Month: February 2013

6) The artist of the 50 dollars note

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There is a pair of gibbons on the back of Singapore 50 dollars note.  The gibbons are there not only to beautify the note but they also signify a great artist who contributed his entire whole life to the art world.

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陈文希, Chen Wen Hsi, was born in China, Guangdong province.  He migrated to Singapore in 1948 and passed on in 1992.  He loves art and nature at a young age.  He grown up in a suburb village and was taught by renowned artists like Pan Tianshou in Xinhua College of Arts in Shanghai, China.

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Chen was proficient both in traditional Chinese ink paint and western oil paint.  He focuses in observing the behavior of nature and animals.  The subject varies from landscapes, figures, birds to animals.  He has a penchant for gibbons and owned 6 of them.  One white, one gray and four black ones.  These beautiful animals gave him the opportunities to study the creature’s postures and its characteristics.

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In 1975, Chen was conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the then-Chancellor of the University of Singapore and the then-President of Singapore, Mr Benjamin Sheares.  He earned many more titles like Public Service Star; Cultural & Communications Award just to name a few.

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Chen was also a perfectionist to his own art works.  While he was insistant to leave the best on earth, he burnt away paintings he deemed not up to his standard.  A rigorous artist, he woke up early in the morning at 6am to do his paintings without a skip for many decades.

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So the next time, if you happen to hold on to a Singapore 50 dollars note, just spare some time to say hello to these gibbons and the great artist before you pass it on to another!

31) The 9th Day of Lunar New Year

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The number 9th day of Lunar New Year is a day where we offer our thanks to God of Heaven.  It’s a big event to some Chinese.  But I set up some simple offerings for my thanks giving.  Some cookies, cakes, fruits and paper gold for prayers (not too good for the ozone layer though) and also a pair of sugar cane.

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Ever wonder why is sugar cane significant to this big event of the Lunar Calendar?

Some legend began way back to the old era in China, in the province of Fujian (Hokkien).  The story has it that villages in Fujian tried to escape from the killings and rummage of robbers on the 9th day of Chinese New Year by hiding themselves in the sugar cane plantation.  Their lives were saved.  Thus, from then, villagers offer a pair of sugar cane on this 9th day of Lunar New Year to thank the Heavenly God for the good blessings, protection from natural disasters and a year of good harvest in return.

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Besides, ‘sugar cane’ in Hokkien pronounciation coincidently sounds like ‘thankful’ in meaning.  That’s how the fable arises.

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I gift-wrapped my pair of sugar cane in red-paper, hug him with good luck while I offer it to the Heavenly God, and wishing that he hugged me in return.

11) Spending a week with Miss Coco

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When Miss Coco gets ready to pack up and go home, I left all her belonging on the sofa, and she seems strange to me.

She sat quietly by her belongings and stayed at the corner for hours without her usual jumping up and down and wriggling her tail seeking for hugs.  This is unusual scene, it reminded me of the song by John Denver “I’m leaving`on the jet plane”.  When a new journey is beginning, there may be something you can’t bear to leave behind.

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Coco needs special diet advised by her vet.  So, pan fried pork with potatoes and beans are must for her daily two meals.  Whenever I am preparing her meal, Coco will not be the one sitting on my feet but it is our greedy Cougar instead.

She stayed away from me not because of my cooking style but because of this clumsy monster (Mr Cougar) trying to dash for the first hand meal.

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When I’m done with the meal, I have to segregate the two by using the timber gate.  Cougar will try to force his way through the gate for a bite of the meat.  I have to deter him and at the same time cajole Miss Coco to sit tight, enjoy her meal without worries.  Miss Coco will munch her meal bit by bit just like enjoying herself in a posh restaurant.  While she maintain her civilized personality, she enjoyed the ‘lion roar’ at the same time behind the wooden gate.

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This little princess is different from my rugged Mr Cougar.  One so rough, the other so gentle.  One is a rugby player, the other one a ballet dancer.

That is why when she knew she’s returning home, she started guarding her belongings and waited for her owner to arrive.  This is the only reason I could figure out.

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Man best friends undoubtedly have strong senses.  She may be able to sense her owner 10 miles away who can’t wait to fly home soon to see her.  Or she may be feeling glad she is leaving us soon…

Whatever is her reason, I thanked her for spending her time with us.  The 7 days is not a long time but the memory is going to be forever.

Lastly, Miss Coco allowed me to have her picture posted without copyrights.

I hope to see you around, but I’m not sure if you feel the same…

60) Let There Be Peace

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“Let there be peace” sculpture is made of Bronze, created by renowned sculptor Alexandra Nechita in 2005. Dimension in height 3.0m, depth 1.3m, and width 2.1m, located at the left of National Museum of Singapore.

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Alexandra Nechita is a Romanian-born American. She created seven peace monuments that were inspired by the events of 11th September 2001 and she was also named “ Ambassador for Peace” by the United Nations in 2001.

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This art piece had selected Singapore as the host Nation in Asia for unveiling the first of the seven works.

So,  we can site down and solve it, let’s be peace!

21) Hundred poses, thousands of love

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Lately, there’s a father of  China mainland who put up a series of “百睡图” (Hundred Poses Sketches) in the website and got himself famous overnight.  “百睡图” literally means “Hundred of Sleeping Poses Sketches”.  The sketches capture hundred styles of sleeping poses of his young daughter.

