Tag Archives: 24hr Singapore project

Ubud/Bali/February 24/Stephen Black/Photos/Notes 2

sanur beach cloud Time of Photo: 6:40 PM Location: Sanur Beach, near Mercure Hotel Description: Sanur Beach with the tide out and after a rainstorm. Notes by Stephen Black One of these days I will think of a way to describe, in original, uncliched phrases, what it is like to ride in a Balinese downpour from Ubud to Sanur/Sanur to Ubud. For now: it pours. It rains cats and dogs.A cold windy downpour pushes you into the huge splashes made by other vehicles. Water down your neck and back, your pants are soaked. You shiver. Sometimes you can rush out from under the thunderclouds, and speed away from the harshness of cold sharp rain and into the warmth of a sweet, humid brightness. On this day, however, we were caught in a downpour and the streets were flooded. We went to the printers, the Satvika Bhoga organic place in Sanur and then the beach.Between the printer and the organic food place the rain stopped and when we got to the beach it was nice enough for a ten minute nap. Bali Wave Ghost is the latest book by artist/writer/producer Stephen Black.Beach Road is a free 360Vr Movie available here. SPOKEN, created by Eugene Soh and curated by Stephen Black, features a diverse collection of writers and artists. It is a free download available here.

I would probably go see Stephen Black at the 2015 Singapore Writers Festival

A Facebook event page has been created. If you would like to see SB at the 2015 Singapore Writers Festival, check out this page. THANKS The Singapore literary scene is very small but dynamic. The National Book Development Council, the Arts Council,the National Heritage Board, the Economic Development Board, the Singapore Memory Project and other agencies have funded numerous books, projects and events. Publishers like Epigram, Ethos and Monsoon are "punching above their weight" and creating international interest in Singapore as they also succeed within the country itself. As an artist/writer based on the island since 2002, I have been fortunate to interact with all of these companies and organizations, as well as individuals involved with the art and business of writing. I write now to raise the possibility of me, Stephen Black, appearing at the 2015 Singapore Writers Festival.I cannot deny that I will benefit but equally important, if not more so, is the fact that my inclusion will, within Singapore and beyond, recognize and further validate self-publishing. With each passing day there are more examples of self-published books successfully connecting with people, like this. Has the SWF recognized any self-published authors? "Self-publishing is the future" is not true: ask Jane Austen. Or Proust. I humbly propose the following notes for the Singapore Writers Festival's consideration. 1. Relevancy to the SWF's stated theme; to "have a strong focus on Singapore authors and themes". Nearly all of my books are related to Singapore and its history, especially I Ate Tiong Bahru. Three years in the making, I Ate Tiong Bahru was completely self-funded. Full of first-hand observations about life in Tiong Bahru, as well as original research and interviews, IATB is likely to become a Singapore bestseller (2000 print copies sold) in 2015. This despite a nearly anonymous cover with no blurbs or eye-catching illustration. "... the anecdotal tales you have recorded jump back at me through time. It is a rare occasion when I get the opportunity to meet someone who is so dedicated to writing up the heritage of the area with stories from the street." Donald Wyatt, resident of Tiong Bahru since 1942 minimalist book cover Stephen Black's musings of Singapore's most famous neighborhood are at once whimsical,nostalgic and humorous. From stories about local delicacies to "Soymilk Blues" (sung to Johnny Cash's famous song), I Ate Tiong Bahru is a must-read for gourmets, architects, historians and just about anyone who wishes to learn more about this evolving neighborhood. -5 star review on Amazon 2. The projects of Book Merah (the name of my book "incubator") represent an important aspect of the zeitgeist of the publishing world.  Obama Search Words, written and produced in Clement,i was very likely the first ebook produced in Singapore to be sold on Amazon. Contact With Shadow, a novel packed with historical information about the Armenian Street/Fort Canning area was probably the first Singapore-based project on Kickstarter. Contact With Shadow is now featured on Unglue-it, a revolutionary site devoted to the creation of free ebooks. Furikake, which has the "ugliest cover on Amazon" was written in 2007, and is set in the area near West Coast Park.The sequel to I Ate Tiong Bahru is near completion. The book, called To Eat Tiong Bahru, may be crowd-fundedFires, by Singapore Literature Prize Winner Cyril Wong was most likely the first book by a Singaporean poet to appear on Kindle. 3. As far as being Singaporean, I have held  a newborn baby in Mount Elizabeth Hospital and twice watched the sad machinery at Mandai. I've lived on Emerald Hill Road,in Hougang, in Clementi, Boon Lay and the Mitre Hotel. I have had a company, an employment pass and a huge variety of uniquely Singaporean life experiences. I probably had SARS. I survived a Singaporean Chinese wedding. 4. FWIW 1: Singapore Biennale text with Michael Lee, as well as other contributions to Michael Lee's text projects. Contributing writer to Singapore Architect magazine, producing articles on a wide range of topics including the Red Dot Museum, the works of Amanda Heng, Art Stage Singapore and more. 5. FWIW 2 I have been invited to speak at Hubud on January 8. I've presented at various gatherings and conferences, including TEDx Youth in Singapore. Acted  in Boo Jun Feng's Changi Murals. Have held a newborn baby at Mount Elizabeth, suffered through weddings and twice watched the sad machinery out in Mandai. 6. SPOKEN, created with Singaporean Eugene Soh, not only features a variety of international artists including Stelarc and Yasumasa Morimura, but Singaporeans Vincent Leow and Godwin Koay. Writers include Sjon (SWF 203), Xu Xi (Man Booker Prize nominee and other talented writers from a wide range of countries, from China to Nigeria, from Turkey to London.
Two people discussing something

