The Future of Us Exhibition : An Insider Guide

Launched on 1 December 2015, The Future of Us exhibition is a multi-sensory and experiential showcase of the ideas and possibilities for our little red dot by the year 2030 and beyond.

I have the privilege of working on this national exhibition as a producer for a number of items within it and hope that this blog post can offer an insight into the invisible intent behind some of the exhibits as well as the challenges we faced to make your visit to the exhibition more flavourful.

I will also share tips so that you get the most out of your experience at the exhibition.

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Vertical panoramic shot of the Symphony of the City dome at The Future of Us exhibition. Share your photos with the hashtags #FutureSG #SGfuture #TheFutureOfUs!

When I first heard the brief for The Future of Us, my eyes widened at how forward thinking the creative direction is. Then my eyes rolled to the back of my head thinking about how challenging it would be to achieve what the client envisioned.

The creative direction, first of all, called for the exhibition to be innovative and panel-less where visitors are not swallowed by a labyrinth of panelled information and things to read, but an experiential journey into the future.

Secondly, this exhibition is to be all-inclusive. From the exhibition’s spatial design that applies barrier-free access principles to include families with prams and visitors on wheelchairs to content elements that included people of all races, ages, languages, and profiles. By profiles, the client meant people with tattoos, single parents, same-sex coupling, underprivileged persons, and citizens with a disability. The Future of Us aims to leave no one unrepresented. This spirit of inclusiveness forms the foundation on which to truly appreciate the exhibition with.

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The Future of Us exhibition is located within the compound of Gardens by the Bay (access via Bayfront MRT Station Exit B). It is open daily from 1 Dec 2015 to 8 Mar 2016, 9am – 9pm. Admission is free but ticket reservation is encouraged. Reserve your ticket at http://www.thefutureofus.sg.

The premise for the exhibition to be innovative, panel-less and all-inclusive guided the exhibition’s design as well as drove many of us who worked on the project to the asylum.

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Kee seow (‘up crazy’) at The Future of Us project site.

Pico Singapore is the chief designer, consultant and builder for The Future of Us exhibition in collaboration with an ensemble of award-winning film, light and sound directors as well as creative agencies.

The Architecture – 4 Domes, 7 Zones

From conceptualisation to design to build to opening, the realisation of The Future of Us exhibition took about a year and involved over 100 governmental agencies, private entities, non-profit establishments, schools and public contributions. The exhibition structure consists of 4 massive domes that anchor an exhibitory experience that spans 7 zones.

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A lattice roof designed by students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) forms a porous skin that wraps around the domes.

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Doesn’t it feel like Star Wars?

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As the sun shines through the lattice, a patterned shadow that shifts with the sun’s position dresses up the domes and ground.

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Visit The Future of Us exhibition in the late afternoon and you just might catch the setting sun peeping through the lattice.

The Experience

As mentioned, the exhibition consists of 7 seamless zones and here’s a quick summary of what they are :

1 – The Future Express… welcome and holding area

2 – Theatre of Generations (Dome 1)… massive projection film

3 – Symphony of the City (Dome 2)… immersive LED show

4 – Home Tomorrow (Dome 3)… interactive exhibits showcase

5 – Blue Skies (Dome 4)… contribution of wishes and hopes

6 – The Lion… playground with all-inclusive equipment

7 – The Marketplace… future products and conversation space

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After admission at the Arrival Plaza area, you will come to The Future Express at the exhibition’s entrance. You’ll spend about half an hour here before entering Dome 1. There are no toilets in this holding area so my advise is to go before coming here if it is urgent. Else, it will be quite a walk to toilet facilities located near the SG50 car park. After entering Dome 1, there are toilet facilities within the exhibition space.

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The photos in this blog post were taken prior to the exhibition’s opening so some of the spaces, such as this welcome area, look different after finishing touches were added.

The Future Express

Connecting the past to the future, The Future Express takes the approach of imagined local newspaper headlines that pay tribute to 3 different time periods – 1965, 2015 and 2030.

Presented as 3 installations that correspond with each time period, the simulated front pages of The Future Express newspaper lets you get a glimpse of lifestyles in the 1960s, feel the Singapore spirit through spontaneous events that happened in 2015, and anticipate the possibilities of 2030.

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The Future Express simulates a printing press with imagined headlining topics that capture our past, encapsulate our present and captivate our future.

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Front page news that come with “moving” headline images that are essentially video clips about where we were, what makes us, us, and where are we heading. Watch the clips at the exhibition for some really uplifting moments.

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After exploring The Future Express area, you will be guided to pass through this corridor to enter the first dome that houses the Theatre of Generations.

Theatre of Generations

Better hold on to your jaw as you enter the Theatre of Generations for the massive 360-degree half dome projection is bound to leave you awestruck.

Theatre of Generations explores the underlying values that power our strive for success through 4 characters in the year 2030 and how their aspirations are linked to their grandparents’ generation from 1965. The dreams and struggles of these characters are first mooted in this 5-minute film and as you move from zone to zone, if you look closely, you’ll notice that what the characters set out to achieve slowly takes shape along the way.

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The 4 main characters in the Theatre of Generations film are (from left to right) – Joseph, a Eurasian social worker; Yi Xin, a wheel-chair bound Chinese designer; Faizal, a Malay cycling enthusiast and entrepreneur; and Ravina, an Indian horticulturist.

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The film begins in the year 2030 with the 4 characters seeking a breakthrough to realize their dreams and goes on a reverse time-lapse to 1965 to draw a parallel with the aspirations and challenges their grandparents faced. And it is through values such as working together regardless of our race, language or religion; openness; having a stake in our communities and home; and the can-do spirit that have Singapore made… and will continue to be our pillars of success into the future.

What are the challenges faced by the different generations of Singapore citizens? Find out at the Theatre of Generations.

While you can’t miss what’s going on in the film with such a huge screen, there is a sweet spot to stand to best enjoy this larger-than-life experience and that is to the sides near the entrance of the theatre.

Symphony of the City

This immersive dome is where you get transported into the possible living environments of the future through a 4-minute show unfolding across a huge 270-degree wraparound LED screen that is 35 metres long! Another visual spectacle in this dome is a model with projection mapping that allows elements from the show to spill over into 3D form.

The Symphony of the City explores exciting ideas and developmental possibilities on a macro level in future Singapore. Some of these ideas are far-fetched and may or may not materialise, some are already at the stage of test-bedding for potential mass adoption (eg. autonomous vehicles), while some are already in the process of being realised (eg. expanded MRT network, enhanced greenery, round-island cycling network, advanced water quality testing robots in the shape of a swan, etc).

The show provides a glimpse of what life could be like as future infrastructural developments open up more choices for us to set our desired pace of life.

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Look out for these intro boards at the beginning of various exhibition zones for a synopsis of what you’re about to experience.

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As you walk through the different zones, you’ll notice a thread of text that weaves through the exhibition. This is the Thread of Us and it is made up of hopes and wishes contributed by Singapore citizens from all walks of life in 4 languages. In the Symphony of the City dome, the thread takes the form of a techno wave that undulates across the LED screens.

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The show follows Ravina, Yi Xin, Faizal and Joseph as they went about their daily lives in the year 2030.

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The storytelling takes a 3D form when designs of future public housing are mapped onto objects on the projection model. Producing the Symphony of the City show has been very challenging because of the huge screen size and the need to coordinate the show and projection sequences.

Contents are very rich at the Symphony of the City and it can be a lot to digest. The best place to take it all in is to stand just behind the row of cushion seats. Standing provides a better experience as you can see more of what’s going on at the projection model as compared to sitting down.

