One of Asia’s most established DJ academies, E-TracX, is celebrating their two-decade milestone with a birthday bash of 7 parties over a span of 6 months, with 60On July 17, 2022 / By Renata
One of Asia’s most established DJ academies, E-TracX, is celebrating their two-decade milestone with a birthday bash of 7 parties over a span of 6 months, with 60 DJs in the loop. Featuring an all-inclusive list of music genres including House, Techno, Trance, Drum & Bass, Hip Hop, Funk, Soul, Top 40s, Retro and EDM, there’s something for everyone in this party house’s celebrations.
To find out more about some of the DJs behind the party of the year, we spoke to DJs Case Woo, Gerald Ang and Jimmy T about their involvement in the semester-long setup, and discovered what makes them skratch and spin during their downtime.
Nookmag (N): What was your first experience with music?
Case (C) : In 1984, I heard the song “People Are People” on the radio, and subsequently the album “Some Great Reward” and was immediately drawn to the non-musical elements. I realised that there can be things in music other than music. Noise and industrial sounds became an attraction and I dwelled deeper into the world of sampling. I also learned to play the piano by ear, and can only do that today. I cannot read scores.
Gerald (G): I have always been a music lover since young, playing the organ, guitar and listening to a lot of radio and my dad’s records. I got very curious about DJing when I was attending music festivals, gigs and also working as a bartender in Melbourne; watching DJs and artists connecting with the crowd was amazing to me. I then picked it up on my own with some lessons from Phil K (RIP) at DMC Records in the late 90s.
Jimmy (J): My first experience with music was in junior high school in Northern California, when it was all about funk, soul and the beginning of the rap era. Our school culture introduced me to the DJ scene, especially at school dances where smooth blending was done. Later on it was Grandmaster Flash, DJ Aladdin and DJ Joe Cooley that got me hooked.
N: Did being a DJ change your personal views?
C: It changed my view about music theories and conventions and I realised that they were all there for me to break and destroy. I made this my niche in the music industry, and made a lifelong career out of it. As I matured, I learned to walk the fine line and balance between self-indulgence and giving people what they want. This also meant I had to learn, accept and appreciate all genres of music, extract style elements from them and make them my own.
G: DJing connected me with many friends and the music community, many of which are still going strong today. It definitely deepened my appreciation of music, regardless of genre.
J: I would have to thank the Circuit Breaker during the pandemic, which gave me more time to get into spinning… I even upgraded my unit and that’s when I started to stream online. It did change my life as I use it as an outlet for stress relieving; music is therapy! As for streaming globally… nothing but love!
N: What is E-TracX to you, and why do you feel that way?
C: I was invited to play for E-TracX at their Sentosa gig in 2008; it was a series of events co-organised by E-TracX & Sentosa. I have E-TracX close to my heart because they are honest folks, who have provided a platform for underdogs and newcomers to have a chance at teaching, or showcasing their hidden talents on stages small and large. And through all the challenges and difficulties faced in our unforgiving music industry over the decades, they learned, evolved, adapted, struggled and stayed true to their vision.
G: E-TracX has a special place in our hearts. It was where we met many new friends, hung out, listened to new music, bought records and started Frontal DJ Academy (back in the day!). We wouldn’t have done it without the support from E-TracX, and the fact the E-TracX team is doing this, shows the heart they have for the community after all these years.
J: I discovered E-TracX after spending a few months in LA, and I knew I wanted to learn the basics… and everyone in Singapore recommended them.
N: Any advice to newcomers who are toeing the line in the DJ scene? What are the pros and cons of being a DJ?
C: I am always curious if newcomers want to be a DJ because they love the music, or because they aspire to be a superstar. My advice is that you have to be in it for the music. And I don’t just mean enjoy the music. I mean hardcore love and research deep into the depths of the music, the genres, the understanding of wheres and whys, how the music moves you and people, and how music is constructed. The music should flow in your blood. You wake, eat, sleep, shit music. It should never ever be about the money and fame. If you absolutely love and are passionate about what you do, everything else will fall in place. There are no cons of being in love with music. There are only pros. Finally, all DJs must find and develop your own style and niche. Do not be a follower. Lead the industry forward.
G: Everyone has their own journey. Do it for the right reasons, in whatever reasons or format works for you. Most importantly, enjoy it.
J: To any newcomer especially if you love music, do it! It all starts with passion and something creative that you can share with others… a total expression of yourself. As for pros, you will always discover yourself during the creative process.
About Case Woo
A music producer, composer, and arranger by profession, Case never did decide to pursue a DJ career. Instead, he was the in-house composer arranger at Opuz Studio in the 90s, and at Ocean Butterflies Music in the 2000s. Additionally, he was part of an electronica group called Quadmix, and was also the producer for some big industry names including Kit Chan, JJ Lin, A-Do, Sandy Lam, and Dick Lee, to name a few.
To date, Case has played “live” with drum machines and groove boxes in various clubs and event stages, and occasionally prefers to DJ with Traktor Pro and FaderFox DJ44 with his own collection of House / Techno tracks. Check out his recordings via Transport Recordings, SoulMatters Recordings, Lifetime Music, Warner Chappell, and his own collection on 2403Recordings and YouTube.
About Gerald Ang
As a veteran DJ who recently returned to the scene after a hiatus, Gerald first started DJing in Melbourne as a student in the 90s, and played various gigs locally as well as overseas. To date, his most memorable gigs were the 2 times that he played at ZoukOut, and occasionally can also be found producing music in his downtime. Gerald is the co-founder of house/techno label SoulMatters Recordings, along with two of his buddies. Check out his work at SoulMatters Recordings.
About Jimmy T
Actor Jimmy T was a fan of spinning music while growing up in junior high school in the USA. However, he only ventured into the world of DJing in 2019 at his first lesson at E-TracX, and subsequently made his debut at White Label Records in the same year. Although he now streams on Twitch, DJing is still a learning process for him as he feels it is a never-ending journey in which he has to earn the right to be called a DJ.
195 Pearl’s Hill Terrace, #01-54
23 Oct (Sun)
Hip Hop / Funk / Soul | 5 – 11pm
THE PARLOUR SINGAPORE
140 Owen Rd
(Guests must RSVP through private message here!)
23 Jul (Sat)
Top 40s / Retro | Level 1 | 5 – 11pm
House [Vinyl Only] | Level 2 | 8 – 11pm
13 Aug (Sat)
Drum & Bass | Level 1 | 5 – 11pm
Hip Hop | Level 2 | 8 – 11pm
10 Sep (Sat)
House / Techno | Level 1 | 5 – 11pm
Showcases | Level 2 | 8 – 11pm
8 Oct (Sat)
House / Trance | Level 1 | 5 – 11pm
Open Format | Level 2 | 8 – 11pm
12 Nov (Sat)
House | Level 1 | 5 – 11pm
Top 40s | Level 2 | 8 – 11pm
10 Dec (Sat)
Hip Hop / R&B | Level 1 | 5 – 11pm
EDM | Level 2 | 8 – 11pm
Unstable Condition: Greeting from a Stranger is a virtual art exhibition that stands in solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine to oppose the war happening in the country.On May 23, 2022 / By Nookmag
Unstable Condition: Greeting from a Stranger is a virtual art exhibition that stands in solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine to oppose the war happening in the country. Launched on 22 April 2022, the exhibition presents 12 artworks created by six Taiwanese and five Ukrainian artists. These artworks address the unstable socio-political situations in Ukraine and in Taiwan, and aim to open up discussions and facilitate multiple channels for expression.
Curated by Open Space (an interdisciplinary platform from Ukraine) and Nien-Ting Chen (an independent curator from Taiwan), this contemporary art exchange project between Ukraine and Taiwan weaves social observations and political attitudes into the creative visuals while examining the shift in the world’s geopolitical situation. The artists trace micro material evidence to discuss the complex and tangled past in their own countries, aspiring to reconstruct the complex historical relationship between the future and the past in an artistic way.
The exhibition suggests that the “unstable condition” of Ukraine has an effect on the whole world, giving rise to a universal turbulence. As a result, the world’s vision and imagination of the future are being reconstructed. Through such messages, Unstable Condition: Greeting from a Stranger hopes that the audience will be able to feel the tension of the current international situation through virtual reality, and see the world through the suffering happening in Ukraine.
The theme of instability is expressed through experiencing the virtual art space, designed and engineered by Singapore-born VR/AR/360 and Metaverse startup, Xctuality. Exhibition walls are set against an orangey-red backdrop depicting a deserted planet. The whole atmosphere conveys a strange, unusual and unwanted mood, inspired by the ‘abnormal’ situation in Ukraine. This abnormality is not only felt by the Ukrainians, but also anyone else in the world. In the virtual exhibition, visitors are surrounded by four walls, with no way out of the perimeters. This evokes a sense of freedom being curtailed – one of the harrowing curses of wars.