 at Booktique

7. Being in the SWF would give me another opportunity to thank BooksActuallyBooktique and my very  supportive production team members. 8. It would be an honor and a privilege to meet some of the people who have bought I Ate Tiong Bahru and/or received the free ebook version. Thank you all  in advance for your time and consideration.This may seem like self-promotion. It is, but part of the reality of being independent is understanding the fact that if you don't do it, no one will.  

Why I use Google+

www.blacksteps.tv Facebook is  a 500 pound shrinking party hat; Google+ is a custom-made, constantly updated digital Swiss army knife.
Google+ in action

Screen capture, July 1, 2014

  I'm not really a techie, but I try to learn about tech stuff. Why? Because the internet is what is happening. Do I want to be famous? No. Do I want to be #1 on the top of a search engine result? No. Do I want my artworks and books to be in front of like-minded people who are searching for ideas related to mine? Yes, yes, yes! I was nicely surprised today that when I searched for a Singapore-based crowdfunding organization, Avvio, that my name came up close to theirs. This happened simply  because I think they are interesting and I shared that view on Google+. So that's it. I could go on  about other Google+ advantages, but the above example is simple enough: you either get it or you don't. If you give it some thought, the example above is seemingly positive  and definitely profound. It is also the future, as long as there is Google and people who search. Techies: Yes, I know there are a quite a few factors involved in the placement of search results. There is no guarantee that this sort of thing will happen every time. But we both know that my same post on Facebook went between a post of a cat and a promise of beautiful skin...and my post stayed there. Not only stayed there, but was  seen by an unknown-but-probably-small  fraction of the people I wanted to share that info with.