Home Tomorrow

While Symphony of the City looks at the possible macro developments in Singapore, Home Tomorrow offers you a peep into the micro level technological innovations and evolution in ideologies that could impact the way we live, learn, work, care and defend in the future.

There are a number of interactive exhibits in this zone which you can explore to find out more about the future of learning and different pathways to success, how smart homes can potentially enable us to better care for our love ones, possible concepts in creating a more sustainable living environment, urban farming, multi-tiered living, and many more.

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Does this look like a computer generated graphic? Well, it’s not. It is actually a photo!

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The graphic wall encircling the Home Tomorrow dome often gets neglected but take a closer look and discover the little nuggets of future living.

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Peep into possible future lifestyles through the windows of the tower blocks.

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Get your eyes and hands busy at Home Tomorrow with a bevy of interactive multimedia exhibits.

Blue Skies

This is the 4th domed experience and you can share your hopes, dreams and wishes for Singapore digitally here. Whatever your aspirations are, you are not alone in your dreams.

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The sky’s the limit for our aspirations for Singapore.

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You can select a category and write or draw your message.

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Your completed message is cast onto the circular screen above. There are viewers at the side of the dome where you can see what other contributors have written.

The Lion

Dreams will remain as dreams without action. At The Lion playground, you can go on a swing or move fitness equipments in the zone to generate kinetic energy that powers the roar of the lion.

The Lion playground is a metaphor that the success of Singapore depends on every citizen playing a part and taking lead to collectively power our achievements in all aspects for the future.

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If you notice, the design of The Lion sculpture is done by the 2030 character Yi Xin, who is a wheelchair bound designer. From having a dream about creating an inclusive playground in Theatre of Generations to working on her dream in Symphony of the City to the realisation of her design in The Lion, subtle plotlines are planted throughout the exhibition as part of an overarching storyline. Try identifying the underlying stories for the other 3 characters – Faizal, Joseph and Ravina.

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Look out for a surprise at The Lion zone. Hint : It floats.

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Swingapore galore!

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A unique feature of The Lion playground is the inclusion of swing seats that allow people with disabilities to enjoy a fun ride.

After having some fun swinging at The Lion, head on over to The Marketplace for a glimpse of future products that could appear on our shelves. Conversations with various agencies about future ideas, demonstrations and talks are also held there.

Stay for the Night

At sundown, The Future of Us reveals a different side as the lattice and domes get painted with a splash of colourful lights.

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White and steely during the day…

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… all ready to party at night.

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Light confetti on the lattice.

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The future has landed.

The Future of Us is not a governmental masterplan exhibition but a consolidation of visions that the various ministries as well as everyday Singaporeans have for the days ahead. The future is not only about our built environment, the hardware, but more importantly, the software, the human element behind every improvement and transformation.

I have read several Facebook feedback that some of the ideas presented in the exhibition are impossible and that compassion is lacking in our future aspirations. Yes, some of the ideas are far-fetched, just as putting man on the moon or in the sky was seemingly impossible before 1969. As for the missing human quotient, they are there but not very apparent. During the production of contents in the various domes, our client constantly reminded us to not neglect the ‘soul’ that drives our progress. It is something that the client cannot force, but hope for, that graciousness and empathy can be as much a part of our social fabric as it is in the acquisition of prosperity.

If you look closely at the Theatre of Generations and Symphony of the City shows, you will see an abled citizen helping a blind person, someone giving up a seat to another who needs it more, urban farming for community benefit, social work that can reach more needy persons, and other socially empathetic aspects that will hopefully be the heart that our future is built around.

It is great that the Facebook feedbacks mentioned that because it showed that that’s what people care about and want. And if we all want a more caring society, we can get there :o)

Behind-the-Scene

During our production of the exhibition, the epic exhibitory techniques that presented unprecedented challenges aside, the dilemma was always how not to over promise while delivering real possibilities for the future. Although this is not a government masterplan / blueprint kind of exhibition but a presentation of collective dreams, we were cautious not to produce a fantasy.

So after tossing around several ideas to find the right pitch of future-ness for the exhibition, the creative consensus agreed on a style between the fantastical Tomorrowland and the local realism of 2025, a Mediacorp Channel 5 TV drama series that everybody didn’t watch.

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Green screen video shoots were our blank pages to create future scenes for almost 70% of show contents in The Future of Us exhibition.

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From green screens to green-scapes, the future of Singapore is going to be very green. We endured the outdoor burn but alas, this scene of us using various personal mobility devices at Marina Bay East was cut from the Symphony of the City show and there goes my dream to be Singapore’s next uncle idol.

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My skulls and bones polo-tee probably wasn’t very auspicious to be worn on site while the exhibition was still undergoing construction but I was eager to see the progress of Home Tomorrow because it was the dome that gave the team the most headaches.

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We survived the hard work of yesterday to bring you The Future of Us! We are only the tip of the iceberg that made the exhibition happen. I hope you would, or had, enjoyed the exhibition and may we continue to build our magnificent city into an endearing home that is affordable, gracious, caring and inclusive for all!

Total Defence 30 : An Experiential Showcase

Total Defence celebrates its 30th anniversary with a experiential exhibition at National Museum Singapore where the stories of unlikely social vigilantes take center stage. Titled “Because You played a Part”, the exhibition draws on personal accounts as well as hot topics to lead visitors on a trail of discovery spanning all 3 levels of the museum.

National Museum was temporarily transformed into a defence base with a military rover (not in photo), marine cruiser and fire-fighting vehicles stationed at the entrance.

Having as much interest in militaristic stuff as Anton Casey has in our “poor people” transport system, I wasn’t expecting much from the Total Defence 30 : An Experiential Showcase exhibition but I was pleasantly surprised.

The defenders (our people) and the defended (our home).

Although the story threading through the entire exhibition was quite hard to follow, I found the narrative idea and highly interactive exhibits to be refreshing and earn top marks for balls and creativity in distilling Total Defence ideologies into palatable bits.

And one of the best things, apart from really friendly and cheery helpers at all stations of the exhibition, was the feat of fusing something as dry as Total Defence with artistic endeavours. While some aspects of the presentation can be improved further provided that budget and museum restrictions permit, the exhibition delivers its promise as a truly experiential showcase that breathed life into the 5 tenets of Total Defence :

1. Military Defence

2. Civil Defence

3. Economic Defence

4. Social Defence

5. Psychological Defence

The journey starts with how you feel and the thoughts of 5 Singaporeans about what Total Defence means to them across the various demographics of Singaporeans (employee, entrepreneur, student, retiree, and homemaker). You can choose which character to follow and uncover more stories (the related characters are colour coded) on all 3 levels of the museum or explore every exhibit at each designated exhibition space.
I chose to follow the path of the entrepreneur (Abdul Hadi) because who doesn’t want to be boss right? LOL!

Immersive staging at the introduction zone lets you walk into the concerns and stories of different Singaporeans on Total Defence.

The lifestyle sets have scenes fashioned to correspond with the characters and it was really fun to just sit at the different chairs and watch talking heads relay thoughts.

Tried as I may to pretend I’ve not seen the retro phone and thus acknowledge my age, I can’t help but shimmy in the “awwww” of nostalgia.

After the lifestyle zone, my trail led to a cool minimalist exhibition chamber that featured a varied collection of information presentation methods. From simple touchscreen modules to reveal positive and negative media messages…

… to a hall of mirrors to reflect upon your community role through expanding social situations, to social media reactions and advocacies. I like it that the exhibition incorporated some of the hot social media topics such as “Chope Food for the Needy” and how the exhibits embraced the conversations of real Singaporeans… with the inclusion of Singlish! My blog got “Lah” so you know how much I love Singlish 🙂

Big questions that need reflection.

