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art jam Nanyang Technological University Cultural Activities Club

FRE E CO PY

Nov - Dec 2009, Issue 19.

MIC A (P) 275/ 01/2 008

s ADM tiLviotycUnkpluegrged 7 Crea

BEAUTY AND T HE BEAST 9 w Three Stories, One Play

ith an Asian Tw ist

SOFAMAN 12


Publication Team Editor-in-Chief Danny Wan Editor Audrey Lim Writers Audrey Lim Samantha Soon Tulika Sud Aanshu Mishra Nur Asyiqin Cerelia Lim Maryam Mohamed Mokhtar Victoria Chang Trixie Yap Silvia Vong

Photographers Liu Xukun Zhang Ruoshi Wang Zhe Mervyn Chua Graphic Designer Ryan Yee Natalie Tuang Xpress Print Pte Ltd Tel: 6880 2881

Editor’s Note Dear Readers, The finals are around the corner and if you need something to unwind, look no further, ArtJam’s here! During a walk through the school of ADM, one couldn’t help but notice the lockers. For NTU Press, we will show you what exactly they had done to their lockers. ArtJam will also chat with the people behind the inter-cultural and inter-disciplinary play, Sofaman. Consisting of three stories and performed in English, Mandarin and Russian, this is certainly one play to look out for in November. Post Secret returns for this issue. Ever had a secret that you’re dying to tell the world but afraid of the backlash or embarrassment that will cause? Tell us via Post Secret! Check out http://www.artjampostsecret.com/ for more information. Lastly, a shoutout to the previous Chief Editor, Gloria. Don’t worry, ArtJam is in safe hands! Warmest Regards, Danny For the previous issue of ArtJam published in August, Koe Soon Guan from (EEE, graduated) and Li Minghui (ADM, Digital Film Making, Year 4) did the write up for Surrealistic Poster in the NTU Press Section.

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 cac_publication@ntu.edu.sg


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Where to find

Art Jam

Download the softcopy of ArtJam at http://www.ntucac.com

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CAC press Modern Antiquities Written by Tulika Sud Images by Wang Zhe NTU CAC Contemporary Dance held its first full scale dance concert on 10th October 2009, at NTU’s Lee Kong Chian Lecture Theatre. 44 dancers participated in the hour long concert. The theme of the concert revolved around the past, present and GVUVSFPGDPOUFNQPSBSZEBODF*UTIPXFEIPXDPOUFNQPSBSZ dance evolved with influences by modern dance styles, culminating in the vision of the dancers of what contemporary dance will be like in the years to come.

Lala Xu Jia Ying Campus Concert Written by Samantha Soon Images by Liu Xukun & Zhang Ruoshi

art jam 2

The champion of the highly popular singing contest, One Million Star Season 3, took the audience by storm with her presence at NTU’s very own campus concert on 5th October 2009. Xu Jia Ying (ᕤՇăŚ?), better known as Lala since her competition days, impressed her audience with a repertoire of self-composed songs from her latest album, titled ‘LaLa’. )FS TPOH A3JEJOH PO B8IJUF )PSTF ä‘żĺ Ľâą‘ĺ €) includes an adaptation of a Chinese opera classic of the same title, was

Ryan Tan of O School, assisted by Jessica Christina, choreographed the concert. The concert also includes dances by student choreographers Jennifer Low, Ruth Wong, Pek )BJMJO )BO1FJZJ 4BOESB$IVBBOE-JN"JOJ Says Ryan, “Taking over the club in May 2009 has been one of UIFHSFBUFTUPQQPSUVOJUJFTUIBU*DPVMEHFU*UIBTCFFOBQMFBTVSF and a joy to work with everyone in the club who shared the TBNFESFBNUPNBLFUIJTDPODFSUBTVDDFTT*IPQFUIJTXIPMF experience has been as wonderful a journey for the dancers as it has been for me.� Modern Antiquities showed a great deal of effort, passion and talent. The dances were very well received by the audience, which was amazed by the co-ordination, flexibility and emotion displayed by the dancers.

a very apt start to the concert as it was the very song that brought her to instant fame with a maximum score in the DPOUFTU)FSQSFTFOUBUJPOPGUIFTPOHXBTTUVOOJOHBTJUXBTB perfect combination of traditional and modern Chinese music, in terms of vocals and musicality. The rest of the performance was filled with songs that ranged from the sentimental such as ‘The Same Moon’ (Ď”á¸‹âą˜áłœâ€Ť )Ü?‏and ‘The Lost Sandbank’ (ŕź…ă¨‘â‰­âŒ† UPUIFMJWFMZMJLFA7*1BOEA0I&BTZ ŕ­¨Óžă’š). Despite being small in size, her cheerful character, powerful voice and song-writing talent makes her stand out as a young rising star. Lala Xu is indeed one great potential in the Mandopop scene.


CAC press Journey Written by Silvia Vong Images by Mervyn Chua The NTU CAC String Orchestra held their annual concert at Lee Foundation Theatre, NAFA on 3rd Oct 2009. The concert was a resounding success as the orchestra performed challenging pieces that required lots of skilful technique and sheer hard work. The audience were spoilt for choice as the orchestra performed pieces from all the musical periods – baroque, classical, romantic, and contemporary – and an additional piece arranged CZPVSWFSZPXO/*&QSPGFTTPS %S,FMMZ5BOH The highlight for the night was the two soloists, Mr. Gerard Chia and Ms Jessie Ye, performing the famous double violin DPODFSUPCZ#BDI0VSPXOTUVEFOUTBMTPEJTQMBZFEUIFJSTLJMMT in various solo parts. The orchestra then thrilled the audience XJUI PUIFS QJFDFT TVDI BT )PMCFSHT 4VJUF BT XFMM BT 4JNQMF Symphony, of which the pizzicato movement was well-liked by many.

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They ended the concert with a special piece arranged by our WFSZPXO/*&QSPGFTTPS %S,FMMZ5BOH iYue liang dai biao wo xin� to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival, giving much joy to the audience.