24 hr Singapore art: Stories/memories collected starting from June 29, 2014

This blog entry is the second part of this. FB screencapture Alvin Zom   The above was posted on Facebook, G+ and LinkedIn  the morning of June 29, 2014. First reply by Zom Lehman:
My son was almost 2. I was working as an artist. I can look closer at the date and the things going on at that time to get a better picture if what I was doing...
Reply 2. Alvin Tan:
 I was at a rehearsal for Gitanjali [I feel the earth move] on Friday 6 June from 10am till 5pm. Had a meeting with Sean Tobin and then went for a show at Esplanade from 7.30pm till 9pm. Went home, did work and slept. On Saturday 7 June, I had rehearsal for Gitanjali [I feel the earth move] from 10am till 6pm.
(SB Note: Was happy to see Bani Haykel is doing the music. I had hoped to involve him in this 24 hour project somehow. In the new text must mention working with Bani on the Big Homer "rock opera" as well on the 3how Riverwalk Session CD with Amith Narayan, Curtis King and Wilson Goh.)
On 6 June, amongst other things, in the late morning I went to the hairdresser and in the evening I performed "Waiting for you" at Kovan HUB 206. You took a beautiful photo of my performance with my last sitter.  Over night I was informed by my cousin that my grandfather had died. On 7 before 13:00 I went to Kinokunya and bought a couple of books.
SB NOTE: I then asked Daniela for the names of the books, maybe a bit more detail.
Her reply, via FB:
... felt very good that day because i was having my hair done and i would be nice and ready for my evening performance. I went to Tony & Guy; they have been my hairdressers since I arrived in Singapore. Tess, a lovely and gentle Singaporean Chinese woman, is one of those people stable in my life, which is nice. I sit there and chat a little with Tess, but if I am busy, then I tend to use that time to catch up with reading catalogues... after Tess, I went to Kinokunya and bought, amongst others, these books: Nietzsche made simple and The Birth of Tragedy, which a friend of mine, philosopher of ethics in Naples University, recommended to me for my research in performance art.
I had lunch at Sushi Tei, i love Sushi Tei, it is unpretentious but decent and I have the card which gives me 10% off but 20% on my birthday month, which was in June. I returned home around 16:00 in time for Luca to be back from school with the bus. We spent time together, probably doing homework.
At 18:00 his father came to pick him up and later i made my way to Kovan MRT as I was due to perform alongside Yuzuru and Malvina at the PA art event. I saw some people I had not seen in a while. I was more confident this time. At the performance many people sat down with me and we looked into each other's eyes it was meant to be in silence bcd words can create such misunderstandings but in the end people were a little embarrassed and talking to me made them feel more comfortable so i adapted... then I went home and to bed. At night time my cousin from Trieste texted me that nonno had died.
I knew he would not last much longer after my mother's death last November.
loops the kinokunya and sushi tie occurred on saturday 7 before 13:00
  Reply 4. Joyotee Ray Chaudhury:
 On 6th June me and a team of other volunteer artists were painting a mural at the Sri Narayana Mission home .
Joyotee and crew painting mural
Photo credit: Radha Kumari
(SB Note: Joyotee appeared as the love interest in Big Homer, performed at Goodman Art Centre with 3how. )
Reply 5. Debbie Ding:
 On 6 June at 11am I was attempting to write an additional 3000 words for my draft dissertation in one sitting, discovering that squeezing out more words on demand was very very difficult and perhaps a bit overambitious but did it anyway (not the best 3000 words I've written), submitted it online, then ran to school to continue working. I sat in my studio editing the final mix of a sound work that was due for submission on 6 June as well, it was a sound piece about interior sounds inside one's ears; it was hard as the sounds made me very sleepy. As I was leaving the studio I bumped into Katie for whom I was supposed to build ant models but I had to run because I was almost late to see The Drowned Man at the National Theatre in Paddington.  It involved the audience wandering around a massive set with masks on. I was carrying too much equipment and heavy tools in my bag so I went to the bar inside the theatre early and had a glass of wine in the middle of the show. Sitting in the front row of the bar, the performers on stage started to pretend I was the “songwriter” of one of their newest hits, and asked me to come up to sing it with them. Fortunately, the song lyric only consisted of one word: “TEQUILA”. After 3 hours of the show I was starving because I had forgotten to eat lunch so we ate at a strange posh italian place nearby after the show. I couldn’t convince Sarah or Bing to come all the way eastwards with me after dinner so I trekked down alone to Apiary Studios to listen to my friends play at their vinyl release - Masters’ Acid Witch Mountain. George was already there. There was a massive gong. The gig was awesome and me and Biin were sitting right in front. My flatmate Giuseppe also had some video works showing there as well but by the time I got there he was mysteriously gone. Lots of familiar faces as it was also some manner of a resurrection of Adaadat Records and launching of the blog of some esoteric occultism/spritualism-related journal. Later at some unspecified hour I had too much wine and can only recall wandering from room to room trying to find George but instead found my friend Simon on a technicolour dance floor and having a yelling conversation along the lines of “Where’s George?” “Don’t know! Lets DANCE!” Finally George found me, put me on a bus home, and cycled behind the bus. I spent most of the bus ride with my face pressed up against the glass looking out for George on his bike. We stopped at the Jewish bakery for a pastry and went to bed. I can’t recall what I did the next day as my google calendar is blank and doesn’t show  any appointments, but probably not a lot after a day like that.
SB Notes: Many experiences with Debbie Ding, from classrooms to Little India house parties. I once gave her a rock. I am extremely, extremely fortunate to have had her help with the cover of this, which was modified by Shaz at Shoreless. Debbie's original cover is here.
Reply 6. via comments section:
