assumption Cathedral Bangkok (near Oriental Hotel) at 7.30 p.m (to be confirmed).

Show moreFor details please call The Siam Society on 02-661-6470 or Mahidol University College of Music on 02-800-2525 ext 154/155.

For more information about this event as well as other activities and events, you may also visit our websites: and

House of M(ahathir)

Frogs, your time has come!
(From "Mahathir: Next Pond")

Magnetic Mahathir. Commenting on Minister Mentor Mr. Lee Kuan Yew as "a big frog in a small pond", I'm just wondering how Dr Mahathir Mohamad thinks of himself. One possibility just jumps out of my mind: Dr Mahathir is "a small frog in a big pond". Oh well...

PS. The title of the post is inspired from Marvel's eight-issue comic book limited series, "House of M".

“He’s a big frog in a small pond.”

That is what Dr Mahathir Mohamad thinks of Singapore’s founding father, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

In the book ‘Doctor M: Operation Malaysia’, the country’s former leader was also quoted describing Mr Lee as someone who is not satisfied with what he has.

But despite being at loggerheads with Mr Lee for more than 20 years, Dr Mahathir had to admit that Lee “will go down in history as a very remarkable intellectual and a politician at the same time, which is not a very often thing.”

On the other hand, Lee graciously acknowledged Mahathir as an “outstanding” prime minister of Malaysia, adding that the latter educated his people and sent many of them abroad on scholarships and who in turn transformed the country.

“During his premiership of over 20 years, he changed Malaysia from an agricultural, placid society into an industrial, dynamic society,” said Mr Lee as quoted in cover leaf of the same book.

As the author of the book, professor Tom Plate, veteran journalist-turned-academic, was in town, I took the opportunity to have a one-on-one interview with him to talk about the two long-time rivals.

In ‘Doctor M: Operation Malaysia’, Mr Plate chronicled the experiences of Malaysia’s fourth and former premier, someone who was infamous for his disdain of the Western media as well as for his controversial and outspoken views on Israel and the Jews.:

Mr Plate had also written a book on Singapore’s own former long-time premier titled ‘Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew’ which was launched in May last year. The book touches on Lee’s views on issues such as his “authoritarianism”, and reveals details of his personal family life.

The book together with that on Mahathir is part of the ‘Giants of Asia’ series which recounts the stories of some of the brightest but yet also controversial leaders in Asia.

Similarities between LKY and Dr Mahathir?

Describing both ‘Giants of Asia’ as two peas in the proverbial pod, Mr Plate pointed out that they actually have much in common despite their sometimes cold relationship.

In his latest book, Mr Plate said they relish making painful decisions, work out almost daily for their health and profess similar social-Darwinian views.

Apart from that, he noted that Lee and Mahathir are Asian evangelists who consistently and stoutly defend Asian values but are also welcoming towards multinational investments.

“They often lecture their countrymen like schoolmarms, prioritize education and champion a sweltering, non-stop work ethic,” Mr Plate said.

In the interview with Yahoo! Singapore, Mr Plate also highlighted the difference in the intensity of the men.

Comparing Lee to that of the dean of academic studies, the author said that he is extremely articulate, has a penetrating mind and is very careful with his language.

“There is just no sloppiness to Lee Kuan Yew. He is very structured and doesn’t easily go off message when discuss about an issue.”

But you might be surprised that as rigid as Lee might appear to be, Mr Plate said that he has a very good sense of humour. Even Lee himself might agree with this assessment. In the book, Lee acknowledged that while he would not call himself “fun-loving” or “light-hearted”, he is not serious all the time.

“Everyone needs to have a good laugh now and then, to see the funny side of things, and to laugh at himself,” Lee said.

On the other hand, Mahathir was described as a slightly “looser” individual who would often crack jokes. But this, Mr Plate said, is not for the better or worse.

“Because of this, it is easier for one to underestimate the intelligence of Mahathir than Lee Kuan Yew because of the differences in style,” he said. “But Mahathir is nobody’s fool, he is still very sharp even at 85.”

The West can learn from LKY

Talking of Singapore’s founding father alone, Mr Plate had also much to say.

“The West can learn a lot from Lee Kuan Yew,” said the author, who also noted that it might not be feasible to transplant the Singapore system which works for about five million people to a country such as the United States.

Still, he gave Lee credit for the country’s impressive meritocratic system and its public service which “America has lost a little bit”.

Describing Lee as a “global geo-political guru”, he said that the Western media generally thinks of him as a “hard authoritarian”. Perhaps this was borne out of the fact that Singapore has consistently been described as a ‘Nanny state’ and also because of the nation’s strict laws such as caning and the ban on chewing gum.

While he admitted that it was a struggle for the American media to move away from that stereotype now, Mr Plate claimed that there has been an “appreciation” of Lee though it “took too long” for the media to recognize the former leader’s achievements.

Going back to a comparison of the two former premiers, Mr Plate said it is hard to gauge the success of governance of one against the other.

Since both men held power almost during the same time, although Mr Lee became prime minister much earlier and Dr Mahathir stepping down a later date, it is easy for others to rush and compare the achievements and legacies of both these heavyweight champions.

While Singapore might be more successful, Malaysia is roughly five times the size and population of Singapore, Mr Plate said.

“So the control environment is messier. But they are both leaders in their parties, and both are what we used the term in America soft authoritarianism to describe their styles”

When asked what he meant by ‘Giants in Asia’, Mr Plate says, “They are larger than life personalities that by looking and talking to them, that they can illuminate their time and their area of the world and how their area will fit in the rest of the globe. That’s really what it’s about. It’s a way of a magical mystery tour through Asia.”

From Yahoo! Fit to Post, "What do MM Lee and Dr Mahathir think of each other?".

Dr Susan Lim: The High Cost of Living ... Unwell

Especially if you're a patient linked to the Brunei palace? You can expect your bill to be as high as $24.8 million!!!

The infamous doctor in this outrageous case (yes, the news has reached as far as New Zealand--and not just Brunei & Singapore) is a surgeon Dr Susan Lim. According to her website, she is the first Singaporean & also the youngest Fellow of Trinity College. Oh, and she has a Wikipedia article about her too! I guess all these may lead to the ridiculously high bill?!?!

And the sad irony is despite all these fantastic amount of money involved, the patient still died of her breast cancer.

