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art jam Nanyang Technological University Cultural Activities Club

Aug - Oct 2009, Issue 18.

MIC A (P) 275/ 01/2 008


7 NTU Press 10 The Crab Flower Club Beyond Army Daze 12 Stellastory20 30 PostSecrets

art jam

art jam Nanyang Technological University Cultural Activities Club

Aug - Oct 2009, Issue 18.

MICA (P) 275/01/20 08


Publication Team Editor-in-Chief Gloria Ong Editorial Assistant Debbie Phua

7 NTU Press 10 The Crab Flower Club Beyond Army Daze 12 Stellastory20 30 PostSecrets

Writers Gloria Ong Lim Vera Joyce chua Audrey Lim Cerelia Lim Danielle Liu Chin Wen E

Photographers Danielle Liu Eric Cheung Graphic Designer Natalie Tuang Xpress Print Pte Ltd Tel: 6880 2881

Editor’s Note Dear Readers, Looking for a good read? Here’s just what you need! Yes, it is the very magazine you are holding right now. It is the start of a new academic year and another issue of ArtJam is out again! Now’s the perfect opportunity for you to take a breather from the hectic rush of a new semester, sit back, relax, and enjoy the articles that we have worked hard to put together for you. Once again, I assure you that it is going to be mind-blowing! We have the new and latest PostSecrets published (both from ArtJam day, as well as some of the ones submitted through our website. (Yes, keep them coming in! In case you have forgotten, the address is An additional column ‘In the Name of Art’ is also featured in this issue. Check out how individuals express themselves through the clothes they wear... you may get some inspiration! Alright, now flip the pages and get yourself started! Warmest regards, Gloria For the previous issue of ArtJam (Feb), Marinana Khong was the writer of the Personality Story ‘On the flip side of the coin’ instead of Joyce Chua.

This is a Publication of Nanyang Technological University Cultural Activities Club To advertise with us or list your events in ART JAM, email us at

contents 2 DrumZout

7 NTU Press



12 7

10 The Crab Flower Club

12 Beyond Army Daze

20 Stellastory




Let them eat cake - plenty of cake!

28 In name of Art


• • • • • •


Art Jam

All Junior Colleges • All Polytechnics • Nayang Academy of Fine Arts • NTU • NIE • SMU SIM • Alliance Francaise AGF Theatre • DBS Arts Centre • Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay *scape Youth Centre • The ARTrium • The Substation • Victoria Concert Hall • Victoria Theatre New Urban Male • Flesh Imp • 77 th Street • Studio Wu • Attitude Dance Studio • Aspire Cafe The Butter Factory • Virtuoso Arts• Home Club • library@esplanade • National Museum The Garden Slug

Download the softcopy of ArtJam at

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Where to find


CAC press

has been acclaimed by Only in its second year running, DrumZout local percussionists, the industry players as an ideal platform for ct. It is also said that not only to compete but gather and intera alongside events like DrumZout harbors immerse potential to be Writer: Chin Wen E the Singapore Drumfest. Cheung Photographer:Eric

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CAC press DrumZout 2009 - Nationwide Percussion Competition came to a finale on 20th June 2009 at VivoCity Amphitheatre with more than 1000 audiences and 150 participants. The 9 finalist-teams who made it through a preliminary round of audition were judged based Skills/Technicality, Showmanship and Creativity during the Final Showdown. With impressive skills and creative choreography, Voodoo Drums and Zheng Hua Secondary School - ZSS Drum Ensemble emerged as the Champions for the Open Category and School Category respectively.

So, what is Percussion? You are not the first to ask this question! Percussion instruments are those that produce a sound when hit using an implement, shaken, rubbed, scraped, or by any other action which sets the object into vibration. The commonly known ones include drums, cymbals and tambourines. Percussion instruments are usually used to play rhythm but they can also be used to play melody and harmony, which is why it is possible for ensembles to be composed entirely of percussion. It is startling to realize that majority of the mass population has the slightest understanding of percussion. Therefore, one of DrumZout’s aims is to promote understanding and appreciation of

In effort to achieve this objective, DrumZout has always been held at public places with free admission. So don’t forget to look out for the venue of DrumZout 2010 to catch some exciting glimpse of the Singapore arts and music scene for free! What’s more interesting is, in this competition, there is no restriction on genre of percussion; this year we saw Brazilian, Western, Chinese, Japanese and even fusion percussion teams challenging one another. I’m expecting more for DrumZout 2010!

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percussion music in Singapore!

CAC press

Why Percussion? There’re hardly any local events that are entirely relevant to percussion, in particular competitions that allow percussionists to benchmark themselves against. (FYI: Drum Challenge Asia is solely for drum-set players and Singapore Band Challenge for rock bands) DrumZout does not only strive to become the national benchmark in the percussion industry, also the platform for local percussion talents to gain their exposure and recognition, a place where percussionists come together as a community, a family…

Be a Percussionist. Be part of DrumZout! If you play percussion, you’re part of this family! Come on and find out more about how to participate in DrumZout 2010. Information can be found on or you can also join our facebook fanpage. To join our mailing list, email to with subject: Mailing List. If you do not play percussion, you can be part of us too! With basic sense of rhythm, sufficient creativity and few friends, you are on your way to challenge the upcoming DrumZout 2010!

