Sunday, November 27, 2016

Arts in your Neighbourhood 2016

And so I went for my first ever Instagram Meet up with Instag SG. :) The great thing about this community is that it doesn't judge you the for the number of followers you have. Most of the people I met that day were ranging between amateur point-and-shoot to the professional full-time photographers. 
Before going, I was a little apprehensive because I had to travel to Bedok!! So far. Plus I was going there alone. No matter how gung-ho I may appear, I still feel awkward in social events. But the people were really nice and the professionals did not judge my poor photography but yet taught me tips to improve my photography! :D
The first event was supposed to be the Bedok neighbourhood tour. It wasn't really the highlight I was looking forward to. So when the rain hailed the plans, I was not that upset at all. (Not a walking type of person :P) And even more so, when I had to trudge around in wet, squeaky shoes. 
But I was a little bummed when we may have to give the Opera performance a miss. Yes, quite unabashedly, I am here for the Opera. It has been a long one since I really watched one. And it reminds me of the people who is no longer with me anymore. :( They are from the older generation so I used to watch them enjoy such performances. It is like trying to enter their world? even if it is a bit too late...
It was very unfortunate we missed the enchanted flutes which was an outdoor event. But, we managed to catch the backstage preparation of the Opera. If you are around my age, you might have seen the traditional Opera when you were really young, on stilts and all. The professional photographers told me to take those photos take skills. And usually it would turn out very pretty.
The performance was small scale. So I didn't had a chance to re-live the traditional opera. I think in future there will also be lesser and lesser opportunities, given that this is a dying art form. 
Here are some photos I took. You may not know but there are different types of Opera - (1) Hokkien, (2) Cantonese, (3) TeoChew. I am most familiar with the Cantonese despite being a TeoChew. (Blush) My babysitter used to play the soundtrack when I was a kid, so I am surprisingly able to sing 1-2 songs (without knowing what I am singing). Haha.
Compared to the rest of the Instagrammers, I think I am slightly more in tune with the opera world, considering I recognise the prominent names. Actually, I think the main reason why the Opera is dying out is because the younger generation don't understand the language. Without the translation at the side-screen, I would have been lost.When reading the lyrics, I was totally in love with the story-line of the tragic "帝女花". Some videos to share with you. 
(1) Hokkien Opera

2) Cantonese Opera - More impressive props and costume headgears

(3) TeoChew Opera - More change in tempo

Maybe I am growing old, but a part of me is now inspired to get in touch with the arts. Was telling R who was working in bank sitting beside me that night I might want to learn Opera, but I just didn't like the make-up part. Plus, I don't really want to subscribe to the starving artist lifestyle. So we concluded that we could do this a hobby. Please don't be too shock if you see me dabbling in the arts in the future, haha.
You may have heard of Nick Shen before. He used to be a Mediacorp artise and is now one of the newest blood in Opera. And mind you, he is already 40. :( I did think of writing to MOE to have a compulsory "arts-module" for Cultural Studies in primary school. When I was in school, I had exposure to Opera, Lion Dance, Wushu and calligraphy enrichment programme. I didn't try the first one, but I sucked in all other 3. The truth is students have a lot of free-time to try and explore.
And I think it is good for the younger generation to learn more the Chinese Culture and have some exposure to the arts. Yes, I am not a parent, so any of you are readers who are parents may want to lambast me over my "lame, unpractical idea". Maybe my stand will change when I become a Mum myself, but till then I still want my kid(s) to learn Calligraphy cos it builds character. 
Ending the post with something more light-hearted, here is my first Mannequin Challenge attempt. Not someone who chases after fads, sloths don't really run and chase, you see LOL. And see you all next year, I hope they have more nice art programs nearer to my house next time. :D 

And if you want to have the full opera videos, feel free to e-mail me. :D

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