NTU press Complied by Tulika Sud

This photograph was taken by Kenneth Lim, ADM Year 1, for his dĂŠrive project for the 4D Design and Time module. A dĂŠrive basically means drifting in French, and the gist of it is to drift in a particular geographical space. According to Kenneth, “This photograph vividly showed the idea of things that we do not take notice, which was the main idea of my dĂŠrive. A sapling growing amongst all the man-made materials like concrete, bolts and nuts, can be easily missed if we do not take notice. The photo incidentally portrays strength and resilience - growing in an environment (overhead bridge) XIFSFPOFNJHIUBTTVNFBTBQMJOHDBOOPUTVSWJWF*OBXBZ UIFFOUJSFDPNQPTJUJPO DPMPVSBOEGPDVT XIJDIXBTOPUFEJUFE in any way) also played a part in the choice of this image.â€?



5IFTFQBJOUJOHTXFSFEPOFCZ,JNCFSMZ)VBOH "%.:FBS5IFZXFSFCPUIEPOFVTJOHPJM GPSBOPOMJOFDPVSTFTIFUPPL during the summer from the Academy of Art University (or AAU, in San Francisco).

art jam 4



4BZT,JNCFSMZ i*hWFOFWFSEPOFBOZTUJMMMJGFQBJOUJOHCFGPSFUIBUDPVSTF BOE*BNWFSZIBQQZXJUIUIFXBZNBOZPGNZQJFDFT UVSOFEPVU UIFTFUXPJOQBSUJDVMBS3FBMMZ *EJEOhUIBWFNVDIPGBEJSFDUJPOUIBU*XBOUFEUPHPXJUIUIFTFUXP BMM*LOFXXBT UIBU*XBOUFEUPFYQFSJNFOUXJUINZPXOQFSTPOBMTUZMFBOECFBTFYQSFTTJWFBTDBOCFXJUINZTUSPLFTXIJMFNBJOUBJOJOHUIF illusion of realism, as every still-life painting should. Difficulties would definitely include blending colours, and establishing clear distinctions between light and shadow - but with enough time and effort, everything turned out just fine.�


NTU press

5IJTQIPUPHSBQIXBTUBLFOCZ#FOKBNJO-FF "%.:FBS VTJOHB/JLPO%5IFQSPKFDUXBTEPOFJO collaboration with a make-up artist who requested for a series that was rather "haute couture" in make-up BOE#FOKBNJOTBJEIFHPUUIFJEFBPGTFFJOHCFBVUZJOEFBUI



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NTU press

These two expe rimental drawin gs were done by Advance Draw Cheng Guan as ing module, in part of his which a nude m visual aid. odel was presen t in class as a 

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BMTPNZ Ă STUBUUF NQUBUESBXJOH DBMMJHSBQIZ JOL VTJOH B POFNFU  5IJT NJOVU FSTUJDLXJUI F FYFSDJTF XBT ability to captur BO BTTFTTNFOU PG UIF TUVEFOUhT e the form of th e model as wha t he can actually what he thinks he can see." see, rather than These sketches sh ow a lot of fluidi ty based on the lines varies and lines used. The th this has an intere ickness of the sti ng ef fe ct as it not only sh shadow and dept ows tone in term h but also indica s of tes movement. Th image which ca is results in a re ptures your atte al ly dy na m ic ntion immediate is extremely accu ly. The proportio rately depicted n of the figures as well.

The use of calli graphy ink on pl ain white paper to the eye, and also makes it m makes the imag ore appealing e even more dram stands out. atic because it is so bold and

art jam 6


NTU press

ADM Lockers - Creativity Unplugged Written by Aanshu Mishra Images by Aanshu Mishra Think of the Art Design & Media School (ADM), and the first thought that comes into the mind of each NTU

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student is the glorious building. The

a variety of designs which left me

external facade - the heart-shape, the

Within the building lies a pleasant

surprised. The variety of backgrounds

grassy slope and the artificial pond all

surprise – lockers which are often

alone are many - plaid, stripes,

make the building an awe-inspiring

thought of as mundane storage

gingham, polka dots, argyle, floral,

DSFBUJPO *U JT UIVT  OP TVSQSJTF UIBU

spaces are made more alluring and

paisley, nova checks, and tartan,

students love spending time there and

enthralling. Lockers are assigned to

among many others. There is a locker

young couples can always be found on

every ADM student in 2nd year and

which shows the brain structure of the

the slopes. There is, however, more to

above. While everyone has the freedom

human body in which the nerve cells

the ADM than just the exterior; the

to decorate their lockers, the students

have been delicately woven to read

interior is as surprising, if not more.

of graphic and visual communication

h$SFBUJWFh  POF EFQJDUJOH B TFSJFT PG

The paintings, the various designs

are given graded assignments on the

cartoons and another which shows an

which dot the corridors, the lockers all

beautification of their lockers. As Pow

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exude creativity and beauty.

:JOH)FSSO BOE:FBS"%.TUVEFOU of Product Designing explains to me, each of these lockers has a manifesto - it represents what the students are, UIFJS JEFPMPHJFT * XBT BMTP UPME UIBU the decorations are carried out in two ways. Some students design the total outline on Photoshop and send it for printing while others are material artists who use paper, string, cardboard and a lot of hardware to come up with

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interesting designs.


NTU press

Some lockers depict self-portraits of their owners, most of them being closeVQT CVU UIFSFhT BOPUIFS XIJDI TIPXT B OBLFE GFNBMFhT CPEZ 0UIFST IBWF

As we near the end of the lockers,

scratch pads attached to their front

realization dawns that Art can enliven

which Pow tells me, is the owner’s

the prosaic and commonplace daily

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life. A group of 3rd year students we

can write their comments and thus

interact with also explain that ‘locker

interact with the subject. There is a

art’ is one of the many mediums,

locker which showcases contradiction

tools through which artists express

displaying a packet of cigarettes with

themselves. The beauty of this form One eye-catching locker displays a

of art is the level of individuality it

SPPNXJUICBSFĂĄPPSTBOEUIFPXOFShT

provides to each locker, giving a clear

locker has a calendar on its front

personal belongings attached upside

insight into the owner’s personality

and a placard attached to the lock

EPXOUPUIFDFJMJOH8IJMF*UBLFUIJTUP

while enhancing the view of the

indicate disorder and untidiness, Pow

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reveals that this might be an indication

out with appreciation that only tasteful

of the bareness/loneliness of the

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PXOFShT MJGF 4PNF PXOFST IBE HMVFE

planning out a design for my own

memorable pictures to their lockers –

locker – something with a skull and

a good way to keep their recollections

two bones with ‘Danger! 440 volts’

alive. Further on, we come across many

written across!

h4BGFh TUBNQFE BDSPTT JO UIF GSPOU Others are more humorous - one such

XIJDIQSPDMBJNTh4UPQ8IFSFJTNZ NPOFZ h

controversial lockers – one displaying

art jam 8

a master with his legs folded upon his TMBWF XIJDI SFBET A* MJLF $BQJUBMJTN and yet another which shows a fuming bottle of alcohol with the transcription – ‘Absolute Life’.


