Friday, August 29, 2014

Dance with Grace and Elegance

As a little girl, I have always wanted to be a ballet dancer. Haha... one of the little girl's fantasy. Though I would prefer to be able to play a piano if my parents were able to send me to one. Little One loves to dance and she had learnt some basic stretching steps from her friends in her friends in childcare last year. (Unfortunately, we had withdrawn her due to high fees which we could no longer maintain since I have stopped working) I happen to chance upon these books on dances when I brought her to one of the creative movements programme in the library.

1. Invitation to Ballet 
by Carolyn Vaughan ; works of art by Edgar Dgas ; illustrations by Rachel Isadora.
I love this book. I like the idea of integrating Ballet with Paintings of Edgar Dgas. A Performing Art with Visual Art. A brief history of ballet as well a biography of Edgar Dgas makes this book complete.

2. The Little Ballerina 
by Dally Grindley
DK Readers's "The Little Ballerina" is good for children who is beginning to read alone. Recommended for 6 to 8 years old. Although there are quite a number of technical terms, but these can be overcome easily as the book explained clearly how exactly the dance steps (The 5 positions and other dance steps) looked like. They include pictures to demostrate. Little One is not able to read alone as yet. This book is considered difficult for her. As I was reading, I felt the urge to try out and dance with Little One.

It is not surprising that Little One starts to ask for ballet lessons. (Ever since she watch the 12 days of Christmas by a ballet group at Forum) I told her she must persevere if she intends to learn ballet because lots of hard work have to be put in if she intends to be a good dancer. I have yet to do any research to sign her up for any ballet classes. If you have any good ones with trial, please do contact me by leaving me a comment or via the contact form (on the side bar).

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sculptures #4 Along Singapore River and the nearby areas

This week, I am talking you a walk down Singapore river to both sides of the river bank, namely the Financial District and the Civic District, including the museum belt. I shall not dwell too much on history. This, I may save for another post.

Singapore River along Financial District
Kucinta cats (Singapura Cats) at Cavenagh Bridge
 Used to have 15 of these but only 3 were left at present.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hill Street Coffee Shop

This was one of the places which I used to patronise with my colleagues. 
Hill Street Coffee Shop at Chinatown Point. They have another branch at SuperTree Dining at Gardens by the Bay but I have yet to visit.

I love the ambience, old school setting.

My favourite order would always be the Rendang * Chicken Nasi Lemak**   with Coffee. It taste so yummy that whenever I am around the region during meal time, I would just pop in and order this. The only complain I have is that I wish the peanuts were crunchier!

*spicy meat dish
**Fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf
Probably you would like to read on the article on which the food is served?

Chinatown Point
133 New Bridge Road #B1-52 Singapore 059413

Gardens by the Bay
18 Marina Gardens Drive Singapore 018953

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sculptures #3 in the neighbourhood

Sculptures are not restricted just to the Central Business District (CBD), they can be in the neighbourhood too.

Seng Kang Sculpture Park


This sculpture reminds me of ET!


Towards tail

Towards Head

love the tiles
Lovely flowers in bloom and it's starting to bear fruits
Guess where these stairs lead to?

A double slide!
Cute manhole

The Metropolis
This is not exactly a neighbourhood but a business centre within a clusters of neighbourhood.
We explored the place after our Mac Donald meal.

These cluster of sculptures are interesting! They are working class with umbrellas, coats  and hats. They are situated all the way from the steps to the lowest level. It is interesting to see real working people blending in with the sculptures especially on a busy morning.

What a leap!

And what a hand!

Guess the animal!

I admit I didn't think it was a horse.

Linking with :-

The Jenny Evolution


Friday, August 15, 2014

The Tree of Life - Charles Darwin (Book Review + DVDs recommendation)

The Tree of Life by Peter Sis

When I first saw this book, "The Tree of Life" by Peter Sis  in the library accidentally, it got me interested because I somehow link it to the India artefact in the Asian Civilisation Museum, "The Tree of Life".
"The tree of life is a symbol of the connections among all things, past, present, and the future."
                                                                                              -Booklet from the Asian Civilisation Museum
Indian Artefact in Asian Civilisation Museum (ACM)
. More than 200 years old. Carefully woven and dyed in India
{Credit} My Enchanted Trail booklet by ACM
So when flip through it, I realised it is a story about Charles Darwin's life, exploration on a 5 year voyage on board the Beagle, his many years of studying nature, his secret life of writing a book that change the world.

"As far as I can judge, I am not apt to follow blindly the lead of other men. "
                                                                                                  - Charles Darwin

What is the tree of life and who is Charles Darwin?

Charles Darwin (1809 -1882) was a naturalist, geologist and a thinker. He was born in 12 Feb 1809, in Shrewsbury, England. During that time, many people were convinced that man was a special being created by God. Charles Darwin had been interested in nature since young. This was something which his father does not really support because he had wanted to groom him as a doctor.

After 5 years on board Beagle (DEC 27,1831- OCT 2, 1836), Charles Darwin went round the world studying different organisms and collecting specimens for various experts for study and classification. During the 5 years he ate exotic food such as armadillos and land iguana. From this voyage, he trained his mind. Especially on the visit to Galapagos Islands (geographically young volcanic islands then), he heard that the species of tortoises differ from island to island. He also noted the different flinches on the different islands of Galapagos.