With the patient had suffered so much, how credible it is for Dr Susan Lim to claim that "the bill was made with the consent of the victim"? C'mon, the patient was very ill & unlikely to be in her right mind when she agreed to that heart-stopping figures?!?!

PS. The title of this article is inspired from the graphic novel, "Death: The High Cost of Living".

SURGEON Susan Lim treated a patient linked to the Brunei palace for seven months in 2007. Her bill: $24.8 million.

Singapore's Ministry of Health was upset when it learnt about the amount, and that led to it filing charges against the well-known doctor.

That was the claim her lawyers made in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. They also noted that Dr Lim later reduced the bill twice, although it has yet to be paid.

The bill is at the heart of a case between Dr Lim and the Singapore Medical Council (SMC).

She is fighting the SMC's decision to appoint a second disciplinary committee to investigate an accusation by the Health Ministry that she overcharged the patient.

On Tuesday was the first time that it came out into the open that the patient, who had breast cancer and later died, was linked to the Brunei royal household.

From Straits Times, "Surgeon's $24.8m bill landed her in the soup". (23/02/11)

A senior Brunei health official came to Singapore to ask for a discount on the more than S$20 million medical fees being charged to a patient who had been operated on by Singapore surgeon Susan Lim, a court heard on Tuesday.

This evidence surfaced on the second day of Dr Lim's action against the Singapore Medical Council (SMC), which is seeking to start another move to investigate an accusation by the Ministry of Health (MOH) that she overcharged the patient.

The court heard that in mid-July 2007, the director of medical services of Brunei's health ministry flew to Singapore to meet Professor K Saktu, the director of medical services of MOH, to seek a discount on Dr Lim's fees.

When Professor Saktu learned about the amount, he said the fees were very high and might tarnish the reputation of Singapore, especially the medical community.

He told the director to write in to MOH and he would investigate the matter.

During his visit, the director also met the chief executive of Parkway Holdings to see if the latter could help negotiate a reduction in the fees.

Senior Counsel Lee Eng Beng, Dr Lim's lawyer, also told the court that after the Brunei director wrote in to MOH, Dr Lim's clinic was raided five times and the case notes of the patient were seized.

A complaint against Dr Lim was lodged by MOH to the SMC, which launched disciplinary proceedings against her.

Mr Lee said that as Professor Saktu is also the registrar of the SMC and was involved in the disciplinary proceedings against Dr Lim, there was a clash of interest and "reasonable apprehension of bias".

He added that he took issue with the raids on Dr Lim's office since the complaint against her was of a financial nature and not one of medical malpractice.

Dr Lim's lawyer added that the Brunei director did not allege professional misconduct during his visit to Singapore and was only looking for a commercial resolution.

But Professor Saktu "elevated a commercial remedy/discount to a disciplinary hearing."

The hearing continues on Wednesday.

From Channel NewsAsia, "SMC must explain why no inquiry was launched". (23/02/11)

A SPECIALIST who treated surgeon Susan Lim's patient sent a bill for $400. She marked it up to $211,000 when she billed the Brunei High Commission here.

Another doctor charged $500, but Dr Lim bumped that up to $93,500. Yet another bill for $3,000 was raised to $285,100.

These and several other revelations of how Dr Lim charged her patient - a woman member of Brunei's royal family - for treatment by other doctors were made in the High Court yesterday by Senior Counsel Alvin Yeo.

Representing the Singapore Medical Council (SMC), he cited the allegedly inflated bills to show there was a case for a disciplinary committee to launch an inquiry against the doctor.

Dr Lim is fighting the SMC's decision to appoint a second disciplinary committee to investigate an accusation by the Health Ministry here that she overcharged her Brunei patient, Pengiran Anak Hajah Damit.

The patient, the younger sister of Brunei's Queen and a cousin of the Sultan, had breast cancer and died in August 2007. Dr Lim treated the woman from 2001 until she died.

From Straits Times, "Surgeon inflated $400 bill to $211,000". (24/02/11)

THE deceased younger sister of Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hjh Saleha was the victim of overcharging by prominent Singaporean surgeon Dr Susan Lim, an article from Singaporean daily Straits Times reported.

According to the February 24 issue of the newspaper, Dr Lim was treating the late Pengiran Anak Hajah Damit since 2001 up till her death in 2007, which was caused by breast cancer.

The report said a specialist, who was not named, treated the deceased and sent a bill for $400, which Dr Lim bumped up to $211,000, when she billed the Brunei High Commission. In another instance, another unnamed doctor charged $500 but Dr Lim once again raised the price to $93,500.

Dr Lim also charged the patient for cancelling two conferences, on top of treatment fees, with one bill costing $78,000 and the other up to $180,000.

She also charged between $35,000 and $45,000 a day when her employees accompanied the patient for radiotherapy sessions as the hospital, the newspaper reported.

When the patient was in intensive care for five days in May 2007, she was attended to by the doctors and nurses and for that, Dr Lim charged $450,000 for the first day and $250,000 for the other four days for "monitoring services", according to Straits Times.

The Brunei High Commission, which had by then noticed the irregularities in charges, alerted the Ministry of Health (MoH) and expressed concern over costly medical fees in July 2007.

In the same month, two representatives from MoH came to Singapore and spoke to Dr Lim Cheok Peng, the chief executive of Parkway Holdings, which runs medical centres where Dr Lim holds clinic.

These were allegations that were revealed in Singapore's High Court by Senior Counsel Alvin Yeo, the lawyer representing the Singapore Medical Council (SMC), according to the newspaper.

Yeo also said that the third party specialists who treated the patient would send their bills to Dr Lim and she would then mark up the bills when she sent her invoices to the Brunei High Commission.

In the hearing, Yeo also said that he was not asking the High Court to conclude that Dr Lim was overcharging, but added that a disciplinary committee should look into the matter.

Meanwhile, in August 2007, Dr Lim wrote to MoH to disregard the bills that were for services provided by other doctors and gave a 25 per cent discount on her own bills.

Almost three weeks later, she wrote to MoH apologising for the "inadvertent mistakes" made by her office.

The ministry then requested that Singapore's Health Ministry to intervene, stating that the charges were "unacceptable".

Three months later, Dr Lim once again wrote to MoH, and offered to waive her fees from January to June of 2007, as a gesture of goodwill and suggest that they pay up to $3.25 million only.

Originally, after the patient died, Dr Lim queried the rest of the 2007 bill, which came up to a whopping $24.8 million.

