a C O M P E N D I U M
Staff Kimberly Huang EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jolly Lee ASST. EDITOR April Ella Liang Dzafirul Haniff Mike Tan WRITERS Jules Ang Michael King Sutanto PHOTOGRAPHERS Jingliang Tan FASHION
DEAR READERS When I was offered the job to jumpstart a publication in ADM, I took it without a moment’s hesitation. As a wide-eyed, impressionable and incredibly naïve freshman, I felt like my experience in the field, albeit minimal (read: high school paper), would give me a certain edge. In the months that followed, I received remarks both encouraging and pessimistic. Things like, “How brave of you!” or “This is an art school; are you up to the task?” really got me thinking about what I set out to do. I will admit it dampened my enthusiasm a tad bit, but I prefer to think that it made my goals much more plausible. Will this newsletter cum annual compendium change the face of ADM? Absolutely not, but it will do what it’s meant to, and that is to keep people not only informed, but also to inject vigor into our sense of community. Sure, it features articles about the latest events and goings-on around campus, features up-and-coming artists and writers alike, as well as a few words from our very own staff, but what I really want it to be is an avenue for artists such as yourselves, rather ourselves, to share, to contribute, to know. Thus, armed with nothing but my dedicated staff of seven, we set out to accomplish this daunting task. After months of hard work, we got it. Indeed, this issue you have in your hands is far from perfect. As much as I know it won’t be immune to every art student’s pair of critical eyes, I encourage you to look at it, read through it, and acknowledge that all of this is, more than anything, a process. We are very open to your feedback, and hope that you will contribute in the coming issues, may it be through sending in a piece of work, or even a brief piece of writing for us to showcase. In the end, I’m afraid, it all boils down to ‘will there be a next?’ And as editor, I can only hope you receive this first issue with warmth.
we sang, we danced, we mooned you.
Written by Mike Tan Photography by Michael Sutanto
The 7th of October of 2009 saw quite a number of ADMers flocking back to the school at night- not just for work or temporary rest, nor for the savory cup noodles, but rather to join in the fun on the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations held by the Student Club on the 3rd floor of the ADM building. We had the honor of the Music District performing for us. It started off with a blast with Jonathan leading the crowd to sing on Muse’s Starlight, Yvonne and Wei Kit shredding the guitars and Teresa on the Korg. After getting us all riled up, Jane and Kiyoko gave us a much more subdued and cafe-like ambiance by performing Corrine Bailey Rae’s Like A Star, a number that was not one bit less amazing and mesmerizing. Later on, Faizal showed off both his funky and sentimental side on two duets, The Show and Way Back Into Love with Kim and Elizabeth respectively. There were also duets based on Chinese songs, like the timeless classic 城 里的月光 and popper favorite 屋顶, performed by Jane/Audrey and Jon/ April. Angels and Devils by Dishwalla, sang by Jon tugged at our heartstrings, while the performance came to a close with all of the MD members literally Dancing in The Moonlight and leading everyone to clap along. All in all, a nice showing by the MD; I thought it really spiced up the whole event! After the MD performance, the event moved outside to the rooftop area. The full moon hid away from the night sky, but we turned on the fireworks (hah!). Besides the mooncakes and lanterns- both in ample amounts this year, thanks to the SC, sparklers were available too, used in every way imaginable (from scaring friends to light-writing). The “doodle-o-lite”, a tall light adorned with news print paper for doodling, provided not only illumination but a fantastic source of entertainment; at the end of the show it was full of scribbled awesome (Zombie Ben. Need. Moar. Brains.) There were also candles in paper cups, lighting up the rooftop ever so softly, some would even say romantically… -which clearly explains what Jon did (to Pow) on the mat laid out on the rooftop. (I’ll leave you dear ADMers to your imagination here. Should be way more vivid than any picture could ever provide.) Tons of fantastic photography action throughout the whole event primarily with the help of Jules and Michael, including committee shots, mates by year, and fun horror poses to cap it off. Though being a small-scaled event, everyone had tons of fun and even casual banter amongst the usual social circles seemed special under the night sky. Wishful thinking would imply more people would attend next year, but there’s always Halloween for extreme craziness, no?
Written by Dzafirul Haniff Photography by Jules Ang
did you get your skeleton?