In addition to the display of artworks, the virtual exhibition also comprises the following sections:
This section aspires to bring attention to the difficulties faced by the Ukrainian art and cultural industry and encourage the show of support for them. It calls out to individuals and institutions in the art and cultural field globally to share their perspectives in response to the theme of this art project, as well as regarding the issues of anti-war and humanitarian care in the context of the current war in Ukraine.
A) Write a short message (with a maximum of 150 words) in English or Ukrainian. The content can be composed in any form such as a poem, short essay or letter, revolving around the following themes:
B) Record a short video (with a maximum length of six minutes) in MOV or MP4 format. The content needs to be submitted via Google Drive or Dropbox, and can revolve around the following themes:
All content is to be sent to [email protected].
A public comment board is available for visitors to contribute messages of encouragement and support to the citizens of Ukraine who are surviving strongly under the war.
Visitors can make a donation through a portal at the virtual exhibition. All proceeds will go to Open Place, which will direct the funds into the post-war reconstruction of Ukrainian cultural infrastructure, as well as the support of artists and cultural institutions.
First and foremost, Open Place plans to build and maintain an infrastructure to support the recovery of the arts community in Ukraine, and its diverse network of independent cultural organisations. Together with its partners, the artistic platform will work on a three-year collaborative plan to support independent arts organisations across the country as well as their post-war efforts to rebuild the cultural infrastructure and support local artists. This project will focus on creating a network of independent arts organisations in Ukraine, with a new hub based in Kyiv. This hub would serve as a residency to Ukrainian and international artists who are at risk, a creative space for local artists to work, and a meeting place for the local and international arts community.
Additionally, Open Place will function as an umbrella establishment that provides consultation and financial resources to network organisations all across Ukraine. The platform foresees that the importance of collaboration among self-organised grassroots initiatives will increase after the war. This phenomenon would require both financial and intellectual support for the reintegration of occupied territories, the return of refugees from abroad and citizens who have been displaced within the country, as well as the restoration of job opportunities and working places. Even while many of their facilities are destroyed in the war, arts initiatives and cultural centres have the potential to offer important community spaces for cross-disciplinary interaction and rebuilding.
At the moment, Open Place is at the stage of identifying its partners, and conducting research about the needs and interests of the artists. Subsequently, it will be able to plan and design the new artist residency and hub space, and seek more international partners and funders.
Unstable Condition: Greeting from a Stranger can be accessed via unstable-condition.xctuality.com.
Armed with an aim to build interest and expand the analogue photography community in Singapore, a local photography collective, OKB.sg has launched an Open Call to collect 120On January 28, 2022 / By Renata
Armed with an aim to build interest and expand the analogue photography community in Singapore, a local photography collective, OKB.sg has launched an Open Call to collect 120 images for an upcoming exhibition organised to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the 120 Medium Format Film.
First invented by Kodak in 1901 during the peak of film photography’s popularity, the medium format is one of the oldest surviving film formats, and is still widely used by film enthusiasts today.
120×120 Medium Format Film Exhibition
Unlike digital prints, film photography is known for its characteristically beautiful grains and with the medium format, one can say the prints are big and bold for all the right reasons. Thus, the 120×120 photo exhibition was born.
Conceptualised with an aim to re-introduce the 120 film format to the general public, the exhibition also strives to be a platform for enthusiasts to share their medium format photographs with exposure and education in mind, as well as a medium to connect fans and photographers in a 120th anniversary celebration.
“It’s been a long 2021 with many major happenings, and after a year of prolonged
epidemic measures, we’re finally seeing hope in 2022 with life gradually
resuming into our sense of a ‘new normal’. During this period, we have noticed that
many of our Polaroid shooters also shoot in the 120 film format.
Thus, we have decided to celebrate the 120 film format’s 120th anniversary milestone
by hosting an exhibition to showcase the beauty of this format, while showing our
gratitude and support for the analogue photography community in general.”
— Brandon Ong (Founder, OKB.sg)
In support of the analogue photography community and their craft, the exhibition will feature a curated collection of medium format photographs from all walks of life, consisting mainly of a total of 120 pieces of 120 film format prints. In order to gather this collection, OKB.sg has announced an open-themed Open Call for photograph submissions, available to all nationalities and ages. The call for submissions will close on 20 February 2022, at 2359HRS (GMT+8), and the actual exhibition dates will be announced at a later date. For more details and submission information, visit OKB.sg.
In addition to the exhibition, a zine of 120 medium format film images will also be published and made available for sale, accompanied by artistic workshops to introduce photography to the general public.
Various other activities such as building your very own pinhole camera, a photowalk, and an Instant Conversations showcase is also in the pipeline to run simultaneously during the main exhibition dates.
Build & Shoot Pinhole Camera Workshop
This event aims to introduce the concept of camera obscura to attendees, and covers the basis of capturing light on paper over time. As photography is a chemical process, it showcases a very physical transformation and attendees will pick up a basic understanding of the process of developing photographs in the darkroom from this session. Likewise, attendees will also be able to see firsthand how the camera is used as a mechanism to alter light.
Discover Singapore Photowalk
This event is a walking tour in discovery of each nook and cranny in Singapore. Great for both beginners and seasoned photographers, we will be using The Diana F+ which produces dreamy, radiant, lo-fi images, and attendees will learn how to use this classic camera with a fresh new twist during this event. Camera units will be available for rent, and each user can look forward to sharing tips with fellow shooters as we go around Singapore on the search for your perfect shot. As we will be shooting on 120 film, attendees will have a chance to submit their images to be featured as part of the main exhibition. Additionally, OKB.sg will assist in developing your 120 films at no extra cost!
Instant Conversations – The 120 Photo Talk
This event presents the general public with an opportunity to connect with 120 shooters in the local analogue photography community in a sharing session to provide more insight into their cameras, craft and passion. This session will showcase a number of different cameras and their usage, introduce the types of films currently available in the market, provide shooting tips from the experts, and show you how to find your ideal camera. All in all, this session is put together for attendees to learn more about and understand the beauty of medium format photography, and how it can potentially enrich the way you view the world through a different set of lens.
Usher in the roaring Year of the Tiger at ‘Spring in the City’ with exciting happenings and shopping rewards, taking place at Raffles City, Singapore’s premier fashion andOn January 27, 2022 / By Nookmag
Usher in the roaring Year of the Tiger at ‘Spring in the City’ with exciting happenings and shopping rewards, taking place at Raffles City, Singapore’s premier fashion and lifestyle mall!
“As we welcome the Year of the Tiger,
Raffles City is excited to celebrate the festivities with our shoppers with exclusive gifts with purchases,
art exhibitions and new stores opening. Raffles City looks forward to presenting more retail and dining options,
and more exclusive curated experiences such as unique staycations with Fairmont hotel for our shoppers
in the months to come.”
— Mr Steve Ng,
General Manager of Raffles City Singapore
Gifts of ProsBEARity
From now till 15 February 2022, immerse in festive shopping at the mall and be rewarded with exclusive limited edition [email protected] gifts, while stocks last!
Walk On A Journey of Joy
To welcome the year of the Tiger, Raffles City is also holding an art exhibition, in collaboration with resident gallery tenant, Ode To Art, at Garden Court Level 1, for shoppers to view the inspirational and uplifting artworks from now till 15 February.
Titled ‘Journey of Joy’ by Ode To Art, the specially-curated exhibition showcases 22 pieces of artwork, with prices ranging from SGD4,500 to SGD35,000, from four renowned international artists, namely Coplu, Byun, Dae-Yong, Takashi Murakami and Wu Qiong.
Enter a vibrant and fantastical world of music, love, and harmony through the surrealist paintings of Turkish artist, Coplu; and marvel at the playful yet heart-warming family of polar bears sculptures by Korean artist, Byun, Dae-Yong.
Enjoy the highly-recognisable and iconic Doraemon prints by prolific contemporary Japanese artist of international renown, Takashi Murakami, that depict joy and friendship or reminisce in sweet nostalgia through the pastel paintings of Beijing-born artist, Wu Qiong, which focus on the carefree memories of a happy childhood.
‘Shop and Stay’ Staycation
As staycations continue to enjoy immense popularity in Singapore, Raffles City is offering a ‘Shop & Stay’ staycation with Fairmont Singapore, where customers who book a room at the hotel get to receive exclusive shopping privileges and vouchers from Mango and Urban Revivo, from mid-February till end of June 2022.
Rooms are inclusive of breakfast for two adults and two kids (below 12) with complimentary free parking in Raffles City. Daily room rate starts from SGD350++ on weekdays and SGD430++ on weekends and public holidays.
Fairmont and Swissotel The Stamford, under the Accor group and part of Raffles City Singapore, recently launched House of Wei, a new modern Chinese restaurant concept with a contemporary flair to classic Chinese cuisine inspired by Master Chef Mok’s 42-year culinary journey. Internationally celebrated fine-dining restaurant, Jaan by Kirk Westaway, has earned another coveted Michelin star, rising to a two-star ranking as it celebrates its fifth year of recognition since Singapore’s inaugural list in 2016.
Raffles City Singapore is a mixed integrated development, comprising the shopping mall, hotels, office tower and convention centre.