Senior Counsel Lee Eng Beng, Dr Lim's lawyer, told the court that his client had informed the deceased earlier on in their relationship that "the close care and attention she needed" would cost $100,000 to $200,00 a day.

The deceased had also assured Dr Lim that charges were not a problem and quoted that the "Istana is paying."

By January 2009, Dr Lim and her husband went to Brunei and offered to waive all her fees and third party bills if the ministry was prepared to issue a "letter of good standing".

The letter would have stated that the Brunei government would not pursue the matter any further and take no issue with her bills.

Her request was not entertained and claimed that she had a "fee agreement" with her patient.

The lawyer was further quoted in Straits Times as saying that an amendment to a regulation and its subsequent revocation appeared timed to target his client.

The amendment freed the legal adviser of the Singapore Medical Council of the obligation to inform the other party of any advice he gave to a disciplinary committee.

The hearing continues on February 28.

From Asiaone (reprinted from the Brunei Times), "S'pore doctor overcharged Bruneian patient: report". (25/02/11)

A case of medical fraud is making the headlines of leading news papers. A well renowned surgeon of Singapore, Dr. Susan Lim, is accused of over blowing the medical bill of a Bruneian patient.

Reportedly, the victim, late Pengiran Anak Hajah Damit, died of breast cancer after suffering the ordeal for the last seven years. Apparently, the specialist who treated the victim had made a bill of $400, which Dr. Lim pulled up to whopping to $211,000.

Additionally, the doctor had levied cancellation charges of another $2, 58,000 over the stipulated bill. Moreover, she added another $80,000 on account when her staff took her for the CT scan.

Shockingly, when the patient got admitted to the intensive care unit, she asked for $450,000 for the first day and $250,000 for the subsequent four days, in the name of "monitoring services".

With the case, becoming the point of contention for the medical fraternity, the Brunei High Commission sent alarming signals to the Ministry of Health (MoH) to intervene in the matter so that medical practices can be monitored.

In the wake of rising concern over the brewing issue, two MOH representatives visited the medical centers of Dr. Lim Cheok Peng, Chief Executive of Parkway Holdings. Moreover, Singapore's High Court Senior Counsel, Alvin Yeo has made an appeal from the behalf of the Singapore Medical Council (SMC), to conduct t a thorough investigation of the matter so that the perpetrator can be appropriately penalized.

Responding to the allegation, Dr. Lim has refuted all the charges made on her claiming that the bill was made with the consent of the victim.

From Top News New Zealand, "Dr. Lim Embarrassed the Medical Fraternity". (25/02/11)

Singapore Short Film Awards - The Travelling Billboard

This billboard made its way from Bras Basah to the Substation by sheer 'manpower'. We snapped some moments along Stamford Road!

Voila! It's up!

The Reform Party...deforms?

Napoleon Bonaparte once said, "In politics stupidity is not a handicap.” Is this what we witness now with the Reform Party? The chairman Tan Tee Seng was reported to resign last Friday. And since April 2009, there were other 2 chairmen leaving.

The Reform Party will soon deform? And yet the secretary general, Kenneth Jeyaretnam is quite exuberant & even eyeing "eyeing the West Coast and Chua Chu Kang GRCs and the three single seats of Hong Kah North, Pioneer and Radin Mas and a "possible" addition to that list is single seat ward Yuhua".

Secretary-general of The Reform Party Kenneth Jeyaretnam has confirmed the party's Chairman Tan Tee Seng resigned on Friday.

This follows the departure of nine other members from the party earlier this week.

Mr Tan is a businessman and former ex-ISA detainee arrested by the government in 1987 as part of a group of 22 alleged "Marxist conspirators".

Mr Tan took over the chairmanship of the party from Mr Edmund Ng less than three months ago.

He is the third chairman to leave the party since Mr Jeyaretnam took over as Secretary-general in April 2009.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Reform Party chairman quits".

Reform Party secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam on Friday confirmed chairman Tan Tee Seng's resignation from the Opposition party but did not disclose the reasons. Mr Tan, 51, a businessman, could not be reached by press time.

With his departure, three Central Executive Committee members remain in the party: Mr Jeyaretnam, Mr Mohammed Affendy Abdul Rahim and Mr Andy Zhu. The party's constitution allows for up to 12 CEC members.

Mr Jeyaretnam acknowledged that it was probably his "error" that RP expanded "too quickly". "But those who don't share our vision of forming an alternative government have left. We're stronger and more focused now," he said. Earlier this week, RP said it had "over 110 members".

Mr Tan, who was arrested in 1987 under the Internal Security Act as part of an alleged Marxist conspiracy, is the third chairman to resign since Mr Jeyaretnam took over in April 2009 as the party's secretary-general.

First, veteran Opposition politician Ng Teck Siong resigned, as he felt the fledgling party had strayed from the ideals of its founder, the late J B Jeyaretnam. Mr Edmund Ng, who took over, then resigned last December, after citing overseas business commitments.

Earlier this week, media reports cited at least 10 other members who had left RP.

Career counsellor Gilbert Goh, one of those who left, wrote on his blog: "Kenneth seems to be the main man in the party, and despite repeated denials, one couldn't help but believe that, ultimately, he'll call the shots. The fear that this is yet another one-man party is undeniably strong,"

Asked about Mr Goh's comments, Mr Jeyaretnam would only say the former had applied for membership, but it was "never made official".

From Today, "Reform Party chairman quits".

With or without an alliance with the Singapore People's Party - which is helmed by veteran Opposition leader Chiam See Tong - the Reform Party (RP) is going ahead with its plans to contest several constituencies in the western part of the island.

RP secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam, said the new electoral boundaries "overlap precisely" with where the party has been conducting outreach activities since 2009, "so residents generally know us very well".

According to Mr Jeyaretnam, 51, his party is eyeing the West Coast and Chua Chu Kang GRCs and the three single seats of Hong Kah North, Pioneer and Radin Mas. A "possible" addition to that list is single seat ward Yuhua, he added.

Mr Jeyaretnam said: "We're still talking with Mr Chiam but our preparations are going forward, and we're focused on the election."

Party member Alec Tok, 45, who identified himself as a "prospective" candidate when he met the media yesterday with Mr Jeyaretnam, added that "we don't actually have a need to work with other political parties because we have enough candidates".

Mr Tok, a theatre director, said the party was "in principle very willing" to work with Mr Chiam, either in West Coast GRC or Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.