In this modern day and age, the level of fun or approval of a night can be measured by the albums that pop up on Facebook in the days that follow. That, and the consequent comments and ‘likes’. I suppose if that were true, then ADM’s ‘Get Your Skelet-On’ Halloween event was an undisputed success. This writer, shamelessly showing up in a costume worn the previous year, found himself in the midst of dark angels and light angels; Master Chief of Halo fame; and even the Merlion, which was obviously the result of long and painstaking effort. Having arrived semi-late, the food was unfortunately gone but the speed at which it was devoured plus testimony from those who were there earlier was a testimony that it was awesome. Hungry, I continued to explore the corridors that were lined with chairs seating the costumed and the plain clothed students and at this point, I began to feel as though I’ve been transported to a harmonious, not-so-distant future where humans have either stayed the same, mutated or influenced by the mass media, became complete slut in terms of fashion. I proudly belong the last category. It wasn’t long before the Music District began playing their sets and like the zombies some of us SHOULD have dressed up as, several of us started mindlessly moving into the room that was by day, a lecture theatre and by that particular night, a fog filled stage and dance floor. The decoration weren’t elaborate but was enough to set the mood and the Ghostbuster movie silently projected onto the wall and a brilliant touch. Several bands from the Music District performed their sets clad in costumes and hello kitty guitars. At some point though, the party was split into two with one group dancing their way in the Lecture Theatre and the other chatting away along the corridor. The entire basement level became filled with life. The DJ played a great mix featuring a myriad of genres, giving everyone a piece of their preference and the walls were good sound barriers, leaving the corridors as a place to chat with friends, acquaintances and strangers alike. Now feedback from my fellow hallowed party-goers indicates mixed response towards the event. Some found it a tad boring while others such as myself, were partying the lights came on and were suddenly brought back to the reality that is the lecture theatre. If you ask me, it was a well thought through party plan; minimal in execution, the party provided all the basic requirements of setting the mood, leaving the partygoers as the final bit of decoration to really turn it into a halloween party. Too many of us expect fun to be handed to us at a party; forgetting fun is whatever you make of it and if you ask me, I had fun – Dancing nonstop and camwhoring all night. That’s the only requirement to fun for this sexually questionably stripper.
end of year party. 2009-2010
Photography by Jules Ang
feature Written by Kimberly Huang Photography by Jules Ang PHILIP TAN The President, the Head Honcho. He holds the very future of ADM in his hands – driven and armed with a vision, he is also responsible for keeping our beloved Chair, Prof. Vibeke Sorensen (and the rest of the faculty), up to date with what’s happening in ADM! PRISCILLA HOO The Vice-President, the Second-in-Command. She not only aids the President in his duties, she also acts as the link between the student body and the committee (not that you can’t approach any one of the club members… because you sure can!). A feisty motherly figure to the Club, she makes sure everyone is doing his/her job! TERESA CHIOK The Honorary General Secretary, the Jack of All Trades. Keeping tabs on everything (including but not limited to meeting minutes, expenses, manpower used, logistics) equates to being in-the-know. The girl you find behind the scenes, there’s no event or activity she’s not a part of! POW YING HERN Financial Controller, the Money Maker. Well, okay, so he doesn’t exactly MAKE money, but he sure acts as our money tree (not that the money is limitless, either)! All your funding and budgetary queries are directed to this guy; no cent gets spent without his knowing! Can you say ka-ching? BENJAMIN KHAN The Business Manager, Mr. Charisma. It’s all about PR when you’re the guy in charge of scoring sponsorships, joint projects, and whatnot for the school! Liked the exam welfare goodie bags? Enjoyed the delicious Ben and Jerry’s at the End of Semester Party? He’s the guy who made them all happen! (though not without the aid of others, of course!) SAMUEL RUBY RIANTO The Union Representative, the Middle Man. The link between ADM and the Student Union. He keeps ‘em up to date on the goings on at ADM, though the perks are nothing to complain about! He’s away on an SU-related excursion Down Under as I’m writing this; life’s not too shabby for this guy. ANG QING SHENG The Sports and Recreation Officer, our resident Muscle Man. He’s the guy who assembles the troops – the sports teams, that is – that compete in the Inter-School Games, better known as the ISG. But that doesn’t mean he can’t help out with the rest of the student club activities, like logistics for events, for example – this guy knows all about team spirit! PEI WEN CHIA The Welfare Officer, the Mother Hen. Best known for keeping the café up and running and making sure all us ADMers are well-fed and kept happy, she is also in charge of keeping tabs on the upkeep of the school facilities (like the vending machines, etc.) that make life oh-so-convenient for us, especially for those pesky all-nighters! If you have any gripes or are simply grateful for the café and its scrumptious delights, you know who to approach! NICHOLAS ONG The Social Officer, The Party Animal (or should I say, The Pretty Face?). This man is part and parcel of every social event the Club organizes. He makes sure that the decorations are put up, the food’s laid out, the performance act pumped and best of all, everyone gets an invite! Events wouldn’t run as smoothly as they do without this guy on the helm. KIMBERLY HUANG The Publications Officer, the One Who Is Writing This Article. Yes, it’s me, I’m the one who gets the word out. I make sure that all of you stay up to date on the coverage for all the latest school events – but that’s not all! This compendium also features fabulous fashion spread, music reviews, articles by guest writers and interviews with some of our faculty, only to name a few. Of course, this wouldn’t have been possible without my awesome staff! LOH BI YING (better known as none other than HEKI!) The Webmistress, Student By Day, Coder cum Lurker By Night. She, along with her trusty right-hand woman Shermin, is in charge of ensuring the ADM site and forum (http://www.adm.sg) run without a hitch. She keeps all your posts in check – no off-topic or spam posts ever get past this webmistress! She is currently helping with the redesign of the NTU-affiliated ADM website. Well there you have it, folks – the members of the Student Club SY09-10!