Mall Rejuvenation with New Big Brands In the Year of the Tiger
Raffles City is set to undergo an exciting mall rejuvenation from Q1 2022 till the end of the year to present highly sought-after retail options and concepts for shoppers.
Under this plan, about a total of 111,000 square feet of retail space across levels 1 to 3, will be reconfigured to accommodate more specialty retail and large format stores. New escalators will also be installed at all three levels to enhance the accessibility for shoppers.
This upgrading will expand the repertoire of brands at the mall, which is home to the flagships of established international brands in fashion, beauty and lifestyle, including soon-to-open French multinational retailer of personal care and beauty products, Sephora, as well as the latest newly-opened stores: Acqua di Parma, Calvin Klein’s 3-in-1 concept store, ELEMIS London and RATIONALE. British retailer Marks & Spencer, which set foot into Raffles City 35 years ago, will also return with a brand new store concept.
Get ready to embark on a colourful and illuminated night walk at Southeast Asia’s only Lumina—Rainforest Lumina—in its final season at Singapore Zoo. Guests will experience a multi-sensoryOn July 19, 2021 / By Nookmag
Get ready to embark on a colourful and illuminated night walk at Southeast Asia’s only Lumina—Rainforest Lumina—in its final season at Singapore Zoo. Guests will experience a multi-sensory journey, melding nature and technology through the latest in light, projection and audio, that expertly harmonises the natural sights, sounds and scents of the rainforest at night.
A different perspective of the park (which is not the usual animal-based interactions of the day park) is core to this sensorial experience. Focusing entirely on the setting and environment, visitors will immerse themselves in a symphony of lights, beautifully orchestrated music and interactive play that will inspire everyone to appreciate nature and help protect wildlife and conserve biodiversity so habitats and the planet can continue to thrive. Rainforest Lumina’s Creature Crew, made of up eight virtual animals, embodies a special virtue reminiscent of their species as they lead everyone on a mission to discover that ‘We Are One’—how humans and nature are interconnected, and how each has a vital role to sustain life on earth.
This year, visitors can look forward to singing and playing with the Creature Crew at popular interactive play zones and be immersed in a dazzling laser display as they make their way through the Luminous Pathway.
They will meander through thousands of sparkling pixel lights at the Shimmering Islands and they can also dance through a digital thunderstorm to the beautiful symphony conducted by Bob the playful otter. The journey comes to a close with a stunning laser and projection display which reminds guests that ‘We Are One’, and to do their part to protect the rainforest.
This seasonal attraction will run from now till 13 Feb 2022. Rainforest Lumina is available on Thursdays to Sundays, public holidays and eve of public holidays from 7.15pm to 12.00am, with the last admission at 10.15pm. In addition, visitors to any of Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s day parks—Jurong Bird Park, River Safari or Singapore Zoo—need only top up SGD10 to complete their wildlife experience with Rainforest Lumina.
More information is available at www.rainforestlumina.sg.
The Singapore art scene has just become more colourful with the launch of Carré d’artistes, the only art gallery in Singapore to sell artworks at a fixed priceOn April 23, 2021 / By Nookmag
The Singapore art scene has just become more colourful with the launch of Carré d’artistes, the only art gallery in Singapore to sell artworks at a fixed price based on the size of each piece of art. With more than 30 opened spaces globally, the brand has now made its debut in Southeast Asia with an inaugural art gallery at Paragon Shopping Centre (#04-08).
Affordable and Accessible Art In A Welcoming Environment
Decked out in a clean and contemporary style, the new Carré d’artistes gallery exudes a warm and welcoming ambience. It offers over 600 unique and original artworks in varied styles, mediums and sizes from a first selection of 18 international and carefully-curated artists, starting at an affordable SGD190 for the smallest size.
The artworks are all placed in open display racks, similar to vinyl records in a record store, and customers are welcome to hold up and scrutinize the artwork at close proximity.
Carré d’artistes believes that everyone should have the right to buy art. To make art accessible to all, the gallery’s unique fixed pricing system is based solely on the size of the artwork, regardless of the artist, techniques and medium used. This approach that Carré d’artistes practices promotes openness between the buyers and the artists, and removes any obscure aspect of the art market in particular for first time buyers.
So, be it buying an art piece to spruce up a living space or as a gift for a loved one, there is something for everyone.
Two Decades On… A Global Success
2021 marks the 20th Anniversary of Carré d’artistes, as the first gallery was opened in Aix-en-Provence, France, in 2001 by French entrepreneur Stephanie Tosi. Back then, Tosi wanted to change the notion that art is elitist, and thus embarked on her mission to make art accessible to everyone.
This concept has become so successful in the last two decades, that Carré d’artistes now has a global presence in the form of galleries opened in Amsterdam, Beijing, Barcelona, Istanbul, Moscow and more.
Today, the gallery also represents and promotes more than 600 artists globally, offering a wide range of artworks across all styles. Its group of curators are also constantly on the lookout for promising new artists to help them develop their craft and sell their works.
“Art brings about a lot of intangible benefits and is a way to share happiness and positivity. In this current difficult period, opening the art gallery is an opportunity to add to the quality of people’s daily lives by giving them access to a large choice of quality artworks that cater to all budgets,” shares Mr Sebastien Chen, Managing Director of Art & City Pte. Ltd. “I am also thrilled to be promoting the works of talented and inspiring artists so that they can gain greater international recognition.”
Carré d’artistes Singapore
Paragon Shopping Centre
290 Orchard Road, #04-08
11am to 8pm daily
A term that was first coined in Japan in the 1980s, White Day is typically celebrated on 14 March, one month after Valentine’s Day. In appreciation for theOn March 14, 2021 / By Renata
A term that was first coined in Japan in the 1980s, White Day is typically celebrated on 14 March, one month after Valentine’s Day. In appreciation for the gifts they received on Valentine’s Day, people (mostly males) would give a gift to their admirer in return on this day. Although it first began in Japan, this holiday is now celebrated in various countries across South East Asia, including South Korea, Taiwan and even in some of the bigger cities in China.
As photographs are a perfect medium to remember special occasions with, we decided to speak to three couples in the instant photography community to discover how they came together through a bond sparked by photography. Likewise, while most of us in Singapore don’t celebrate White Day, we asked our couples what they would gift each other if they were to celebrate the occasion.
The first couple we asked, Brandon and Phoebe, run a Polaroid retail company known to the instant photography community as OKB. “It’s another chance for me to get chocolates from Brandon!” Phoebe laughs, as Brandon told us that he was unaware of White Day’s existence. “I guess I’ll have to get Phoebe chocolates now on every White Day…” He muses.
Our second couple (Damian and Sandra) on the other hand, are well known in the instant photography community and go by the moniker damianwithsandra. Despite not celebrating White Day, they expressed that they typically like to give things to each other regardless of the occasion, and don’t have any views on this holiday in particular.
Last but not least, our third couple consists of Felix, who is well versed in lomography shots and Hanna who is known for her double exposure images. “[White Day] is an interesting take on appreciation because reminds the men to celebrate their partners. If we were to celebrate it, I’d give Hanna some white frame Polaroids and take her to art galleries,” said Felix, while Hanna decided that she would love to “get Felix a white set of wheels or a pair of trucks for his longboards for White day,” before going for a stroll with skates and a polaroid camera in tow.
More about each couple…
BRANDON & PHOEBE
Fun and quirky with a ribbon or handkerchief in her hair, you’ll never miss spotting Phoebe on the streets. As much as this fashionista is an avid photographer both at leisure and professionally, her real love for Polaroids began with wefies taken on an old polaroid camera. In contrast, Brandon’s love for instant photography sparked with an old Polaroid photo taken during his youth.
Although they only met briefly online, their chance meeting quickly became a regular occurrence after Brandon first invited Phoebe out on a photowalk with his friends from the instant photography community. This common interest was later fueled by a pet peeve shared between both of them (“not all instant photography are Polaroids!“), which led Brandon to ask Phoebe on a date over a vintage Hello Kitty Polaroid.
The rest is history as the couple attend conventions and flea markets together, setting up booths and eventually, a company fueled by their passion for Polaroids. “One of our best experiences till date was at the first culture cartel convention. We had a Polaroid booth at the marketplace, and the highlight was hunting for people to shoot around the event space during our break. We managed to catch a graffiti artist, a prominent KOL of the street scene, and even the event organiser on Polaroid!”
DAMIAN & SANDRA
Having been together for several years, Damian and Sandra were classmates in polytechnic, and both discovered their love for photography before they met. Although they spent some time apart during their university days, they eventually got together officially after graduation and reignited their passion for instant film photography together.
I moved away from it but never forgot about Polaroids…
“When we first explored the world of instant film photography together, we were disappointed to hear that Polaroid had long ceased their production of analog film and cameras. However, we encountered the Impossible Project; a group of like-minded individuals who had painstakingly acquired old Polaroid technology to recreate and re-produce integral film. We got our first SX-70 Sonar Polaroid Camera and Impossible Project film, and our first time shooting the film was an exciting adventure, unknown or unaware of how the film would turn out,” shared the couple while telling us about their Instagram account, which documents their photography journey in the hopes of meeting other like-minded enthusiasts.