After the voyage, through details examinations and classifications by various experts, Charles Darwin realised that they were actually are very closely related species. He analysed and deduced life may have origin from a single source. He sketched in a notebook a tree showing old species branching into new ones. (the tree of life). The Beagle voyage alone was not enough to prove that species transmutate or evolve. Many people in those days strongly believe Man was created by God. He did many experiments for years to prove that species do transmutate. After many years of experimenting (23 years), he concluded the following theories:

1) Plants and animals have more offspring to replace the parents.
2) Offspring of the same set of parent are not exactly the same.
3) The overall number of each kind of plant or animal mostly stay the same

These pointers suggest there is a struggle for existence. Natural selection is a on-going progress and only the one who fit the environment  best would be chosen to survive. Hence, the theory survival of the fittest.

With all these findings, Charles Darwin finally had the courage to get his book, The Origin of Species, to be publish in Nov 24, 1859. Of course, Darwin's theory was being attacked by the church. Darwin had his supporters too. These sparked the Great Oxford Debate.

The book also show Charles Darwin's private life. He had 10 children with his wife, Emma and yet 3 died when they were very young.

Although this book is a simplified story and it contains many illustrations, but it also contains words such as "archipelago" and "aftershock" and many names of people and rich vocabulary of animals which may not be easily grasped by primary school children. Hence, this book is probably more suited for teens who had studied biology. Recommended age would be 15 years old.

Personally, I studied biology during my school days but little was known about this wonderful man, Charles Darwin. After reading the book, I realised he deserved to be a man of respect due to his courage to go against the belief of his people. He was not the first person to suggest evolution but he was the first one who provide evidence to support the idea that evolution is possible over a long period of time.

DVDs about Darwin

Now you know about artists, explorers and scientists/ created by Classrisa Brooke-Turner

This DVD set consist of 3 disc, 1 for each occupation. Each DVD tells the story of 5 famous people in a first-person narrative and colourful 10 minutes film. This set of  DVD is a good introduction to the various famous people such as Charles Darwin , Leonardo da Vinci and Captain Cook. Young children are attracted to the colourful illustrations but Little One does not like the part whereby people were dying (although illustrated vividly) in the DVD.

Charles Darwin and the tree of life/ Written and presented by David Attenborough

An interesting hour documentary about Charles Darwin and his revolutionary theory of evolution through natural selection. And a Extra DVD about Darwin's personal life, which include his church devoted wife and his favourite daughter, Annie.
What I like about this documentary is that you get to see the archive footage (Eg. the different tortoises and the barnacles.) that David Attenborough had done for BBC to illustrate Darwin's findings.

I strongly recommend all 3 if you are interested to find more about Charles Darwin.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sculpture #2 Sculpture Society (Singapore) Annual Show 2014 SG-TW Shoebox Sculpture Show

If you are interested in sculptures, why not visit the Shoebox Sculpture exhibition at the Foothills, Fort Canning Park in Geleri Utama. Most of these sculptures are made by local sculptors. Some of these sculptures are for sale.

Outside Geleri Utama. Check out the flowers!

Sculptures on shelves

There were 6  shelves of sculptures on exhibit. Last 2 shelves contain sculptures made by Taiwanese sculptors. As these are not tag, you would have to refer on a piece of paper on the wall near the entrance, who the sculptors are and the name of the sculpture.

Showing some of my favourites.
姿 by 王秀杞 Love the posture of the sculpture

清晨 五点十分, 2013 by 简志达 These birds look so real and the pillow looked soft too!

金刚犀牛 ,2012 by 施力仁. I was told the sculptor had made many of these and the back of these rhino could be open to put things into them. Wow!

种子系列, 种子I, 2014 by 杨华 

Seed Pod II, 2014 by Han Sai Por , I love the combination of these colours
Me/ Layu, 2014 by Ezzam Rahman, I was told this is made from fingernails!

A cage, a man and an apple, 2014 by Nya Soe. Does the cage reminds you of the wooden blocks that children plays with?

The distance between the window and the door, 2014 by Yeo Chee Keong

A dream house , 2014 by Justin Lee. Somehow reminds me of a fusion between kampung zinc roof and the doors and windows of old estate such as Queenstown. A nostalgic feel.

All that Shines, We Climb, 2014 by Xin Xiaochang

种子, 2014 by Chua Chon Hee. Another seedpod.

Autumn by Aileen Toh. 

And many others... include Chua Boon Kee's work (bottom right, The Sandalwoodie family)...
Even outside the gallery,  there are sculptures
If you have about an or two hour to spare, you may want to walk around Fort Canning Park. There are at least 20 sculptures on the hill.

Little One's favourite kind of swings

Aren't they cute?
The Geleri is located just opposite Liang Court, near to the Fabulous Baker Boy cafe. I read good reviews about this cafe. Have you try it?

If you are interested in sculptures or intend to buy some, you may want to pay a visit to this gallery.

Venue :Geleri Utama
The Foothills, Fort Canning Park Singapore
Time of exhibit: 7th to 31st August 2014, 10am to 6 pm
Admission is free 

Linking with :-

The Jenny Evolution


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