I walked in the middle of huge crowds all afternoon long : a school fair Little India and the MRT...nobody talked to me and  I did not talk to anybody, yet it was overwhelming enough to overcome the feel of loneliness... Meeting a young man's stare, and sharing a smile instead of turning the eyes away... Getting home exhausted, eventually happy to be alone, in a comfortable silence.
Reply 7. Via email, from Jeremy Tiang
6th June was the first read-through of my translation of Floating Bones  (a double-bill of plays by Quah Sy Ren and Han Lao Da), which is being performed at the Arts House in July-- but I wasn't there, as I'm on a whole other continent from the show and its rehearsals. Instead I continued working here in New York, where I was knee-deep in other translation jobs. The director Elina Lim later let me know by e-mail how the read-through went, with her suggested changes to the script. I worked late into the night, slept, and the next morning made a fruit tart to take to the first birthday party of a friend's daughter-- a picnic in the park. (The actual party falls outside the time frame of this exercise).
Reply 8. Via Facebook, from Olivia Kwok
Morning of June 6. Second day in Bali, Indonesia.
This is the final stop of a 5-show tour with Malaysian punk band, Weot Skam.
We had the luxury of a few free hours today, after being on a constant move the past week, crossing the country in vans, trai
ns and the ferry.
We rode around on our rented motorbikes all morning and afternoon, under the blue skies of Kuta and Ubud. Got wildly lost trying to find some temple... buying multi-coloured hand crafted wooden cocks on keychains (don't ask) along the way and having nasi padang lunches in the 'hood. This languid ended with a couple of drinks at a cafe 2 steps away from our resthouse, shooting the wind for a bit before the boys prepared for the last performance.
Twice Bar. Conveniently located in the heart of Kuta, mere minutes away from the famed shores of Bali. One would never be able to guess there would be a place like this here, homing the sub-culture. This is common sight - teens decked out in black and studded boots loitering the streets of Poppies Lane, seated on sidewalks outside convenience stores with drinks in their hands, waiting for the show to begin. Weot Skam gave it all tonight, alongside local bands BattleField and UglyBastard.
12MN. Post-show adrenaline high. A good buzz from free alcohol (thanks Gus). Taco place. Late night beach visit. Amazed by graffiti art seen in a new light. More specifically, a 'shroomed' light... Being caught in a state of acute consciousness and oblivion... drifting off to slumber. That about sums up the evening.
The new day started at noon, when we woke hungry for food. And of course, the rest of it is a story for another time.
Olivia manages the Singapore Art Salon. The next one is July - 29 July at Artistry Cafe www.sporeartsalon.blogspot.com 
 Reply 9, via Facebook by Nguyen Hong Nhung
Hi Steve, I dont know if I am related to Singapore art the way you want, but your question is very interesting so I want to share my answer with you. You can use it or not it's up to you. One thing I did after 11am Friday June 6 and before noon June 7: In the morning of June 7 I went out with my best friend to an exhibition of old Vietnamese's magazines from 1865-1965. He enjoyed it. There was a small bookshop at the exhibition and as I was telling him how much I missed a book I read when I was little, I found it lying on the table right in front of my eyes. It's "The Paul Street Boys" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Paul_Street_Boys. I read it when I was in elementary school and I still love it. I bought it together with two other books. But the book sellers told me he wants me to have "the Paul Street Boys".
I meant the book seller didnt take my money for this book. It's a present.
 Nguyen Hong Nhung runs Nối Projects, a cooperative initiative connecting Vietnamese artists with various interdisciplinary dialogues and creative projects. Earlier in the week she gave a presentation at Grey Projects and also attended a curators conference.
Reply 10, FB notification the responded via comments section, by Fiona Chong:
Hi Stephen, I'm not sure why you chose 6 June for your project but I found it really interesting because 6 June this year marked an extremely important milestone in my life. It was the official opening of my graduation exhibition –– an accumulation of many sacrifices, hours of hard work, financial commitments and emotional heartaches. I had taken a leap of faith a few years ago, leaving an established career to pursue my dream in photography. Last year, I left Singapore to a small town in Maine, US where I knew no one to immerse myself in a photography school.At 11am June 6th, I was on the road, heading into Portland, Maine where the gallery was located. As I sped past the beautiful summer scenery of Maine during the two hour drive, flashbacks of my past year occupied my mind like a movie screen. I recall the very first time I reached my school campus. That excitement built up from months of preparation work and anticipation. My first critique class. My first Salt print. That time I broke down alone. Spending nights in the lab editing. My first winter. How I have changed as an artist. I've never thought that I would evolved to be an artist. That time I broke down again. What if I had stayed on in my previous career? What do I do next now that I have graduated? Panic sneaked in.4.30pm I arrived at the gallery early because I wanted to spend some private moments with my work before guests were due to arrive at 5pm. Perhaps to every viewer, the prints and the multimedia piece tells a story and evokes certain feelings. To the artist who created them, there are personal stories intertwined within and the breadth and intensity is so much more that words sometimes cannot do enough justice for them.Perhaps the most important lesson I've learnt in life is that the harder you try to cling on to something, be it someone, a moment, happiness, relationships, and wishing that it won't leave you, the faster it slips away from your grasp.With a last look at my work on the wall at 8pm, it officially marked the end of this chapter of my life. The higher you go, the harder the crash. Where and how do I start my next? I honestly do not know. I am still searching for answers.* The body of work for my graduation exhibition can be viewed at: http://www.fionachong.com/beingandnothingness/
Reply 11:via email:
BANG! BANG! WONDERLAND is a Aljunied Cluster Arts village held in conjunction with the PAssionArts  Festival 2014.