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Musings on Travel, Fashion & Fun


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Sin.less CNY Indulgence – Pineapple Tarts

Organic Pineapple Tarts
One festive goodie I can never resist is the very pretty (and fattening) pineapple tart. I make it a point to find interesting ones every year, and this year I am going for healthy pineapple tarts – organic low GI. If I can’t stop this yearly sinful indulgence, I will make it sin LESS.

Organic Pineapple Tarts

I am eating quite a bit of organic food nowadays, and was quite excited when I found these organic pineapple tarts from Bud of Joy. They definitely don’t come cheap ($38.80 for a bottle), but if it means lesser snacking guilt – why not? :) They taste pretty good and I like the melt-in-your-mouth crust. The pineapple is also not too sweet.

Organic Pineapple Tarts

The low GI pineapple pearls made from wholemeal flour and other organic ingredients taste pretty good as well. I know cos’ my mum has polished off half the bottle. And Chinese New Year hasn’t even started.

Organic Pineapple Tarts

Ordering was fuss-free via their website and they offer delivery too, so I ordered a bottle of organic kaya (coconut egg jam) to try too. While Bud of Joy has a number of perishable items such as bread and cookies at their physical shop, it’s best if you order-to-make so as to minimize food wastage. I will try ordering a pine nut butter spread the next time, sounds like it will make a yummy breakfast :)

Organic Pineapple Tarts

I’m excited about the New Year! And all the goodies to be eaten lol. What’s your favourite part of the New Year? :)

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Penang – Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…why is my reflection most hideous of all?!
Having fun with trickeye photography at Made in Penang Interactive Museum

On our recent trip to Penang, Darren & I checked out one of Penang’s latest attractions, Made in Penang Interactive Museum. Now visitors to Penang can have an additional place, other than its renown street art, to pose for while learning a bit about the city’s history.

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

The museum is within the vicinity of the Clan Jetties further up from the Weld Quay Bus Terminal, you can plan to visit these two attractions in a day. You will pass by an open-air car park beside this clock tower as you walk along the road coming from the clan jetties – continue walking straight up and you will reach the museum in about 10 minutes.

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

The experience starts right away at the entrance
Along the passageway as you walk in, you will see Malaysia’s longest 3D wall mural (25 metres) depicting Georgetown’s waterfront during the 20th century.

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

Pretending to be a COOLie

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

“Why you no give this month’s allowance?”
Helping out a squabble aka kaypoh-ing

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

Even the cafe is made to look retro

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

Entrance fees are divided it into three categories:
– Tourists (non-MyCard holder): RM30
– Malaysian (Adult): RM15
– Malaysian (Kid/ Student): RM10
You get a souvenir pin badge as part of the admission, and I like it that they designed the ticket stub, which is usually thrown away, as a bookmark. There’s another purpose for the ticket too – you will need it for an interesting activity at the last stop of your visit.

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

The museum showcases three-dimensional interactive art over two levels depicting Penang’s iconic landmarks as well as famous historic figures. The ground floor houses a Diorama Gallery while the first floor houses the Penang 3D Gallery (trickeye photography).

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

Diorama Gallery
The Diorama Gallery showcases seven scenes of life in Penang in miniatures sculptured by Khoo Chooi Hooi.
Left: Durian seller; Right: Nasi Lemak (coconut rice wrapped in banana leaf) seller

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

The biggest diorama – a panoramic view of Georgetown’s waterfront during the early 20th century
The white Behn Meyer building in the background is also the building which now houses the museum.

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

A cool squat

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

Bullock carts were the main form of transport back in those days

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

AND the cam-whoring begins…DING, DING! :D

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

Main highlight of the museum – Penang 3D Gallery
Be prepared to go shutter-happy on the first floor with 30 3D murals featuring various icons of Penang as well as famous personalities such as P. Ramlee (icon of Malaya entertainment) and Sun Yat-Sen (Father of the Nation in the Republic of China).

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

Forget about being shy – think of the most creative pose you can have with the murals!
The murals utilise varying contours, forced perspectives and simple props to create a real-life mind trickery – on photographs. It’s quite interesting observing the other visitors too – even the auntys can surprise you with their imaginative poses ;)

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

For the less adventurous, check out the suggested poses on the signages. You can read up on the particular scene/personality featured as well.