Along the paths they’ve weathered in their photography journey, one of their most memorable experiences lie in their trip to Turkey, Cyprus and Greece. Having planned this leg of their Europe trip with photography in mind, it comes as no surprise that they managed to capture precious moments in shooting the night sky and stars in the middle of North Cyprus; standing from the mountains of Meteora and watching the sunset; and capturing the centuries-old monuments in the heart of Istanbul.
FELIX & HANNA
Yet another couple to meet through the internet, Felix and Hanna found each other through the online photography community on lomography a few years ago. They finally met face-to-face in Manila while Hanna was on holiday, and eventually progressed from being very good friends to being in a relationship for the past almost seven years. Although they are now dating long distance (Felix is in Malaysia and Hanna is in Singapore), they find joy in their shared love for photography and show each other the interesting spots in their respective cities whenever they have the opportunity to travel together.
While Hanna’s first experience with Polaroids came from borrowing Felix’s cameras, he eventually gifted her with her very own Polaroid camera for Christmas, which she then relied on to keep herself preoccupied during the Covid-19 lockdown period in Singapore. “That’s when I really fell in love with it.”
In contrast, Felix first came across Polaroid photography in a film shop in Manila. “They were selling Polaroid cameras and film along with Lomography (Lomo) products. I was into film and Lomo at the time, and Polaroid definitely piqued my interest but it was quite expensive for me at the time.” It was only later on that Felix rediscovered Polaroids through SX-70 cameras in a bid to explore portrait photography.
Tips and tricks?
As we moved to understand more about instant photography and Polaroid in particular, we asked our three couples to share their advice for people embarking on their instant photography journeys for the first time.
“Just grab a camera and start shooting, you will start discovering what you like and don’t like about it,” advises Brandon, “and also, join groups like ours for updates and photowalks. That’s the best way to learn and meet the rest!”
“Learn to embrace the imperfections of shooting Polaroid film! In the first place, Polaroids are known to produce softer tones, so one should not expect the same quality as digital cameras. In fact, the soft tones of the Polaroid appeal to some photographers, even despite shooting with sharp lenses. Further, we believe the beauty of shooting Polaroids lies in its occasional unpredictability.”
Damian and Sandra share that despite obtaining unintended results at times during their journey as instant photographers, “we thrive in that moment of anticipation and excitement while we wait for the physical Polaroid to develop. Ultimately, the experience of shooting Polaroid film matters even more than the result, as it helps you to be a better photographer and also to learn how to appreciate this beautiful medium.”
Likewise, Felix encourages us to “appreciate the quirks of polaroid film and explore different ways of shooting it; there’s no wrong way!” while Hanna reminds us not to be afraid of making mistakes. “Have fun! There’s so many things you can do with shooting on polaroids!”
As White Day drops in on us (today!), how would you celebrate this second Valentine’s Day? Tell us here!
Christmas is just around the corner and this year, we say spruce up your gift ideas with goodies from the first ever phygital Singapore Tea & Coffee FestivalOn November 27, 2020 / By Nookmag
Christmas is just around the corner and this year, we say spruce up your gift ideas with goodies from the first ever phygital Singapore Tea & Coffee Festival 2020! Happening from 28 November to 6 December, there’s definitely something for everyone, coffee and tea lovers alike!
Here are 5 of our favourite gift ideas from teapasar for you.
1. 24 TEA-riffic Days
Who doesn’t get excited by the idea of a yearly festive advent calendar?
This year, surprise your loved ones for 24 days with the Pryce NOËL Advent Calendar – spoil them with limited-edition NOËL blends, Grab Vouchers and Nespresso Capsules, all in one box! For only SGD62.90, show how much you love them with a festive treat every day!
2. To all Coffee Lovers…
Let’s face it, coffee aficionados actually make for the easiest people to shop for, because there are just so many trendy and stylish coffee gifts lately. A perfect example is the OKLAO Specialty Coffee Christmas set. Your coffee-lover pal will enjoy a medium-light and medium roast drip coffee bag, a heat-resistant glass and a 350ml classic black pour-over kettle. For only SGD66, gift them the motivation to wake up early for morning meetings even while working from home!
3. Tasty Festive Delights
If you’re shopping for someone with a sweet tooth, try something delectable like Christmas dessert gifts, but be warned! You might find them just too adorable to munch on. With Nanatang’s set of 3 Christmas Cake Popsicles, surprise your friend with an adorable reindeer, snowman and Christmas tree for just SGD18. The way to a perfect Christmas is through their bellies indeed!
4. Christmas scents to make this season extra special
Make their homes (and maybe yours too!) smell like it’s ready for Santa to visit. From fruity Apple Orchard, to the smells of a European Christmas Market, or even the exciting feeling of the First Snow drops, The Wknd Candle Co. is offering an exclusive set of 3 candles for only SGD80.
To top this off, these three tins each consist of 100ml vegan coconut soy wax, phthalate-free blended oils that are infused with essential oils.
5. An invite to teapasar’s Singapore Tea and Coffee Festival!
If there’s anything better than a perfect gift, it’s shopping for one with your bestie, and maybe grabbing some snacks and coffee/tea along the way. While this may be a virtual event, who says we can’t be sharing our screens on a zoom shopping experience together? Let’s get online!
So what are you waiting for? Head over to the Singapore Tea and Coffee Festival here from tomorrow till 6 December, and explore the plethora of gift options available!
The eighth edition of the Young Talent Programme (YTP), a joint initiative by ION Art and Affordable Art Fair Singapore, continues to run as planned with the necessaryOn November 10, 2020 / By Nookmag
The eighth edition of the Young Talent Programme (YTP), a joint initiative by ION Art and Affordable Art Fair Singapore, continues to run as planned with the necessary precautionary measures in place, at a time when the arts and culture industry has had to stay resilient amidst exhibition closures and event cancellations. This year’s YTP Winners’ Solo Exhibitions will take place from 6 – 22 November 2020, showcasing the unique works of emerging young artists from across the region for all art lovers to enjoy at the ION Art gallery.
Young Talent Programme – Shining a spotlight on emerging talents in the region
Inaugurated in 2012, the Young Talent Programme is a two-part award programme inviting young artists in the region with no gallery experience to exhibit at the Affordable Art Fair Singapore. From there, two to three artists are shortlisted to work for 10 months with the programme curator to present the Winners’ Solo Exhibitions in the ION Art gallery the following year. The programme creates the platform for emerging artists to exhibit their artistry in a space with a focal point for contemporary art dealers and their collectors to access fresh art works. The YTP also presents an opportunity for young artists to build a strong portfolio in the art industry. The YTP Winners’ Solo Exhibitions are fully supported by ION Art.
Ms. Yeo Mui Hong, CEO of Orchard Turn Developments, said, “While we find ourselves in uncertain circumstances this year, we have not let the art industry, nor our young talents take a back seat. We recognise the importance of supporting the young talents in the industry now more than ever, and it is heartening to know that this joint platform and meaningful initiative with Affordable Art Fair has enabled young artists to kickstart their journeys. We’re honoured to continue lending a voice to young talents and believe that every effort must be made to enable continual appreciation and enjoyment of the arts, with the necessary precautionary and safe distancing measures in place.”
Mr Alan Koh, Affordable Art Fair Singapore Director, said, “Though it has been a challenging year for everyone, it does not stop our mission to support galleries and artists. Over the years, we have dedicated ourselves to actively develop a new group of local art collectors from the ground up and to create a sustainable and healthy art eco-system in Singapore for art businesses. We need to do that even more so now. Working together with ION Art has enabled us to continue doing this for the artists and art lovers as we go through this time together.”
Winners’ Solo Exhibitions at the ION Art gallery
This November, the eighth edition of the Winners’ Solo Exhibitions will present the distinctive works of three talented young artists from around the region, working introspectively, using ceramic, textile and photography. Headlining this seasons’ exhibitions are Daisy Toh, presenting ‘To Return from Sojourn’, Louisa Violet showcasing ‘Disquiet’, and Nuridah Rostam, who will present ‘Woven’. From 6 – 22 November 2020, visitors can expect to meet the three young artists who will lead exhibition tours at ION Art gallery. They will each also be discussing their art through online talks, scheduled to take place on 6 November (Louisa Violet), 13 November (Daisy Toh), and 19 November (Nuridah Rostam), from 7.30pm – 8.30pm.
Daisy Toh from Singapore works with ceramics, a medium which allows her versatility in her creativity. Her latest series explores her experiences growing up in both Taiwan and Singapore, drawing the attention of visitors to appreciate the various details that reflect her growth during formative years. She was awarded the FRANZ Rising Star Award and scholarship by FRANZ, Taipei, Taiwan in 2018, and exhibited at Révélations, 2019, International Crafts and Design Biennale, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, France and at New Orientalia: Ceramics Generations – Exploring Taiwan Contemporary Ceramics, International Academy of Ceramics National Exhibition, Taipei, 2019.