My Total Defence journey brought me to the basement of the museum. I couldn’t find the next personality in my blue trail (Pat Law) but was delighted with this camou version of the Churning of the Sea of Milk from the Mahabharata epic by Cambodian artist, Svay Sareth.

Part of the Singapore Biennale 2013 “If the World Changed” exhibition, this quirky interpretation of the mural found at Angkor Wat into a stuffed toy served as the artist’s mock at the “illusion of cooperation within exploitative hierarchies”. I understand the artist’s angst but I’m more taken with the lovable appeal of this physical moniker to the sculpture found at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

From basement one, I was brought to level 2 of the National Museum on my Total Defence journey where I’d learn by now that we have the power for social change especially in the era of social media. This zone of the exhibition featured classic information panels but instead of using pre-fabricated exhibition frame systems, the panel structures were customized with relevant media features such as a playback of Dick Lee’s culturally-harvested musical tracks.

National security is a collaboration amongst citizens as well as with government agencies. This message of teamwork was creatively transferred to players of this simple game where one party fingered the Braille impressions on one side and described them to a partner on the other. The partner then deciphers the letters to reveal the Braille word. Brilliant!

2-in-1 photo wall where photographic works are projected on…

… and converts into a simple frame for visitors to be Singaporean of the Day. It’s achieved easily by covering the projector with a card.

When kids saw this Lego replica of the 2004 Nicoll Highway collapse, they rushed over and started banging the vehicles and plucking at the ‘debris’ pieces. Alarmed, the parents immediately chided the kids to not break the display (which was already broken).
Then came the clever part of bringing the message across… The student helper assured the parents that it’s ok for the children to dismantle the exhibit because this shows how fragile our society can be. One wrong move and everything can come apart. Then the kids were encouraged to rebuild the bridge instead. Which they did.

At a space outside the permanent gallery that traces the history of Singapore’s food, this partially immersive set was staged to share the story of Ya Kun, one of the pioneer coffee stallholders who is now a household brand in Singapore with countless outlets all over the island.
When Ya Kun started his coffee stall, he only had 2 tables, hence the display, and he slept on top of the tables so that he can wake up at 5am every morning to start his business. A fine example of the early 刻苦耐劳 spirit that has been replaced by the call to work smart instead of hard nowadays.

This Reflection Wall allows visitors to leave messages after they toured the exhibits to family and friends or feedback on the showcase. It’s a low cost solution to engage visitors but I like how the old-school pencils invokes a sense of nostalgia. Well, at least for me coz my primary school days were spent sharpening pencils instead of clicking those mechanical ones.

Riding on hopes for peace in Singapore on Red Scorpion, a fire-fighting bike that is the first response vehicle to all fires in Singapore.

Producing contents, messages and exhibits for events and exhibitions (mostly involving governmental or related agencies) for close to 5 years, I must say that the Total Defence showcase was a daring departure from most stat boards’ preference to cram as much information as possible into every inch of communication real estate.

While this approach has certain pitfalls as most messages are inferred rather than blatant, I enjoyed the ample mental breathing space as a result of knowledge de-cluttering and the focus of a single idea for each tactile interactive. And the exhibits’ design while not jaw-dropping, blended tastefully with the museum environment.

My only grouse was that some of the characters along a story path was hard to track down (I never found the character Pat Law in the Entrepreneur path that I followed) and the Total Defence exhibits had to compete with other exhibitions going on at the museum. I was waylaid many times to check out installations of Biennale 2013 and other themed galleries that joining the dots of the Total Defence narrative became sporadic.

Nonetheless, with some patience and determination to complete the story trail, I got the gist of how entrepreneurship contributes to Economic Defence while discovering other Total Defence concepts along the way.

Then again, I think that’s kinda cool because I learnt more as I was motivated to make sense of the modular personality-based accounts. Not that I’m an expert just because I’m in the events and exhibitions industry, but I feel that the Total Defence 30 : An Experiential Showcase was gutsy in its creative direction and something of a breakthrough to artify national policies.

And it’s free for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents to visit!

“Because You Played a Part” Total Defence 30 : An Experiential Showcase is on from 15 – 23 Feb 2014 at National Museum Singapore.

Art Stage Singapore 2014

I’ve always held on to my primitive definition of art as something beautiful; an intentional creation for the purpose of delighting and entertaining the senses. But I’m not so sure after visiting Art Stage Singapore 2014.

Having about as much art education as Homer Simpson can do math, I’m never the arty-farty sort. I can neither call out artists by name (except those very famous dead ang moh ones like Leonardo Da Vinci, Monet, Manet, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Shakespeare… you get the drift) nor identify their works. If I’m found at an art event, it’s usually for the free champagne.

No free booze at Art Stage 2014 but I did get a complimentary ticket (which costs S$30) from a friend who knew I’d have fun photographing the installations and works of art.

Entrance to Art Stage 2014 held at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre from 17 – 19 Jan 14.

I wasn’t so sure I would enjoy the exhibition initially as I know nothing about art and don’t want to look stupid by not knowing why that name on a label is such a big deal, but I actually had fun.

The 4th edition of the annual art event attracted more than 40,500 visitors, 600 artists and 130 galleries from 28 countries.

In terms of photo opportunities, I didn’t find that many as taking photos of paintings felt like rip-offs while snapping pics of installations and sculptures required thick skin to saunter into the space of a participating art gallery, take the photos and walk off without making eye contact with the dealers in case they think I have a fat wallet.

Art above as it is below.

Art Stage is Asia’s global art gathering where artists and collectors are brought together.

My aging Samsung Galaxy S3 also ran out of juice quickly so I missed capturing some of the impressive pieces later into my visit. So here’s a glimpse of Art Stage 2014 and some of the pieces that had me amused or allowed me to create photographic ‘art’ out of art…

This huge goldfish sculpture with bulging eyes by Yan Ma-Lin greeted visitors entering the exhibition hall. To me, the goldfish looks like a wide-eyed idealist who has swam out of its painted pond (the painting behind) from this angle.

This scene with a huge seashell in front of a photo of a crowd gave me an epiphany about people who came out of their shells to join the world.

Nightmares can be beautiful… Artist Damien Hirst painted with insects in this visually extravagant piece that is one of my favourites.

Close up of the ingenious bugs mandala featuring jewel beetles, scorpions, atlas moths, leaf insects, Goliath beetles, and many specimens from the forests of South America as well as Asia. It’s a masterpiece from the masterpieces of nature!

Boomz! Deepavali just got kinky?

Bat you love to get some S&M action.

My, what a big mouth you have.

Yue Minjun’s Contemporary Terracotta Warrior No. 10’s laugh is infectious. I can’t help but smile looking at him.

Freedom is letting it all hang out.

她真的看得很开。。。Absolutely hilarious comment by one of my Facebook friends!

Two eras of China.

Consumerism is the new communism?

This oil on canvas by Akiko Kinugawa is Untitled but I think a fitting name would be Sourpuss. LOL.

A slice of eroticart… an interesting piece composed by many layers of print on plastic sheets laid in sequence to achieve a fantasy effect of the nude torso. The effect doesn’t quite show in photo and best seen in person.

Looks like a simple installation but getting each piece of acrylic sheet to be at the same precise height must be backbreaking work.

Hello, Kitty… We decided to create art of our own.

Sometimes in life, we just have to bend over and take it from behind.

人与人的杂乱关系。

Show your true colours.

Life imitating art.

Toshio’s sister found! Toshio is the ghost child from Jap horror movie, The Grudge.

This lonely and cold painting sure could use some fire to keep warm.

Is this art?

Many of the art pieces had been eye-opening in their creative techniques and executions. While the definition of art is subjective, some of the pieces were rather trashy to my commoner eye. Yet, their unartistry provoked a response as much as the stunning works made the heart gasp.