Preview Written by Nur Asyiqin & Cerelia Lim Images Courtesy of W!ld Rice

Every year, prolific artists from Singapore’s theatre scene will come together for a pantomime. This holiday TFBTPO  UIF GBJSZUBMF #FBVUZ BOE UIF #FBTU XJMM CF performed with a local spin in this theatrical comedy.

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A W!LD RICE PRODUCTION


Preview *OBUXJTUUPUIFMVYVSJPVTMJGFTUZMFUIBU#FBVUZJTTVQQPTFEUP enjoy, she will instead live with a sarcastic maid, fussy nanny and excitable cook in the castle. These three characters will be personified in objects that every household cannot live without. As much as we hate waking up to the din of the vacuum DMFBOFS #FBVUZIBTUPFOEVSFUIFNBJEXIPXJMMCFESFTTFE as one. And, for those of us who refuse to part with our childhood endearments, the chow chows, the fussy nanny dolling up as one will be fusing over the female protagonist. The excitable cook will be decked out as a tiffin carrier. The plot thickens with the addition of an exorcist, Master Kong Tao. While he insists that the castle is filled with unnatural elements, which he means the castle occupants, he is forced to re-examine his beliefs when faced with strong XJMMFE#FBVUZ #FBVUZ BOE UIF #FBTU JT B TUPSZ PG MPWF #VU  XIBU NBLFT this tale unique is the feminist element. The female protagonist is a gusty lady who XJMMSFTDVF#FBTU B misunderstood and ostracized character. 5IF #FBTU JT OPU NFFL and weak, but a person who has a heart of gold with a face of an ogre. The tenet of loving a person for who they are is also observed when UIF #FBVUZ GBMMT JO MPWF XJUI UIF

art jam 10

SPVHINBOOFSFEBOEVHMZ#FBTU “We hope to tell people that at the end of the day, we should love others GPSXIPUIFZBSFu TBJE)PTTBO-FPOH  %JSFDUPSPG#FBVUZBOEUIF#FBTU

“We hope to tell people that at the end of the day, we should love others for who they are�


Preview

Cast BEAUTY: Emma Yong THE BEAST: RJ Rosales AH MA CHOW CHOW: Karen Tan BABA PONTENG, EXCITABLE COOK: Richard Chia MASTER KONG TAO: Gordon Choy VACULA CONTESSA, SCARASTIC MAID: Desmond Chen BEAUTY’S FATHER, BIG BOSS BONG: Lim Kay Siu BEAUTY’S SISTER, DESIREE BONG: Chua Enlai BEAUTY’S SISTER,BRANDY BONG: Darius Tan SCRIPTWRITER: Alfian Sa’at DIRECTOR:)PTTBO-FPOH VENUE:%SBNB$FOUSF5IFBUSF!/BUJPOBM-JCSBSZ#VJMEJOH DATES: 25 November – 19 December 2009 TIME: 7.30pm, with 2.30pm matinees on Saturdays and Sundays Ticket Prices: $29, $39, $44, $49 (7.30pm Previews 25 & 26 November 2009) $34, $44, $49, $54 (7.30pm Tues, Wed, Thurs & Sun) $39, $49, $54, $59 (7.30pm Fri & Sat, 2.30pm Sat & Sun) 1SJDFTFYDMVEF4*45*$IBOEMJOHGFF

Hossan Leong

CORPORATE & GROUP BOOKINGS 4"7&VQUP'PSCPPLJOHTPGUJDLFUTBOEBCPWF BOE$PSQPSBUF)PTQJUBMJUZQBDLBHFT QMFBTFDPOUBDU Debbie Ng on 6292 2695 or sales@wildrice.com.sg EXCLUSIVE PRIORITY BOOKING %JTDPVOUGPS0$#$3PCJOTPOT7*4"1MBUJOVN 0$#$3PCJOTPOT7*4"1MBUJOVN&MJUF 0$#$"SUT 1MBUJOVN.BTUFS$BSEBOE0$#$1MBUJOVN.BTUFS$BSE$BSENFNCFST 4FQUm0DU 

Alfian Sa’at

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EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT %JTDPVOUGPSBMM0$#$$SFEJU$BSENFNCFST 0DUm0DU

15% Discount for General Public Other Discounts | After 28 Oct 2009  %*4$06/5  0$#$ $SFEJU%FCJU $BSET  4UVEFOUT -PDBM*OUFSOBUJPOBM  'VMMUJNF /4'T  4FOJPS Citizens (55 years & above), PAssion Card members and SAFRA Card members. 'PSPUIFSEJTDPVOUTQMFBTFWJTJUXXXTJTUJDDPNTHPSDBMMUIF4*45*$)PUMJOFBU  


cover story

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cover story Written by Maryam Mohamed Mokhtar & Victoria Chang Images Courtesy of The Necessary Stage

“A Singaporean woman and a Russian man fall in love. Where do they settle down? Two lonely women form a deep bond. What happens when tragedy strikes? A dying man and his confidant exchange stories of love and sacrifice.�

Three stories. One play. *NBHJOFZPVSTFMGDBVHIUJOBSVUXIFOUIFXPSMEBSPVOEZPVJTNPWJOH at high speed. This image is what artistic director Alvin Tan and local playwright )BSFTI4IBSNBPG5IF/FDFTTBSZ4UBHF 5/4 BTLFEVTUPDPOGSPOUJO the Sofaman. *OJUTMBUFTUPGGFSJOHUIJT/PWFNCFS 5IF/FDFTTBSZ4UBHF 5/4 BOE the KnAM Theatre of Russia present Sofaman, a unique cross-cultural collaboration that aims to explore mobility and transience in today’s fast moving world.

