Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dreams & Reality Exhibition @ National Museum of Singapore

I love decorating my blog with paintings! Every time I visit my blog, I feel like I'm visiting an Art Gallery! And since the past few blog entry has been on art, I though I'll continue on since I recently attended the National Museum of Singapore's Christmas Open House where the Dreams & Reality Exhibition was on from 26-Oct-2011 till 5-Feb-2012. If you missed it, I'm sure there will be more Open House coming up on New Year's Day and Chinese New Year!
Anyway, the only reason I went to this exhibition was because 1) its from Paris, and I never did get to visit this museum when I was there, and 2) Original piece of Van Gogh's Starry Starry Night was in it :)  Need I say more?
We arrive early, around 11am? Maybe 12? No queue, and not much people. I was expecting just a few paintings, but there were about 4 halls of paintings in total. Lots of famous paintings from the likes of Renoir,and Gauguin and lots of people I don't know but who drew really really well! Haha. Here are some sample. Luckily photography was allowed (but with no flash of course). Do excuse the quality of the picture. I only had my mobile phone with me.
Some wise sayings on the walls on stuff....
But actually, the only thing I really wanted to see was this painting, and I'm happy to say that it is one of the most beautiful paintings I've ever seen! And yes, it can move one to tears! And I'm amazed at how it still remain it's beauty after so many years! Do they do touch up or something? It was just gorgeous! 
At last, another item strike off my bucket list :)

Musée d'Orsay Paris
Van Gogh Museum

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Dalí: Enter the Mind of a Genius @ ArtScience Museum Singapore 2011

I stumbled upon the Dali exhibition by accident as the Van Gogh Alive Exhibition was also being held at the same place. I have seen Dali's art before in Singapore once and I like it because of the elephant bronze sculpture that reminded me of the elephants in Discworld. And since his art is mostly fantasy like, he kinda grew on me. But after going to this exhibition, I begin to like his paintings as well!

To start with, some paintings/sketching which I was rather fond off from Dali to share.Do click the image to view in more detail. For this blog entry, I chose not to show any of Dali's famous sculpture as there are already plenty on the internet. I'm gonna share with you some sayings from Dali instead:

"The only difference between Surrealism and myself is that I am Surrealism."

"The surrealist object is impractical; it serves for nothing but to make men move, to exhaust them, to cretinize them. The surrealist object is made uniquely for the honour of the thought."

"Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings."

"There is less madness to my method than there is method to my madness."

And just for interest to my humanist friends, here's Dali's religious orientation:

And before I leave, a last picture and saying for you....
Dali Art Gallery

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Van Gogh Alive Exhibition @ ArtScience Museum Singapore 2011

If you've recalled my previous post on the book call Lust For Life, you would know that I simply adore Van Gogh even though I think he's a bum. So it's no surprise that I was counting down the day to visit the Van Gogh Alive Exhibition @ ArtScience Museum Singapore. I even organised a meetup for the Singapore Humanism Meetup group. But I wanted it to be not just another meetup. I wanted to mark the day as a special day. So I picked 30-July, one day after the anniversary of Vincent's death. And I brought flowers to the museum too! For everyone that came, they got a germini from me, and all the guides for the exhibition got one too :) I love giving flowers to random people!

The exhibition was help in a empty hall in total darkness, with only Vincent's paintings projected in vivid color on all the walls! And to accompany it were classical music. They were some animation when the paintings transformed to another. It was a rather surreal feeling just being there. The darkness, the cool aircon environment, and the spaces inside made it just magical!
You could sit down there and have a picnic if you want too :) I just love the idea of that!
I leave you now with a wise saying from Vincent to ponder over....

Sunday, December 11, 2011




二度と帰らない誰かを待ってる, Woo

今宵 涙こらえて奏でる愛のSerenade
ひとり泣き濡れた夜にWhite Love


春が来る前に微笑をくれた, Woo

辛い毎日がやがてWhite Love

今宵 涙こらえて奏でる愛のSerenade
ひとり泣き濡れた冬にWhite Love
Ah, ah, 永遠のWhite Love
My Love

ただ逢いたくて もうせつなくて

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My November Blues

I haven't touched my camera for a full 7 months! So today I decided to take it out and shoot around the house. Here are the results, a combination of my love for photography, and my love for quotes.Enjoy.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Dawn's Balik Pulau Nasi Lemak

If you ever visit Penang, don't just be satisfied with visiting the usual touristy places and eating highly MSG hawkers food. Go local! Go off the beaten path! Go Balik Pulau, and try an authentic dish serve in a homely relaxing atmosphere with no bullshit attached! Yes, I'm talking about our national dish of Nasi Lemak! But not the type you buy for RM1 a packet with just rice and gravy and maybe a 1/8 of an egg. I'm talking about the real deal! What nyonya people actually eat at their home! With fish and prawns and major kick-ass sambal belacan! And you can truly experience that at a little place call Balik Pulau!

