Friday, October 30, 2009

Wax and Dye

In May, I had the privilege of perusing an exhibition showcasing the best of Teng's work at the National Art Gallery. Datuk Chuah Thean Teng was a batik painter, a technique adapted from the Nusantara artform of applying wax blocking and vegetable dye to print fabrics. He was a superb craftsman who mastered a varity of media; from wood block prints, ink on paper, metalwork, pastel and poster colour.

His portraits of lush and voluptuous female figures, tinted in rich colours brought to mind the raw sensuality of Gauguin. The delicacy of his brush strokes and the dreamy feel of his landscape brings to mind Henri Matisse. his bold and fantastical abstracts earned him the apellate of the Picasso of batik. He documented life in the village; heavily featuring female figures from bare-breasted aborigine women to the modest and retiring tudung clad Malay girls. His paintings narrated of a lifestyle that is no more, articulating the linkage between nurturing family, land and humanity.

Just to share some of my illicit snapshots and thoughts. My last visit has shown that the NAG is more stringent about photography in the galleries; signages and guards abound.

Observe the little girl in this painting; her scowling demeanour and heavy lips lending her a rather sinister cast. The long suffering patience of the mother. Except for the hair, it could have been my mother and I when I was a bratty child (still am, sadly).

The perspective of this picture is both unexpected and charming, no? The shadows contrasting with the bright colours of her sarong and the manically cheery sky ... I don't know what it is but I like it. The sultry air is almost visceral.

This is the mural he made for the Faculty of Agriculture of University of Malaya in 1960.

R.I.P. Teng. You will be missed.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kinda like the telephone game gone wrong.

I get a variation of this a lot from my mum.

Except that she would insist that I was somewhere doing something with her when actually? It was my sister.

I ... have no words.

More dangerous than carrying a double-oh tag?

James Bond? Michael Westen?


My job has been classified as one of the most dangerous (albeit on the scientific front) job ever by Wired.

Check it out here.

Thank God we don't have a communal lab coffee pot.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rapping for Public Health

The world is anticipating the second wave of H1N1 to bitchslap us during the final quarter of 2009. How well prepared are you to face it? Do you know how to protect yourself? Do you know how to prepare your family?

If you want some pointers, watch this guy.

That was John D. Clarke, MD, FAAFP. Who says that all doctors are nerdy?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thanks a lot ...

You are a mathematical genius who was instrumental in breaking the codes used by your government's enemy to help win the second world war. Your brilliance helped pave the way of the modern theory of computation. How does your government repay you for your loyalty and service?

By chemically castrating you.

You can't get it up no more, humiliated by the witch hunt trial that ended your career by taking away the security clearance required to do your job and kill yourself at the age of 41.

Fifty five years later, the Government apologised. Gee, thanks, Mr Brown.

R.I.P. Alan Turing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Book rec.: Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas

Keen on adventure? Keen on a well-crafted story with meticulously drafted characters with whom you can fall in love?

Why not read a book that can make you laugh ...

He was serenely unconcerned. He wouldn't have to taste it if the quinine came up his behind.

Make you melt?

You were the moon of my existence; your moods dictated the tides of my heart.

Make you shiver?

Let me have you again. Let me make love to you properly. Let me give you the kind of pleasure that you gave me, delicious, terrible pleasure.

Go read this book.

Monday, October 19, 2009

De Nial; not just a river in Egypt.

My child is not fat.

Of course not.

(It's all right, dear. You just have big bones.)

I find it interesting that boys are often misclassified according to the study.

(Give him the third helping. He's a growing boy.)

Is it because boys are oftentimes more coddled than girls, particularly among the non-whites? Let's not start on the Asian take on the wonderfulness of boy children; that can be a rant for another day.

(Leave the plate on the table, baby. Your sister will take it to the kitchen later.)

Or is it because girls are expected to be slender and pretty, even from young? Apparently, Barbie has cankles and Christian Louboutin wants none of this. Man, if the ideal figure of (plastic?) the female shape is imperfect, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Oh, dear.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Food ambassador

You gotta love Jamie Oliver. This is a guy who doesn't accept limitations and goes out to do what he feels is right. He overcame dyslexia and hyperactivity to become one of the world's most famous proponent of good food for everybody. Watching him cook is like watching a controlled whirlwind; but instead of destruction, he left lovely and delicious gustatory creation in his wake.

On his crusade to teach the world that you can cook and eat well, healthy and cheap, Jamie has embarked on a new journey: to teach super-size-this America to eat right.

Good luck, Jamie!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bleeding for (a) good (cause)?

I have heard of people who are addicted to blood donation. I never thought that I could be one of them. I have always found the experience to be enjoyable; a comfy chair, a book in hand, nice, soft hands petting your arm to coax the life-giving elixir out ...

Why aren't more people doing it?


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Not exactly dancing bears ...

Thanks to Interwebs friends, I got to know a new source of aurgasms: Grizzly Bear. Folksy, psychedelic pop that is great for acid trip listening.