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Zout m u r D t a u o y See Within hythm

R - Ignite the


NTU press Compiled By: Gloria Ong

Work In P ro

Write up The theo ry of Tab ula Rasa resource states tha of knowle t o dge is bu our expe ilt up gra ur entire riences a d ually from n d outside w orld. Sing sensory perception apore, to a blank o was bu s of the slate. Ho ilt up fro wever, th constructi m e recent on has d e sc alation o is progress? rupted o f ur psych Or has a e. Is this ll these a set our bo ff e c dies in co ted us de nstant flu Where ca x and imp eply and n we find ermanenc tr ue identity memories e? and purpo linger. se? Only Artist Info rmation Teow Yu e Han is an experi explores g mental a estures an rtist who d interacti on. He receiv ed the pre stigious A Scholarsh rt Elective ip in 200 Programm 4 and co final year e ntinued to project at exh the 2007 at NAFA AEP Exhib ibit his . He has itio coll and most recently w aborated with Do n held nna Ong orked on feature fi Bri lm Invisib le Childre an Gothong Tan’s Director. n as 2nd Assistant

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gress Done by Y ue Han

NTU press

Can or Cannot Make It? A combination of different cultures has allowed Singapore to develop its own unique identity. We are using the three main races and bringing them together under the umbrella of Singapore. Each Singaporean has his or her own cultural roots. What then is the Singaporean’s cultural heritage? No other country is like Singapore, and no other people like the Singaporeans. Thus, no other game will be like ‘CMI’.

e It” k a M t anno

C Can orirChong by Sha

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is truly e that m a g pore ze a d Singa eptuali e c n w o o c ll sa to races, p roject ures ha Write u ee main nt cult esign p r e d r h t e f e e if m h d g t Each a ga n of pore’. are usin a binatio g e This is m in W o ‘S c . f y A ’s ao identit orean. porean mbrell unique Singap e Singa r the u n e h t w d o n is u s n eople t the ether elop it other p ts. Wha em tog o o to dev h t o n r t d l h a n g ur ,a ve brou gapore wn cult I’. and ha like Sin is /her o h is s y a r ke ‘CM t h li n orean ill be r cou e p w a h t g e o in m o S ga ge? N o other l herita Thus, n . s cultura n a e or Singap like the


by Shari C

tic Poster

NTU press


Write up Relying to

o much o n the com puter? to a set o f rigid de sign conv entions? This dem onstrates how curr for the ent desig incorpora ners hun ti o n of pers ger diversion onal elem from wh e n ts a t and they are can be c already p oncisely roficient satisfied in, techniqu by emplo es and n ying Surr ew meth e a list odologie creative in s as a so spiration u rc in e c of re ating orig interactio inal layo ns. It off u e ts rs a a fresh p nd designers erspectiv outside th e; it push e ir es p re dictable th and offers ought pa new insig tterns hts.

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NTU press cresc. or not




life begins


mothers’s voice

piano lightly

father’s voice







dim. G


daoist atheist

emo emo

friend’s voice friend’s voice friend’s voice

legato romantically

identity malaysian indonesian australian singaporean

f ff fff

favorite shoes


lover’s voice


just play





f f ff fff fff fff fff fff

exams exams

father’s voice

ted gradually becoming agita

play for the people around you L

favorite song

care for someone softly favorite food

your voice your voice your voice your heart



insert daggers

you choose (take a breath)





thly) silence (pensive or dea

breathe now

favorite color


piano lightly


fade off at will


love X

em At The End-of-Sow Sh M VIS.COM Chords by: a Research Project g on Ch Shari

friend’s voice

mute in mute out




king deadline

breathe now




shrin you vs. the incredible


buddhist muslim christian


play like no one understands you


mothers’s voice


tension building up



friend’s voice friend’s voice friend’s voice

learn how to open the fridge yourself

eat mud and get away with it

baby steps


23 April 2009 ADM level 2

that bind us together

by Shari Chong

Graphic Design IV DIY Project

Write up Part of a research project that explores the parallels between the layers in a musical composition and layers in society.

! E R O C S

Artist Information Shari Chong Ying Yi was educated in Malaysia until A-levels, before coming to Singapore for her university education. She is received the MOE Teaching Award and is currently pursuing a BFA (Hons) with a major in Visual Communication in the School of School of Art, Design & Media in NTU. Shari is passionate about research and discovering creative and innovative ways of communicating a message and is fascinated by cultural, sociological and psychological aspects of Art, Design, Film, Writing and other methods of communication. Things like perceptions, stereotypes, archetypes, pop culture, art history, etc are also of interest to her.

sed society

in this compo you are instrumental

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Preview This August, be amazed by the power of our voices by appreciating opera sung by our homegrown choir! The Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO) will be performing two concerts at the Esplanade Recital Studio from 6- 8 August 2009. Presenting their inaugural solo concert, the SLO Youth Choir will regale audiences with excerpts from opera choruses, musical theatre to pop songs. The concert will feature songs such as Think of Me from Phantom of the Opera and Barcarolle (duet) from Tales of Hoffman. Featuring a range of ensemble and duets, the audience can expect to see different soloists honing their performance skills. Not to be outdone, the SLO Children’s Choir will be staging a concert : Thank You for the Music, introducing a delightful mix of contempory and folk songs such as Dancing Queen (The Best of ABBA) and Rasa Sayang. Well-known local soprano Cherylene Liew will be debuting as the conductor with three pieces, Waltzing Matilda, Evening Song and I am the River. Chorus Mistress Khor Ai Ming will conduct the SLO Youth Choir with Lim Yan on the piano. Writer: Cerelia Lim Photos: Courtesy

Tickets are sold at Sistic at $18 each and OCBC card members get 10% discount.

