Monday, February 21, 2011

"Chopping Play" - Korean Contemporary Art Now

source
This week I visited Chopping Play @ ION Orchard, featuring 6 contemporary Korean artists: Gwon Osang, Shin Kiwoun, Son Donghyun, Yee Sookyung, Chung Suejin, and Chun Sungmyung. (All photos taken @ ION were under permission from ION staff; courtesy of AndrewShire Gallery in Singapore)

Gwon Osang's work plays with dimensions. He takes photos (2 dimension) of a subject (3 dimension), and overlays them back to real size light mannequins, through which he transforms the 2 dimension photos back to the 3 dimension object again, creating an effect both surreal and realistic. This concept does not appear that fascinating to me, however, since it's my first time encountering this style, it feels refreshing and interesting. Check here for more of Gwon's work.
Gwon's "Rimowa"

Chung Suejin's "untitled" is an interesting piece, since it's untitled, I need not say much. But I do enjoy the Koreanness in her work. Look at the faces, who else can they be?
Source: AndrewShire Gallery

Also noteworthy is Son Donghyun, who's said to be good at using traditional painting techniques to portray modern mass cultural pop icons. A seemingly contradiction lies in the concept of using traditional painting techniques supposed to only serve the upper class in the past to portray pop icons. May take a look at his KING series featuring Michael Jackson too.
Son's "Ninja Turtle, Raphael"


Chun's "Swallowing the shadow"
Another noteworthy one is Chun Sungmyung, coz he's just such a creepy guy. It doesn't make me feel all that comfortable putting his work here, so I just select one that looks healthier (well, the whole concept of his art work is about un-healthiness actually).

Well, this exhibition aroused my interest in contemporary Korean artists. When I go back Seoul this Friday (YAY!), let's see what I can find there!

Friday, February 18, 2011

可以告它廣告不實嗎

"Hang Ten - Korean Styles"

這張照片在我臉書上的回響實在太踴躍了,一定要來分享一下。

Monday, February 14, 2011

普通人的生活

這幾年過得大起大落。2007、08年之際,正值高峰,從香港到韓國探望許爸許媽,買的禮物是港幣幾千幾千,許小臉那時家教case接得也多,月入也是一兩百萬圜的。08年秋天到歐洲念碩士班,我成了無薪階級,彼時韓圜狂貶,以致2009年初,當許小臉來瑞典小住時,正是我兩最為艱苦的時候,為了不讓許小臉挨餓受凍,我是這裡摳點那裡省點的,同學們課間去餐廳買杯不到台幣50的咖啡,我是每天從家裡自己帶Latte。那年一起在瑞典過了農曆年,該買的雞鴨魚肉自然不會省,只是我在購物籃裡多放了盒許小臉喜歡的GuyLian巧克力,他也可以感動不已。我說,過年嘛,總不能連喜歡的東西都省了。
2009年夏天修完課,我到了韓國寫論文,那段日子有離家出走還有在零下不知多少度穿著短褲奪門而出冷到嘴唇發紫的那些喜怒哀樂,當然還有數不盡的歡聲笑語與促膝談心,總之日子過得無比深刻,許小臉家教收入50萬圜,我的補習班收入20萬圜,這是我們70萬圜的幸福。
後來就到了筆下的現在,我回到了新加坡,許小臉則在韓國開始職場生涯,這時是450萬圜的生活,從經濟寬裕程度來看,相較我們的過去是比上不足比下有餘,日子則開始變得平庸,周一盼周五,盼了4個周末等發薪。
離開韓國後,我再沒因語言問題而感到不自在、或因洗碗問題感到身為女性的無奈,我不憤世嫉俗,也開始遺忘過往對韓國社會的悠長怨念。身在這個沒有冬日凜冽的熱帶小島,就算要離家出走,都不起眼的和夾腳拖一樣平庸得寒磣。我突然領悟原來這就是一個普通人的生活,活了20多年我終於過上普通人的生活,但是每當我耳邊響起許巍的那句"這是初次的感覺,我想了解這世界",我終究還是有種動心的感覺。

2009年2月14日(相片顯示為韓國時間), Uppsala, Sweden.
許小臉用他僅剩的盤纏,在Carlings給我買了條Miss Sixty的牛仔褲
(季末出清,台幣不到2000),我試穿時,從口袋掉出一張小紙條,
原來是他放進去的情人節卡片。
傍晚時到林奈咖啡(Cafe Linne)小坐,他跑去對街抽菸,偷拍站在門口的我。

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mandarin Is Not Equal To Chinese (從字幕想起)

This is captured from a Korean drama on TV. Not surprisingly, it is also dubbed into Mandarin (FYI: it's basically banned to broadcast dialect in TV programs, according to the Free-To-Air Television Programme Code. It's in line with the government's Speak Mandarin Campaign since the 1980s with the intention to make Mandarin the lingua franca among Singaporean Chinese). It's easy to understand that the English subtitles are made for the non Chinese speaking people (expats, Malays, Indians, etc.), but then why Chinese subtitles? Isn't it already dubbed into Mandarin? Only if you are aware, that not all Chinese Singaporeans understand Mandarin Chinese, as dialect groups in Singapore include Hokkien, Hakka, Teochew, Cantonese, Hainanese and many others, and that even after 2 decades of promoting Mandarin, still, local Chinese people, are not all conversant with Mandarin. In Singapore, Mandarin and Chinese are different concepts. Mandarin is just one kind of dialect, where as Chinese is a universal written language. Those who understand written Chinese may not understand Mandarin, as they might be of other dialect origins.

從電視上翻拍的韓劇畫面,配音是普通話,字幕有中英雙語。英文字幕想當然是給聽不懂也看不懂中文的觀眾(洋人、馬來人、印度人等),但為什麼有中文字幕呢,配音不已經是普通話了? 這個配音版本明顯是從台灣買來的,當然也附有繁體中文的字幕,我想製作單位是刻意不把中文字幕拿掉的,畢竟並不是所有新加坡華人都懂普通話。在新加坡,識中文字的人,不一定聽得懂普通話。
原生新加坡華人大都是閩南、潮州、廣東、客家、海南等方言族群,普通話對他們來說可是最為陌生的舶來品,大概是從1980年代政府開始推行講華語運動才開始發跡。這運動後來不知是走火入魔還怎樣,方言被全面封殺,例如無線電視的中文節目只許使用普通話發音,霹靂火和民視八點檔(最近在熱播"愛"XD)到了這裡都得講普通話(氣勢完全low掉)。
自政府推行普通話以來,20多年過去了,方言逐漸式微,取而代之的並不是普通話的坐大,而是英文使用人數的成長;方言不被鼓勵使用後,人們更為專注在英文的使用,方言家庭不是轉型成普通話家庭,而是變成英語家庭。