Transcending beauty, my Art Stage foray reminded me that art and the appreciation of it should go beyond the realm of sensory pleasure and embrace the provocative emotional dialogue brought on by art that makes one uneasy.

If I have to explain what is art to someone now, I would say it is the language of the soul.

Beer Party at SAFRA Toa Payoh

Oktoberfest came to SAFRA with a series of parties and good cheer at the various clubhouses for NSmen to enjoy a night of great music, movie screenings, games, and of course, beer!

I attended the Beer Party at the SAFRA Toa Payoh clubhouse and delighted in the discovery of a rooftop patio to knock back a couple of pints away from crowded clubs and bars on a weekend night. It felt like coming to the doorstep of my neighbourhood and having a reasonably good time…

Whenever I come to the SAFRA Toa Payoh clubhouse, it is usually for a swim or personal training sessions at EnergyOne gym. I never thought that there would be life at the clubhouse after dark. But surprise, surprise! The rooftop patio is open till 1am on weekdays and 3am on weekends with Beer Alley serving snacks, full meals and booze at affordable prices during the operating hours.

Beer and bowling… that’s bound to be a strike. Something of an indoor ‘beer garden’ next to bowling lanes, Beer Alley offers bowlers thirst quenchers and an extensive menu of savouries such as fried chicken wings, fish and chips, pizza and even Laksa Hotpot!

The bowling lanes were all taken up and the place was pretty busy on a Saturday night.

A side exit from the bowling alley leads to the rooftop patio where the Beer Party was held. This was the first ever rooftop party held at SAFRA Toa Payoh.

Caught up with food blogger Melissa (melicacy.com), her dad, and fashionista Juliana (spunktitud3.wordpress.com) with a bevy of beauts in little black numbers. Yeah… “Let’s Party” the house upside down!

I think the rooftop patio is a nice place to host a private gathering or birthday party.

About 200 NSmen and their guests attended the ticketed Beer Party.

I didn’t expect such a disco ambience from a SAFRA clubhouse.

Sitting area at the rooftop patio turned open-air club for one night.

What’s an Oktoberfest without succulent sausages?!

For just S$21.40 (SAFRA members) and S$26.75 (guests), each partygoer gets 2 beers, a Turkish wrap and sausage to assimilate the German festivities. Oktoberfest originated from Bavaria (Germany) in 1810 to celebrate the wedding of King Ludwig 1 and Princess Therese. The festival is the world’s largest fair with a 16-day celebration spanning late September to the first weekend of October. If the photo looked kinda blur, it’s intentional. After a few drinks, blur is the new clear!

DJ Maverick and his team spun the feet-thumping grooves of the night as well as getting Singaporeans to pull off their veil of embarrassment.

Games of the night included this beer drinking (with straws) contest…

… and an impersonation of your favourite Member of Parliament competition! *Joking* It was a dancing contest where the guys had to follow a prescribed sequence of moves to win. It’s a pity I was there to cover the event. Else I would’ve showed off my years of training sucking beer from a straw and shaking my booty for a prize!

Beer Party goers also stand to win a Deutsche Master timepiece worth around S$680! Beers at the event also went for only S$4.50 per cup after the 2 complimentary drinks that came with the ticket. With or without the Beer Party, the rooftop patio is still a nice spot to chill. Now, that’s reason for a toast! Bottoms up and have a great October! And remember, if you drink, don’t drive.

When Our Neighbour Farts

Farting is a natural physiological occurrence. It is the way our bodies get rid of unwanted gas build up in the system as intended by nature.

But let’s say you are sharing a lift with some other people and you uncontrollably let rip. Do you feel a certain amount of embarrassment and apologise for the stench, or do you chide the people for fanning their noses and holding their breaths?

Any decent human being who’s civilised would of course feel a degree of guilt for having caused others an inconvenience, even if it is because of nature. Unfortunately, progression in humanity has not eliminated barbarians amongst us.

Farts, also don’t necessarily come out of the ass…

Source : http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/indonesia-chides/717798.html

And snubbing our offer to help saying that S$1 million is too little? 趁火打劫!

SAFRA Yishun Country Club Open House

Action hero or pai kiah? There aren’t many places in Singapore where we can legally pose with a gun. This is one such place. Read on to find out exactly where you can have your Terminator / Rambo / Lara Croft moment…

As I opened the door and entered the clubhouse, a sweet whiff of cotton candy greeted me and momentarily distracted my gaze from the horde at the reception. Is the circus in town?

Well, something like that. But the performers are you at…

Oh what fun! For a small fee, members and guests get to clown it out at a funky photo booth, get caricatured, take on heart-stopping ‘stunts’ at the adventure zone, hone marksmanship at an indoor shooting range and much more!

The one-day only open house of SAFRA Yishun Country Club was packed with people for good reason. Most of the activities such as rock climbing, Canopy Challenge Walk and Indoor Air Weapon Range were opened to public specially during the open house.

On normal days, one needs to be a member of the various sports and shooting clubs and pay equipment rental fees before access to those facilities is granted. So a SAFRA open house is definitely an event not to be missed to sample all the fun and adventure!

Monkeying around with existing friends and newfound ones. What a great place to foster friendship and connect!

Here’s a good reason to laugh at ourselves…

… through the comical interpretations by a caricaturist. The queue was rather long so I didn’t get mine drawn.

The main draw for me at the open house was the chance for a shootout at the Indoor Air Weapons Range.

Anyone above 13 years of age got a chance to take out the bull’s-eye. Showing off your bon bon is a bonus.

One job I won’t be able to do is an assassin. My aims with a F-16 rifle were usually off the mark during my army training days. I haven’t held a gun in a long time. I wonder how I would fare at this 10m air weapons range.

Pellets used for the shoot. Each shooter is given a target sheet and 6 bullets for every trial.

After a short briefing on safety measures and how to take aim, I tested my marksmanship after almost 18 years!

Not too bad! At least I managed to punch all 6 bullets within the black spot. Phew… the shooting range was great fun!

Moving on from the indoor range, the next thrill sits atop a hill at SAFRA Yishun Country Club.

I attempted this 25m wall on a previous visit to SAFRA Yishun but I couldn’t conquer it. Perhaps one day I will.

Spotted : Spiderman. Check out this guy’s traps and deltoids!

It’s no child’s play. Well, in this case, it is. Kids and first-time climbers can try the easier walls before attempting the more challenging ‘adult’ walls.

In addition to rock climbing, the Adventure Sports Centre houses 2 sets of obstacle courses that will definitely get the adrenalin pumping at maximum capacity. Not for the faint hearted. Pictured here is the Cargo Net Bridge.

Cirque du Soliel? Almost. Called the Elvis Walk, this challenge requires adventurers to hold on to dangling braids while negotiating a narrow rope-path suspended amongst a canopy of trees. I think my legs would turn to jelly.

Spotted : Fly trapped in a spider web. The obstacle courses are definitely no walk in the park and stretches not just one’s fitness, but guts.

I had a really good time during the open house and wished it wasn’t just for one day. Other SAFRA clubs will be holding open houses at different times of the year so keep a lookout and join in the fun with friends and family!

Johnnie Walker Circuit Nights Monaco Party

In anticipation of Formula One 2013 season’s grand prix at Monaco, Johnnie Walker revved up the pre-race excitement with another premium edition of its Circuit Nights party. Held at Avalon, the VIP event thrilled fans and partygoers with a spectacular line-up of superstar DJs and a chance to luxe it up at Monaco!

Walk this way for a night of partying in style with the Striding Man!

Avalon rises out of Marina Bay’s waterfront as the only club-on-water in Singapore.

Juliana turned into Drooliana in the presence of the suave captains.

Inside Avalon before the crowd filled in.