Khor Ai Ming One of the most active contemporary music vocalists in Singapore, Khor Ai Ming trained the choir for the official opening ceremony of the 117th International Olympic Committee Session at esplanade in 2005.

Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO) Youth Choir The SLO Youth Choir (SLOYC) formed in May 2008 by the Singapore Lyric Opera gives youths a platform to showcase their musical talents on stage. SLO has been awarded Major Grant status by the National Arts Council.

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Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO) Children’s Choir The Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO) Children’s Choir was formed in May 200, providing education and outreach to children from 8 to 16 years an opportunity to be musically trained in both voice and staging skills.


Crab FlowerClub The

Writer: Joyce Chua Pictures: Courtesy

The Crab Flower Club is not just any ordinary English Lyrical play that you would catch in the theatres. Catching the attention of an audience of 1500 during this year’s Singapore Art Festival, June 2009, The Crab Flower Club left audiences in awe of its authentic script and poetry. While capturing the minds of audiences with its music, costumes and powerful settings, the play brings a new standard and identity to the Singaporean Act. Directed by Goh Boon Teck, The Crab Flower Club is set on Chinese poets in the Qing Dynasty. Five daughters come together to prepare a delicate dish for their father’s 60th birthday. The play brings you through an adventure of the mouth-watering dishes being prepared to a ride of emotions that the sisters experience as siblings as they display their intelligence, talent and desire on the culinary table while conjuring recipes.

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This English Lyrical play is based on poems in Cao Xue Qin’s masterpiece, Dream of the Red Chamber. It is a calligraphic foray into the in depth world of female protagonists that many have not seen before. Franz Liszt’z Symphonic Poem - Les Preludes and sound design by Darren Ng punctuate all the subtle or unspoken emotions of the play, assisting audiences to achieve another level of satisfaction. The play, as described by Catherine Yeo from the Toy Factory, is a celebration of the rich and complex culture of these protagonists, guiding audiences into a world accentuated with fine appreciation of metaphors and ironies. It embraces universal perspective on our ever-changing life and love for arts and cultures.

Back again in August, The Crab Flower Club will be shown again for a limited season with well-known and talented casts Emma Wong, Nell Ng, Karen Tan and Yeo Yann Yann. In addition, we welcome a promising new comer Ang Ru-Chen who will be taking up the role as Lady Wu Yu while Nell Ng re-instates her role as Lady Wu Chang. The Crab Flower Club is not a play to miss! To further enthice you, here is an interview with Nelly Ng that will further lead you towards an experience that will leave a mark of remembrance in your life.


ARTJAM: What was the role that you played in The Crab Flower Club? I am Lady Wu Chang, The eldest, most talented and beautiful sister. She is honest, faithful and resilient. She loves her father and sisters very much. ARTJAM: What were the moments in the play that impacted you the most? In a scene between Lady Wu Chang and her sister Wu Yu, Lady Wu Chang had to confront her own demons, to disengage all her self defense mechanism, pride and confess to her sister, Wu Yu, about domestic violence in her own household. And yet, Lady Wu Chang comes out with an even stronger will power to live on. ARTJAM: What were the difficulties that you faced taking up that role? As my previous works were mostly comedy, I couldn’t grasp the emotions and dramatic elements of my understanding and interpretation of Lady Wu Chang initially.  

ARTJAM: Share with us a little bit more about what its like working with director Goh Boon Teck. Boon Teck is a kind, gentle and a very accepting director. He allowed us to discuss, suggest and create, and then he artistically uses us to paint his white canvas into a masterpiece. Working with a director who has a vision is very comforting and reassuring.   ARTJAM: How is your experience in The Crab Flower Club different from other plays? It was different because I’ve never met any of my co-stars or creative team prior to the crab flower felt like I was in the deepest end of the ocean. However, they (i.e. everyone in the company) welcomed and treated me with love and kindness, so that made my experience in the crab flower club very magical and memorable. I feel very thankful and blessed. ARTJAM: Name some parts of the play that audiences should anticipate and keep a look out for. In my opinion, there isn’t just one part or parts that our audience should especially look out for. Come and let your senses and emotions be taken away, by the beauty of the play, the talented actresses (wink wink) join us on our journey and I am pretty sure that the truth in each of the characters will resonate within our audience.  See you at the play!

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ARTJAM: Tell us a little bit more about what the play is for you. Nelly: This play is about women. The strengths. The weaknesses. The camaraderie. The love. The hate. The joy. The pain. It addresses some delicate issues that some of us may find difficult to discuss even with our own siblings. At the end of the day, this play is also about love and acceptance. It shows that if we spend more time loving instead of judging each other, all pain and problems will be eased.

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Writer: Vera Lim Pictures: Courtesy

d yon e B rmy A ze Da FULL TANK by Laremy Lee

“In the midst of an island-wide terrorist manhunt that’s whipped both ministries and the media into a frenzy, jaded Sergeant Leroy and his motley crew hijack a tank from an Armour exercise and go AWOL, embarking on a joyride through Singapore’s streets! Are they criminals or heroes? Or just plain crazy? Join them on a hilariously bizarre and uniquely Singaporean road-trip, where they encounter madcap ministers, truth-seeking journalists, China hostesses, hot mamasans and gila gurkhas!”