We were privileged and excited to be able to speak to artistic director "MWJO5BOBOEMPDBMQMBZXSJHIU)BSFTI4IBSNBPG5/4BOEHPUUIFNUP dish out their thoughts on the play, rehearsal processes and the uniqueness of their intercultural collaboration with KnAM. Not to mention, we were BMTPHJWFOIJOUTPOXIBU"MWJOBOE)BSFTIIPQFGPSUIFBVEJFODFUPDPNF away with after watching this brand new play.

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Collaborations between Theatre KnAM and TNS began when the two companies first met mid-2008. TNS had invited Theatre KnAM over to perform at the M1 Fringe Festival, where both companies realized they had common interests in their concern for societal issues in their respective countries, as well as in their use of different mediums in expressing stories on stage. Since December last year, workshops for the play have been held in Russia and Singapore, co-directed by both Alvin Tan and Tatiana Frolova, artistic directors of TNS and Theatre KnAM respectively. This thought-provoking play runs from November 5th to UIBU5/4T#MBDL#PY


cover story

Three stories. One play.

art jam 14

ARTJAM: In the press release, it was mentioned that similarities in contemporary aesthetics led to the collaboration between TNS and KnAM Theatre. Could you tell us about these similarities and how this paved the way for KnAM to be chosen as your partner in this international collaboration? Haresh:8FMM  * UIJOL XF GPVOE DPNNPOBMJUJFT XJUI UIFJS SFMBUJPOTIJQT JO UIFJS TPDJFUZ #PUI UIFBUSF ,O". BOE VT were concerned about societal issues in our countries and we reflected these in our plays. For example, both our societies have an ageing population, and in Russia there was a sort of backlash against the elderly. Also, we both have a love for the use of multimedia in the theatre. We both saw what each other lacked. Theatre KnAM is more advanced in dealing with multimedia as compared to TNS but we had a resident

playwright to provide the text that they needed. We provided strengths for each other. Alvin:*OBTFOTFXFDPNQMFNFOUFEFBDIPUIFS8IFOXFTFOU them a draft of the script, KnAM was appreciative and didn’t ask for changes. ARTJAM: So the play is inter-disciplinary in the sense that it employs soundscape and multimedia as part of expressing the narrative. Could you tell us more about this and the concept of an interdisciplinary play? Haresh:*TFFNVMUJNFEJBBTUIFNBHJDPGUIFBUSF*O4PGBNBO  you get to see multimedia interacting with the live action of the play. We have live feed, where, for example, the image of one character can be superimposed on another character’s shirt.


cover story said, “What do you mean by artistic responsibility? Why look at the stage for answers like you look to the government? Look for your own interpretation!� More importantly, the arts scene will only survive if it is diversified. ARTJAM: Mobility and transience are the main themes that will be presented in the play. What do these themes mean to you? Alvin:*UIJOLDPNQBSFEUPPVSQSFWJPVTQMBZT XIFSFUIFUIFNFT discussed were more social in nature, this time we deviated a little. Sofaman is a more personal play; it talks about mortality and what happens when you become too old to do what is meaningful to you. With globalization, the pace of life is so fast, sometimes so fast that you can’t catch up. The sofaman is in fact, the ‘couch potato’ whose life is caught in a rut and DIPPTFTUPPQUGPSUIFTPGBXIFOMJGFDIBOHFTUPPRVJDLMZ)PX do we change as we globalize? Are there only impressions of change or do we actually change a lot?

*UTWFSZJOUFSFTUJOHUPCFBCMFUPQMBZBSPVOEXJUIUIJTBOEUP see this as a medium for expressing the story. Alvin:*UIJOLUIFQMBZTBU5/4BSFEJWJEFEJOUPUXPDBUFHPSJFT text-based or minimal theatre, and new realism. With plays that employ new realism, the audience gets a nice visual experience because there is an equal weightage in terms of USBOTNJUUJOHUIFUFYU#VUUIFMFWFMPGEJGàDVMUZGPSSFBEJOHUIF play is also more difficult for the audience. Some people here like the openness that these multimedia images provide, and some don’t. Singaporeans audiences are increasingly receptive to this form of theatre but still remain guarded. Singaporeans BSFBIBSEFSBVEJFODFUPQMFBTF*UIJOLJUTCFDBVTFXFMFBEB very prescriptive life and are insecure about authoring our own lives. 12 years ago when we staged a new realism play, someone BTLFENF i8IFSFTZPVSBSUJTUJDSFTQPOTJCJMJUZBTBEJSFDUPS u*

ARTJAM: Your previous plays such as godeatgod have also featured international casts. What do you like about working with such a unique yet contrasting blend of cultures, personalities and traditions that will somehow also influence your play? Alvin: * UIJOL JUT WFSZ JOUFSFTUJOH CFDBVTF ZPV HFU TFF UIF different approaches used amongst the international cast and from here, friendships develop through work despite UIFTF EJGGFSFOU BQQSPBDIFT5IBUT XIBU FYDJUFT NF * MJLF tackling the differences in dealing with different cultures. We know them, yet we don’t know them, and so the inter-cultural DPMMBCPSBUJPOTBSFBCPVUNFFUJOHUIFAPUIFS*NFBOUPEBZ UIF world has progressed economically and politically but not much culturally. With merging cultural relations, intolerance is rising. So through these collaborations, respect for cultural difference is developed.