Mr Jeyaretnam predicted that elections would probably be held in April or May.

Referring to the party's targeted wards, he added: "I don't think we can ever be adequately prepared, given the ... limited amount of time we have. But we're making headway in these areas."

As for the recent mass resignations from the party, Mr Jeyaretnam said he was not worried about the impact. "We're talking to a lot of other candidates," said Mr Jeyaretnam, who added that nine new members were approved last night during the party's open house at its office.

From Today, "Reform Party looks West".

Perennial China Retail Trust IPO

Perennial. The best 2 words to define 'perennial' are persistent & enduring. Okay, I like...Shall try my luck to subscribe this IPO. Heh. (yes, sometimes I myself can't tell whether I'm being seriously sarcastic or not.)

PERENNIAl Real Estate, led by former CapitaLand Retail chief Pua Seck Guan, has set an indicative price of $1 per unit for the listing of its business trust that is estimated to raise $1.1 billion in gross proceeds.

It is offering 1.09 billion units comprising an international placement of 610.2 million units, a public tranche of 50 million units, and cornerstone units of 432 million units for Perennial China Retail Trust (PCRT).

The cornerstone investors, which will snap up about 40 per cent of the offering, are Nan Fung Group, AEW Capital Management, AIA, CBRE, Henderson Global Investors, Lion Global, and Prudential.

According to a term sheet seen by BT, the IPO price represents a 22 per cent discount to analysts' consensus net asset value (NAV) per unit of $1.29, based on three banks' pre-deal research reports.

Perennial is wholly owned by Pua Seck Guan, the former CEO of the manager of CapitaMall Trust, Singapore's first real estate investment trust (Reit).

With a projected market cap of $1.11 billion at listing, PCRT will have an initial portfolio size of $1.1 billion covering four properties in China. The IPO proceeds will be mainly used to finance the acquisition of these properties.

One is a 50 per cent stake in retail mall Shenyang Red Star Macalline Furniture Mall and the other is a 50 per cent stake in Shenyang Longemont, a retail cum office development.

Perennial also has the contractual rights to acquire a 100 per cent stake in two other retail malls - Foshan Yicui Shijia Shopping Mall and Chengdu Qingyang Guanghua Shopping Mall.

The business trust is projected to have a distribution yield of 3.02 per cent for fiscal 2011 and 3.08 per cent for fiscal 2012, according to the prospectus lodged with the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Perennial said in a term sheet to potential investors that PCRT offers attractive total returns (yield plus NAV growth) and hence 'it should not be compared with the pure yield-play vehicles'.

It explained that the estimated yields are lower than comparable Reits' or business trusts', primarily because Red Star Macalline Furniture Mall is the only completed and leased-out property at IPO, while the rest are in pre-leasing stage or under development and due for completion between 2012 to 2014.

'The property yields of the underlying properties are expected to increase to approximately 6.5 per cent as rents stabilise,' it said. 'Accordingly, the DPU yield is expected to potentially increase. Valuer CBRE expects NPI (net property income) yield on purchase price at full maturity to be at approximately 7.8 per cent.'

While a business trust typically has no restrictions on distribution payout or leverage, Perennial has pledged, in the prospectus, to distribute at least 90 per cent of PCRT's distributable income to unitholders and pegged its leverage limit at up to 60 per cent of the value of PCRT's properties as set out in the trust deed.

Separate from the offering, the sponsor will subscribe to 10 million units in PCRT and has agreed to a lock-up period of six months for all the units and a 12-month lock-up for 50 per cent of those units.

DBS is the sole financial adviser for the IPO. It and Goldman Sachs and Standard Chartered are the joint global coordinators, bookrunners, issue managers and underwriters for the IPO.

Bookbuilding for the IPO has begun. The roadshow started on Thursday and will end on March 4. The public offer is expected to open on March 8 and close on March 14 and trading of the business units is expected to begin on March 16.

From Business Times, "Perennial trust units at $1 each".

Daphne "Dahlia" Iking

Daphne Iking makes the headlines again! No, not another silly enticement case, mind you. This time it's reported that she'll marry (for the second time--not that it's wrong!) to one Azmi Abdul Rahman (who migh as well claims his Operation Enticement successful...and legal!)

Oh, by the way she adopted the Muslim name of Dahlia when she converted in January. So will it be Daphne Dahlia Iking or Dahlia Daphne Iking or Dahlia Iking?

CELEBRITY Daphne Iking has made the headlines again, this time for a much happier reason - she has married for a second time. The lucky guy is her one-time business partner Azmi Abdul Rahman.

Ms Daphne, 31, who adopted the Muslim name of Dahlia when she converted in January, said she and her husband, who is also known to their friends as Joe, dated for more than a year before deciding to tie the knot.

They got married on Jan 8 in a simple akad nikah ceremony at her hometown in Penampang, Sabah, witnessed by family members and friends.

The couple started off as business partners, working on projects like 2REDchairs (, a street discussion on so-called taboo subjects, like religion, transgender and homosexuality.

They broke up before - for a while - as she was not sure if their relationship would work.

'I told him 'let's just stick to being business partners'. But he is really my jodoh (perfect match).

From Straits Times, "Celebrity Daphne Iking marries again".

When news broke that Daphne Iking has remarried, jaws dropped. Not just because the top Malaysian TV host is still entangled in a nasty court battle with her ex-husband, Ryan Chong, but her new husband is a powerful Malay businessman - Azmi Abdul Rahman, or fondly known as Joe - whose vast business interests included Redberry, The Malay Mail, Bernama TV and The Malaysian Reserve.

And it took a lot of pursuasion from a mutual close friend to finally have the newly weds open up about their secret nuptials on Jan 8.

"I don't care about her past," Joe told The Daily Chilli in an exclusive chat, hours after the power couple returned from their AIDSAware Campaign in The Gardens Mall in Mid Valley City.

They solemnised their union (akad nikah) in her hometown of Penampang, Sabah - witnessed by their close family members and friends. And no, they will not hold a grand wedding reception - just a private do with orphans and close friends in Kuala Lumpur.

A fiercely private person, Joe said it's his duty to protect his famous wife.

"In Islam, it's my duty as a husband to guide, to protect and to take good care of her. We nikah (legally married) to avoid fitnah (false accusations)."

Sure, he was the one who introduced her to Islam. But the controversial Daphne insists she would only have converted out of her free will.