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BOTAK BOYS by Julian Wong “BMT is every Singaporean male’s nightmare. Or is it? Experience the heartache and hilarity, the bravery and the rude shocks as Justin and his blur bunkmates sing and dance their way through Pulau Tekong! Will Justin ever make friends? Will they all survive the tekan? And will Justin’s little secret be exposed? Relive the sweat, tears and laughter of your BMT days with this heart-warming musical comedy about becoming a man, SAF-style!” With a cast of Brendon Fernandez, Rodney Oliveiro, Nelson Chia, Koey Foo, Dwayne Lau, Hang Qian Chou, Terence Tay and NTU’s very own Ghazali Muzakir, led by Director Jonathan Lim and playwrights Laremy Lee and Julian Wong, “Own Time Own Target” is one production that is sure to keep you laughing in your seats. ARTJAM has the privilege to speak with the cast, the director and the playwrights of the production and to ask them some of our questions.

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ARTJAM: The Press Release said that it has been two decades since Michael Chiang’s “Army Daze”. Indeed it has. How is “OTOT” different from “Army Daze”? And Jonathan, as the director, what did you see in this performance that you wanted conveyed to the audience? Jonathan: Well the army itself is so vastly different today from what it was - and we need new writers to write about it. Julian and Laremy have done just that, capturing what is new about the SAF as well as what is evergreen.Also, it is darker in some of its themes, tackling grittier social issues and personal traumas. At the same time, OTOT’s comedy is wackier and

more madcap. And of course, there’s a musical - song and dance and special effects - its thrilling! I wanted to show the tremendous sense of camaraderie that is unique to the army - the friendship, the loyalty, the trust, the sharing - its a wonderful feeling that army guys know, and I wanted to remind them of it and let those who haven’t tasted the army get a sense of it too. Also the glorious celebration of Singlish - its maverick and playful nature, along with its complexity and subtleties. There are almost no public arenas left where Singlish can thrive, and theatre is one of them. I want the audience to revel in the sheer thrill of Singlish. Most importantly, the sense that the army plays a major part in our lives - both personally, as Singaporeans who go through NS (or who support their menfolk through it), but also collectively as part of our national identity. We are individually moulded in so many ways by our army experiences, and NS plays a huge part in forming our Singaporean-ness. We should embrace that and appreciate what it teaches us. Dwayne: Man... So Different!!! Army Daze was a Mcdonaldization of the army 101. OTOT is the real, raw gritty, in-your-face gunk you’d get in the army Tekong never felt closer! Brendon: You said it yourself. Army Daze is 20 years old. ‘OTOT’ is 2 new plays about being in the army, for our generation. Julian: The army has changed wildly since army daze, so ‘OTOT’ gives the audience a more updated National Service experience. ‘Botak Boys’, though also set in BMT, is a musical and hence a different experience altogether. For me, it’s more about the characters – real people, not stereotypes – and not about the training routines, etc. Nelson: OTOT deals with more current issues and is concerned about NS as compared to ‘Army Daze’, and also it has a focus on SAF regulars too.

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ARTJAM: Back by popular demand! Wow! ArtJam congratulates you. How does it feel to make such a comeback? Nelson: Feels like you have the ability to re-live your life all over again, and make it better this time! Koey: I wasn’t in the original cast, but I definitely feel the pressure. It feels like what I’d call the “understudy stress”. Jonathan: Very proud of the whole team last year, for playing their part in making these fresh new works into such solid theatrical experiences. And very excited to be able to share the joy and laughter with even more people! Laremy: It feels great to be staged again, and I’m glad to have an opportunity to work with such talented thespians in the creative team, cast and crew. Qian Chou: Glad that it was well-received the first time out & very excited by the opportunity to relive the journey again. Hope it’ll be even better & audiences will like it even more. I guess cos it’s a shared experience which immediately bonds guys together as everyone will be speaking a common language & empathise with one another’s plights.

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ARTJAM: Even though the times have changed, the topic on NS never fails to fall far from the conversation when guys gather together. Why do boys always talk so happily about NS? Laremy: National Service is a shared experience for the majority of Singaporean men. Full-time National Servicemen (NSF) talk happily about NS because they have no choice; it is their life, so there are only these experiences to talk about. Operationally-Ready NSmen talk about NS because it provides a sense of nostalgia for them and allows them to bond over this shared experience. Julian: I think it keeps them together because it is one of the few unique yet common experiences they would have shared. Also, there’s the ego boost when they talk macho in front of the girls! Jonathan: Well, I think it’s because so many of their friendships are forged there, and because it is a unique chapter in their lives - it makes them feel special, and anyone sharing that chapter is at once no longer a stranger!

Brendon: Which Ministers’ sons have you been talking to? Terence: Hmm...I guess just like how girls always talk so happily about shoes. The same goes for guys, except this time we’re talking about boots! But I guess it’s the “hell” that we all went through for two over years, an experience that is unique but yet bonds everyone together, a common topic that you can always find something to talk about or chip in.