In conjunction with the Monaco grand prix, Johnnie Walker is running an exclusive contest that will send 4 fans on a trip of a lifetime to experience the race in person! Details on how to enter this contest at the end of the post.

My favourite way to savour Johnnie Walker is on the rocks. What’s yours?

My aromatic Johnnie Walker nectar blooming in a glass.

Gold is the way to go!

Caught up with a friend and made some new ones. They are fans who won invitations to the invite-only party on Johnny Walker Singapore’s Facebook page.

DJs Denzel Park from Australia turning on the heat with progressive beats.

DJ Helena got the dancefloor moving to her hypnotic grooving.

I hope they didn’t catch a chill.

The dancing girls above inspired Juliana.

Johnnie Walker packed Avalon with a huge crowd.

Firing up the night with a mega dose of Johnnie Walker’s award-winning whisky.

Would you like to go on a luxury trip to Monaco to live it up at the grand prix in person? I do!

The party is only an opener to the real F1 circuit experience in Monaco. Johnnie Walker Singapore is offering fans a chance to win a VIP trip to Monaco worth $80,000!

The lucky winners (2 winners + 1 friend each) will arrive in Monaco in style by helicopter and soak in the thrills of the iconic street race from onboard a private yacht, before meeting the Vodafone Mercedes McLaren F1 team.

All you need to do is purchase a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label or Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve from March to end of April 2013 and it will include an unique Gold Pass code.  Key the codes on the app on Johnnie Walker Singapore Facebook page.

Bottles with the Gold Pass are available throughout Singapore at all leading clubs, pubs, bars, hotels and supermarkets. The more bottles you purchase, the higher the chances of winning! Good luck!

Bata Spring/Summer Collection 2013

Mention “Bata” and the memories of schooldays come skipping gleefully back. For many in my generation, Bata was the must-go place before the start of every new school year to pick a pair of immaculately white school shoes to complement that new uniform, new schoolbag, new textbooks, and renewed examination terrors.

Bata was synonymous with school shoes. But not anymore. The shoe giant with a spot in the Guinness World Record for being the world’s Largest Shoe Retailer and Manufacturer recently launched its Spring/Summer collection and oh wow, what a buffet for the sole!

Bloggers were treated to an exclusive peek at Bata’s Spring/Summer collection and we get to pick a pair of shoes and a bag of our fancy!

With its first stitch sewn in the Czech Republic in 1894, the household brand has always been a rescue centre for my feet. Once, while at Toa Payoh Central, the sole of my right sports shoe divorced its cushy hull and I had a Cinderella-leaving-the-ball moment.

Thankfully, a Bata store was nearby and my feet had a fairytale ending. Another time, an all-terrain sandals gave up on me and Bata was my knight in rubbery armour.

So many Cinderellahs. LOL.

Why am I such a magnet for shoe malfunctions? That’s because I’m very loyal to my foot soldiers. It’s so hard to find a pair of shoes that feel comfortable so when I do, I wear them till they become giam hu (salted fish) and the seams are gaping.

Currently, I own 6 pairs of shoes (4 sports, 1 canvas and 1 leather) and a pair of slippers. Is that too much for a guy? But after looking at Bata’s Spring/Summer collection, I felt the impulse to own more.

Shoes, bags, scarves and belts… Singapore’s Carrie Bradshaws are spoilt for choices.

I am grateful to the good folks at Bata Singapore for inviting me to view this season’s collection together with Singapore’s many trendy bloggers and picking a pair of shoes and bag of my fancy! I’m not someone who’s really into shopping, but this I LIKE!

If I’m already thrilled, can you imagine what the promise of ‘free shopping’ must be doing to the ladies?

Juliana spotting an emerald suede clutch carry-more while Christine contemplates a tanned faux leather carry-all. Spunky or classy, there’s something of fancy to match every personality.

Some like it funky, some like it feminine.

Bling bling! Even sandals are gem-encrusted… Can use as weapons.

Shoes so soft, they can bend and twist like a second skin. Sundrops made me wish I’m born a woman.

My preferred fashion style places comfort first and matchability second. So my fashion choices are usually simple and conservative although I enjoy experimenting and playing dress-up once in a while.

However, my emulation of Gaga’s fashion principles usually ends up turning on the Haha decibels.

So what style am I rocking with Bata? Read on… 🙂

The sign says it. And my barcode t-shirt confirms it. Whatever my style and personality, Bata has shoes and accessories to complete the packaging of me!

Being an outdoorsy sort and avid traveller who adores nature, the rugged, earthy Weinbrenner collection was a natural draw for me. Weinbrenner has been around since 1892 and was developed with the safety of loggers’ feet in mind so durability and comfort are imbued in the brand’s design. But instead of looking like work boots, the multi-purpose shoes and bags got all their styles punk’d up!

The face of indecision. While I liked Weinbrenner’s offerings, I was also drawn to the business wear collection. One of my favourites was the Weinbrenner sling bag that would serve well as a carrier for my DSLR camera and accessories but the unique laptop bag with a crotchet texture was equally droolsome.

Adding to my indecision in picking out my style were these striking moccasin given a whimsical twist with raffia-isque laces. The colours can stop traffic! I almost went for the blue one…

… but I decided to go with something more corporate as I’m lacking in formal shoes. However, I didn’t want the traditional black walkers and eyed the brown collection. They all looked so handsome.

A very popular design amongst the guy bloggers was this pair of red-ochre Oxford/country shoes. It looks a little, for the lack of a better word, tacky, but when we put it on, it just exudes macho coolness. This shoe will definitely be a conversation starter!

So many styles, so many choices, how to decide?! I had such a hard time but I found my pair…

This is THE ONE for me. Love the gradual blending of tans with a simple yet elegant etching that flows along the shoe’s stylish silhouette. Strong. Understated. Yet won’t go unnoticed.

For the bag, I decided on a black laptop carrier that has a really cool design and 2 ways of carrying. Here’s one way…

… and this is the other. The one I’m holding is a showpiece as the bag is currently out of stock and I have to wait about 2 weeks to get it. Can’t wait to show it off in my office!

Great styles, good value! Juliana’s choice of shoes is this pair of neon flats that’s as effervescent as her character. We’ve been Bata-fied! Bata is the must-go place at the start of every fashionable year!

SAFRA Celebrates 45 Years of National Service with NS45 Giveaways

After a 2-year S$52 million revamp, SAFRA Toa Payoh re-opened it doors in early February this year. Since the clubhouse used to be my playground, I popped by to see how my old friend’s facelift went. The makeover surgery was total. Not a shred of its past self was left, and rising in its place is a new paradise!

I joined SAFRA as a member and subscribed to its gym in the early 1990s while serving National Service (NS) because wearing my army green, I was what you would call a toothpick in camouflage…

Ah Boy to He-Man! With needle arms and bony legs, my skeletal frame was the parcel of Grayskull and SAFRA was my magic transformation sword!

… so I joined SAFRA’s EnergyOne gym to pack on some meat. I took up the membership because it was very good value-for-money, and continues to be to this day. I was with EnergyOne for a looooonnng time until 2007 when I migrated to another sweathouse because of proximity to home.

But having revisited my dear friend today, I regretted our break-up. Here are the reasons why…

SAFRA Toa Payoh, SAFRA, NS45

23 Feb 2013 : Stepping foot into SAFRA Toa Payoh after an almost 6 years hiatus. It looks so awesomely different! And I’m still far from being He-Man.

SAFRA Toa Payoh, SAFRA, NS45

The handsome visage with a 24-hour McD. How about also making it the first 24-hour club in Singapore, and possibly the world?!