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

And here’s my interpretation of the scene!

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

Dino fight!

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

This will be the closest I’ll ever get to Sun Yat-Sen

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

I ain’t a ‘small person’, don’t hit me!
Villain hitting, or 打小人 (da siu yan) is a popular folk culture especially in Cantonese precincts. Basically, you hit the paper effigy of the person you want to curse with a red clog, and keep scolding them. It’s similar to Western voodoo, just much noiser and dramatic.
Elderly Cantonese aunties excel at the cursing, and made a profession out of it (think professional curser). Such practices are so integrated into their culture that it has been named ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ by the Hong Kong Home Affairs’ Bureau.

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

Rat busting – 1910 bubonic plague in China
I really wonder why they chose to feature such a dark topic at a tourist attraction

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

Oopsie!

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

Queen Victoria Clock Tower Mural
The only floor mural, visitors lie on the floor to pose as if they were hanging precariously on the tower, with Spiderman on the way to the rescue. You have to take off your shoes, so it’s best if you don’t visit with shoes with a gazillion laces or straps. We were expecting more of such adventurous murals.

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

Getting caught in the carnivorous plant of Penang Hill. Beware the carbs, poor plant.

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

Slurping up a bowl of local street delicacy – prawn noodles

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

Now’s the time to take out your ticket stub
Point the QR code printed on your ticket at this augmented reality kiosk to see a three-dimensional image of Penang’s tallest bulding Komtar or the Penang ferry. There is another interactive kiosk located at the end of the Diorama Gallery on the Ground Floor where you can see your face being painted with vivid Sichuan opera masks on screen.

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

Ta da – Komtar building in my hand!

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊

For those interested to learn more about Penang’s history, catch a video presentation at the mini theatre (available in English and Mandarin).

Overall, it was an enjoyable visit for both of us. Perhaps we were so excited about a new attraction in Penang, we expected a bit more from the exhibits. At RM30, it was one of the more pricey attractions about town. I believe the museum will improve over time as there were still a few areas under renovation when we visited.

If you have a sense of humor and like cam-whoring, do visit. Set aside 1-2 hours for the visit, and it’s best to go with a friend who can help you take photos and have fun together (there’s obliging staff around to help solo visitors too). If you shun the spotlight like vampires to sunlight, think you would be better off spending the money on another bowl of Penang laksa.

Made In Penang Interactive Museum 美因槟廊
Address: No.3 Pengkalan Weld, 10300 George Town, Malaysia
Tel: +604 262 6119
Opening Hours: 9:00AM – 6:00PM
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/MadeInPenang

Read more about Penang
Penang – An Alternative Guide to George Town’s Street Art


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Lim Chee Guan 林志源 – Tasting Nostalgia

Lim-Chee-Guan-01
Every year during Chinese New Year, I keep telling myself not to face the crazy queue for Lim Chee Guan’s bak kwa (sliced barbeque pork), which can take hours. But every year, I find myself unconsciously setting aside time for this personal task, rain or shine. Why? Read the end of the post…

Lim-Chee-Guan-02
3 weeks before Chinese New Year, people start queuing for the famed BBQ pork. As the days draw nearer, the queue gets longer…and loooonger. You can wait in line for as long as four hours during peak hours. Yes, Singaporeans love to queue, in addition to curious tourists who join in as well.

Lim-Chee-Guan-03
Singapore is definitely not short of bak kwa stores – in fact – there are at least three other stores within a stone throw’s away from Lim Chee Guan, but this is the only store with a queue. So much so that it’s considered a luxury (think Japan’s square melons) to receive Lim Chee Guan during Chinese New Year since it takes that much effort to get hold of them. Families proudly display their prized bags of Lim Chee Guan amongst the festive goodies, and they are usually chomped up quite quickly.

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Its immense popularity has also resulted in copycat stores, so do note they only have three outlets in Singapore – 2 in Chinatown just opposite the street, and 1 in Ion Orchard.

Lim-Chee-Guan-05
Prices of the bak kwa rise as it gets nearer to Chinese New Year, and it has almost doubled to over $50 for a kg with two weeks away. One person is only allowed to buy a maximum of 50kg of bak kwa to ensure sufficient supply. While 50kg sounds like a gigantic load, many businessmen do come to buy in bulk as corporate gifts. And nope, Lim Chee Guan does not do corporate sales so come queue for yourself.