ARTJAM: Erm... we do not have the privilege to speak with any Ministers’ sons but we would like to speak with the playwrights and find out more about the play and the musical. Laremy, ‘Full Tank’ sounds like great fun. Why did you choose to write a play about army boys going AWOL? Laremy: The original concept for ‘Full Tank’ sprung out from following the story of Corporal Dave Teo Ming, the soldier who absconded from his camp with a SAR21. Many people, from netizens to Members

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d y Beyon m Ar ze Da

ARTJAM: How about you, Julian? Why did you choose to write musical and not a play? And furthermore, about the army? Julian: I’m always the first to admit I’m not a writer. I guess being a musician, it made more sense for me to write a musical. The army was important for me - I had just come back from living abroad so NS was a

painful but eye-opening and soul-searching experience at that point in my life. I wanted to celebrate that. Besides, I’ve always felt that NS, in all its uniqueness and ridiculousness, should be given the musical treatment!

ARTJAM: Why is BMT so significant for you that you write a musical about that time? Care to share some personal experiences that may have been reflected in the musical? Julian: When I was about to ORD two years ago, I wanted to preserve the memory of my NS experience and some of the great people I met. I changed some facts here and there so it wouldn’t be totally autobiographical, and I decided to set the story in Pulau Tekong because that was where it all began and where I learnt the most. Perhaps coming back from living abroad made every small change seem huge to me. However, in spite of the culture shock, BMT made me see what connects us, instead of what divides us. One of my fondest memories of NS is that of my buddy playing the guitar and singing to me when he knew I was upset. That moment made its way into the musical.

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of Parliament, were asking questions like: “Why was security so lax?”, “How could this have happened?”, and “What action will be taken to prevent this from happening again?” I felt that the questions that should have been asked instead were: “Is Dave okay?”, “Could the military environment have exacerbated his condition?” and “Is there anyone else like him who is at risk of engaging in this behaviour, and if yes, how can we help them?” I hope Full Tank! will provide the space within which we can discuss these issues so that we can carry on with our transformation into a more caring society.

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d yon e B rmy A ze Da

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ARTJAM: In what way has writing about NS allowed you to reflect on your personal army days? And what has NS imprint on you that you perhaps may have used in your pieces? Laremy: My Full-time National Service (NSF) was one of the best experiences of my life. I learnt a lot about administration, management, organisation, fitness, etc. while in service, and met some very interesting characters along the way. Nevertheless, I also had my fair share of frustrations such as having to stay back on weekends for duties and ‘burning’ public holidays for extra duties, so there were unhappy moments too. I went through the entire spectrum of NSF ranks I was a Recruit, Private, Corporal, Third Sergeant and Officer Cadet before finally commissioning as a Second Lieutenant. That, coupled with the fact that my various postings to different units required me to constantly utilise

different skill sets resulted in a very challenging two and a half years for me. But it also meant that I saw many things that most people would never get a chance to see. This alternative perspective has a part to play in why I have chosen to write about NS in Singapore: while I fully understand the importance of NS to Singapore, I have also managed to get a glimpse of the tiresome yet comical aspect of military bureaucracy from various angles, along with the segments of military life that seem really absurd in both the original and the philosophical senses of the word. I feel it necessary to juxtapose these tensions dramatically in order to highlight little known facets of the Singapore military to society at large, as part of my outlook on education and how it should also seek to provide different points of view for and from as many people as possible.

The style and tone of the absurd exchanges in ‘Full Tank’ have been culled from my own experiences with the bureaucracy and social rituals of the military. At the same time, the comedy, camaraderie and warmth of the characters is something I have also experienced during my National Service. Julian: I found myself looking back at my NS days with a lot of amusement and appreciation. It’s funny that on hindsight a lot of things don’t seem as bad as I thought they were at the time. I was also allowed to re-explore some issues that continued to bug me. The fact that misery needs company and that we all need to appreciate our differences and be there for one another. It makes the adjustment process so much easier. I also learnt in NS that you can’t rush yourself to find your way but you can certainly try one step at a time. You lose a lot of things but you also gain quite a bit.

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ARTJAM: Ghazali, you have made NTU proud! How do you feel performing in this production? Ghazali: Thank you. I was excited to reprise my roles and to work again in this wacky production and a wackier cast. It was a really fun experience the last time round, and already this production has been nothing but fun.

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ARTJAM: Please tell us a little more about your character. Ghazali: I’ll be playing a happy-go-lucky mat named Ali in ‘Full Tank’ who realizes that the bonds you forge in the army can see you through many difficult situations and I’ll also be playing another relakchill-one-corner-play-guitar mat named Yusof in ‘Botak Boys’ who realizes that in the army, differences does not matter but the bonds that you make despite those differences are the ones that does.

ARTJAM: Speaking of bonds, I understand that the army allows men to form a bond that many women may not fully understand. As a girl, I have to ask this question for my fellow ladies. Do you think that ‘OTOT’ is only

catered to a gendered audience (i.e. Men)? Or do you think watching ‘OTOT’ will give the ladies a bit more understanding towards NS and why boys have a lovehate relationship towards it? Dwayne: All ladies and girls shouldn’t miss this!! Least you’ll be able to test and see if all your boyfriend’s been braggin’ about has been real or not! Ha ha.. It’s really fun for everyone.. you don’t have to be a guy with raging testoterones to appreciate the show. It’s written such that everyone will be able to relate to it in one way or another. Jonathan: Because ladies rarely get to really taste what army is like, this is a chance for them to get a behind-the-scenes peek at what goes on, and how it affects the guys - both positively and negatively. Previous female audiences have relished this sneak peek into camp life, and found OTOT easy to appreciate yet full of eye-openers! Also, as much as OTOT is about the army, its also about Singapore and being Singaporean. I see the army as a microcosm of Singapore - and in that sense, there is nothing alienating about it at all. And ultimately, its comedy. Comedy is as universal as it gets - and OTOT’s comedy happily leaps across cultural, gender or any other boundaries!