15 art jam

“The sofaman is in fact, the ‘couch potato’ whose life is caught in a rut and chooses to opt for the sofa when life changes too quickly�

ARTJAM: Devised performance is a technique that has been used frequently by TNS in its previous plays. What is it that devised pieces offer that is so different from traditional methods of the process of making a play? Is Sofaman a devised piece? Haresh:*EBDUVBMMZEFĂ OFEFWJTFEQFSGPSNBODFBTDSFBUJOH a play with actors from the beginning to the end. What this offers actors is greater ownership of the play. Alvin:*UIJOLUIBUJOJUTZFBST 5/4IBTFWPMWFEBOEHSPXO in its use of the devised performance. Sofaman has elements of a devised piece but the play itself is not devised. Haresh: For this play, the improvisational sessions allowed for NBUFSJBMHFOFSBUJPO POXIJDI*XPSLFEVQUIFTDSJQU&TTFOUJBMMZ  *XSPUFUIFQMBZ XJUIBMPUPGIFMQGSPNBSPVOENF Alvin: Yes, so in short, how we work is: we meet up, discuss and JNQSPWJTF'SPNIFSF)BSFTIXSJUFTBOEBGUFSXIJDI SFIFBSTBM TUBSUT*UIJOLUIJTQSPDFTTJTPOFUIBUJTVOJRVFUP5/4


cover story ARTJAM: This play will be performed in English, Mandarin and Russian. Was the scriptwriting process harder hence? Haresh: Well it was hard, we were fortunate to have great USBOTMBUPSTXIFOXFXFSFXPSLJOHXJUI5IFBUSF,O".#VU we made use of this language barrier, which was initially a XFBLOFTT BTBTUSFOHUIJOUIFQMBZ*OUIFTUPSZPGUIFUXPXPNFO who form a deep friendship, Siti and Elena play characters who manage to bond though they do not understand what each other are talking about. Their friendship is not weighed down or distracted by language. This emotional bonding is more exciting than bonding with words. ARTJAM: What was it like working with co-director Ms Tatiana Frolova? Alvin: There were nice surprises because of our different cultures. She knows what’s missing in the literary text and brings in what’s missing with non-literary devices. Also, she has romantic and exotic ideas that are fun to explore and work with. ARTJAM: How do you keep to one singular vision though there were 2 directors from different backgrounds directing the play? Alvin: For us it wasn’t much of a problem because we respect and FOKPZFBDIPUIFSTXPSLT#FTJEFT XFIBEDPMMBCPSBUFECFGPSFBOE TPXFLOFXIPXUPTIBSFTQBDF*OXPSLJOHUPHFUIFSXFCPUIHFU to evolve and develop as we take in each other’s ideas. ARTJAM: Do you have a vision for what exactly you want the audiences to come away with after viewing the play? Alvin: *UIJOLUIFQMBZJTPQFOUPIPXFWFSUIFBVEJFODFXBOUTUP relate it to. There is no one dominating perspective and in fact, we want to see what audiences get out of this experience.

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ARTJAM: So what does it takes for a budding playwright or director to succeed in the theatre scene here? Haresh:(FUJOWPMWFE*UTBTTJNQMFBTUIBU Alvin:)FZUIBUTUIFUBHMJOFGPSPVSGSJOHFGFTUJWBM)BIB Haresh:#VUSFBMMZ JUTJNQPSUBOUUPCFJOWPMWFEJOBOZXBZ you can, like competitions, volunteering, working front of house, or joining youth wings of theatre companies. You need to always appreciate the other aspects of theatre or you won’t be able to venture further. Alvin:*UIJOLJOBEEJUJPOUPUIBU JUTJNQPSUBOUUPHFUZPVS works published; it can’t grow if it remains in isolation. A play is not complete without the audience. ARTJAM: Wow, a quote-worthy finish! Alvin::FBI PODFJOBXIJMF JUDPNFT)BIB

The Singaporean cast of Sofaman consists of Julius Foo, Siti Khalijah and Jean Ng, all established and experiences actors in their own rights. We talk to them about their learning journeys throughout the development of the play. ARTJAM: The actors involved in the Sofaman are of different nationalities, races and come from different cultures. How do you work together well despite such differences? Jean Ng: Actually artists have a lot in common despite differences in nationalities, races and cultures so it isn’t as difficult as TPNFFYQFDU*GFFMXFDPOOFDUPOBWFSZiIVNBOuMFWFMUIBU USBOTDFOETTPNFPGUIFTFPUIFSCPVOEBSJFT)BWJOHTBJEUIBU  yes, differences do exist and what’s most important is openness, patience and sincere communication. ARTJAM: Tell us a bit about the devised process and how it is like for an actor being a part of it? Siti Khalijah: We started the process by doing a lot of discussions and improvisations, playing around with different themes and TJUVBUJPOT*UGFFMTWFSZTBUJTGZJOHBTBOBDUPSCFDBVTFXFXFSF given the freedom to be creative and try anything to contribute to the piece.


cover story kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh, the fundamental things apply, as time goes by‌� Julius: Not really because we were very conscious of the language barrier right from the beginning and therefore we spent a fair amount of time in clarifying matters. ARTJAM: Were you enthusiastic about being in the play when you first heard of it? Siti: :FTJXBT*WFTFFOTPNFPG5IF,O".5IFBUSFTXPSLT and felt honoured to be given a chance to be working with them and of course, The Necessary Stage! Julius: :FT PGDPVSTF PUIFSXJTF*XPVMEOUIBWFUBLFOJUVQ Jean:"CTPMVUFMZ'PSNF JUTCFFOBXIJMFTJODF*XPSLFEPO BNBJOTFBTPOTIPXXJUI)BSFTIBOE"MWJOBOEXFHPCBDLB long way so it’s extra meaningful for me to reunite with them. And of course, the opportunity of working with artists from 3VTTJBXBTTPNFUIJOH*TJNQMZKVNQFEBU

ARTJAM: According to the press release, this play is performed in English, Russian and Mandarin. Were there any difficulties in coping with the languages of the play hence? Siti: *OJUJBMMZ UIFSF XFSF  CVU IBWJOH B USBOTMBUPS IFMQFE tremendously to make the process smoother and faster. And along the way, as we rehearsed and was more certain of the content of the script, we somehow naturally memorised it in the other languages as well! ARTJAM: During the acting process, were there any different interpretations of the script amongst the cast? Siti: There were, that’s why the discussions were important. We have to make sure that everybody was on the same page. So after a scene, we will talk about how it can be improved and further developed. Jean: Not really for me, because my part revolves around a love story between a Chinese woman and a Russian man and love stories are quite universal. “You must remember this, a