"Islam is a beautiful religion. I've been studying it, especially after all the trials and turbulence in my life."

Her decision to embrace Islam and subsequently, marry Joe came in December last year, as she visited the Taj Mahal in India.

Its sorrowful sight, alongside passages of the Al-Quran, which decorated the majestic Islamic architecture, really moved her. The calligraphy on the Great Gate read: "O Soul, thou art at rest. Return to the Lord at peace with Him, and He at peace with you."

"I was spiritually enlightened. I told Joe I wanted to become a Muslim and be his wife. He was shocked," Daphne recollected.

The discreet couple, who dated for "a year plus", met via mutual friends.

Well, they started off as business partners, doing projects like 2REDchairs (, a street talk on taboo subjects in Malaysia like religions, transgender and homosexuality.

"But I wasn't sure if our relationship was going to work out. We broke up before," Daphne revealed. I told him 'Let's just stick to being business partners'. But he is really my jodoh (perfect match). He's been my rock since the failure of my first marriage became a public issue."

Oh yes, the partners in life and business get all emotional at the mention of Ryan as well as Darren Choy - the two lead stars of the real-life soap opera.

Ryan is suing Darren under Section 498 of the Penal Code for "enticing or taking away or detaining with a criminal intent a married woman (Daphne)."

From Asiaone, "Daphne Iking weds again and embraces Islam".

Celebrity Daphne Iking has made the headlines again, this time for a much happier reason – she has married for a second time. The lucky guy is her one-time business partner Azmi Abdul Rahman.

Daphne, 31, who adopted the Muslim name of Dahlia when she converted in January, said she and her husband, who is also known to their friends as Joe, dated for more than a year before deciding to tie the knot.

They got married on Jan 8 in a simple akad nikah ceremony at her hometown in Penampang, Sabah, witnessed by family members and friends.

The couple started off as business partners, working on projects like 2REDchairs (, a street discussion on so-called taboo subjects, like religion, transgender and homosexuality.

They broke up before – for a while – as she was not sure if their relationship would work.

“I told him ‘let’s just stick to being business partners’. But he is really my jodoh (perfect match).

“He’s been my rock after the failure of my first marriage became a public issue,” she told the Daily Chilli, the news portal of The Star.

Speaking on her conversion to Islam, the TV personality who was recently seen as one of the show hosts of the Seri Angkasa Awards, said: “Islam is a beautiful religion. I’ve been studying it, especially after all the trials and turbulence in my life.”

Daphne was embroiled in a controversy over a suit brought by her first husband, Ryan Chong, against businessman Darren Choy for seducing her, with the intention of having sexual intercourse between July 2007 and September 2008.

Daphne and Ryan married on Jan 27, 2007 in Bali and she has a daughter, Isobel Daniella Iking-Chong. They divorced in 2009.

Joe, in his 30s, told the portal he is not concerned about his wife’s past.

“In Islam, it’s my duty, as a husband, to guide, protect and take good care of my wife.

“We married to avoid fitnah (slander),” he said.

From The Star Online, "Daphne is Dahlia with a new darling".

Daphne Eleanor Iking- lately the centre of controversy in Malaysia's first known case of enticing - has confirmed Internet rumours that she has converted to Islam and married businessman Azmi Abdul Rahman.

"We were introduced through mutual friends and we are business partners," she said, while reluctant to divulge more details.

"He is a businessman and keeps a low profile, so he prefers not to be interviewed or to be in the spotlight," she said.

"When we decided to get married, naturally, conversion was a big issue.

It took me some time because I did not want to convert simply for the sake of marriage alone."

Daphne felt she was ready to take the plunge last December and embraced Islam. Both this and the solemnisation ceremony, or akad nikah, were held on Jan. 8.

"A small celebration was held after the nikah with my family in my hometown with my nearest and dearest."

Daphne, 32, was a party in a court case in which her former husband, Ryan Chong Yiing Yih, 33, filed a private summons against corporate figure Darren Choy Khin Ming, 46, under Section 498 of the Penal Code for "enticing or taking away or detaining with a criminal intent a married woman".

She has a child, four-year-old Isobel Daniella Iking.

"My extended family in the ntv7 production team and fellow actresses were in the know."

Being her second attempt at marriage, Daphne said she thought the actual marriage was more important than the wedding itself.

From Daily Express, "Daphne converts to Islam and remarries".

Movie posters of Best Picture Oscars nominees - and the winner is...

I know this is shallow, but if the selection of the Best Picture of the Oscars is based on the artwork of the movie poster, I'd say the winner goes to...Black Swan because it's just so simplistic with its dominant use of black (feathers) and white (background) and a deceptive red bloody hand promising a deadly secret.

The Oscars nominees for BEST PICTURE:

- Black Swan

- The Fighter

- Inception

- The Kids Are All Right

- The King's Speech

- 127 Hours

- The Social Network

- Toy Story 3

- True Grit

- Winter's Bone

Vonnie Lui Hoi-Yan lost her iPhone4 & 100 explicit photos

Lui Hoi-Yan in SgForums

At least that's what she claims. This Hong Kong porn star Vonnie Lui Hoi-Yan, who starred in "3D Sex & Zen: Extreme Ecstasy" (the RA trailer is here. YouTube, I'm shocked! Heh), can be that careless, huh?

3D "Sex and Zen" Extreme Ecstasy

Busty Hong Kong porn star Vonnie Lui Hoi-Yan claims she has lost her iPhone 4 and about 100 explicit photos that were in it, all of which are being forwarded around the world on the Internet, according to Sohu and Apple Daily.

The AV model recently completed shooting "3D Sex & Zen: Extreme Ecstasy" which is widely touted as the world's first 3D porno movie when it is released come April 2011. She plays the Elder of Bliss in the Category III flick, also starring Japanese pornstars Yukiko Suo and Saori Hara.

Some media reports have exaggerated the photo leak as a sex scandal of Edison Chen proportions but whatever the truth is, clearly the revelation is helping to market the film, if not the popular Apple mobile make.

Earlier in the month, the 27-year-old "Slim Till Dead" and "Love Education" starlet was involved in an eye-popping promotion for the new 3D porno - she was at an event which sold peculiar mouse pads featuring her image and also tangible 2D pop-up breasts, fashioned in her likeness.

She also gave away autographed posters, it was reported.

From Yahoo!, "Pornstar Vonnie Lui loses iPhone4 pics".