SAFRA Toa Payoh, SAFRA, NS45

I couldn’t believe it’s a SAFRA clubhouse. With Toastbox, McD, and a wide spread of F&B who’s who in its premises, it felt like a swanky lifestyle mall.

SAFRA Toa Payoh, SAFRA, NS45

Like-father-like-son made the girls green with envy because SAFRA clubs (5 in total around Singapore) are built to provide men who have gone through or still serving National Service (NS) a destination to foster family ties and link back to that NSmen brotherhood we lived through.

SAFRA Toa Payoh, SAFRA, NS45

There are 5 SAFRA clubhouses around our island – Toa Payoh (north-central), Yishun (north), Mount Faber (south), Tampines (east), and Jurong (west), and the pool in each club has its own unique features and designs. SAFRA Toa Payoh used to have 2 pools that could at most accomodate an adult elephant each. But now, the water playground at SAFRA Toa Payoh is the kind of stuff wet dreams are made of (pardon the pun)!

SAFRA Toa Payoh, SAFRA, NS45

Splish and splash for every age. From kids’ waterworld to adult aqua fantasies, the pool area will definitely be making waves!

SAFRA, SAFRA Toa Payoh, NS45

Not knowing that SAFRA Toa Payoh’s pool was closed for maintenance today, I went in to take some photos but was promptly asked to leave by the security personnel. Rather unfriendly, but she was just doing her job. It’s so rare to get clean shots of the gorgeous pool without people that I felt It was well worth being chided for my trespassing. I don’t think I can ever get photos like these when the pool is fully operational at the end of Feb 2013.

I was really mesmerised by the pool and almost forgot why I came to SAFRA Toa Payoh for… to check out what’s being done to the EnergyOne gym where my attempts to be macho started.

SAFRA Toa Payoh, SAFRA, NS45

O.M.G. The gym is so different! The old gym used to be an arena where I could look down into from an upper ring but now, it’s on ground level with a designer sleek-chic appeal. The gym comes with steamroom and jacuzzi facilities too! At approximately S$30 a month (excluding a one-time membership fee of around S$200), staying healthy has never been more affordable.

SAFRA Toa Payoh, SAFRA, NS45

The new gym has 2 levels with the first floor offering a complete range of free-weights tortures while the upper storey torches fats through a cardio zone. What I really liked is the spaciousness. No need to squeeze and jostle with commercial gyms. And there are no sales people waiting at the door to prospect you for leads or extend membership.

SAFRA Toa Payoh, SAFRA, NS45

If being a being bunny doesn’t appeal, Toa Payoh, and most of other SAFRA clubhouses, also offer additional sporting spaces (badminton, squash, billard, etc) for booking.

SAFRA Toa Payoh, SAFRA, NS45

Children get to have a good time too with a slew of playhouses such as the Kids Amaze adventure zone and various enrichment establishments (music, fencing, learning, etc) all under one roof. There’s something for everyone.

SAFRA Toa Payoh, SAFRA, NS45

After all that physical and mental exercise, it’s time to nourish with a delectable selection of yums. There’s a choice to suit every palate… from Asian to Western, from quick meals to sit-down dinners.

Swim-gym-eat-play-learn-chill… all under one roof! That’s the thing I missed about being a SAFRA member and I’ve made a lot of friends while gymming there, many of us still keep in regular contact to this day. I think it’s time for me to rekindle my SAFRA membership.

The great news is, SAFRA is giving away free vouchers and/or membership so all NSmen can access the comprehensive facilities at all the clubhouses.

If you are Singaporean male and had served NS, go to https://ns45.safra.sg/ to register for your NS45 goodies. Registration ends 28 Feb 2014 and all vouchers are valid until 31 Mar 2014. Below is a quick reference of what you’ll be receiving depending on your NS status.

I’ve registered and since I fall under the ‘Currently serving ORNS (Operationally Ready National Serviceman)’ category, I will be receiving S$80 worth of vouchers redeemable at 5,000 outlets islandwide. Woohoo! Don’t miss out on this fantastic giveaway and enjoy the club that has it all – SAFRA!

Day 328 : Love Lettuce to Mum

Recently, Singapore Post celebrated World Post Day (9 Oct) with a very meaningful photo contest on its Facebook page called Posting Moments. The contest encouraged Singaporeans to submit photos relating to moments where they would send and/or receive a post. It could be a letter, a present, or online retail therapy materialised. Submissions must be accompanied by a title and short caption to explain why that post meant something to them. The first prize is an iPhone 5… a very attractive reason for the contest to become the Apple of my eye.

So I obsessed about it day and night, thinking about what photo to submit. The natural thing to do would be to scour for meaningful letters, take a snapshot and upload. Problem is, contents in those letters are for my eyes only. Heh heh. And I don’t have a stamp collection to brag about although I used to dabble in philatelic pastimes for a while in my early teens. I wonder where did my stamp album, once so treasured, had disappeared to.

With no ready material, my enthusiasm faded. I had an idea that sort of examines the relationship between traditional post and the advent of SMS, email, Watsapp, Facebook, and what not, but to execute that photo needed help from friends and good weather. I’m up to my neck with work and some overseas trips so time wasn’t with me. And the weather has been sulky lately. Plus, the more I thought about the idea, the more lame and ludicrous it seemed.

Then today, I woke up with this other lame idea which is easier to execute in a photo, and meant a lot more to me. When I was studying in Melbourne in 2000 and during a period where I could only write letters to my mum because she’s totally un-techie, I always asked about her health and “Stay Healthy” is something I usually sign off with before “God Bless”.

Now that we are living together, I show my concern for her health by making salads for her dinner when I get the time. “Lettuce” and “Letters”, being phonetically similar, got fused in my brain this morning and this photo was born from the womb of wordplay.

My mum and I regularly send SMSes to express our love and care for each other but those are just words. They are heartwarming thoughts, but what if there’s something physical that come with the words. Instead of just saying “Stay Healthy”, wouldn’t it be great if I can send a vitamin pill or a piece of fruit, not virtual ones, that could make a physiological difference?

A SMS, Watsapp or email cannot do that. But with a traditional post, I can send health. Have your letter and eat it too. And that’s what this photo is about and my Posting Moments.

Too bad the brain wave came too late. Today is the last day for photo submission as well as the last day for voting. But well, since I’ve been mulling over the contest for so long, even if it means I don’t stand a chance in the contest, I would still like to have this post, a blog post, to tell mum I love her and please STAY HEALTHY! More letters lettuce will be coming your way! 🙂

Day 266 : Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

Panache, glamour and class roared into the Lion City with Johnnie Walker’s Circuit Lounge F1 party and I had the privilege to experience the Striding Man’s magic yet again.

Held at the Flower Dome within Singapore’s latest talk-of-the-town attraction, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker pulled out all the stops to helm yet another winner of a great F1 fringe event. Join me as we step into the exclusive world of the premium Scotch-Whiskey brand…

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

The air-conditioned Flower Dome is a conservatory that houses flora and vegetation from the Mediterranean and semi-arid subtropical regions of the world. Such an exotic location to hold a party!

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

The dudes and their pet… a sort of cat and gorilla hybrid.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

Three-quarter pants were frowned upon but Anis got the pass for being fashionably put together.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

This is about as close as I would get to the action of F1. Heh heh.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

Let’s get the party started!

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

A massive constellation of small spheres created a curious focal point for the ceiling.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

Johnnie Walker’s parties are renowned for bringing in superstar DJs to delight the earlobes.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

Cheers to the start of a fantastic night with a refreshing cocktail called Singapore Soda. Concocted specially for the event, Singapore Soda consisted of Johnnie Walker Black Label, soda and a dash of pandan leaf essence that paid homage to our local flavour. The result is a fragrant nectar that’s soothing and addictive!