ARTJAM: Which part of the preparation process did you love or dislike most? Jean: This is like asking a mother which part of her child she MPWFTPSEJTMJLFTNPTU*UTIBSE UIFSFBSFHPPENPNFOUTBOE there are not so good moments but you look at the whole experience and you ask yourself whether it’s worth it and if the answer is yes, then it’s enough. ARTJAM: From an actor’s point of view, was there anything unique that you had gotten out of performing in this play as compared to previous plays you have performed in? Jean: 6NNNw*WFCFFOBTLFEUIJTRVFTUJPOCFGPSFGPSPUIFSQMBZT BOE*BMXBZTTBZ FBDIQMBZJTVOJRVF*UIBTUPCF*UTBEJGGFSFOU play, a different team, a different time, a different place. Siti: The beauty of the different languages used within some TDFOFT PG UIF QMBZ XBT XIBU * GFFM XBT VOJRVF BCPVU UIJT QFSGPSNBODF*UTIPXTUIBUXFEPOUIBWFUPLOPXFBDIPUIFS to understand each other.

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Julius Foo:*UTUBSUFEXJUIHFUUJOHUPLOPXUIFQFPQMFJOUIF project. People of different backgrounds, age groups etc. We QMBZFEHBNFT*UIBTCFFOBXIJMFTJODF*XBTJOWPMWFEJOEFWJTFE work, so it was very refreshing.

ARTJAM: Tell us about your role and character in the play. Siti:*QMBZBNVUFHJSMXIPXPSLTJOBGBTUGPPEDIBJOBOE who’s sick of her mundane lifestyle. One day she meets a Russian woman who opens a clothing shop opposite hers. They become close friends and share stories, daily happenings and pour out their feelings to each other. Until one day, one of them had to leave. Julius:*QMBZBQFSTPOUSBQQFEJOBMPWFIBUFSFMBUJPOTIJQ  POF XIJDI * XPVME MPWF UP CSFBL CVU GPS WBSJPVTSFBTPOT  continued to keep. Jean: A simple woman with a simple, routine job, with simple dreams and simple tragedies.


cover story ARTJAM: Did anything quirky or interesting happen in the midst of the acting process? Julius:*MPTUNZTQFDUBDMFTXIFOXFXFSFCBTIJOHUISPVHI UIF 3VTTJBOGPSFTU 'PS TVCTFRVFOUSFIFBSTBMT  * XBT RVJUF handicapped until we managed to replace them a couple of days later. Siti:5IFSFXBTPODFXIFO&MFOBBOE*IBEUPEPBOJNQSPWJTBUJPO and we obviously didn’t understand what each other was saying, CFDBVTFTIFXBTTQFBLJOH3VTTJBOBOENZTFMG JO&OHMJTI#VU we just continued and somehow during the conversation we started laughing, then we cried, and our characters connected. *KVTUUIPVHIUUIBUNPNFOUXBTQSFUUZNBHJDBM ARTJAM: Most of you are equipped with an experienced acting background. Did this make it easier for your role in the Sofaman? Julius: The confidence that comes with the experience helps but most of it was trying to remain open to ideas. +FBO:FTPGDPVSTF#VUCFJOHNPSFFYQFSJFODFETPNFUJNFT also means more preconceptions and baggage, so one has to constantly monitor that. Siti:*UEPFT CFDBVTFUIFOBUVSFPGUIJTXPSLJTTVDIUIBUJU requires a lot of improvisations at first, so we must always be ready to jump into different scenarios. And that has helped in our character development at the later part of the process as we start rehearsing for the play.

Siti:7FSZHPPE5BUJBOB "MWJOBOE)BSFTIBSFXPOEFSGVMQFPQMF to work with. Not only are they very giving and creative, they’re also very accepting towards new ideas. Julius: Superb. ARTJAM: There are 3 different storylines within the play. Which story do you like most or which do you think connects with you the most? Siti:*UXPVMEIBWFUPCFUIFTUPSZPGUIF4JOHBQPSFBOXPNBO XIPNBSSJFEB3VTTJBONBO)PXBIPQFGVMXPNBOTESFBN of wanting to run away from her own country to another in search of a happier life, took a different turn in the end. ARTJAM: As actors, what would want your audience to go away with after watching the play? Siti: What they go away with after watching the play to me is VQUPUIFNCFDBVTF*CFMJFWFJUTVQUPUIFJSPXOJOUFSQSFUBUJPOT *KVTUXBOUUIFNUPDPNFXJUIBOPQFONJOE Julius: Enjoy. Reflect. Discuss. Jean:*EMJLFUIFNUPCFNPWFEBOEJOTQJSFE ARTJAM: Any further hints on what we can expect from the play? Siti: Expect to go on an emotional roller coaster ride from all the 3 different stories and be awed by the multimedia. Jean: Just come and watch lah, this one not exam you know, ask for hints.

ARTJAM: How was your relationship with the director and scriptwriter? Jean: Fabulous. We’ve been friends for twenty years and on a QFSTPOBMMFWFM *MPWFUIFN0OBQSPGFTTJPOBMMFWFM UIFZBSF UXPBSUJTUTJOUIFJOEVTUSZ*SFTQFDUBMPUTPJUTBSFMBUJPOTIJQ *USVMZUSFBTVSF

Venue : The Necessary Stage - Black Box Dates : 5 – 15 November 2009 Tickets : $27, $22* * Concession for students, senior citizens and NSF.

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Prices exclude $3 SISTIC handling fee. Tickets are available via the SISTIC website at www.sistic.com or at any SISTIC authorised agents islandwide. 10% discounts for: Singapore Academy of Law members OCBC Arts Platinum MasterCard holders Association of Singapore Actors Singapore Drama Educators Association Technical Theatre Association of Singapore 5% discounts for All other OCBC card members

“The beauty of the different languages used within some scenes of the play was what I feel was unique about this performance. It shows that we don’t have to know each other to understand each other.�


Personality Written by Audrey Lim Images Courtesy of Big Ear Musica

Music

BIG ON

The local music scene is slowly but surely growing. Overcoming the misconceptions about pursuing music in Singapore has not been an easy journey but with greater exposure of local bands through D.I.Y gigs, music festivals like Baybeats and companies that support local music like Big Ear Musica, more people are starting to listen and give local bands a chance. Currently serving his duty to the nation, ARTJAM speaks to AVERY WONG, 20, the brains behind Big Ear Musica to find out what it’s all about and how it has contributed to the local music scene.