Hidden Flowers by Nguyen Thi Chau Giang, Vietnam

Art Exhibition: Hidden Flowers
Artist: Nguyen Thi Chau Giang, Vietnam
Dates: 23 April – 14 May 2011
Venue: Thavibu Gallery
Curator: Shireen Naziree

Open: Monday – Saturday: 11:00 – 19:00

Thavibu Gallery is pleased to present the art exhibition Hidden Flowers with silk paintings by the female Vietnamese artist Nguyen Thi Chau Giang. In Hidden Flowers, her first solo show since 2004, Nguyen Thi Chau Giang looks back to her Vietnamese artistic roots as she explores the formal issues of traditional silk painting. In constructing her visual narratives, Giang draws on sources both classic and contemporary as she mediates on the typical Vietnamese feminine
archetype. Well versed in feminist theories that impact contemporary Vietnamese society, she resists infiltrating her work with the seduction of poetic embellishments as she circumvents typical romantic narratives commonly associated with Vietnamese silk painting.

Such restraint pays off in a body of work that comprises 17 paintings in which Giang explores the contradictions Vietnamese women endure within Vietnam’s advancing contemporary social environment. All of these works explore the fragility of relationships and emotions with a sensitive eye, and they are engaging for that reason. But their formal deftness is also remarkable, as is the richness of their pictorial nuance, which amplifies the psychological interest of the works without drifting into melodrama.

Silk paintings originated in China, and a handful of Vietnamese artists have adopted the art form to produce compelling contemporary art works.

Nguyen Thi Chau Giang is 35 years old, was born in Hanoi and lives in Ho Chi Minh City where she graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts. She has participated in several exhibitions internationally, such as in Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom and the USA, including a solo show at the Columbia University, New York. Her works are found in the museum collections of Singapore Art Museum and The Hermitage, St Petersburg.

Thavibu Gallery
The Silom Galleria Building, 3rd Fl.
Suite 308, 919/1 Silom Rd.
Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Tel. (66 2) 266 5454
Fax. (66 2) 266 5455



18 February to 10 April 2011

Gallery 8th floor, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre

Bangkok - French Embassy, Alliance Francais, and Bangkok Art and Culture Centre present a Thai-French Fashion Photography Exhibition ; Fashion3, giving a 360 degree view of Fashion: on one side of the camera, fabulous Fashion photos, portraits of creators and models, and on the other side, exceptional photographers.

France is world-renowned for its Haute Couture and its catwalk shows; Thailand also has many fashion creators. Thanks to modern communications, Fashion has become a world passion, and photography, much more than television, has widely contributed to this phenomenon. There are countless Fashion photos that have become iconic and as famous as their subjects. But the names of the photographers are rarely known. As they are necessarily behind the camera, they are retiring people and rarely in the limelight. This year, with 3 exhibits in 1, is giving a 360 degree view of Fashion: on one side of the camera, fabulous Fashion photos, portraits of creators and models, and on the other side, exceptional photographers.

Fashion3 is the title chosen by LA FETE for 3 exhibitions in one: “Fashion Story(ies)” / “Moonlight” / “Samsara: The beauty of Birth, Death and Everything else in between (repeat)”. With Fashion3, discover the diversity of fashion photography through the eyes of French, Thai and European photographers.

“Fashion Story(ies)” shows a world of beauty through the eyes of 4 world-famous photographers: Jean-Marie Périer, Gérard Uféras, Françoise Huguier, and Derek Hudson. They will share all the secrets of French Fashion with you: from the workrooms to the cat-walks, behind the scenes of “Fashion Weeks”, the daily life of stars, such as Yves Saint-Laurent, Kate Moss, Yamamoto, Lacroix, Mugler, Givenchy, Dior, Carla Bruni, Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld… Fashion at its stunning best! Adélie de Ipanema and Edouard Genestar are the curators of the exhibition and, also, directors of Polka Galerie (Paris, France):

“Moonlight” illustrates the renewal of Fashion photography. Jean-François Lepage worked for great names such as Christian Dior, Comme des Garçons, Masaki Matsushima, Nina Ricci, Le Printemps and Shu Uemura. He has been published by many international magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Mixte, Numero, Purple and Vogue. His distinctive style turns photography into fine art.

"Samsara: The beauty of Birth, Death and Everything else in between (repeat)" showcases the works of Thailand’s main Fashion photographers. This exhibition is a perfect complement to the first two and will enable you to appreciate the talent of Sakchai Guy, Nat Prakobsantisuk, Punsiri Siriwetchapun, Tada Varich, Surat Jariyawaatanawiijit, Chutharat Pornmuneesoontorn, Kornkrit Jianpinidnan, etc.

Curator: Jirawat Sriluansoi is the fashion editor of LIPS Magazine.

For more information:
Public Relations, BACC, Tel. 022146630-8 email-

Survival Techniques: narratives of resistance

Survival Techniques: narratives of resistance
A video art exhibition curated by Davide Quadrio

At The Art Center, Center of Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University
February 26 – March 26, 2011
Opening Reception: 26 February, 2011 at 4-7pm

Is it about happiness or about failure (Zhang Peili), Is it the pride of being pure blood or the shame of be born bastards (Shen Shaomin), will you be offended or will you have a good laugh (Rainer Ganahl), is it about the obvious or the unexpected truth (Yang Zhenzhong), can you keep up with tolerance or will you be easily attracted by intolerance (Artur Zmijewski)?

Curator’s Statement
In this show, artists explore the realm of the doubts, the borders and the passages. It is not about the obvious, it is not about a simple reaction. It is the art of dissimulation, yet it is incredibly true.

In this video-based exhibition, we invite the audience to take time and deepen into the realm of the uncertainty. The artworks presented are videos in various forms: documentaries, performances, conceptual works, and interviews.

It takes time to go through all of it. We are no longer used to spending time and concentrating for long: we live in the realm of the quickly digested images and information, but there is a revolutionary need for rediscovering attention and dedication. It is not about consuming another exhibition as a social event. Instead, it is a very intimate experience – the one proposed here. It is a time of pause, almost a praying time, I would say.