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d y Beyon m r A ze Da ARTJAM: Finally. Does participating in this production make you feel particularly patriotic? Why? Nelson: Being in local theatre is already the ultimate patriotic act. Terence: Hmmm... It’s not NDP and there’s no pledge taking at the beginning of every rehearsal so the feeling of patriotism is not really there. Brendon: I wouldn’t say “patriotic”. I would say that it’s made me more conscious of a certain aspect of my identity as a Singaporean man. Ghazali: It certainly made me realize that as much as I hate having to serve National Service, it is the lessons learnt from the experience and the people that I have met that has changed me as a person. And I am glad for that.

ARTJAM: Thank you gentlemen for taking your time to answer our questions. We look forward to a great performance and all the best to you.

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Qian Chou: I think it’ll give them a sneak peek into what the boys are really talking about when they commiserate with one another about NS. At least it gives them a context into some of the jokes & terms the boys always go on about. For the boys, most hate NS for restricting their freedom & eating up 2 precious years of their youth, but on the other hand, it gives them a whole new life experience that they wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else & it doesn’t harm to make new friends (and enemies) along the way. Ghazali: Although it is set in the Army but the themes are universal. OTOT dares to portray this experience in its most authenticity (i.e. Singlish, “Army expletives” and all). For those who have not experience NS, it is a true glimpse of what NS is really like and hopefully they will be surprised. For those who have gone through the experience, they will definitely be familiar to some of the archetypal characters we portray. Brendon: Every NS man is a son to his mother. Some NS men have girlfriends. Some have sisters, or aunts, or cousins, or nieces. Or friends who happen to be female. Any woman who is any of these things will be able to find something familiar in ‘OTOT’. Nelson: The ladies get to “see” what their guy friends have always been talking about. Terence: Yup, you can see ‘OTOT’ as a mini documentary where the women can come watch to know more about the army and the terms that the guys are always talking about. Koey: I think so. You see a bit of army training (physical and “emotional-treatment”) as well as bonding between bunk mates. It’s not hard to empathize. Furthermore, I honestly don’t think it’s some big mystery that girls will never understand. However, women will definitely have an insight to how men behave as a group, and the sort of hierarchial system that gets established, and how men are usually forced to behave “strong” and “aggressive” when in a pack.

Personality Writer: Gloria Ong Pictures: Danie lle Liu, Courtes y

y r o t s stella art jam 20

tor, i, Silas, Vic r u b a S l, a s arp alents of it e band (N t c e ie h p t h 6 it a w is ar Stellastory um along has gone f lb d a n n a ) io t n e a s il mp d Jan ny other red in a co Aaron, an a u t m a e d f n e a r e n io They w ad Obsess B , s d members. r going to a e v r a le u y o e B h t d ear, gran e! nd of the y with West e e h to grab on t e t r A u . s o e g b a o r s a EP, bands a ye and band five-track e is n t r w e o p y x r e e g ical ir v ts, includin lethal mus launch the n e h v it e w t n d a e c nifi is arm s t many sig a d Stellastory e suave look m r ir o e f h r t e p h s it a r. W dh story have er this yea appeal, an a li r ll a e t e S U in T s er y in N ided , the memb s t n ArtJam Da le a m has dec t a l J t a r ic A s u . s m n g fa em lves many and amazin e s m e h o know th t t t n e e g t t o o t g s r be undeniably tures out! h the mem it ic p w ir w e ie h t v r ck te sure to che to do an in e b d n a n ead o better. So r

Personality ARTJAM: How was your band formed? Vic: I knew someone who needed an extra guitarist in his band, so they called me to fill up the vacancy. At the same time, the drummer of that band knew Narpal and got him in as well. Eventually, the band spitted, Narpal and I decided to carry on from there and formed a new band. Narpal: Initially, we wanted to do gigs and shows with this magician troop called Virtuoso. But when we found out that their very photogenic cards illusionist Elijah plays the piano, we asked him to join immediately. We were an acoustic trio for a few months before upgrading into a full rock band with temporary bassists and drummers, before finalising as a 6 piece band with Saburi, Jansen and Silas in 2008. Elijah: I’m a loser.

ARTJAM: How did the name Stellastory come about? Vic: Narpal originally wanted to call the band Natalie’s Tranquil, so I thought if he wanted to have a girl’s name in it, might as well have cooler abbreviations like SS for Stellastory. The name ‘Stella’ is derived from Elijah’s Maris Stella School.

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Elijah: Victor is spouting nonsense. It is actually named after Victor’s crush way back in secondary school. Her name is Stella. And that explains everything.

