Sunday, October 30, 2011

SWF :: Week 2 :: Conclusion

One would be kept busy with plenty of panel discussions and activities during this concluding weekend of the 2-week Singapore Writers Festival 2011. A pity I couldn't attend all that I'd have liked since other commitments required attention too. But what I managed to attend, gave plenty of food for thought.

#1 'Hackwork: Using Craft to Sell Madness for Cash' featuring Michael Chabon (Moderator: Kenneth Kwok)

The literary influence of Edgar Allan Poe :: Chicken rice :: Word count matters- 1000 words per day :: Scrivener :: "I feel safer naming dead writers." :: Ursula K. Le Guin :: A manageable queue for autographs :: scored autographed copies of books ::

#2 'Are Folktales Still Relevant Today?' featuring Minfong Ho, Chuah Guat Eng and Kamini Ramachandran (Moderator: Pooja Makhijani)

A bit of a jumbled reading of the author's writings :: Fables (re-interpretation by Bill Willingham) :: Folktales shouldn't be sanitized or censored :: weird woman advertising her 2 children's books and asking about publishing support :: the standard narratives of folktales :: minimal talk about Disney ::

#3 'Wayward Girls and Wicked Women' featuring Chuah Guat Eng, Catherine Lim and Jill Dawson (Moderator: Carolyn Camoens)

What is 'authentic' and 'compelling' :: Society has made women defiant :: Women's capacity for revenge :: To write about characters that feel real :: Men are central to stories as well :: Passion as a motivator instead of selling the story/book ::

#4 'The Chain X The Independent' featuring Kenny Chan and Kenny Leck (Moderator: Neil Humphreys)

Support Singapore writers even in large bookstores :: Pokemon :: Love Books Actually :: The relationship between Borders and Lido (especially midnight movies) across the road :: A space for hard copies still :: Stay relevant :: 

#5 'Liaisons Between Law and Literature' featuring Jeffrey Lim, Aaron Lee and Nicholas Hasluck (Moderator: Eleanor Wong)

To put a spin :: law (legal writing) isn't hard and creative writing isn't soft :: organically entwined :: craft of the narrative ::

#6 "PasSAGES Unwound" featuring Heng Siok Tian, Yeo Wei Wei, Jayanthi Sankar, Noor Hasnah Adam, O Thiam Chin, Aaron Lee and Stephanie Ye (Curator: Yong Shu Hoong)

Readings from writers' stories inspired by interaction with an elderly or a terminally ill patient from HCA and SWAMI :: Life :: death :: hope :: resignation :: observation :: humans :: fate :: emotions :: 
It cuts too close to what I regularly do, so I don't really want to dwell on it. I do write about it, but it's kept under lock and key, not to be shared with anyone. It's how I maintain that emotional detachment necessary. 

Between panel discussions, we hopped into Singapore Art Museum and 8Q to check out their exhibits. Titled 'The Burning Gaze'Hyung Koo Kang's extensive works of caricatures and sculptures, hyperrealist self-portraits and paintings of famous personalities, celebrities and artists (including Van Gogh and Warhol) are on display at the main building.

At 8Q, the not-unfamiliar Amanda Heng's 'Speak To Me, Walk With Me' is spread over the ground floor, level 3 and 4 in a variety of interdisciplinary mediums- video, sound, performance art and installations. So it came to pass that plucking the 'tails' of bean sprouts became part of an art installation. We spent a good 20 minutes seated at Level 4 of 8Q trying to find some fun in the timeless activity of cooks who have to do this. Luckily I didn't have to do that as a child. I don't find it fun at all. :P


Anonymous said...

I would have liked to have attended this, particularly for #2 and #3.

"I feel safer naming dead writers."

Is this from the panel? If so, I'm curious to know in what context? In talking about their sources of inspiration?

Cool Insider said...

Looks like you have spent a rather fulfilling time at the Singapore Writer's Festival! On the bean sprouts plucking exercise, it reminds me of saying that "art imitates life" (or is it "life imitates art"?). Much of the newer ways of experiencing art are immersive and experiential as opposed to aesthetic appreciation.

imp said...

fangirlyness: "I feel safer naming dead writers"- that was Chabon's answer in response to an audience question as to which of the contemporary writers surprise/fascinate/inspire him. He sidestepped with a smile saying that he wouldn't want to miss out anyone current in case feelings would be hurt, as "you know, blogs will tell them the proceedings of the panel tonight", and proceeded to name Cormac Mccarthy and the very respected Michael Ondaatje.

Cool Insider: I did! So glad I had the time and frame of mind to enjoy it fully. On bean sprouts- you couldn't have said it better. :)