Lim-Chee-Guan-06
Ahhh, the glistening of freshly grilled BBQ pork! I got their Signature Sliced Pork, and also the Prawn bak kwa to try something new (they have fish flavour too). I would have to say their BBQ pork is the most tender and flavorful that I have eaten, and it is now difficult for me to eat other brands after getting accustomed to its taste.

Lim-Chee-Guan-07
More than simply satisfying my gluttony, the reason why I would take time to queue is to keep my memories of family alive – when I was a child, I  used to accompany my late Grandma to buy Lim Chee Guan for the family during Chinese New Year. I was told it was the best, and we would only get the best for the family. I also remembered the happy times we shared during Chinese New Year, laughter reverberating throughout the house, and erm…trying to earn extra pocket money playing cards with my aunties & uncles lol. So by continuing this routine, it’s my little way of showing my love to those I care about. Some people may call it silly to waste time queuing up and paying more during this festive period, but I think it’s worth it to make my loved ones happy.

I can’t wait for Chinese New Year to arrive…it’s also a legitimate time to wear pretty clothes – and to pig out! LOL :D


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Naoko Tosa 土佐尚子 – Sound of Ikebana : Four Seasons

Naoko Tosa - Sound of Ikebana : Four Seasons

In conjunction with an on-going exhibition, internationally-renowned media artist Naoko Tosa transforms Singapore’s city skyline with an exterior projection on the ArtScience Museum façade.

“Sound of Ikebana” – the theme of four seasons inspired by different cultures showcases Japan’s four seasons alongside strong artistic influences of the Rimpa School. Colours representative of China, Malaysia and India have been included to acknowledge the exhibition’s staging in Asia. Shot at 2,000 frames per second using high-speed photography, “Sound of Ikebana” is a series of videos that showcases vibrant images using various liquids (such as paints and oils) created from sound vibrations.

Naoko Tosa - Sound of Ikebana : Four Seasons

Naoko Tosa is an internationally renowned Japanese media artist who believes in the artistic concept that “various cultures in the world are connected just as one culture from the ancient time of human history at unconsciousness level overcoming nationalism”. Connecting this concept to a computer, she has created a new concept called “Cultural Computing”, creating a new frontier of art products to lead society to a richer future. Covering a wide range of areas, Naoko’s art includes sculpture, visual art, video art, digital art, just to name a few. She has exhibited her artworks at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the New York Metropolitan Art Museum and Japan Creative Center at Singapore among many locations worldwide. Naoko is currently a professor at Kyoto University and a visiting professor of the National University of Singapore.

Naoko Tosa - Sound of Ikebana : Four Seasons

Naoko Tosa - Sound of Ikebana : Four Seasons

Naoko Tosa - Sound of Ikebana : Four Seasons

Naoko Tosa - Sound of Ikebana : Four Seasons

Naoko Tosa - Sound of Ikebana : Four Seasons

Naoko Tosa - Sound of Ikebana : Four Seasons

Naoko Tosa - Sound of Ikebana : Four Seasons


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ArtStage 2014

ARTStage 2014

Contemporary Terracotta Warrior No. 10
Yue Minjun, China

Now into it’s 4th edition, Art Stage Singapore presents works from 158 galleries as well as eight new country and regional platforms curated by experts of the respective arts scenes including Mami Kataoka, chief curator of Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum, and Huang Du, the Beijing-based art critic. This year’s fair seemed to be a bit more chill, with less large-scale installations on show compared to the previous years. The fair has shifted its focus to education with more talks and curated platforms.  There were some pretty interesting and thought-provoking artworks which I really liked.

ARTStage 2014

Bamboo sculpture at the entrance

ARTStage 2014

50 Faces
Jane Lee, Singapore
Comprising 50 miniature painting objects on a 10metre wall, the artist attemptes to create a painting’s portrait, and to incorporate the viewer’s face into the artwork in order to add an element of interaction.

ARTStage 2014

Good Things Come in Pairs
Peng Wei, China
I call them hum-sup shoes. Choy..