To get there, you can take bus 401 or 502 from Jetty or Komtar to KKTM Genting, or drive there. The ride there alone is worth it! From nostalgic narrow old roads, to highways and winding hill path, to the scenic kampung surroundings.

While you're there, don't forget to visit the surrounding fishing villages! And the beautiful beaches!
The nasi lemak price is around RM20 - RM25 per pax and is inclusive of drinks, an authentic serving of Nasi Lemak, and desserts. Wine is also available for you and your family and friends to relax away the day in this little cosy corner. This meal is all value for money, and you're gonna get your money well worth while! 100% home cooked! And I'm pleased to say, her cooking is awesome!

Note that a minimum order of 10 pax is required to make a reservation. Do call at least 3 days in advance.
Contact Dawn Lim at 6-012-4746013 to make a reservation and address information. Take away is also available. Please mention cordycord if you got the contact from my blog :)

Nasi Lemak
Sambal Belacan
Balik Pulau

Sunday, July 31, 2011

SHM Meetup @ ArtScience Museum

SHM had a delightful outing at the newly opened ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sand on 30-July-2011. 9 people showed up for this event, with the sole reason was to visit the Van Gogh Alive Exhibition, the bonus being the Salvador Dalí which was recently launched at the museum, as well as the Shipwrecked Tang Dynasty Treasure exhibition.
The outing started around 10:30am when most of the turnout have collected their tickets, and started to make their way into the museum. First stop, Shipwrecked exhibit. As we were the first few that entered the exhibit on that day, we got a chance to get a guided tour from Joanna Chen, a staff of the museum. She walked us through and explained the treasures found from the wreck. Next we headed for the guided tour of the Van Gogh Exhibition conducted by Alice at 11:30am. Alice also explained to us the origin and reason behind the ArtScience Museum architecture. After that there was a short break for lunch, and the team broke off to explore the museum on their own. After lunch, some of them gathered again to explore the Dalí: Enter the Mind of a Genius exhibition. Some stayed behind to watched a documentary of the Dalí titled "The Dalí Dimention - A Genius' Lifelong Obsession with Science. The outing ended at 5pm, with a slow walk to Marina South MRT while absorbing the National Day festive celebration along the Marina Bay area.

Before ending this entry with some words from Van Gogh, the organizer would like to thank the following people for coming to experience great art and science together: Susan, Eric and wife, Fong Lai, Steven and friend, and SW.

For Midnight blog reader, here are some additional blog entry on some of the exhibitions :)

Van Gogh Alive Exhibition @ ArtScience Museum Singapore 2011
Dalí: Enter the Mind of a Genius Exhibition @ ArtScience Museum Singapore 2011

Singapore ArtScience Museum
Vincent Van Gogh
Salvador Dalí
The Dalí Dimention - A Genius' Lifelong Obsession with Science

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Paris Lodging Information - Residence du Palais

Some lodging information to share. You know how it is, you're a backpacker, and every lodging can be quite a horror trip or a paradise. My stay in Paris, was just lovely! We stayed in a place Residence du Palais, central of Paris, with the Jardin du Luxembourg right in front! The entrance it's just across the road from where we stayed! (a-but back entrance :P )
I booked online via their website below for a private room for 2 person. But somehow, we ended up with a while apartment to ourselves, a usual room for 3 person! See! I told you it pays to travel during low peak period! Normally it cost 100Euro for the apartment (as shown above)! But we booked for 1 week stay, and it only cost us 70Euro for the whole place! We have a double bed, and one single bed, with our own little bathroom with a glass ceiling that looks out into the sky (I totally love that!). It comes with 2 heater, 1 TV, 2 lamps, 1 closet, and even a study table and chair. It is just charming! Here are some shots of the inside of the room. And look! Another sneaky photo of mua!
But there is a catch. It's on the top floor, which means it's 7 floor of stairs up! Pretty breathless the first few days! But after a few days, there were days we went up and down 3 times! Very good exercise! Here a picture of the stairs! And the view from the courtyard below. It really feels homely. And we don't even have to see the landlady or the reception as we have our own entrance and pin code and key.
And the morning view and air is just lovely. At around 4 degrees, the sky looks lovely when we're having breakfast in our room :) Only bad point of the whole place is, no hot water for drinking as it doesn't come with a kettle. Would I go back? Without a doubt! It's practically near everywhere! And right just below, there is a Pâtisserie where we get our daily supply of French pastries! Notably the chocolate Meringue, and Chocolate Soufflé and really, just anything chocolate :P  Tell you more about the Pâtisserie on my French Food blog entry later on :)