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This dad is an Architect and started his sketching hobby in early 2011.  It took him more than a year to finish his works on his little daughter’s sleeping positions.

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Though a dad’s love is always treated as secondary to a mum’s.  But for this instance, it has proven otherwise.  The scene is hardly found anywhere, it’s just like a male angel guiding over his little angel.  How not to be touched by such love?

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You may explore further to get the meaning of “百睡图” through some Googling.  Challenge the creativity of this little angel or you may like to try it out yourself!

59) When each day is a blessing

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While we are enjoying a life of luxury in peacetime, have we wonder how the under privileged in the past had lived through their life?  Are we able to understand how they cope with their daily stress?  Are we able to put ourselves in their shoes and empathize how tough their world were?

When we are sandwich like sardine in the train, we started to complain and throw anger on others.  When we face the cruelty of reality and went under boundless stress, did we ever question about how much we have contributed instead?  A mouthful of swear?  Confrontation?  Or even an endless sigh?

So now, are we ready to step down on these uneven steps, to perceive their way of life from this little tiny corner from the past?

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When you are away from your motherland, staying alone and dozing off on this single timber bed, what do you look for to warm your heart?  A picture of your family during your happy day?  Or a straw fan to release home sick sorrows?

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Or do you make a living by making wooden clogs?  Working day and night in your petite cubicle?

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The simple abode of a respectable Sam Shui woman with all she has in her entire life.

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 A double-decked bed come with all-in-one, kitchen wares, resting stool and even a simple playground!

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Open concept kitchen come complete with kitchen shelving, dressing room.  Are we able to understand the meaning of this living standard?

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Mirror and a pair of chopstick, let’s call it a day or let’s get ready for work?

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When space is precious and it’s a constraint, hanging clothes on a hook is the most space saving and logical way.

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Some physician may live under the same roof.  Charging $2 for a consultation, $3 for outpatient and free of charge for those who can’t afford the bill.  Are we able to hear and feel the bitterness of life?

Well, to me, compare to olden day, each day is a blessing and a blessed day!

Pictures was taken in Chinatown Heritage Center

Valentine’s Song

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I’m always by your side

I’ll always be your pride

To ease your pain

We go for a ride

We walk on the bridge

Everything will be fine

Don’t ask me why

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I’m always by your side

I’ll always be your bride

To soften your face

We go for a ride

We walk on the water

Everything will be fine

I don’t know why

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I’m always by your side

I’ll always be your pride

To brighten up your day

We go for a ride

You look at the east

Me at the west

Everything will be fine

Don’t ask me why

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I’m always by your side

I’ll always be your bride

To alleviate your naughtiness

We go for a ride

You look at the left

Me at the right

Everything seems to be fine

I don’t know why

I just don’t know why

32) River Song

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Hey, are you able to perceive my vocal?

I know,

You were born beyond the heart of South China Sea

Driven day and night

Arrives at dawn

Who should we care when we look up?

Someone at the riverbank

Who will be there while we look up?

Someone at the riverside

It flows, flows and flows…

Flowing into my ground

Flowing into my house

Flowing into my tap

Flowing into my thirsty heart and dehydrated chest

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Hey, are you able to hear my voice?

I know,

You were born within the heart of Sungei Serangoon

Lying there day and night

Awakening at dawn

Who should we love when we look up?

Someone at the riverbank

Who will be tearing when we look up?

Someone at the riverside

It flows, flows and flows…

Flowing into my land

Flowing into my home

Flowing into my cup

Flowing into my dehydrated chest and thirsty heart

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Hey, are you able to hear my loitering?

I know,

You were born by the heart of My Waterway

Dreaming day and night

Awakening at dawn

Who should we stop when we look up?

Someone at the riverbank

Who will be smiling when we look up?

Someone at the riverside

It flows, flows and flows…

Flowing into my earth

Flowing into my room

Flowing into my throat

Flowing into my empty boat and uncountable books

31) Seed Song

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seed song 01

I got a rubber tree seed

That’s seeking a place to please

I show him around my home, invite him for a sit

He looks happy

And start to present me his speech

What a joyful thing I have seen

What a lovely guy he is

Footing in the forest

Harmonize with the green

This is our home sweet dream

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I got a pine tree seed

That’s seeking for a place to live

I show him my pine wood seats

He’s dancing happily

And singing in high pitch

What a joyful thing I have did

What a kind guy he is

Standing in the forest

Harmonize with the green

This is our home sweet dream

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I got a coniferous tree seed

That’s seeking for a place to ease

I show him my cozy seats

He’s singing happily

And toasting in high spirits

What a joyful thing I have seen

What a simple guy he is

Standing under the moon

Harmonize with the green

This is our home sweet dream

Our three guy’s dreams

10) Wishes in Lunar New Year

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Today is the first day of Chinese New Year. I managed to set up a simple offer to the Lord of Heaven.

These fruits and Nian GaoNew Year cake are to show my appreciation for the past one year in Safe and Healthy condition.

And also, thank you divine, protect me for the past one year.

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Hope that in this coming 2013, I’ll be able to learn how to cherish simple food, knowing more about gratitude,

looking more things at the bright side!

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And finally, peace in the mind, peace in the world!