Louisa Violet from Singapore presents her emotive photography series, which explores the effects of insomnia. Her work showcases contrasting elements of light and darkness, reflecting the process behind navigating through personal thoughts and her identity. She won a place on the Singapore Noise Art mentorship programme for Photography and Moving Images from June to November 2016, exhibiting at Between Home and Home at Objectifs in February 2017.
Nuridah Rostam, also from Singapore, creates a series using thread, a free motion sewing technique and embroidery. Her inspiration is drawn from the passing on of a close friend, as well as the shared connection people have through music–namely, K-pop–amidst the different backstories and lives people have. Nuridah’s work captures and preserves the mutual happiness that music brings. She received the Goh Chok Tong Youth Promise Award (Merit) conferred by Yayasan Mendaki, Singapore in 2016. Currently a freelance art teacher at ARTARY, Nuridah is committed to using art to educate her students about the value of life.
The Young Talent Programme
Winners’ Solo Exhibitions 2019/20
ION Art gallery, ION Orchard Level 4
6 – 22 November 2020 | Open 10am to 10pm daily
YTP Artists’ Exhibition Tours at ION Art
Saturday | 7, 14, 21 November | 2.30pm – 4pm (every 30 minutes)
Sunday | 8, 15, 22 November | 2.30pm – 4pm (every 30 minutes)
Meet the artists as they tour the exhibition with visitors
(Limited to 5 persons per group)
Artist Talks (Online)
“Disquiet” by Louisa Violet | 6 November (Friday), 7.30pm – 8.30pm
“To Return from Sojourn” by Daisy Toh | 13 November (Friday), 7.30pm – 8.30pm
“Woven” by Nuridah Rostam | 19 November (Thursday), 7.30pm – 8.30pm
Culture Cartel (CC), Asia’s all-encompassing street culture convention, is refashioned for a virtual world in its third edition this year. Supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) sinceOn November 4, 2020 / By Nookmag
Culture Cartel (CC), Asia’s all-encompassing street culture convention, is refashioned for a virtual world in its third edition this year. Supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) since 2019, the digital convention brings together burgeoning subculture artists and noteworthy labels in Singapore and from around the world to put up an exciting line-up of masterclasses, performances and talks on Saturday, 5 December 2020, from 1pm to 12midnight (GMT+8) via Culture Cartel.
In the lead-up to the virtual event, CC 2020 raffle tickets* are now sold via Klook at SGD2 each. All raffle ticket holders are eligible for weekly draws every Friday at noon, from now till 4 December 2020; as well as the final raffle draws during CC 2020’s virtual event on 5 December 2020. The weekly winners will be announced on CC social media platforms, and prizes include customised sneakers and skateboards amongst others. The final raffle draw prizes include limited-edition drops and exclusive collaboration merchandise, as well as shopping vouchers.
* T&Cs apply.
For fans of past CC editions, CC’s exciting marketplace has always been one of the key highlights, with a well curated line-up of the trendiest streetwear brands from the region. This year’s online marketplace takes it up a notch with custom-designed 360-degree rotatable interactive digital booth embedded with pop-ups that will feature visuals and videos of participating brands, showcase product launches and exclusive campaign highlights, as well as provide 3D product rendering and gamification options. For instance, cult label Monsoon Patrol will be dropping their 2nd edition, which includes the highly coveted Asics Gel Lyte III sneakers and also feature a hyper-realistic virtual personality called Rae (@here.is.rae) in their campaign.
Jeremy Tan, CC’s Convention Director, said: “Culture Cartel was founded three years ago with a passion for originality, and the aim to bring new order to the subculture world by connecting people and brands from across the world. Despite the current challenging pandemic situation, we continue to forge ahead with the gritty roots and grounded authenticity that are well-associated with the street culture community by pivoting the convention onto the online realm. As one of the stewards in Asia, we will once again converge the region’s best minds spanning art, toys, fashion, tattoos and music for a single-day online event targeted at Culture Cartel fans and the uninitiated alike to push the boundaries of street culture once again.”
Get ready to experience a digital street culture convention like never before as the free-for-all CC 2020 virtual event will go “live” online for registered visitors from 1pm to 12 midnight (GMT+8) on 5 December 2020!
CC 2020 is supported by various partners, including Klook (Official Ticketing Partner), Lazada (Official E-Commerce Platform), ActionCity, Limited Edt and Word of Mouth Communications (Official PR Partner).
Stay tuned for a full line-up of partners and participating brands!
Earlier this month, dubblefilm celebrated the worldwide launch of their latest 35mm camera , SHOW, online and in selected stores. A fun, affordable 35mm reusable camera with flash,On September 19, 2020 / By Nookmag
Earlier this month, dubblefilm celebrated the worldwide launch of their latest 35mm camera , SHOW, online and in selected stores. A fun, affordable 35mm reusable camera with flash, SHOW readily replaces the insane amount of disposable cameras trashed every year, as well as provides a more affordable alternative to overpriced 2nd hand cameras during the huge 35mm film revival that we’re currently experiencing today.
Available at €55 from dubblefilm, SHOW uses any colour or black & white 35mm film, and includes a cotton neck strap, custom Nähe case by Hightide Japan, and Riso printed instructions illustrated by Jose A. Roda in each pack.
32mm Lens f=8
Shutter speed 1/125s
Focus = 1m to ∞
Electric flash powered by one AAA battery (not included)
Size: 114mm(W) x 63mm(H) x 35mm(D)
Cotton neck strap
PVC with metal zip
Size: 118mm(W) x 89mm(H) x 60mm(D)
Inside and outside pockets
dubblefilm is a Barcelona-based photography brand launched in October 2017 as a spin off from an iOS photo app called dubble. dubblefilm aims to bring creativity and fun to the analogue community with their range of speciality 35mm films, effects and accessories such as their nylon camera straps in bold colours that can be found in many stores worldwide. With the latest launch, SHOW is a very important addition to the dubblefilm product range.
Vans, the original action sports brand and global advocate for creative expression announces the worldwide expansion of the brand’s celebrated music platform, Vans Musicians Wanted. Originally launched in Vans’ Asia-Pacific regionOn September 3, 2020 / By Sofea
Vans, the original action sports brand and global advocate for creative expression announces the worldwide expansion of the brand’s celebrated music platform, Vans Musicians Wanted. Originally launched in Vans’ Asia-Pacific region in 2015, the Vans Musicians Wanted competition is a global music platform that provides undiscovered musicians a chance for their original music to be heard by a global audience.
This year’s competition has evolved into a seamless digital experience, and will award one grand prize winner the opportunity to share the stage with Vans Ambassador and Grammy award winning artist Anderson .Paak.
Launching in partnership with the trailblazing talent from Vans’ final chapter of the ‘THIS IS OFF THE WALL‘ brand campaign released yesterday, Vans shares the compelling journey of two artists: Atlanta-based rapper, J.I.D and Chinese-born and American-raised artist, Bohan Phoenix, who express their personal identities through music. Vans has partnered with J.I.D and Bohan Phoenix to serve as guest judges for the global competition.
Vans’ ‘THIS IS OFF THE WALL’ campaign stories celebrate creative expression through the pursuit of artists making their own way forward in hip hop. The genre has become a distinct language of choice for young voices who continue to work to forge their own path by any means necessary.
Joining J.I.D and Bohan Phoenix as special guest judges, European based singer-songwriter Nilüfer Yanya, and Grammy award-winning artist, Anderson .Paak will review the top-5 artists from each region. Top-5 artists from APAC will perform at the Vans Musicians Wanted Virtual Concert this December, they will also receive free album distribution through Spinnup, Universal Music Group’s distribution service for independent artists.
One grand prize winner will be selected to receive Vans product, Fender Gear, Vans Spotify and Apple Music playlisting, music video produced by Universal Music Group and one year of free and unlimited global music distribution from Spinnup (APAC exclusive), and the opportunity to share the stage with Anderson .Paak as the opening act in 2021.
Imagine this: It’s 1am and you are the only one awake. You’re chasing deadline for work so you’re focused on your laptop on your dining table, typing theOn September 2, 2020 / By Sofea
Imagine this: It’s 1am and you are the only one awake. You’re chasing deadline for work so you’re focused on your laptop on your dining table, typing the night away. Suddenly, you felt a gush of cold air. You checked the air conditioning, but it’s off. The hair at the back of your neck starts to stand and at the corner of your eyes, in the dark hallway…
That got you gripping your seat, huh? For the uninitiated, Hungry Ghost Festival falls on the 7th month of the Chinese Calendar, also known as the Ghost month. In this month, the ghosts of Chinese ancestors are let out of hell – and some spirits may be out to look for vengeance. It is said to be the scariest month of the year! Yes, even spookier than Halloween.
To commemorate the festival, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the 7th month (that’s today!), here are 7 most chilling true ghost stories of Malaysia and Singapore.
