Friday, 13 June 2014

New Art Work - Bright Lights Big City III

Bright Lights Big City III
Roger Smith - 2014
Spent some time today on a new surrealist composition, combining the bright lights of the city with a vintage vamp (and other elements).

Art Prints

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Bak Chang - A Personal Favourite

Bak chang is one of my personal favourites and is still prepared traditionally in many households in Singapore, as the video above shows.

These are the Hokkien-style rice dumplings which are a substantial snack and full of flavour.  This article explains some of the cultural context for the Quek family in Singapore.

Although traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat festival on the 5th day of the 5th month, it is now possible to buy these every day of the year, in places such as Tangs department store basement.
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Monday, 9 June 2014

Tree Huggers and Moth Superstitions

Malaysia, Fraser's Hill March 2009
"Tree Huggers" is a somewhat derogatory term for those who are nature's staunchest advocates. 

Communing with nature has a lot to recommend it, although physically wrapping ones arms around a tree might be problematic and especially so in the tropics where all sorts of venomous and unsavoury animals lurk. 

In Singapore shaking a branch could prove to be an explosive event as the discovery of a discarded object in the forks of a tree recently goes to prove.

Xinhua news agency has reported that "Several construction workers were resting near a tree close to the Outram subway station near the downtown area on Thursday when they were drawn to the sight of a tree stump with a heart shape".

The 'heart shape' in question turned out to be a World War II hand grenade which was taken away and safely disposed of by the Singapore Armed ForcesExplosive Ordnance Disposal team.

But most things found in or near trees in Singapore are far more benign.

Khew SK's wonderful butterfly blog site records that four new species of these tropical delights have been found in "residential apartments, office buildings, shopping malls and multi-story car parks".

There has also been a marked increase in the large Tropical Swallowtail moths (Lyssa zampa - see picture above) in recent days; a sight not greeted with much enthusiasm by the superstitious who regard them as a portent of unfortunate events to follow.

The butterflies have the North-East monsoon to thank for their assisted passage from Malaysia to the Singapore.  And, unlike old hand grenades, they add rare beauty and pleasure to the trees and plants they populate.
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Monday, 2 June 2014

MRT Sketch

MRT Sketch by Roger Smith
MRT Sketch
Roger Smith 2014
Click on the image to see a larger version.