When I have been asked to put together this show, I thought of my last years in Thailand and Bangkok and I wanted to express through this curatorial adventure my own connection with the Thailand I discovered. When I think back of the last two years in Bangkok, with all the unrest and social and political uncertainty, the works chosen for this show seem to me very significant and universal. It is quite a testimony to the uneasiness that I feel – and I am sure many other people do – when thinking about nationalism, ethnicity and power mirrored by a personal/private space, poetry and the death as beauty, or as Bohumil Hrabal explains in “I served the King of England”:

“The essence of life was questioning about death, how will I behave when my hour comes, and that basically death, or rather that questioning oneself, is a dialogue from an infinite and eternal visual angle. (And that) the resolution of the problem of death is already the beginning of thinking in terms of beauty and the beginning of thinking about beauty because it is savoring the absurdity of one’s path that anyway will end with a premature exit, that pleasure of experiencing one’s own demise, that fills man with bitterness and therefore with beauty.”

Zhang Peili, Happiness, 2006
Rainer Ganahl, I hate Marx, 2010
Yang Zhenzhong, I will die, 2000-2007
Shen Shaomin, I am Chinese 2006-2008
Artur Zmijewski, Them, 2007, courtesy of Vanabbe Museum

Brief Artists Profile
Zhang Peili is a video artist considered by some to be the "Father of Chinese video art.” Born in 1957, Zhang lives and works in Hangzhou.

Rainer Ganahl lives and works in NYC since 1990.

Yang Zhenzhong, 1968 Born in Hangzhou, China. Lives and works in Shanghai.

Shen Shaomin, born
 1956, Heilongjiang province, China
. Lives and works in Sydney, Australia and Beijing, China

Artur Zmijewski, born 1966 in Warsaw, Poland. Lives and works in Warsaw

About Davide Quadrio aka Dadou
Davide Quadrio is a sinologist, curator and art historian. He founded BizArt, Shanghai's first non-profit art centre, in 1998. Stemming from this experience and a decade working in cross cultural matters (Davide was awarded 2004 the title of young leader for culture in Asia by IIAS and ASEF in Den Hague, The Netherlands) in 2007, Quadrio together with Defne Ayas started Arthub Asia, a cultural and artistic constellation of independent thinkers devoted to contemporary art creation in China and across Asia. ( Since 2009, Davide has been founding director of FarEastFarWest, an art production company that supports new and challenging cultural projects based in Asia. FarEastFarWest collection will be available to researchers, practitioners and general public from May 2011 at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. Davide is currently residing in Thailand conducting research with the support of the National Research Council of Thailand on cultural and artistic development. From September 2010 he is lecturing at Fudan University, Institute of Visual Arts, Shanghai.

For more information, please contact:
Siriwat Pokrajen (PR Officer)
Tel: 081-629-0457, email:,

The Art Center
7th Fl, Center of Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University
Phyathai Rd, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Tel: 0-2218-2965, Fax: 0-2218-2907
Facebook: The Art Center - Chula
Monday-Friday 9am-7pm, Saturday 9am-4pm
Closed on Sunday & Public Holidays

"Super Summer!!" By Parichart Suphaphan

ARDEL's Third Place Gallery requests the pleasure of your company at the opening reception of

"Super Summer!!"

By Parichart Suphaphan

on Tuesday March 8, 2011 : 6.30 PM

At ARDEL’s Third Place Gallery

Super Summer!! is an art exhibition showcases artworks in all four major mediums; from colorful acrylic paintings to drawings, from two dimensional printmakings to three dimensional sculptures. These artworks are created by the talented female artist Parichart Suphaphan. Parichart sarcastically reflects the society notion that bombard people with false judgment, the notion that tells people to mold themselves as one of the characters in soap operas. Parichart uses her self portrait as the main figure in her artworks in order to send the messages to viewers. The bright color, the lively characters in different postures and gestures, the humor. These show the artist’s optimism, the warmth she has been received from her family and the confidence that set her free from all illusions.

The exhibition will be on view from March 8 – April 8, 2011 at ARDEL’s Third Place Gallery.

For further information, kindly contact: 02-422-2092, 084-772-2887 Fax: 02-422-2091

Tuesday-Saturday: 10:30~19:00 hrs., Sunday: 10:30~17:30 hrs. (Except on Monday) Website:

“Ars Longa, Vita Brevis” by Bhensine Nilavadhanananda

Galerie N is pleased to invite you to visit our new exhibition

“Ars Longa, Vita Brevis”
By Bhensine Nilavadhanananda
February 24 – March 24, 2011
Opening reception on Thursday, February 24, 2011, 6 pm. @Galerie N

Most of Bhensine’s paintings depict landscapes in many countries.
It is obvious that Bhensine does not mean to depict reality but
to concentrate more on the harmonic relation of things presented in the frame,
The highlight of her works lies in the use of colors that reflect the mastering of color technique.
One can feel the artist’s freedom in applying color to respond to her own imagination and feelings,
resulting from both external and internal perception.
Bhensine Nilavadhanananda has become well know around the art circle of Thailand
in the 15 years through 6 of her individual exhibition and several others jointly displayed with her fellow artist friends.

For further information please call 086 601 7111, 02 252 1592

Galerie N
139/5 Withayu Road Lumpinee Pathumwan Bangkok 10330
Tel +66 (0) 86 601 7111, +66 (0) 2 654 0522
Fax +66 (0) 2 251 5098
Open Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 10 am - 7 pm

“The Little World's Rangers” by The little artists themselves

Press Release The Pikture Gallery is proud to present a Kids Art Exhibition

“The Little World's Rangers” by The little artists themselves
Opening reception & Celebrate of this exhibition on Saturday 5th March 2011 at 1:00 pm.
( Free Activities Food, and party favours for kids start from 10:00 am.)

“ These little world rangers would like to present and spread their message through art. It starts with a little thought for the better of our planet and how they can be a good citizen for our society. Let's join them with love and creativity for our beautiful world.”

The art works shown is by the students from our weekly art classes. and the exhibition will be on displayed until the Saturday 26th of March 2011

For more information please contact

The Pikture Gallery ( Open Tuesday - Sunday )
Tel / Fax : +662 662 8359
E-Mail :

Very Short International Film Festival - Call for Submissions

Breathe easy…

Aspiring local film buffs can ‘breathe easy’ with yet another four weeks to submit their creative entries for Singapore’s second year of participation in the Very Short International Film Festival known globally as Tres Courts.

A plethora of entries [130+] has already been received for the International category, which closed on Monday, 14 February. Local entries, which are boundless, open category, as well as the Health Promotion Board ‘Breathe’ and
Singapore Arts Festival 2011 ‘I Want to Remember’ special categories remain open for another month.