From left to right: Philip Tan, Priscilla Hoo, Teresa Chiok, Pow Hing Hern, Benjamin Khan, Samuel Ruby Rianto, Ang Qing Sheng, Pei Wen Chia, Nicholas Ong, Kimberly Huang, and Heki.
ADM STUDENT CLUB
flamboyant finish Model: Lim Xiang Yun Photography: Quek Jialiang Styling: Tan Jingliang
hwang ouchul Hwang Ouchul is an abstract artist that hails from Korea. A visiting professor of ADM for SY ‘09-’10, he taught foundating drawing and figurative painting classes. His work has been exhibited in various solo and group shows all across Asia. ON LIFE AS AN ARTIST “Every artist has tons of inspiration because their mind is constantly exploring for new ideas and inspirations. They always wanted to do extra-ordinary things. As an artist, I have a lot of wild and cool imaginations and I think it is so wonderful. Life is not all about money. As a human being, we have 2 parts. The first part is what we can see which is our body. We have flesh and bones, and all these will be gone and turned into ashes when we die. The second part is our spirit and our soul. On my opinion, soul plays the most important role in my life .We must do something meaningful in our life instead of working hard for money and being materialistic. We can’t bring all our belongings along when our life come to the end. I use my soul to see all the precious and beautiful things and I paint or make them in sculptures and share with people. My purpose of sharing all these painting is to make a difference in their life. When they see my paintings, they will start to think and see things they never realised in their life.” A MESSAGE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION “Do what you like, have passion and bond with people around you.” Interview transcribed by April Ella Liang, photography by Michael King Sutanto
gestures of virginity in three and a half comments
The spectre that haunts every work of art, every attempt at a work of art, is that of originality; of whether what one is attempting to do has already been attempted, or even worse, accomplished. After all, no one wants to be deemed a mere reproducer. Here, one can hear a trace of an obsession with beginnings, and the fantasy of the original; along with a longing for the aura that surrounds the first, the beginning, and the power it brings with it—the power of credibility, of authority, of being the source. Perhaps this is why correction fluid has become indispensable in our stationary drawers: as if by over-writing a word, a line, a smudge, putting a layer over it, we can cover it up, erase it completely; as if banishing it from sight will equate to banishing its memory, banishing it from memory. The underlying logic is that in order for anything to be important, one has to be the first to do it; more importantly, traces of all others have to be wiped away. In other words, one has to produce; not reproduce. In some way, this is a hangover of the Enlightenment; specifically with regards to the belief in transcendental Truth(s) and origins. It is this hang-up over the power that comes with being the first—the author—that lends itself to the societal obsession with virginity, with virgins; a desire to be a virginal experience, the virginal experience. Along with this fixation of being a primordial experience, comes the notion of absolute knowledge; as if being the first means a mastery of the situation. There is an echo of author that can be heard in authority; as if the writer of the situation can play at being God—all-seeing, and in full control. The trouble with authority is that it is always already illegitimate. For, if something is legitimate, access to it would be open to everyone—governed by the Law. It is only when something is illegitimate that the authority of a person is required to enact it. In other words, authority is the very undoing of the Law. For instance, a death-sentence can only be pardoned by the authority of the sovereign. In doing so (s)he is going against the legal system which sentenced that person to death; the same legal system that upholds her/ his very sovereignty. However, a foregrounding of the illegitimacy of the sovereign would not only shatter the illusion, but also bring about the collapse of the entire system. The very source of that authority though, remains outside of reason, remains unknown; remains a secret. In some way, the question that remains sounds paradoxical: if we posit the importance of protecting the secret, how can it be a secret if everyone already knows what the secret is? Here perhaps, we need to turn to the very notion of secrets themselves. And to do so, let us momentarily draw upon an old tale. When Isis poisoned Ra, she promised him the antidote in exchange for his secret name, which was the source of all his power. And when he whispered it into her heart, she felt herself filled with all the knowledge and wisdom of Ra; all the power that came with his name—Amen-Ra. However, it was not as if no one else knew it; in fact everyone knows that his name is Ra. What this shows is that secrets rarely lie in the content (after all, Amen is merely an affirmation), but in knowing that something is secret, in the gesture of acknowledging that the secret is a secret, that he is indeed Ra.