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

Three special cocktails coaxed guests to let their hair down and have fun. The Johnnie Yuzu Sour had a tangy, light note that would go down well with people who do not appreciate the taste of whiskey.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

Walker Colada brought the tongue on a tropical holiday with a delicious blend of whiskey, coconut rum and I think pineapple juice.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge, Manabu Ohtake

Champion mixologist – Manabu Ohtake, Global World Class Winner 2011, adding a twist to enjoying whiskey.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

Guests were dressed to kill and in this case, thrill! Bobby Luo and Ritz Lim adding horse power and a touch of sci-fi to the event. Our pet has been upstaged.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

Our pet logging into her Facebook account. Throughout the venue were interactive photo booths where we can have our pics taken and posted directly onto our Facebook pages. Cool!

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

A photo we took at a booth and downloaded from my Facebook page.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

Making a pledge the hi-tech way. Guests can have their photo taken and ‘sign’ their names with a laser wand to make the pact of not drinking and driving.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

Guests posing for photos with F1 stars… but where are the racers?

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

This is my favourite booth where we get to ‘take’ a photo with F1 stars! We choose the scene, pose, and snap!

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

Desperately trying to be dashing.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

The resulting photo. Thumbs up for the fun use of interactive media to engage and entertain.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

At the stroke of midnight, a 3D projection sequence and pyro confetti marked the start of Johnnie Walker’s Gold Reserve being served. From this point onwards, the heat of the party got turned up several notches!

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

The little spheres on the ceiling also came alive and lit up in a rhythmic trance.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

Spot the out-of-syncers.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

Girl gone wild.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

Kungfu duo on the dancefloor.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

And I became the pet.

JW Circuit Lounge, Johnnie Walker, F1 Party, Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Johnnie Walker Circuit Lounge

We were Johnnie Walkered and loved it!

Day 203 : Singapore Blog Awards 2012

High five to the winners and participants of this year’s blog awards for the battle was hard fought with so many quality entries contending in every every category. This year was a first for me as this blog and Explore Life Lah! both made it into the top 10 of two categories – Best Photography Blog and Best Best Travel Blog respectively. Neither of them won but a big thank you to all who supported with votes 🙂

This fifth edition of the Singapore Blog Awards saw a bumper crop of Singaporean and Malaysian blogs and bloggers compete in 10 main and 3 sub categories with the special crowning of 5 Omy.sg Blog Club’s wordsmith as Superbloggers.

Held at Singapore Flyer’s retro-concept open-air eatery, Singapore Food Trail, the awards ceremony saw an explosion of colours and creative energy to a comic superhero theme. I almost couldn’t make it to the event this year due to work but the chance to don my Superman tee and catch up with blogger friends was too good to miss!

There can’t be superheroes without vainlians, I mean, villians. Here’s me being super vain and Juliana with her deliancious interpretation of Kungfu Panda!

The ever spontaneous Christine (left) mans it up with her impression of a Mario Brother in drag while showing all the right buttons to push to become a Superblogger.

The event was packed to the brim on a hot Saturday afternoon.

Omy Blog Club’s Superbloggers (right to left) – Christine, Yong Wei, Peter, Catherine, and Eunice.

With Eunice and Catherine, the two ladies I had the privilege of going on a Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas cruise with. They can use the towels to make the cloth animals we learnt onboard! LOL

Me with my superpower… guzzling alcohol!

I didn’t manage to catch up with as many friends as I would like to or take a lot of photos this time round as I arrived kinda late and the venue was crowded. There’s definitely a tinge of disappointment returning empty-handed although by not making it into the top 3 most voted in either category, I already knew there’s no chance of winning but I went to join in the fun for after all, bloggers are like an extended family. It doesn’t matter who won. Really 🙂

Day 112 : Johnnie Walker Jet Black Party 2012

Johnnie Walker’s award-winning Jet Black party returns in 2012 to give invited guests a one-night only clubbing experience that skillfully blends sophistication, glamour and style. This is my third Jet Black party and I continue to be pleasantly surprised by how each party has something different to offer fans of the premium Scotch-Whiskey brand.

This edition of the Jet Black party was extra special for me because I won a micro blogging challenge in association with the event and got 4 extra invites to the party. Sweet! So joined by more friends to drink in the fun, here’s an account of how Jet Black 2012 was a night of partying to remember!

The location of the Jet Black party is usually held secret and released to invited guests just a couple of days before the party. This year, it's held at Mercedes-Benz Singapore Showroom.

To get to where the party was happening, we were picked up by a Mercedes and brought to the level 2 showroom of the centre.

Here with Merwin, Anis and the incredibly smart and hot blogger, Christine (http://chrispytinetoo.blogspot.com/).

Welcome to the world of fastcars, star racers and Johnnie Walker! But remember, winners never drink and drive.

Gorgeously draped in black and hued with gold, the car showroom was transformed into a classy party venue.

Carefully matured with an exquisite balance of wood, climate and location, Johnnie Walker Black Label draws from a brewing origin as far back as the 1870s.

Delicious canapé waiting to meet discerning palates.

Showing the bling with Jak, the ever sharp-looking and affable Brand Manager of Johnnie Walker Black Label. VIPs received a 'gangsta' chain with a pendant of the iconic Striding Man.

Thumbs up to DJ Cassidy (USA) for flying half-way around the globe to spin for the party. This was his first trip to Singapore and he's been introduced to our passion for spicy food on his first night here.

Statuesque, beautiful and ooooh-so-hot! I lost my tongue when meeting DJ Crystal Q (Taiwan) upclose and personal. Part of the trio who played at Jet Black 2012 was DJ Kaku (Japan), but I missed catching him before the party started.

The Mercedes CLS-Class features a muscle of the latest car safety innovations. Will I ever own one?!

Fadilah has this quality about her that seem to light up any room. I gave her a puke facial during our trip for Jet Black Kuala Lumpur in 2011 so I can imagine how worried she must be in seeing me again. LOL.

With fashionistas dressed to nail the Jet Black party... Xueting, Juliana and Hong Peng.

The drink-like-fish gang... Choon Wee, Ian, Gordon, Angela, Merwin and moi.

There's always an element of fun at Jet Black parties with the integration of technology with social media. Jet Black 2012 featured this walk-in photo booth that allowed guests to pose with different backdrops and the photo is posted onto their Facebook wall.

After queueing for some time, we got our turn and I grabbed a shot with the Casio Exilim EX200 before getting all posey for our picture.

The resulting photo that was posted on my Facebook wall with just a tab of the event passcard. Cool!

Gasp! Johnnie Walker's Gold Label Reserve! This nectar in a bottle captures an aromatic note of honey and vanilla that is perfect for any celebration. Love it!

After all the posey photos, it's time to let Johnnie Walker unlock the fun of the night!

Quite early into the party, the event ran out of glasses and there's no way to drink Johnnie Walker except like this.

Juliana the-walking-costume-shop having her thrill of getting me drunk. However, she was the one who got super drunk even before the night was over! I wonder if she woke up smelling like the toilet the next day. Also saw a guy trapped chest-deep in a drain near the venue and had such a good laugh before helping him out of his pedicament. The kind dude helped his friend retreive his glasses that was dropped into the drain but ended up being stuck himself. It was such a hilarious scene.

After a few drinks, Vincent turned into Huang Fei-Hung (黄飞鸿)! ROFL!

Wahahahahaha... Johnnie Walker got a new promoter that doubles as the face that will scare any drunk into becoming sober!

DJ Cassidy in action! His musical choices and set was infectious!

Such a high at Jet Black 2012!

Have you been Johnnie Walkered?

The event's bartenders worked doubly hard to fulfill every drink order from the huge crowd but they never once lost their cool. Awesome!