Residence du Palais

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jardin du Luxembourg

15-Nov-2010 (Monday). Today is the last day for me in Paris.We'll be going back to London the next day. I wanted it to be a relaxing day, so we decided to spend the morning feeding the ducks in the garden in front of our apartment. It so happens, that the garden was Jardin du Luxembourg :)

We kinda walked through the garden, and all around it as we travel out each day, but today we were really going to spend some time there. It was Autumn, and slightly wet. But the weather slowly started to clear up. I feel like I'm the luckiest person traveling sometimes, cause I always pick the worst season to visit a place as it's a lot cheaper, and somehow, the weather are usually good! I mean, come on, how often does it rain everyday??? But I bet it must be really lovely in spring and summer here :) Hopefully one day, I'll get to come back here in those wonderful season.
Here is my favorite place of the whole garden, the duck pond. I took about a quarter loaf of bread there, and me and my husband spend the whole morning feeding the ducks. Perhaps I've stayed in Singapore for too long, cause I was feeling cautious, as if at any time a police would come up and arrest me for feeding the ducks! But after while, I started to relax, and kinda wish this was something I could do every weekend. It is really really relaxing to be there and then! Heck I have such wonderful memories of it that I'm including here a rare picture of me on my own blog :)

Jardin du Luxembourg

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Paris Icons - Eiffel Tower & Arc de Triomphe

14-Nov-2010 (Sunday). After visiting the Catacombes, the weather was looking up, so we decided to walk across Paris (from South East to North West) to see the famous sights of Paris, mainly the Eiffel Tower, & Arc de Triomphe. I don't know what is it with me and famous sights that almost every backpacking I do, it is always one of the last few days that I actually drag myself to these sights. To be totally honest, while in London, we totally missed out Big Ben and the Parliament House.
Anyway, walking across town was just lovely. I love walking around. You get to feel more of the heart beat of the city. You get to smell it, touch the rain water, and see the sights that most tourist never do. By the time we reached the Arc de Triomphe, it was already evening. And there was a memorial services being held there for in conjunction with Remembrance Day.

Here are some photo's taken by my hubby on the event. We got a pretty clear view of it. 

Remembrance Day
Eiffel Tower
Arc de Triomphe

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My First Patch Pencil Case

My actual first patch project. Was suppose to make an item a month, but I kinda slack off after this.... But still, this memento keeps me motivated to make more little patch stuff for the future! This here is a pencil case I made to house my colored pen for my language study. I couldn't decide whether to go with red/pink or blue, so I made one side blue, and one side red! Smart eh? :p  The zipper is light green in color, and I love all my patch work to go with white cotton lace :) The zipper didn't actually fit the whole length, so I guess I'll have to alter it a bit to hide that Frankenstein imperfection. For pencil case, it's pretty good to use :)

Hope there's more project to share soon!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wabi-sabi - 侘寂

Just wanted to take a moment here to share with you something I've just discovered called Wabi Sabi (侘寂), which is based on Zen Buddhism. I find that it's just really me, and how I've lived my life so far :) Gonna go read up more on Zen Buddhism and the art of Teaism soon!
The following are taken from a book I borrowed title "Practical Wabi Sabi" by Simon G Brown.

Principles of Wabi Sabi
  • Living in the moment
  • Simplicity
  • Emptiness
  • Intuition
  • Transient Beauty
  • Incompleteness
  • Acceptance of Imperfection
  • Asymmetry
  • Appreciation
  • Tranquility
  • Naturalness
  • Non-Attachment
  • Humbleness, Modesty and Austerity
  • Everything Changes

Practical Wabi Sabi by Simon G Brown
Wabi-Sabi Wiki
Teaism or Wabi-Cha

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Les Catacombes de Paris

14-Nov-2010 (Sunday). I'm tired out by now, so today my hubby took the lead of being the tour guide. He wanted to take me to the Catacombs. It was one of my to-see places in France, but I wasn't sure if there were any in Paris, or how I would react to skulls and skeletons even though I'm pretty dark in nature :P

The great thing about the place we were staying in was that it was within walking distance to everything! (more about lodging in later entries). So we decided to walk there! It was a pleasant walk, with a light rain accompanying us. We were pretty distracted by the Sunday street markets, and the streets were just filled with people and the smell of food! Lovely as can be.

