August 30, 2015

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

For the past few months I've been helping out with the wedding of a very dear friend of mine. It has been most tiring and rewarding all the same. We've folded flowers, created some crazy tall structures and cut ribbons, all the while trying to maintain our sanity. This is the first wedding I've ever been a part of and now I know how much tireless effort goes into making everything look beautiful.

I'm incredibly blessed to know the couple as my friends and that they had given me so much trust in things from designing their wedding invitations to helping out with their set. This truly was a 4 day production and it was made better with an all-star team of friends who were just as on the ball and ready to make it work.

Amidst all the wedding craziness I was able to take some shots and I thought it would be nice to share how intricate and meaningful Hindu wedding rites are. I was moved to tears during the bride's thank you speech at the reception. Seeing how everything had come together nicely made me feel so darn happy.

August 09, 2015

What We Have Will Always Be

I had the great fortune of being able to catch the Golden Jubilee last week at the preview show and it was such an unforgettable experience. Sure the parade was a patriotic fest with all things Singaporean thrown into the mix, but I thoroughly enjoyed being there to witness key events like the aerial display and contingent parade segment live.

During the show segment, I especially loved the little kids in LED stick figure costumes. It was hilarious spotting the kids that couldn't get their suits to light up in the right colour and witnessing them scramble to blend in with the others. The segment by the Soka association was visually captivating as they had all the ladies dress in quick-change costumes to mimic butterfly wings.

There was also a tribute to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew which was especially touching. All this was rounded up with some dazzling fireworks that never fail to disappoint. Being there you just couldn't help but sing along with the medley of National Day theme song favourites as the parade came to a close. Happy birthday Singapore!

August 06, 2015

Welcome To Shangri-La

A year's worth of planning finally came to fruition over two weeks spent in the city of Shangri-La on an overseas volunteering expedition. I was part of a team that helped to build furnaces for the locals and interacted with the warm people of Bulun village.

The time spent gave me the chance to see a very different part of the world and at the same time challenged me to capture the experience faithfully. I was behind the lens most of the time and enjoyed being able to fade into the background to witness some beautiful moments of nature and people alike.

One highlight was being involved in the design of the furnace walls. I drew up motifs and patterns I saw were common on Tibetan tapestry, much to the delight of our local guide who quickly approved the design.

I was very particular about how the team painted seeing as how this would be a tangible footprint we would leave behind for years to come. Even as the memories we shared with the locals gradually faded over time, we could take heart knowing we built something on solid foundation that would stay around for a long time.

There was just enough time for me to enjoy the perks of being a tourist while visiting some scenic spots around Lijiang. I had a fun time rediscovering the wonders of Chinese cuisine and having a go at preparing them for our daily meals as well. The trip had undoubtedly helped me find a way to disconnect and reminded me that I already have all I need to enjoy life. It's really in the simple things.

July 17, 2015

May Your Biggest Dreams Scare You

I challenged myself to accomplish one big project over the holidays. It has been a while since I made any videos that were not for school related work and I thought what better way to make one than during this break.

And so it began.

Fuelled with the panic of turning a year older along with the onset of greater expectations and confusion, I sorted through various ideas to come up with a script. On that note, I nary to think how I'll take my next birthday, or even the subsequent ones for that matter.

With an initial draft, I started checking many items off the list. I rallied the help of my friends, scouted for locations and kept telling myself at the back of my mind that this was a terrible idea altogether.

The constant push and pull to accomplish this little

endeavour continued right through the very end. 

In the end I realised that if I was this frightened and terrified of my creative work, I'm probably on the right track. At least I could learn something from all of this.

I recall running on adrenaline throughout the actual shoot, all the while dealing with requisite scares. Along the way I was given a timely reminder:

All the best laid plains go out the window

once the first shot is fired.

Now here we are and I've got a completed short film on my hands. It was quite the experience and in part a result of telling myself to work within the constraints and limitations I had. I learned so much more about myself than I thought I would and in the end, I think I succeeded in that respect.

June 19, 2015

Every Night Should End With Fireworks

It was quite a thrill getting to watch the closing ceremony of the SEA Games live. For me, scoring last minute tickets to the show was the closest to being at the National Day Parade. We each got a bag full of favours, were treated to fireworks and even got a chance to get down to the track area to mingle with the performers. Taxpayer money never looked this beautiful against the night sky.

In other news, the days and weeks are blending into each other and I'm losing track of how fast the holidays are going by. We're somewhere in the middle of the second act and I'm looking forward to the exciting conclusion in the coming weeks.

Also it just occurred to me that there is a recurring theme running through my photo set. Maybe it's all a commentary on how we live our lives from behind a screen? Who knows.