Personality ARTJAM: Where do you get inspiration for your music? Silas: I have a muse inside my piano I think. Saburi: Metal and progressive rock. My idols are Taiji Sawada (X Japan) and Geddy Lee (Rush). Vic: X Japan’s first 2 albums with bassist Taiji Sawada has enough Rock n Roll inspiration to make you want to quit school and form a rock band almost immediately! Jap rock is probably my biggest influence ever. I was impressed by American bands such as Mr. Big, Guns n Roses and Metallica at 13, but I was totally inspired when I watched Hide sitting cross-legged playing the Endless Rain solo in the X Japan music video online when I was 14. Narpal: I write when I feel like it. There is an expression or feeling I cannot explain in words but somehow, I am able to express myself through the melodies or the notes using my guitar. Then I would call Vic and Silas and somehow everything falls into place from there. But my biggest inspirations of all time have to include Steve Perry, Bruce Dickenson, Sebastian Bach and Jon Bon Jovi. These guys make me want to chase my dream. Elijah: From the music I listen to! Michael Jackson is my king!

ARTJAM: Do the lyrics of the music usually have a story behind it? Narpal: Yes, definitely. A large portion of the songs that we actually write are inspired by true events. I mean I feel that if a song is written with no purpose then it defeats the initial purpose of writing it. It has gotta make sense to you first expecting someone else to confide in it.

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Elijah: Yes of course! Most of the songs written initially were inspired by Narpal’s love life. Whenever he gets overly emotional he’ll start writing songs like Angels & Phantoms or Tonight. It is good that we have broken free from the cycle and are able to write about stuff other than love. Say… Psycho Dime. Vic: Yes, I have to agree with Elijah. It is pretty easy to see where the inspiration for our sappy love songs comes from and what the story behind it is.

ARTJAM: So who gets the most girls? Silas: Definitely the handsome Aaron Jansen. Vic: No, I think the Narpal does. He gets guys too at times. (Laughs) Saburi: EElijah! Girls go crazy when they find out he is studying medicine in NUS. Furthermore, just look at his arms, those are guns of destruction! Narpal: Okay somehow girls don’t really dig our music. But whaever, give us some time and we will teach them how! Elijah: What kind of question is this? Is it even related to the band? We are a band that focuses on our music. We play because we love music and not because we love girls. How absurd! Shame on the band members who answered this question! ARTJAM: (Oh Right…)

ARTJM: Do you guys ever get into arguments? Silas: Of course!

Vic: Yes, in fact, we were having one just now about the previous question.

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Saburi: Yes we do, I guess it is common to have arguments.

Personality ARTJAM: What was your most memorable performance and why? Silas: I have to say our gig at fort canning. I guess it was really fun, and the atmosphere was awesome. Vic: Baybeats 2009 auditions Round 2 at the Esplanade, simply because it was our dream come true to have been able to perform on the Esplanade stage. Saburi: My first performance with the band at Tampines Junior College (TPJC). There was great hospitality and a great audience. Narpal: For me it has got to be our performance at TPJC. The feeling of six hundred people singing louder than you is truly a magical feeling. Elijah: The one at the Esplanade and the other one at TPJC.

ARTJAM: How about the performance you guys did for ArtJam day in NTU? Saburi: It was pretty good, as it was the only event where we ever got to perform Billie Jean. I recalled that there was this guy who was so into it that he started mimicking Michael Jackson’s legendary dance moves. Narpal: Yes I was ecstatic they agreed to play one of Michael Jackson songs!

ARTJAM:Where do you guys see yourself ten years from now? Silas: Bands nowadays seldom last a decade, so I cannot say for sure. However our aim has always been to write music that will last a lifetime. Vic: I would like to think that we’d be in Los Angeles working with legendary producer Kevin Shirley in 10 years’ time. Saburi: I would love to see us being so influential that we are able to dictate the trends of musical genre in Singapore or even in the region.

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Narpal: This sounds like a question my mom has been asking everyday since I started performing! Elijah: Retired. I see us chilling at random beaches all over the world, eating ice-cream everyday and playing golf because we have too much time to spare. We are planning our comeback tour that take place in 2050. We’ll be the coolest ah-peks (slang for uncles) in town.


ides music, w

Silas: Food!

hat else are yo

u passionate ab


Vic: Definitely video games! I spent the 2 w II. Studies are eeks leading up secondary prio to my PSLE pl rity when you Alert II in 2001 aying Red Ale ar e among the fir ! rt st people in A sia to own Red Saburi: Movie s! I simply love great movies an filmmakers ha d I love admir ve. Right now ing the incred , I am into Am cannot wait to ible talents th erican gangster return home to at s’ m ovies. Scarface complete The of coolness. is brilliant! I Godfather’s tr ilogy! Al Pacino is the epitome Narpal: I love .. Okay wait I ABSOLUTEL think it is bori Y love clubbi ng, loud or no ng. I have no isy. Come on! intimate and co idea why peop Let’s just say mplex relations le th at clubbing an hip. I shall no d I share a ve t go deeper, it ry could take thre Elijah: Studyi e days. ng and Sleeping and imperson ating Michael Jackson.

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Heads up Writer: Audrey Lim Pictures: Courtesy

e! k a c f o ty n le p e k a c t a e m e th t Le

akes. ith a love for baking cupc w nt de stu d ol ar ye 20 a Joanne is as back in Singapore w e sh n, io at uc ed as se er Currently pursuing an ov ong passion for baking, str a ith W ly. Ju d an ne during the months of Ju in my late teens, I only le hi “W , ng yi sa bs jo en te Joanne let me in on her be surrounded by cakes to ed ed ne st ju I e us ca worked in cake shops, be speak to ArtJam about to t ou e tim ok to e Sh ” all the time, psycho huh! signing cupcakes. her love for baking and de ARTJAM: Hello Joanne! When did you start baking cupcakes? Joanne: I started baking cookies when I was 8. I don’t exactly recall when it evolved into cupcakes, but I do believe it was the very same time I realized that those 8 inch cakes I was baking were simply too large for me to consume individually. Hence the transition into minicakes and hence, cupcakes! ARTJAM: Do you treat baking cupcakes are purely business or do you take it a hobby instead? Joanne: Well actually, it is both. I used to have it as a business but due to my pursuit of an overseas education as well as work commitments now, I only cater to orders from close family and friends or old customers who simply can’t get enough!