I was a new lecturer in a well-known local college that was known for its spooky stories. It was built on the grounds of the previous Japanese occupation, and it was a popular rumor that the buildings were built over the deceased bodies of the war. In our buildings, there was no 4th floor – only 3, 3A and 5, and my students and I used to laugh and say that the college was way too superstitious.
Then came a day when I was hanging back late to finish marking assignments. The lower floors of the college were brightly lit, but the offices above the 3rd floor were darkened as most of the lecturers had gone home. I looked up when someone tapped the glass of the office to see my colleague beckoning for me to come out. She made a hurried eating gesture, so I assumed she wanted to eat dinner together, and proceeded to pack my things and join her.
As we were going down the lift, my colleague asked if I stayed late often, to which I replied no, not really. She then looked around her nervously, as if there were more people in the lift that could hear our conversation.
“It’s not good to stay late. Next time go home by 7,” she said.
“Why? I don’t mind staying late,” I said.
My colleague shuffled her feet. “There is an agreement,” she said, with a tensed smile. Her eyes did not meet mine, even as we exited the lift. Confused, I shrugged it off and assumed she was talking about our contract with the college, and how working hours were flexible. I didn’t bother thinking too much of it as I was hungry, and immediately forgot about it by the next day.
The following week, I stayed late once again to look through more student assignments. The office was quiet and dark except for the light I had on above my desk, and the distant music of the college’s dance club practicing downstairs. As I marked assignment after assignment, I failed to notice that the light through the windows were fading, and that I was the only one left in the office.
Eventually, the first thing I noticed was the cold. I looked up in bewilderment, checking if the air conditioning was still on. Then it hit me that I was the only one in the darkened office, and the cold was seeping through my clothes, down my neck and spine as I slowly turned in my seat.
It felt like I was being watched.
I looked back at my work, and even though my eyes moved across the words on the paper, my mind seemed to be unable to absorb anything. In that instance, I saw something move at the corner of my eye, but something told me to avert my gaze. But it was too late – I swore it was a figure, with an undiscernible face and features that seemed to shift even in the darkness.
With shaking hands, I swept my belongings into my bag and hastily left, stumbling towards the exit of the office. When I looked back through the glass, it seemed like all was quiet – the darkness of the room seemed to mock me, and I wondered for a moment if I had just imagined it. But the longer I looked, the more uncomfortable I felt, so I made my way to the lifts and went downstairs to leave. That night in bed, I had a hard time falling asleep.
The next day when I entered the office, my female colleague looked at me hard, as if scrutinizing my expression. She gestured to me to follow her outside to the hallway, where she spoke to me in hushed tones.
“Were you still in the office after 7 yesterday?” she asked.
“How did you know?”
“You had a weird look on your face. I told you not to stay after 7! You probably made her angry because you stayed late.”
I felt that chill again. The confusion and fear were likely evident on my face as my colleague proceeded to explain further hastily –
In the early days of the college opening its grounds, the staff had some troublesome experiences of the otherworldly sort. Some mornings when lecturers and staff entered the office, it would be in terrible disarray – chairs upturned, papers strewn about, books torn and tables on their sides. No matter how many times things were set straight and fixed, there would eventually be one day where staff would walk in to see the office in a mess. Cameras would glitch out, cellphone reception would fail, and things were reported missing constantly.
After an internal agreement, the college sought the help of a local exorcist, who told them that there was the unrestful spirit of a woman lingering in the office.
“She refuses to leave,” the exorcist said solemnly. “She used to stay here years ago, and she is still looking for her child.”
While the exorcist managed to assure the spirit that the college staff meant no harm, she was apparently adamant on staying. She insisted that if she stayed, she could find her child again. So the exorcist convinced the spirit to strike a deal. During the day, the staff and students could roam about, unharmed and safe from any spiritual activity – however at night after 7, it would be her domain, and she would have the area to herself.
“I honestly don’t really want to believe it,” my colleague admitted sheepishly. “Some people say it could have just been people messing with us. But it’s become a norm, so I just respect the agreement. Good reason not to work too late anyway.”
Ever since that day, I took great care to pack my things and leave by 6pm. Regardless if people believed it or not, or if it was just my imagination that night, I told myself to ‘respect the agreement’, and leave the office before night fell.
Story by Lang*.
Everyone talks about possession in similar ways – a spirit enters a person, and that person then acts in a strange way. Movies, documentaries and all usually end with the person being exorcised, and most likely having no memory of the entire incident. Some people scoff and wave it off as a medical issue, not willing to believe in the supernatural. However, my story is rather unusual, and far from medical, as I got externally possessed.
When I was 13, I frequently felt like my back was weirdly heavy and tense. Even if I was bigger than average as compared to other pre-teens, it constantly felt like I was carrying a bag of very heavy books. One day, my right arm started twisting itself to my back, as if someone was pulling it – it wasn’t forceful or painful, but I knew I had no control over it. At the same time, it felt really ticklish, and I would end up having a laughing fit for no particular reason.
For obvious reasons, my parents grew concerned and decided to take me to a neurologist. Their main worry was that I was experiencing seizures, hence the strange laughing fits and the loss of control of my body. After various tests, the doctor diagnosed me with Frontal Lobe Seizure, and put me on rounds of medication, even epilepsy pills for a while.
The entire time after that, my mother took care to record my ‘episodes’ whenever it happened, to show the doctor during our checkups. Being a typical mother, she shared these videos with the rest of our extended family to tell them about my issues, and to ask for help or recommendations.
This was where things got creepy – my aunt had a young son who was sensitive to the supernatural and claimed that he could see things that others couldn’t. Some took him seriously, and some brushed it off as a child’s nonsense, but he was probably the reason I could live until now. While watching the video with my aunt, the young boy pointed at the screen and said –
“Mama, there are people on his back.”
After prodding him for further information, the young boy described that he saw two small figures – almost child-like – riding my back while pulling and twisting my arm. One even waved at my mother, who was recording the video! While his parents found hard to believe, my parents did not want to take any chances. They arranged for a priest, who then performed an exorcism ritual on me.
Before anyone asks, no, it was not like in the movies – there was no yelling, no blood, no spirits screaming and tearing the house apart, and my face did not contort into different shapes. I remember the whole procedure clearly, in fact; all they did was sit me down, calmly read out a few verses from the holy book, and told me I was good to go. I distinctly remember the only difference I felt was that my back gradually felt lighter, and my shoulders loosened up.
As to the children who were possessing me, no one knew who they were, or why they even chose me. The priest told my parents that it could just be two lost children, who wanted to have a little bit of fun. The spirits were not strong or malicious, and disappeared immediately after the ritual.
I am 23 now, and while the experience was a whole ten years ago, the story is still fun to recount during late-night parties or sleepovers. Not many people can say they’ve been possessed, let alone by two spirits, right? Although it still creeps me out when my aunt’s son – now also grown up – stares weirdly at me, as if he was still picturing the two children waving at him from behind my shoulders.
Story by Patrick*.
The job of an airline stewardess comes with many perks – you get to travel all around the world, stay in luxurious hotels, eat all kinds of food and buy just about anything you ever want. People envy the lifestyle of airline crew, and some even call us ‘glorified waitresses’. They don’t see the job for what it is – long hours standing in a plane rattling several thousand feet in the air, while having to babysit hundreds of cranky passengers. My husband has grown to fear the line ‘chicken or beef’ as sometimes I even say it in my sleep.
But enough about my job and what I have to do, these are just part and parcel of the experience. Fear is like a second emotion to me at this point – flying in a plane that could go down due to problems, bomb threats on board, unruly and violent passengers, and now in the pandemic, literally everything is a risk. What I don’t talk about often enough is my own personal fears that kick in after I land in a different country, and check into a hotel.
Whenever we are assigned a hotel on duty, we usually have the privilege of getting our own room. You may think that it is a luxurious experience – having a big room, a king-sized bed, a large bathtub and television all to myself, but there is an unspoken reason as to why most of the time, we crew end up sharing rooms with each other. It is also the same reason as to why most hotels have a holy book in the dresser next to the bed.
From the biggest, most luxurious hotel in the heart of Vegas, to the tiniest, dingiest room in the alleys of Glasgow, the paranoia was all the same. Every time I stood in front of my room for the night, I would tap the door firmly three times before entering, just like how my mother taught me to. As I entered, I would say ‘thank you for letting me stay’ as I turned on the lights and took off my shoes. The next thing I would do is to open the doors of the bathroom and draw back the shower curtains, my heart beating rapidly as I prayed no one would be hiding back there. Then would be the bed, the window curtains, the closets and anywhere else that could hide a person.
Looking back at it, I confess that it might have been just my young, naïve mind playing tricks on me, telling me that there could be a man waiting in the tub holding a knife, ready to end my life just in 1960’s Psycho, or blood would seep out from under the closets as I opened them. At the same time, I’ve heard too many spooky tales from my seniors in the airline that got under my skin – figures standing around them as they slept in bed, blood pouring out of taps instead of water, experiencing sleep paralysis at night, body parts hidden in the lining of the bed, etc. These stories practically lived rent-free in my mind and replayed themselves frequently as I slept alone in large, dark hotel rooms.