ARTJAM: How did this company start out? "WFSZ*UTUBSUFEPVUJO4FQUFNCFSXIJMF*XBTTUJMMEPJOH NZ/BUJPOBM4FSWJDF*EJEOUXBOUUPKVTUCVNBSPVOETP* HBWF NZ GBUIFS B CVTJOFTT QMBO GPS #JH &BS .VTJDB BOE IF Ă OBODFE UIF WFOUVSF #FGPSF UIBU  *WF CFFO QMBOOJOH HJHT TJODF*XBTJO4FDPOEBSZ XIJDIXBTUIFOLOPXOBT"VEJP 3PKBL4P*BMSFBEZIBETPNFTPSUPGFYQFSJFODFBOEXBTWFSZ JOUFSFTUFEJOTFUUJOHVQ#JH&BS.VTJDB

ARTJAM: What do you hope to get out of Big Ear Musica? "WFSZ*HVFTTKVTUUPJOTQJSFQFPQMFUPIBWFGBJUIJOUIFMPDBM music industry; we hope to build it up in Singapore. We want to change people’s mentality, especially people around my age and let them know that having a music career in Singapore is possible. ARTJAM: Did you face any difficulty setting up Big Ear Musica? "WFSZ:FBI*EJE*NFBO BHFXBTBGBDUPSBT*TUBSUFEPVU young and from scratch and only had help from my friends. So it was hard to liaise with people who are older as they sometimes don’t give you the respect you deserve or they treat you less seriously. So it took awhile to get to where we are now.

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ARTJAM: What is Big Ear Musica all about? "WFSZ #BTJDBMMZ JUT B MBCFM CVU XF BMTP QSPWJEF SFDPSEJOH services. We also plan events like live shows and provide equipment rental as well, which is a new service.


Personality ARTJAM: How has the whole experience been like for you so far? "WFSZ1SFUUZHPPE*HSFXUPHFUIFSXJUIUIFMPDBMNVTJDTDFOF ARTJAM: How do you go about choosing which bands to support? "WFSZ*UXBTOUTPNVDIBTDIPPTJOHBTNPTUPGUIFQFPQMFJOCBOETXFSF personal friends. We just grew up together. ARTJAM: Having had the experience of organizing gigs since you were in Secondary 3, what are the changes you observe in the local music scene? How has it evolved? Avery: There has definitely been more response and support from the youths JO4JOHBQPSF8IFO*XBTJOTFDPOEBSZTDIPPMJUXBTSFBMMZIBSEUPHFUHJHT as there weren’t many people doing it thus it was really hard for musicians to get the exposure and be heard. Now gigs are far more common than they were before and it doesn’t matter if you just started. You don’t even have to be a professional to get paying gigs which is a good practice and was rare in the old days. The standard of local bands has also grown dramatically because of this. ARTJAM: How has Big Ear Musica helped change the local music scene? Avery: We have given bands that haven’t gotten a chance to play big shows to share the stage with well known bands such as Caracal and others alike. This gives them chance to gain a bigger fan base and be heard by a wider audience. This helps also by encouraging youths to pick up a hobby and show them that having a music career is possible with the support of the local youth. ARTJAM: What are some of the events that Big Ear has organized? Avery: Our biggest event by far is a Metal band from America called Misery Signals, we also did Postbox launch, Silhouette EP launch , For This Cycle EP launch , Audio Rojak and Acoustic Rojak. ARTJAM: How is it like working with friends? "WFSZ*UDBOCFEJGàDVMUCVUTPNFUJNFTJUXPSLTXPOEFSGVMMZBTXFMMCFDBVTF XF VTVBMMZ TIBSF UIF TBNF HPBMT  JEFBT BOE ESFBNT #VU JU HFUT EJGàDVMU because business is business and sometimes it can ruin the friendship. Also, because we are all friends, sometimes they don’t take me seriously so it’s SFBMMZ IBSE UP HBJO UIBU BVUIPSJUZ #VU TP GBS  *WF SFBMMZ FOKPZFE XPSLJOH with them. Even with newcomers, we treat them as friends so it’s like a big family. We have our ups and downs.

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ARTJAM: What can we expect from Big Ear in the future? Avery: A lot more killer albums, awesome shows and a better jamming and recording experience! For more information, log on to www.myspace.com/bigearmusicsg

“We want to change people’s mentality, especially people around my age and let them know that having a music career in Singapore is possible�


Heads up

Arts with a Twist: The Substation rixie Yap Written by T Substation rtesy of The Images Cou

Quietly tucked away at the edge of Singapore’s city centre, The Substation is a must-go if you are seeking artistic or cultural relief. While the building looks small from the outside, it is however, huge enough to house a black box theatre, a gallery, a dance studio, Random Room and two multi-function classrooms. These different facilities cater to a variety of Singapore arts and culture that visitors can enjoy. There is a variety of programmes and events at The Substation, ranging from contemporary plays to band gigs to international film festival showcases. These events are divided into 3 DBUFHPSJFT NBJOMZ.PWJOH*NBHFT 7JTVBM"SUTBOE1FSGPSNJOH Arts.

After screenings, the audience can also participate in a dialogue session with the filmmakers to encourage critical thinking and different perspectives to art form. This may be a good way for audience to savour and understand the arts.

Visual Arts The Substation displays photos, paintings or any installation pieces in its premises. Most of the visual arts exhibitions are free. The art works are usually displayed for a period of 1 to 2 weeks and. For some exhibitions, there may also be a talk given by the artist to allow viewers to understand their work in greater depths.