ARTStage 2014

Shield
Rachel Kneebone
It’s a wall of…the male anatomy that left me slightly dumbfounded. Definitely not hanging this one in my living hall.

ARTStage 2014

Tityus
Damien Hirst
White Cube gallery doesn’t disappoint with this year’s showcase. Darren & I loved this particular piece formed up of entomological specimens and Hammerite paint on canvas. Never knew bugs could be so beautiful, and they were very well-preserved.

ARTStage 2014

A piece of artwork admiring an artwork
We stood transfixed, admiring every detail. Too bad Christmas is already over, else “Thank you for the lovely present oppa!”

ARTStage 2014

We loved the artworks by one of Belgium’s top artists Jan Fabre as well.

ARTStage 2014

Wondered how many hundreds of thousands of bugs were used for this cloak.

ARTStage 2014

Angels have pets too

ARTStage 2014

One of the few large-scale installations we spotted. Darren called this Air Pig. I think it’s really cute. I like happy art.

ARTStage 2014

Animals on show

ARTStage 2014

And a bronze safari

ARTStage 2014

They No. 2
Cai Lei

ARTStage 2014

Goldrush
Dolk, Norway
A popular Norweigian street artist, Dolk remains anonymous and little is known about him. His works have been exhibited globally in New York, London, berlin, Oslo, Tokyo and Bergen, the artist’s hometown. The musk ox in this artwork is a symbol of nature in constant struggle against expanding civilization.

ARTStage 2014

The Cutest Oz Celestial-Eye
Yan Mao-Lin

ARTStage 2014

Whale of a ship

ARTStage 2014

ARTStage 2014

The story of my life. Period.

ARTStage 2014

ARTStage 2014

Tracy Emin’s neon artworks never fails to tug a little emotion in my heart.

ARTStage 2014

ARTStage 2014

ARTStage 2014

Artwork by Bounpaul Phothyzan, Laos at the Southeast Asia platform

ARTStage 2014

There Is No Other Paradise
Justin Lim, Malaysia
One of our favourite works

ARTStage 2014

I bet you won’t be playing hooky with these

ARTStage 2014

We really liked these 3-dimensional artworks by TeamLab at Ikkan Art Gallery. TeamLab is not an artist cohort, but made up of programmers, mathematicians, architects, CG animators and other collaborators. Way cool.

ARTStage 2014

Very clever interaction of furniture with light and puppetry by a Taiwanese artist

ARTStage 2014

Flower Co. Guard
Jiang Shuo
This $86K guard is definitely festive-looking

ARTStage 2014

Fairy surrounded by two pleasure-seeking men

ARTStage 2014

The Emperor’s New Clothes: Afternoon Excursion
Zhao Limin

ARTStage 2014

Why do they remind me of Power Rangers?

ARTStage 2014

Art is also resistance
Hayat

ARTStage 2014

OO-X
Shigeki Hayashi

ARTStage 2014

It’s life-likeness gave me the creeps.

ARTStage 2014

Legs parade

ARTStage 2014

Image of Chair (Father)
Uttaporn Nimmalaikaew
This was painted on different layers of mesh, and put together.

ARTStage 2014

It’s lonely at the top…

ARTStage 2014

You have to look at an angle to see this artwork. Very space-saving!

ARTStage 2014

Shuttlecock fairy wings

ARTStage 2014

I was pretty amazed with this piece by Choe U-Ram. Only the price tag stopped me from bringing it home.

ARTStage 2014

How would you feel working in a room filled with dots painted on newspaper?

ARTStage 2014

One of my favourite pieces. I love wood carving, something I excelled in back in school.

ARTStage 2014

ARTStage 2014

Trisha Dancing
Susan Weil

ARTStage 2014

Picasso Painting on a Pepsi Crate

ARTStage 2014

Kiddy representations

ARTStage 2014

ARTStage 2014

Liu Bolin is one of my favourite Chinese artists. He painstakingly paints himself to blend in with his surroundings. Can you spot him in these three works?

ARTStage 2014

Parfums de Revolte
Hayat

ARTStage 2014

Layer Drawing – The Tactual Sky
Nobuhiro Nakanishi printed 100 images of sunrise photos he took on acrylic sheets and layered them to depict the passage of time.

ARTStage 2014

We realised it made a terrific photo op too! Till edition 2015… :)