But despite my fears, I’ve never had any paranormal experiences up till a time where I stayed in London years ago as a young stewardess. It was a brightly lit hotel room, with a big bed, wide windows and a marble bathroom with soft fluffy towels. I had a nice dinner with the other crew, came back and took a shower, then made myself a hot cup of English tea – in true British style – before I tucked myself into bed. All seemed fine and well, and I closed my eyes and felt myself drifting off to sleep… until I heard the kettle bubbling.
Confused, I sat up blearily and looked towards the electric kettle, trying to remember if I had forgotten to turn it off after I made my tea. I slid out of bed to turn it off, making sure the kettle’s light stopped blinking before I went back to bed. Once again, I closed my eyes and felt myself slowly sink into sleep.
The next time I jolted awake, it was because the television came on. The laughter from a variety show blared out, echoing around the room. I squinted in the dark, trying to make out where the remote was – could I have accidentally slept on the remote and turned the television on? Eventually I found the remote right next to the television, and I grumpily turned it off, wondering if it was one of those fancy televisions that turned themselves on and acted like an alarm clock. Either way, I was tired and jet lag wasn’t helping, so I crawled back to bed and closed my eyes once more.
While a few good minutes had passed, it seemed as if I closed my eyes for only a few seconds before I heard water slushing in the bathroom. This time, I groggily dragged myself out of bed, thinking if I had been so tired that I forgot to turn off the tap. Turning the bathroom light on, I then realized it wasn’t the sink tap that was on – it was the tap in the bathtub, and I hadn’t even taken a bath in it yet. The showerhead that I had used earlier was still slightly damp, but the tap that I had yet to touch was spitting out jets of water.
Feeling spooked out, I hastily turned off the tap, feeling the chill from the cold water run up my arm. I did not feel as sleepy as before anymore, and I was starting to get scared. Slowly, I walked out of the bathroom and turned on the lights of the hotel room. It felt like my heart was pounding in my throat as I looked around, but I could see nothing out of the ordinary.
As I was about to reach for the lights, I heard the merry bubbling of the kettle once more. This time, I was positive that it wasn’t some fancy, self-boiling kettle, as I had turned the main plug off. At the same time, the television flickered, filling the room with the same, echoing laughter of the late-night variety show.
I did what any scared person would do – I fled the room.
I spent the night at my fellow stewardess’s room, too afraid to return to my own until the next morning. She was understanding enough not to scoff or laugh at me, and kindly told me to stay until I felt comfortable enough to go back to my room. Even so, I gathered my stuff and spent the rest of my time in London staying with my colleague.
As an airline stewardess, that was just one of my various spooky encounters. Over the years, I’ve grown to learn how to respect the spaces I stayed in, and to always stick with my fellow crew the moment I felt uncomfortable about where I was. The countries and hotels may have differed, but my paranoia stayed with me until I resigned from being a crew, and even now when I go on holidays with my family.
Story by Angie*.
It was a normal morning in school and there was nothing particularly memorable about it. After the regular morning assembly, we all made our way back to class and that’s when I realized a group of teachers surrounding someone who had fainted. I was a first aider in school, and I had access to first aid kits, so I decided to bring it down for the teachers. I wasn’t planning to help as I was already late to my first period of the day.
Once I got there, the teachers instructed me and another first aider to assist with bringing the girl to the sick room. We complied though somewhat hesitantly. Once we arrived, we started trying to get her conscious. After a few attempts of tapping on her shoulders and calling out her name, she snapped awake. No, it wasn’t the usual drowsy and weak waking up that one would expect from someone who had just passed out.
She literally sprung up from the bed and sat up. What made me froze was her eyes. They were far from human. This was when I felt the other first aider cling onto my back, she must have seen it too. For a moment, we were both lost and confused but deeply terrified. The girl suddenly became hysterical and 4 men had to hold her down. The teachers eventually called an ustad to perform prayer. This was when I grasped the situation – the girl hadn’t passed out; she was possessed by a spirit.
We had to stay in the room while the prayers were carried out and we were instructed to avoid making eye contact with the girl. After 15 mins of relentless screaming and struggling, the teachers eventually dragged her out to the surau. Upon making sure both my friend and I were okay we were dismissed to class. This experience is one I would never forget as it was the day, I woke up a spirit.
Story by Sherly*.
I was in standard four when I went to my sister’s Canteen Day at the high school beside mine. I brought along a friend as I didn’t want to be left alone, knowing that my sister was tasked to act as a ghost for her class’ ghost house. We spent the entire day walking around, buying food and playing games, strictly avoiding the ghost houses. However, at the end of the day, one ghost house could not be avoided – my sister’s.
Her friend had found me and said that she was looking for me, leading us to her classroom right at the top of the building. “That was the last customer! We have to close up” I hear from inside the classroom, and I let out a breath of relief. “Wait, is that Fiona’s sister? It’s okay lah we’ll do this one last time for them” Damn it.
I take a glance at my friend and she looks back at me, visibly scared. Holding her hand, we enter the pitch-black classroom. Right at the door, my sister’s best friend dressed as a pontianak greeted us and acted as the host, guiding us through the haunted house to make sure we don’t divert from the designated path. A zombie, a scary doll, random painted white cloths, we came across all of them with eerie music playing in the background before we got to a dark corner in the room.
Out of the blue, the song changes to a sound of a baby crying and I see movement under a desk placed right by a window. I nudged my friend and she seemed to notice it too. It was a long-haired lady dressed in white cloth, another pontianak sitting underneath the desk in a fetal position, rocking to the cries playing in the background with her head pressed into her knees. I bite my lip to stop myself from making a sound while my friend lets out a scream. My sister’s friend, the host, brought us over to another area in the room where I easily spot my sister on the floor, crawling. “Kakak?”
She rolls her eyes and stops crawling, annoyed that I spotted her before she could scare me. We moved around the room for another while, my friend screaming at every ghost passing by while I surprisingly kept calm, mostly because I recognise them as my sister’s friends dressed up as ghosts. Not long after, they turned on the lights and started packing up, my friend and I staying back to talk to my sister.
We spot the wig my sister’s friend used to dress up as a pontianakand started playing with it. “Hey, where’s the other wig?” My friend asked me, I looked around the room, but I couldn’t spot it. I tug on my sister’s shirt. “What?” she said. “Where’s the other wig?” “What other wig?” My friend and I looked at each other. “For the other pontianak.” “What do you mean? There was only one pontianak.”
Story by Lisa*.
Nightmares are seldom welcome in our sleep. Most leaving us gripped in fear and a reminder of moments that hurt us deeply.
So, when I say that a nightmare may have saved my life from harm, would be a difficult story to be believed.
It was a cold midnight as I was up in my room, laying on my bed, my laptop balanced on my lap, typing away on an assigned project in my pyjamas of an old red and white shirt and red shorts. I lost track of time and how many minutes has passed, but I was shocked out of my focus when I heard insistent soft scratching above me. Looking up, my eyes met with another pair of bloodshot eyes, hovering above me. Except the eyes belonged to a woman, in a tattered and bloodied white dress, hands outstretched with her long nails towards me. Her face mangled, bones and blood dripping down her pale face and eyes bulging.
As our eyes met, her lips stretched into what resembled a maniacal grin… and started to drop towards me from the ceiling.
Gripped by fear, I jumped off my bed and dashed towards my room door. My attempts to open the door was futile, as no matter how I twisted the knob, it wouldn’t unlock.
The last thing I felt was intense fear for my life, fear of what would happen to me when that creature gets to me… before opening my eyes to bright sunlight streaking through my window.
I was no doubt shaken, but quickly tried to brush it off as a nightmare caused by stress. However, the entire day my thoughts kept revisiting that scene. It was not easy to forget such a vivid nightmare, even more so that it happened in my very own room.
That night, my parents went to bed early and left me with my laptop in my room and an essay to write. Settling in my bed, I fired up my laptop and begun typing. The feeling of Deja vu nestled into my mind as my fingers tapped on the keys, but with an essay and tight deadline to meet, I brushed it off.
It only took a familiar soft scratching to kick my entire body into high gear. Looking down, I realized I was in the very same position, wearing the red and white shirt paired with red shorts from the nightmare.
I made sure to not look up, setting down my laptop on my bed and immediately diving for my door, twisting the knob, praying it is not locked.
Thankfully, the door swung open and I dashed into my parents’ room as quickly as I could.
Story by Chang*.
When I was in the first grade of primary school, I never went a single day without crying in school. I never understood why I was crying. But all I knew was if my mom was in my sight, I would feel better. Thus, my mom had to take care of me in school from 7:30am – 1:00pm daily. Every time she wasn’t around, I would just start crying over and over again. Till this day, I never knew what I was crying about or why. I never felt any sort of fear, in fact I liked being in school.
But after a while, my classmates started hating me. My teachers hated me even more. My dad would bring me to the zoo every other weekend in hopes that I would feel better in school. He would pray for me and he would do just about anything just so that I would stop crying in school. But nothing worked. It went on for almost a year. He couldn’t stand it any longer.