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ARTJAM: Why the interest in baking cupcakes instead of cakes? Joanne: Besides the fact that it ensures that I do not waste a lot of cake, as I would with a large cake, it also is a good way to calorie cut! I have never been the typical Singaporean girl who can consume large quantities of food without putting on a gram. Therefore there is the perpetual need to take mini-versions of everything, think mini ice creams too! ARTJAM: Where do you gain inspiration for the cupcake designs? Joanne: I started baking cupcakes even before the craze started. My designs were rarely ever inspired by anyone or anything. The cupcake creations and designs were left to the maximum amount of creativity my mind could acquire at that point in time, as well as the steadiness of my hands to create what I imagined in my mind into actual designs.

Heads up

ARTJAM: Do you customize cupcake designs according to what your customers want or do you have a catalogue of designs for them to choose from? Joanne: I tend to customize. Alternatively, when I am given free reign over the designs for the order, I base it on the type of customer I think I’m serving. For example, I started my business when I was in JC, hence many of my customers were my school mates, and they were usually girls. You have to know girls and their incessant need to take photos with cute objects or poses. As such, I would design my cupcakes to ooze girly-appeal. Pink, purple, yellow, glitter, pearls, candies, and you’ve got a horde of satisfied customers. ARTJAM: Due to the small size of cupcakes, trying to come up with a design must be tough, how do you overcome design challenges like that? Joanne: At 60mm, (I say 60 mm instead of 6cm so it sounds larger in some way! Laughs.) You are absolutely right that decorating on such a small ‘canvas’ is far more tiring than you can imagine.

I do enjoy when my customers leave the designing up to me, at most giving me just a list of their preferred colors. Being an experienced baker, I feel that I am capable of coming up with good designs because I am fully aware of my space limitations and what designs make my cupcakes stand out from the standard Magnolia bakery or Sprinkles bakery shebang. While Joanne has headed back for her overseas education, she misses her KitchenAid (mixer) dearly. And despite her lack of time to bake, the passion for baking remains strong within her. The interview ended with Joanne leaving me two very appropriate life quotes: “Que Sera Sera” and “Let Them Eat Cake”.

Indeed I say, let them eat cake – plenty of cake.

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To date, the most difficult design was for one of my customers who wanted cupcakes as a present for her boyfriend. Many girls tend to order cupcakes for their anniversary, and in this particular instance, my customer wanted the words “HAPPY ANNIVERSARY BABY” to be spelt out on the cupcakes. Impossible to fit those 3 words and decorations onto a 60mm cupcake, I had to make suggestions to separate those words onto individual cupcakes. Easier, but difficult nonetheless. I had to pipe out the word “Anniversary”, take a tweezer and line each alphabet with hundreds-and-thousands sprinkles to ensure the word “popped” out! I was on the brink of becoming blind to say the very least.

Heads up

In the name of art Pictures: Courtesy - Neil

Kang Yong:

the handmade on ntially. It is thrilling to see You wear what you are esse est aspect of the t is probably the most hon someone’s attire, because tha necessary to bring ividual feels that this item is whole outfit. It is like the ind h himself. terms as well as in sync wit everything together in visual

Kenneth Loe: I believe in the constancy of uniformity. It has got to do with how you are changing and that is perfect because change is always happening.


e, it is not the internet, and most of the tim I get a lot of visual feed from my behavior od of time before I realize that conscious. It is only after a peri of my inborn My style is a happy marriage and perceptions are affected.. h something I like the idea of bringing fort character and visual ingestions. ugh the crevasses of the mind. that is unique after going thro


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I do not like the

up with the whole outfit done in art.

bold or the loud

, and I am parano id omfort comes fir st, before I spic e it meticulous deta ils that will brin g m y to another notc h - just like ho w it is

about details. C

Heads up


e I hardly care for anything else It is probably the music, becaus or breaks, puts me in or out of as much in life. Music makes or down. I could hear a digital moods, and makes my days up g out of my skirt instantly. It beat and then feel like changin music, and myself. Sometimes is all a combination of moods, ng I have never worn before, or I even end up wearing somethi ally regret. I something I know will potenti

Dominic: The typical T-shirt and pants is a boring combination in its simplest breakdown. People can say what they want but I am sticking to what I have, since this is what I feel everything should be.

Danielle: I see the world in technico

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lour. And hence, I percei ve things unconventional Everything becomes an ly. incidental byproduct, even the clothes that I Others may find it too wear. overwhelming, but I thi nk it is just right – it defi me as a person, and hig nes hlights my personality. It is not a social stigma, it my outer appearance cor is responding with the inn ate instincts.

Post secrets

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Post secrets

Post secrets

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Check out some of the secrets of NTU students! Send in your own postsecret at today! This idea is inspired by

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Post secrets

Art Jam: Issue 18  

This is a Publication of Nanyang Technological University Cultural Activities Club.