Health Promotion Board special category ‘Breathe’ is all about life, choice, self-expression and truth. Auteurs are invited to explore and express creativity by submitting a three-minute (maximum length) film on any of the four youth health issues of tobacco use, sexuality, alcohol use or mental wellness. $3000 will be awarded to the winner.

The Singapore Arts Festival category entitled, ‘I Want to Remember’ imploring cinephiles to reconnect with memories, history and places long forgotten, the category is one which should engage with a past to redefine how we perceive the present as we race towards the future. A few fortunate filmmakers were involved in a workshop in January, which further explored this theme, however those who were unable to attend shouldn’t be disheartened, as all participants are contenders for the $2000 prize.

Entries for the Local Section must be received by VSIFF organiser, ZoMedia by Tuesday, 15 March to their offices located at 179 River Valley Road, #01-01 River Valley Building.

The Very Short International Film Festival main screenings will be held on 6, 7 and 8 May at the Alliance
Française Theatre at 1 Sarkies Road (near the Newton MRT) and in 80 other cities around the world! Results will also be published on the Festival’s website.

Purchase your inexpensive tickets ($10) from Alliance Française direct (
6737 8422) or via SISTIC’s website,
<> and keep up-to-date with Festival happenings by visiting <> or <> to download further Press Information and Registration details.

By the way,
award-winning director Eric Khoo has confirmed he will again be Chief judge of the Very Short International Film Festival (VSIFF).

ShoutOUT!: SG Films@library:Invisible Children

From Jan - March 2011, library@esplanade, in partnership with the Singapore Film Society, will be hosting a showcase of local films - SG films@library. The screenings will take place every 2nd and 4th Friday evening of the month. All screenings will be followed by a meet-the-filmmakers session + Q&A discussion held at the Open Stage of library@esplanade. You can also expect some SG films memorabilia & prizes to be won at the Q&A sessions.

Programme Lineup & Ratings

Feb 25 - Invisible Children (PG) by Brian Gothong Tan

March 11 - Lucky 7 (R21) an exquisite-corpse feature by 7 SG directors - Sun Koh, K Rajagopal, Boo Junfeng, Brian Gothong Tan, Chew Tze Chuan, Ho Tzu Nyen & Tania Sng

March 25 - DownLeft Dirty (R21)
5 Short Films
Bedroom Dancing & Dirty Bitch by Sun Koh
A Family Portrait (Un Retrato De Familia) & Tanjong Rhu by Boo Junfeng
Haze by Anthony Chen

Today's Screening:Invisible Children[PG]

'Poster Boys and Girls' - Mise En SIN in TODAY 23rd Feb

Mise En SIN in the papers again! Thank you Mayo Martin for 'Poster Boys and Girls'. Click here for the full article.

Light Sensitive

Stefan and Camille

Marlon James's images are striking. 
The eyes, the faces, the stares won't quit. The images live with you as you think about what era the images are from, who the people are and how they relate to each other. There is something captured which is much more intense than found in everyday encounters or maybe it is that his timing and technique are superb.

Mark and Gisele

In 2010, James' images were shown at two major surveys of West Indian/ Caribbean Art. In fact the latter exhibition, Wrestling with the Image, is still open at the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington D.C. His image of two young artists standing side by side staring out at the audience has become the poster image of the show. In a sense it is very representative of what we know of 'The Caribbean Spirit' with hints of defiance but with great insight into the personas. One thing that can be noticed is the contrast in the heritage of the two individuals in this solitary but intimate scene. However this is very basic to that Caribbean experience as skin color, gender, and other external classifications are often not important in the connections we form with others who share a vision or an understanding. In looking at the two, we think about what connection these two have to each other, what their creative work might be and how they view the world individually and as a collective unit.  

James shared some information about  his process and work in general:

'To answer your first question, my set up is either an arrangement of one to three lights, this is all dependent on the mood that I wish to convey in the photograph. When I first started this project I used only film. The camera that I was using was a Mamiya 645 Pro TL, a medium format film SLR.  I now use a Canon Mark II 5D.
For your second question, I have always been drawn towards the the human body. It is and will always be my primary subject. I feel there is so much to explore when photographing people. From the details of their skin, to the language of their bodies.

My work in the past 2-4years was focused on the anatomy of the body, both male and female. I mainly focused on the female as I felt that women were more open towards exploration than their male counterpart.

What's next? Well I am presently continuing my project on portrait of artists, for which my ultimate intention is to publish a coffee-table book of these photographs of Jamaica's art world.'   

What story do you think the images tell?

Visit James's site here

Mise En SIN: VOTE for YOUR Favourite Poster AND WIN!

Vote for your favourite Singapore Film Poster (from the last 5 years) and stand a chance to win attractive prizes. There are 100 beautiful posters to vote from!

SIMPLY GO TO and click on the "Mise En SIN" tab for more details.

Vanishing frames - portraits of Mr Neo Chon Teck

Mr Neo Chun Teck, Singapore's last surviving billboard artist is a humble man, who paints all his billboards in his HDB living room in Telok Blangah Heights. He was in the media spotlight recently for having painted the mock-movie bilboards that were integral to Ming Wong's award-winning Life of Imitation. He is human after all. At 60+, he turns his attention towards the domestic for joy and fulfillment - his family. With his daughter delivering his newest grandchild of the family, he's going to have his hands full on the baby more than his other baby - his craft.

We (SINdie) approached Mr Neo to ask if he could paint a billboard for the Singapore Short Film Awards 2011. This golden encounter took us halfway around the globe. The lead for his contact began with Ming Wong, based in Berlin, who referred me to Mathias Ortmann, also based in Berlin. Mathias threw a link back in Singapore to Michael Kam, whose movie poster (below) was painted by Mr Neo. Finally, we got in touch and in a serendipitous turn, Mr Neo lives a few blocks away from my apartment in Telok Blangah.

The piece we wanted was a moderately sized billboard which which used images from Sun Koh's 'Dirty Bitch', last year's Short Film Award winner. As it turned out, Mr Neo revealed (and we lament) that this billboard will be one of his last. We document here (with necessity) soon-to be-rare snapshots of Mr Neo at work the Awards billboard.

A seasoned palette

'Life of Imitation'

His 'living room' workshop

A self-painted mural on his living room wall - kitschy yet timeless in its perfection

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