Le Catacomb took some time to locate. It's not exactly clearly marked. But if you see a long queue there, it's probably the right place. You can't really see anything at the street level, cause the attraction is underground. The entrance is pretty intimidating. You pay for a ticket, and there's a staircase that goes all the way down into the ground. The following warnings are shown as you start your journey:

Visits limited to 200 Visitors in the site (entries can be stopped temporarily)
  Duration of the visit: 45 minutes - length 2 km
  No toilets, no cloakroom
  130 steps to be gone down, 83 steps to be gone up
  Temperature: 14°
  Visit disadvised to the people suffering of  cardiac or respiratory weakness and of nervous disease.
  Visit disadvised to young children
Children of less than 14 years must be accompanied by an adult
I'm claustrophobic and don't do well in small confined places. But I really really wanted to see this, so in I went.

The first few chambers were museum like, with photos and explanation of the place. It's a kinda warning of what you're about to encounter. The photos were pretty graphic, but fear not. It has been ages since they were taken, so all that's left down there now are just bones, 2km worth of it.

This was my first encounter of human remains, and it was not just one, but thousands and thousands of it. At first I actually thought those skulls were stacked up on stones, but on a closer look, those were actually body parts! Femur, tibia, finula, you name it, you got it. You're free to touch them, which I couldn't resist.

I'm glad I visited this place. There's just something about being near the dead for me. Not rotting dead, or dying dead. But dead with ages, stone cold, silent, and peaceful. To me, death is the eternal sleep, the eternal slumber, the eternal peace. There's just something very beautiful about it to me.

Catacombs of Paris (Wiki)
Les Catacombes de Paris

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Église de la Madeleine

11-Nov-2010 (Thursday).Finally making our way to downtown Paris! I wanted to go stare at the shop windows and drool over their display, knowing very well I couldn't bring myself to buy anything expensive there. So early in the morning, off we go. We wanted to looking for a Flower Market at Place Madeleine, and I wanted to visit Hediard and Maille Mustard shops too. Well we made it to the market, but being autumn/winter season, there wasn't much to see. However there was a huge building there which we didn't know what it was, and we walked all around it before following some tourist inside. Lo and behold! It was a Church of Lady Madeleine. And it was old and ancient and beautiful!
This was the 2nd church I visited in Paris, and the entrance was free! This place was not really on my itinerary, but it should be in yours if you're visiting Paris! Cause it's a lovely church, and not many people goes there! And best of all, it's all dedicated to the feminine side of Christianity. All the saints there are women. So that made it extra special :)
Here's a nearer pix of the altar. I think the altar look so much nicer than Notre Dame :)
I'm so addicted to churches! Hopefully I'll get to visit Our Lady of Lourdes one day! Didn't made it there this time round as it was located quite far from Paris. That's on my wish list the next time I visit Paris!

We did lots of other sight seeing, eating and shopping on this day as well, but I'll write about those information at a later entry. Stay tune!

Église de la Madeleine
Mary Madeleine
Our Lady of Lourdes

Friday, June 10, 2011

Père Lachaise Cemetery

11-Nov-2010 (Thursday). It was raining. And the temperature fell till 2 to 4 degrees Celsius. This was the day I planned for us to visit our second cemetery. And before you start rolling your eyes at me, may I just add, that we were going to visit one of the most beautiful and most visited cemetery in the world? Père Lachaise Cemetery (cimetière du Père-Lachaise).
By the time we got there, it was raining, and the temperature dropped till 1 degree! Although I took a few photos with my camera, I found it difficult to keep my fingers from freezing! After a while, I resorted to purely use my phone as a camera :)
Yes. This is a cemetery. But it's a very beautiful cemetery. And perhaps I'm slightly morbid, but I totally love cemetery. There is a certain solitude, certain sadness, a certain beauty to it all. And  Père Lachaise Cemetery fits my image of a classic cemetery of my imagination. Gothic sculptures, flowers, cold and rainy weather. If it weren't so freaking cold that day, it would have been perfect!
There were a few dead people on my list that I wanted to visit. And it wasn't easy finding them as the wordings on the grave were kinda hard to read, and the "address" were jumping all over. But we managed to find them all :) There were also a few people there just grave hunting, so we kinda follow the crowd. The very first grave was the hardest to find, but as we got a hang of it, we cleared the cemetery by lunch time.

Here are the graves of the people on my list that day:

Oscar Wilde - Writer/Poet.Play writer (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900)
Yes, those are lipsticks and graffiti on his tombstone. And yes, that is his tombstone!
Chopin - Pianist/Composer ( 22 February or 1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849)
  My favorite piece from him

And lastly, Jim Morrison from the Doors - Singer ((December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971). I have no idea who he was, but I promised a friend that I would take a photo of his grave for him.
Père Lachaise Cemetery wiki
Père Lachaise Cemetery virtual tour
Oscar Wilde
Jim Morrison