Perhaps this is the lesson of Andy Warhol. It was not so much the reproduction itself that is the art, but the very gesture of recognizing the objects to be reproduced. There is nothing to an old pair of shoes lying around; it is van Gogh’s realization of the possibilities in those very shoes—the singularity of the situation—that momentarily elevates it to the realm of art. In this sense, one can posit that both Warhol and van Gogh were authors at that moment of recognition: through their respective media, both of them create a singularity by arresting a particular moment in time. And since it is a singular moment, it is in some sense always also an original gesture; one that has never happened before, one that is also potentially non-repeatable. In this manner, one can posit that the artistic gesture is the reification of time itself: the concretization of a moment through a media, as if that moment was real; in other words, the authoring of a moment. The irony though, is that every gesture is always already a reproduced gesture. After all, regardless of media, one is capturing a moment, and more precisely, a moment that has passed. In this sense, all art is a reconstitution of memory. This is not to say though, that every act of memory is art; or that every attempt to capture memory is art. Far from it. Perhaps here, one might consider the status of forgetting. Since forgetting happens to one, it is both strictly speaking exterior to one’s cognition, and also beyond one’s control. Hence, there is absolutely no reason to believe that each act of memory might not bring with it forgetting. By extension, there is no possibility of knowing if each act of remembering recalls the same memory. And it is precisely this impossibility of knowing—this unknowability that haunts all knowledge—that gives each situation the possibility of singularity. Hence, singularity is always already external to the subject; it is the very finitude of subjectivity. This suggests that singularity, originality—or dare one say the artistic gesture—is found not in a completed, accomplished, work, but rather in the potential forgetting in that work. In this sense, art is the foregrounding of the possibility of forgetting. And since it is impossible to foreground what one cannot know, this suggests that art is always already in its praxis, and more than that, it is always already only to come. This is an approach to art that acknowledges that part of art always lies outside the person; that at best can only be glimpsed momentarily. This is art in the precise sense of a craft at its highest level, where it consumes the practitioner, often in ways which are exterior to one’s cognitive ability. In this sense, art remains invisible to one; at best, it expresses itself through one. If one can never be sure of the status of one’s act—whether it is reproduced through memory, or whether it is a new act due to the a forgetting—every act is then both (n)either a first (n)or a reproduction. By extension, each time one performs an act, one is both neither a virgin and always already virginal. This is also a foregrounding of the illegitimacy of authority; one cannot legitimately say whether something is art or not. In other words, any judgement is based on nothing except the praxis of judging itself; where one cannot rely on any metaphysical comfort, or certainly, that one is correct (or wrong). Hence, art lies in its praxis, in each attempt at making something, doing something, practicing one’s craft; at best, all that can be said is that art is a gesture towards the possibility of art. More than that, whether something ever reaches the realm of art—a reproduction that is not just a reproduction—or remains just another reproduction—not that there is any logical difference between the two—always already remains a secret from us, perhaps until it happens. And when it does, its reason might still remain unknown to us, which means that all attempts to reproduce the gesture might only remain a reproduction. In other words, art is nothing more than a gesture. And more than that, since art always already remains potentially exterior to the person, there are no artists; there is only the possibility of the gesture. One that is made in blindness to everything but the possibility of art itself.
Jeremy Fernando is the Jean Baudrillard Fellow at the European Graduate School. He works in the intersections of literature, philosophy, and media; and is the author of Reflections on (T)error, Reading Blindly, and The Suicide Bomber; and her gift of death. Exploring different media has led him to film, music, and installation art; and his work has been exhibited in Vienna, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Singapore. He is the editor of the thematic magazine One Imperative, and is also a Research Fellow at the Centre for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University.