The Substation focuses on showcasing independent short films. *G ZPV BSF JOUFSFTUFE JO UIF JOEJF àMN JOEVTUSZ  EP DIFDL PVU the Substation’s film screenings. These films are screened in the black box theatre and are usually free. First Take is a monthly event that showcases both local and international amateur films that range from 1 minute to 25 minutes. There are also biennale and annual events like Singapore Short Film Festival BOE4JOHBQPSF*OEJF%PDVNFOUBSZ'FTUJWBM

These performances vary from dances to plays and to music gigs. Prices of these events are mainly priced between $15 and $25, but there are usually student discounts. One notable event is “Rock the Sub�, a musical showcase of local and foreign bands, held annually in collaboration with Timbre. To further insinuate interest in arts and culture, The Substation BMTP QSPWJEFT BO JOUFSBDUJWF XBZ PG VOEFSTUBOEJOH JU *G ZPV are itching for artistic hands-on activities, this place organises

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Performing Arts Moving Images


Heads up

different workshops like ceramics, introductory acting and basic photography. The prices of the workshops range from $120 to $250 and registration is simple – just hand in a registration form with the payment 5 days before the course date. Students who sign up get a 10% discount, which makes it all the more worthwhile to soak up in the arts.

The Substation is one of the many art spaces in Singapore that one can go to for an appreciation of local and international artistic talents. And for those who wish to seek an outlet to display their creativity, they can best do so at there. Visiting The Substation will open your eyes to the diverse arts scene in Singapore and is definitely worth more than just one visit.

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*G IPXFWFS ZPVBSFMPPLJOHGPSBQMBDFUPEJTQMBZZPVSMPWFGPS the arts or to showcase your artistic talents, The Substation has dance studios, theatre, classrooms and gallery rental services. The daily rental rates start from $40 but there are package deals that provide better value rates for prolonged rentals.

Substation Address: 45 Armenian Street Singapore, 179936 Telephone: 6337 7535 MRT Station:$JUZ)BMM Buses: 7, 14, 16, 36, 97, 124, 131, 147, 162, 166, 174, 501 Express, 511 Express, 77, 167,171, 190, 700, 700A and 857 Website: www.substation.org


Heads up

The Cat named Socrates... Written by Samantha Soon Images Courtesy of Cat Socrates and Samantha Soon

Where do you head to if you want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of life? ART JAM shows you how you can spend a relaxing afternoon with coffee, books, music, art and live shows.

The store is named after the shopkeepers’ cat, Socrates. Although they insisted that the store is named after their cat, * DBOOPU IFMQ CVU UP XPOEFS XIFUIFS there’s more to it. Cats are dainty creatures; they seem to live life at their own pace, no matter the environment. Coincidentally, Cat Socrates labels itself as a lifestyle concept store promoting alternative lifestyles. There is so much you can do in this tiny store, including shopping! Cat Socrates offers a whole array of notebooks

in all sorts of sizes and shapes; most importantly, they are by independent designers so each product is unique. My favourite would be this notebook in the form of a floppy disk – it brings back memories keeping boxes of floppy disks to store data before the thumbdrives came along. Music albums by independent labels can also be found in the store, which you can always listen to before deciding PO NBLJOH B QVSDIBTF #PPLT BOE magazines that can be found in the store are hand-picked by the shopkeepers and related to design or arts. The store also sells handmade jewellery, T-shirts and bags from independent labels as well – a delight to girls visiting the store.

UIFPMEFOEBZT*XBTTVSQSJTFEUPĂ OE a whole shelf of tin toys in Cat Socrates BT*UIPVHIUUIFZDPVMEPOMZCFTFFOJO museums or movies! These toys bring memories to the days forgotten by time. When was the last time you wrote or SFDFJWFE B MFUUFS  /P *N OPU UBMLJOH BCPVU FNBJMT BOE 4.4FT  *N UBMLJOH about a letter that you can hold in your hand and keep. The excitement and anticipation of receiving a letter is no longer felt with emails and SMSes, but you can make someone experience that through the simple steps of write, fold and send! Write an air mail by buying BO*OUFSOBUJPOBM(JSM"FSPHSBNNFGSPN the store and revive the art of letter writing today!

*G ZPV BSF JO B OPTUBMHJD NPPE  $BU Socrates is the place for you to relive

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0OF PG UIF NBOZ CPPL TUPSFT JO #SBT #BTBI1MB[B $BU4PDSBUFTTUBOETPVUBT a cozy book cafÊ with a poetic name. At first glance, the uniqueness of the store’s name catches your eye; but ultimately when you step into the store, you will be amazed by what is offered.


Heads up As photography advances with camera phones, digital cameras and SLRs, perhaps one day, we would forget how it feels to hold a photo in your hand. Cat Socrates offers you the chance to take photos on film as the store sells film cameras and the hard-to-find Solaris film which will be a delight to film camera lovers. A personal favourite is the Japan-designed Juicebox camera as it makes film cameras fashionable, overturning the image that film cameras are old fashioned and bulky.

run wild. Leave your artwork or random musings on a coaster; you’ll never know who will read it!

Artsy stuff that you can do in Cat Socrates:

(2) Music: Sing, drink and relax *UJTOPUVOVTVBMUPIFBSUIFTPVOEPG guitars or singing on a lazy afternoon in Cat Socrates cafe. Enjoy random sing-alongs with strangers in the store while enjoying a drink or you even can pick up the guitar and strum away! Occasionally, the store holds unplugged live shows inviting anyone who is interested to perform. Don’t miss the chance to jam, sing, and enjoy a great night with like-minded friends!

(1) Draw *G ZPV BSF JO B NPPE UP ESBX  DPBTUFS graffiti is an ongoing event held by the store which provides a new avenue for you to doodle and let your imagination

(3) Exhibitions Share your very own photo and thoughts on the exhibition wall in the store. Paying a visit to the wall is a refreshing experience, as you walk

and see the world through the eyes of another person. Exhibitions of all sorts by local artists are also featured from time to time in the store so be sure to keep a lookout on the store’s website or Facebook page! (4) Movie Screenings The store screens movies and short films PODFJOBGFXXFFLTGPSJUTDVTUPNFST*G you want to catch a good film with the right crowd, this is the place for you! How to get there: "EESFTT C #SBT #BTBI $PNQMFY  #BJO4USFFU 4JOHBQPSF Tel: 63330870 Website: http://www.catsocrates.com.sg

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Check out some of the secrets of NTU students! Send in your own postsecret at http://www.artjampostsecret.com today! This idea is inspired by http://postsecret.blogspot.com

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Post secrets


Art Jam: Issue 19  

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

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