Then one day, my parents decided to bring me to see a spiritual healer. As we sat down, she did not ask us anything nor talked to us. She started talking to an invisible figure behind us and we simply thought it was part of her ritual. Then after a while, she turned her attention to us. She told us that a spirit has been following me around for almost a year now and we had to perform a ritual at a specific location to get rid of the spirit.
My parents couldn’t figure out how we even come across a spirit in the first place. Then the spiritual healer revealed the specific location. When I was 6 years old, my family went for a picnic at a secluded location on the local beach. We were having a great time until a major commotion broke out among the villagers. Me and my dad approached the villagers and we found a boy lying on the sandy beach. He had drowned and passed away on the spot. His spirit followed me home after. He was the reason I had been crying for no reason in school. The very next day I went back to school, I did not cry.
Story by Jayden*.
*Names were changed for confidentiality.
All around the world, the popular fast-food chain McDonald’s is given a localised nickname. For instance, in Australia and New Zealand it is known as Maccas. In Malaysia,On August 31, 2020 / By Sofea
All around the world, the popular fast-food chain McDonald’s is given a localised nickname. For instance, in Australia and New Zealand it is known as Maccas. In Malaysia, it’s Mekdi! In conjunction with Malaysia’s Independence Day and Malaysia Day last year, McDonald’s Malaysia embraces the “Malaysian-ness” by changing the signage at their Bukit Bintang outlet to ‘Mekdi’! It was all love and support from the rakyat (the people).
This year, McDonald’s Malaysia has given the power to the people to vote for their favourite outlets across the country to earn the honourable title of ‘Mekdi’! Aiming to choose 10 outlets, they ended up choosing 16 outlets all over Malaysia due to overwhelming responses.
This grand gesture is Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Melati Abdul Hai’s way to say, “Thank You, Malaysia!”, for their undying support for the past 38 years. If your favourite outlet was not chosen, fret not as other McDonald’s restaurants nationwide will have an AR Mekdi filter!
The signages will be up until 16 September 2020 so don’t forget to head over to one of the 16 chosen locations to witness history!
Public toilets. We all know the horror. Foul-smelling, dark and wet – it’s everyone’s nightmare no matter where we are in the world, even in Japan where theOn August 26, 2020 / By Sofea
Public toilets. We all know the horror. Foul-smelling, dark and wet – it’s everyone’s nightmare no matter where we are in the world, even in Japan where the public toilet has a better reputation.
To improve the views on public toilets, The Nippon Foundation has launched THE TOKYO TOILET Project – a movement to renovate 17 public toilets in parks located in Shibuya by 16 renown architects. Three of these have been up-and-running since 5 August 2020.
The most raved-about public toilet is designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban. The transparent public toilet baffles not just the people of Japan, it baffles the whole world! Using a new smartglass technology, the glass will turn opaque when the door is locked so you do not have to worry about public indecency.
The see-through design aims to make it bright and easy for you to check if there is any bad guy lurking around. On top of that, at night, it serves as an aesthetically pleasing lantern for the park!
Read more about it here!
Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan has announced the appointment of cultural icon Phua Chu Kang as its first brand ambassador for Singapore. ThisOn August 25, 2020 / By Nookmag
Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan has announced the appointment of cultural icon Phua Chu Kang as its first brand ambassador for Singapore.
This announcement marks yet another milestone for Shopee as it continues to deepen its engagement with local audiences, and coincides with the kick-off of Shopee’s highly anticipated signature annual shopping event, the 9.9 Super Shopping Day. The partnership also reflects Shopee’s continued commitment to support and unite local communities, including homegrown businesses, as e-commerce continues to play a significant role in the lives of Singaporeans especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his role as local ambassador of Shopee, Phua Chu Kang will be the face of various Shopee campaigns, starting with Shopee’s 9.9 Super Shopping Day. This year’s 9.9 Super Shopping Day takes on greater significance as communities across Southeast Asia and Taiwan adapt to the new normal. Shopee has also outlined three commitments for communities in the region to support them during this time:
From today until 9 September, users can look out for Million $ Discount deals, 50% off vouchers, and 18% cashback with no minimum spend.
The key highlights of 9.9 Super Shopping Day include:
For more information, visit Shopee.
Celebrating inclusivity, Converse is releasing an apparel line that is not defined by gender. Gone are the days of exclusive male/female gender pieces as the world rejoices diversity.On August 22, 2020 / By Sofea
Celebrating inclusivity, Converse is releasing an apparel line that is not defined by gender. Gone are the days of exclusive male/female gender pieces as the world rejoices diversity. With their sole idea of “you define the clothes; the clothes don’t define you”, express yourself in whatever way that makes you feel like, well, YOU!
SHAPES comes in five core pieces; the triangle pullover hoodie, the box tee, the bubble crew, the triangle front chino and the triangle raglan tee. The sizes available are also getting a revamp with only 4 different options as opposed to the traditional 14-sizes range. The apparels are equipped with adjustable design elements for a further personal touch for their consumers.
Not only are they gender-fluid, the pieces from the SHAPES collection are also made from sustainable material – 50% recycled cotton and 50% virgin cotton. It is unsure when the exclusive collection will arrive on our shores but it is available online now at Converse US’ website.
Vans, the original action sports brand and advocate for creative expression, has opened Singapore’s first brand concept store! Located at Level 2 Bugis Junction, the space is comprised of multiple zonesOn August 19, 2020 / By Sofea
Vans, the original action sports brand and advocate for creative expression, has opened Singapore’s first brand concept store! Located at Level 2 Bugis Junction, the space is comprised of multiple zones showcasing different product ranges; footwear to apparel, accessories for men and women, and a fully loaded Pro-Skate Collection.
The Vans Customisation table is the first of its kind in Singapore. The station allows for customisation of Vans goods using an array of artistic supplies. More than just a DIY workstation, there will be regular programming spanning creative workshops, forums, product talks, and community happenings.
Highlighting local creative, Lydia Yang’s (@Oak&Bindi) collection from the 2020 OTW Art Collection will be featured in the Semi-permanent Store window showcase.
Vans Bugis Junction also offers various brand experiences for consumers, including in-store activations and customisation corner. Not only that, the store will broadcast live moments and pinnacle Vans events such as Vans Park Series, Vans Musicians Wanted, and Side Stripe Sessions.
Vans will have exclusive apparel for sale to celebrate the store opening on 18 August 2020, so don’t miss out!
Nothing screams luxe than sipping on a glass of rosé by the beach in the Summer. Embodying French hauté couture, high fashion powerhouse Chanel has released its firstOn August 11, 2020 / By Sofea
Nothing screams luxe than sipping on a glass of rosé by the beach in the Summer. Embodying French hauté couture, high fashion powerhouse Chanel has released its first rosé wine for the Summer. One might not think of wine when it comes to Chanel, but they own 5 wine estates.
The house of Chanel is the owner of multiple wine estates in Bordeax and Margaux in France, and had acquired Domaine de l’Ile, a 34-hectre vineyard on the island of Porquerolles in the South of France to add to their collection. It’s at this maison where the Chanel’s debut rosé was born!
The Domaine de l’Ile Provence Rose is a perfect blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Mouvedre and Syrah. It is described as “soft, dry, crisp palate with crushed summer berry fruit and a lovely clean acidity on the finish”. It’s best paired with shellfish. First harvested in 2019, the 2019 rosé is classified as organic wine and can be bought online for €30 (approx. SGD49/RM148).
“In this extraordinary natural setting, our desire is not only to include the estate in a global eco-responsible approach that respects the environment, but also to support local reflections and initiatives in terms of ecology and preservation, in connection with the territory,” explained Chanel, as it introduced the Domaine de l’Ile.
The 90’s kids know what’s up! Sailor Moon was more than an anime, it was a culture. It first aired on television in 1992, and 28 years later,On August 6, 2020 / By Sofea
The 90’s kids know what’s up! Sailor Moon was more than an anime, it was a culture. It first aired on television in 1992, and 28 years later, it’s still relevant! Every year on 6 August, we celebrate International Sailor Moon Day. To commemorate the party, here are some of the most exclusive Sailor Moon collaborations!
American cosmetic brand ColourPop is everyone’s favourite go-to make-up, even in South East Asia where they don’t deliver! Currently, their hottest collaboration is the Sailor Moon collection, having sold out its first batch the moment it was released. They have recently restocked the products, so act quick!
Last year, Uniqlo released Sailor Moon UT collection to celebrate the show. The collection features 12 designs – which are the original artwork by the creator Naoko Takeuchi. It sold out both in-store and online faster than you can say Sailor Moon!
Streetwear brand Kith had also released a Sailor Moon collection in April 2020. A women’s collection, it appeared in pastel spring colours with the 5 Guardian members guarding the brand’s logo.
This exclusive version of your favourite board game is unfortunately only available in the US, but the fact that it exists excites us! Imagine swapping the ol’ generic tokens to the cosmic heart compact, moon chalice and many more!
Show some love for the classic anime on International Sailor Moon Day!