GREETINGS FROM THE CLOUDS I was asked to write on the theme of ‘beginnings’ for this column and I did. Generally given free reign to rant on, I had written about how at the end of every cycle I, and I do believe most of you as well, inevitably reflect back and make resolutions to uphold over whatever cycle that would soon follow. We think of the ‘what ifs’ and coming to a reasonable conclusion, we think, “next time…”. I continued to write about how 2009 had been for me; specifically, the journey through my first semester in ADM and my resolutions that as my personal history has shown, I would unlikely keep. But right now, on route to Mumbai (family holiday), none of it seem to matter as much. At take off, I looked out the window and see the world I live in begin to shrink smaller and smaller until suddenly, we break through the clouds and I felt like shouting, “WE’RE FREE!” The life I left behind is by no means bad but it wasn’t always good either. Suddenly now, all of it is replaced by an endless stream of soft white plains. For the next three hours, I am delightfully disillusioned. I think to myself, “That beautiful white is what I’ll return to”, forgetting the real world that lay beneath the heavenly mask. Strange though that worldly matters weren’t disconnected from my mind in my temporary delusion. That I’d even write this column right now is proof of that. Instead, I dare say I’m thinking more clearly with my head literally up in the clouds. Ironic don’t you think? My point is this – I resolve and am resolute in my resolution, to take on more personal projects and do more in all that I do rather than just coast by the way I have my entire life. All of you are a part of this now because all of you, by reading this, are witnesses to this resolution. I thank any of you to remind me of this from time to time should I never need the reminder. This is the beauty of Arts, Design and Media. We’re a community of shared interest With that I hope 2009 was a good year to reflect back on for all of you, and 2010 would be a greater year to look forward to and let me just end this all off with a great hello to mark the first issue of this publication. Oh and I just have to say this again – Damn the clouds are gloriously breathtaking. Inking in the sky, Dzafirul Haniff
MIKE’S TOP TEN MUSIC PICKS
Passion Pit - Manners (Pop, Dance, Electronic) This might sound like MGMT incarnate (not that that’s ever a bad thing), but Passion Pit has way more going for them than just retro funky vibes. Along with the immaculate production, the lead vocalist has a fabulous falsetto that makes this one of my personal faves this year.
09 has been a fantastic year for our ears. We’ve seen tons of big releases from established bands, lots of breakout debuts from indie acts, and yet 09 sounds ever so fresh. Here are 10 albums that I think deserve a spin or two from you. (albums are not listed by order)
Muse - The Resistance (Rock) The first portion of this album has Muse expanding on their existing sounds yet be more accessible and lovable than in their previous album, Black Holes, but it’s the last 3 songs (Symphony: Exogenesis) in the album that pretty much blow away everything they’ve ever done so far; it is a truly epic narrative set in lush ambiance.
Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (Rock, Pop) These guys seem to defy every set rule of rock music - boring, cliched, heavy, and sad - and still manage to craft something catchier than the newest Lady Gaga album without relying on gimmickry. Instant love.
Florence + The Machine - Lungs (Folk, Pop) Florence Welch might be drunk all the time (she’s claimed to write under the influence), but her voice effortlessly does all the talking. Yet so unlike a diva, she knows how to embrace personality and charm and embed it into the entirety of this album with the hooks and lyrics.
Telefon Tel Aviv - Immolate Yourself (Ambient, Intelligent Dance) Like XX, some will need to take a beating to get into Immolate. But it’s perhaps the best electronic electronic album this year by far, partly because it is effortless (herewithin lies the effort): there’s no form of slickness to it, and the emotional connection is direct, humane, a thousand miles away from Mono - Hymn to the Immortal Wind (Post-rock, the land of electronica. Instrumental) This is a sad, sad album. But it’s tremendous beyond Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion words (and maybe the reason why the songs have (Alt. Pop, Alt. Folk) none?), just notes, guitar reverbs writing out an A straightforward assault on the sensory, one of album that is legendary for all the right reasons- the the most imaginative albums I have ever heard. blanks, filled by imagination, emotion, energy and The heavy beats and the sweet melodies all project beauty. the atmospherics of a fantasy summer party filled with euphoric joy (at least till the record ends). The XX - XX (Alt. Pop) Perhaps one of the most intruiging listens of 09. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It’s Blitz! (Electronic, Some people might (will) not get it at all or even Dance) ever; but slow down, listen to it alone, at night; The YYYs have been great rockers, but they’ve sample it word by word, sentence by sentence, proved to be great dancefloor anthemists now breath by breath; the emotion and sincerity of the that Blitz is out. The softer songs are the ones that vocals then become seemingly alive, and you start to get to me though- the buildup on Skeleton is just feel rather than parse it in totality. amazing. Imogen Heap - Ellipse (Pop, Electronic) The whole world has heard of Hide and Seek by now thanks to The OC; where does Imogen move on to? Apparently a fantasy universe where electronics and strings seem to live, breathe, and illustrate Heap’s vision in such vivid colors.
a project of the ADM STUDENT CLUB SY 09-10