Big thanks to the guys who served our table for the night and the ever-friendly crew who made the party a great experience!

A big thank you to Johnnie Walker for the invite and picking me to be the winner of the blogging challenge. Congratulations to another wildly successful Jet Black party that will have people walking and talking for a long time. Cheers to that!

Day 111 : Scoot is Cost 0

I went on a vacation today. But I didn’t leave Singapore…

With gratitude to the zany folks at Scoot, I had a chance to meet the brains and crew behind the upcoming budget airline in Singapore and had such a good time, it felt like I was on a holiday!

Scoot's blogger meet-n-greet event was held at Singapore Flyer, a venue befitting the nature of Scoot's business.

A new icon along the coastline of Marina Bay, the 42-storey Ferris Wheel is the tallest in the world.

A full turn on the Flyer takes 30 minutes and offers an awesome aerial perspective of Singapore's central district.

Marina Bay coming to life at night.

Conceived in May 2011, Scoot will offer medium to long-haul flights (above 6 hours) at up to 40% savings! And I can vouch for Scoot’s INCREDIBLY CHEAP airfares because just last month, I booked a return ticket to Sydney for just S$297.17 (inclusive of all taxes and 15kg baggage allowance both ways). The fare is so affordable, it’s like costing nothing to fly. My anagram for Scoot is Cost 0.

I was already a satisfied customer before even meeting the Scoot team. Now, I’ll have to see if the service and aircraft comforts will not also be discounted when I depart for Sydney on 17 Oct and back on 23 Oct. But from the meet-up session, I have a feeling the flying experience would be first-class services at budget prices.

Scoot operates a fleet of Boeing 777 (3-4-3 seating configuration) so it's not the smaller planes that are used by budget airlines for closeby destinations.

Scoot currently flies to Gold Coast and Sydney but will be opening up routes to China and other desinations soon.

The maiden flight for Scoot will happen on 4 June 2012. Here's wishing the airline a successful launch. It will definitely become my air carrier of choice for further travel destinations.

Before being introduced to the upcoming plans for Scoot, we had a game of Draw This on paper high above the Singapore skyline.

Photo by Jerome Lim (http://thelongnwindingroad.wordpress.com). I can't draw if my life depended on it. Was trying to illustrate Changi Airport Terminal 2 from which Scoot will fly from.

A dinner of sumptuous local hawker fare at Singapore Flyer's Food Trail after the ride and got to know more blogger friends. Here with Darren Ang (http://method86.wordpress.com), Claire (http://claires-flair.blogspot.com), and Suhaimi.

Met an old church cell group mate, Malcolm, and it turned out that he's working as the Marketing Exec of Singapore Flyer! And he blogs too at http://malxc.livejournal.com.

With the effervescent Marina who's such a livewire! She's part of the cabin crew team serving onboard Scoot and I'm sure any passenger experiencing her service would find her warmth and smile very genuine.

It's time to take-off with Scoot! Here with the yellows are Captain Yap Meng Kum, Deputy Chief Pilot; Haresh Tilani, Special Projects Coordinator; Steven Greenway, Head of Commercial; Campbell Wilson, CEO; Marina, Flight Attendant; Sharon, Marketing; See Ling Ling, Assistant Marcomm Manager, and Priscilla, Flight Attendent.

I hadn’t had so much fun at blogger events in a long time and I think that’s because the Scoot team really make an effort to connect with us and the connection didn’t feel artificial. A lot of the meet-n-greet sessions I’ve been to felt like the staff are just doing a job and the PR personnels don’t want to be there. But Scoot’s session was different.

They truly live up to their claim to be “Not Your Usual Airline Name, Not Your Usual Airline”. Personally, I really like the fun and casual approach that Scoot adopts for it’s image. It has got spunk. When I was booking my ticket for Sydney, the notion of fun began the moment I visited the airline’s website to make a booking. But when it comes to safety and service quality, Scoot’s CEO, Campbell Wilson, reminded that it’s serious business.

I would like to thank Scoot for the invite and for making the event so enjoyable. My special thanks go out to Captain Yap who shared with me so many fascinating stories from his previous piloting experience in the armed forces and with commercial airlines (a passenger was thrown into the air, hit the roof of the aircraft and landed on a passenger seated behind him because he did not heed the buckle seatbelt sign when it was turned on).

For great deals on medium to long-haul flights, fly with Scoot at Flyscoot.com.

Johnnie Walker Jet Black Party is Back!

Black is the new gold when it comes to an ultra-chic clubbing experience with Johnnie Walker. And I’m not exaggerating.

Last year, I had the privilege to be invited to attend the world’s number one Scotch Whiskey’s Jet Black parties in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and felt first-hand, the true meaning of partying in class and style!

The good news is, Johnnie Walker Jet Black party is back again and you could win yourself a pair of invites to this super exclusive, by invite-only event!

To whet your appetite of the awesomeness that is Jet Black, here are videos I took during the party series last year at Red Dot Museum (Singapore) and Palace of the Golden Horses (Kuala Lumpur)…

Johnnie Walker Jet Black Party, Singapore – 12 Mar 2011 

Johnnie Walker Black Circuit Lounge, Kuala Lumpur – 9 Apr 2011

The 2 parties were totally hot with not just great music by the superstar DJs but with gorgeous models, celebrities and famous personalities turning up the glam factor! And the best part was, Johnnie Walker flowed freely the whole night! Now you know why the party’s location is kept secret.

Likewise, the location for this year’s party remains a mystery. Up to this point, even though I’ve accepted the invitation, I have no idea where Jet Black 2012 is going to be held. All I know is the line-up of celebrity-status DJs who would be specially flown in to spin at the party…

A celebrity in his own right, DJ Cassidy is a much sought after DJ who's played at weddings and parties of A-list celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey, Tina Turner, The Black Eyes Peas, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, and even President Obama! There's simply no crowd he cannot move so Singapore is in for a real treat!

It's a wonder Crystal can be a DJ. Because I think any vinyl touched by her would simply melt. She's smoking!! Not just in looks but her stellar DJing skills as proven by this Taiwanese vixen's string of appearances in helming the soundscapes of major fashion shows and events. Can't wait to feel her... music that is!

Born in Tokyo, raised in San Francisco, DJ KAKU's cross-continental music influences has gained him a wide fanbase in the hottest clubs in California and Asia. I bet my legs would find no rest when his set is on!

I’m so psyched about the upcoming party just writing this blog post! Can’t wait for it to happpen. And here’s your chance to join in the fun too! Simply answer the following question as a comment on this post and stand to win a pair of invites to the party :

Who are the 3 DJs who will be spinning at Jet Black 2012 party?

Doesn’t kill any brain cells to answer right? Heh heh. Leave your comment-answer here by 15 Apr 2012 and I’ll pick via lucky draw the winner of the exclusive invites. Result will be announced on this post on 16 Apr so do check back if you’ve won.

Meanwhile, think of the place at home to keep your car keys if you are coming to the Jet Black party and click here to become a fan of Johnnie Walker! 🙂

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Update (16 Apr 2012) : Winner of Johnnie Walker Jet Black Party Invites

Thanks to all who took part in my first-ever blog giveaway! Here’s a short account of the lucky draw to show transparency of the picking process.

Names of all 17 of you who left an answer-comment on this post.

To be unbias, I got my colleague to do the draw. He mixed up all the name slips, tossed them into the air and grabbed one. And the lucky person is...

Congrats to Juliana! You've won a pair of invites to Johnnie Walker's exclusive Jet Black Party this Saturday! See you there!

Once again, my gratitude to all of you who participated. Really wish I could give everyone invites but alas, I only have 1 pair to share. For updates on the Johnnie Walker Jet Black party and happenings, do check back to Celebrate Life Lah! again.

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