Sunday, August 26, 2012

Recent trip to Asian Civilisations Museum

August seems to be my favourite month to visit museums! My must-see exhibitions of the month were at the Asian Civilisations Museum, featuring Islamic art and artefacts.

Dressed up for the day! Not dressed to impress but for the comfort!

Miniature pictures of us on the way to the museum! Random, I like!

There was an exhibition called Shadow Spaces: Photographs of the Old Supreme Court at the foyer. Interesting and very inspiring!

Entering the Islamic Arts From South East Asia exhibition.

Buraq is the first thing that caught my attention. "The Buraq is often described as a half-mule, half-donkey creature with wings. The Buraq is depicted with a human face in certain regions of the world such as Mindanao."

Three copies of the Qur'an. "Only the most gifted calligraphers were invited to copy the Qur'an and those copies became striking works of art."

Two ikats with calligraphic patterns. "Called kain limar, they seem to have been popular within the highest courtly circles on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. Those bearing repeated religious inscriptions, like the two textiles on display, are particularly complex to produce, for they require great artistic skill and much time."

Cloisonne enamel. "Enamel is coloured glass fused to a metal surface at high temperature. Cloisonne enamel derives from the French term cloison, which means partition or divider. Small metal strips are used to divide the areas of coloured glass, and they remain visible after the object is fired and polished."

"Kendi is a Malay term derived from the Sanskit word 'kundika', a small ritual pouring vessel. A typical kendi has a bulbous body, a neck which is used for holding the vessel and a spout."

Multicultural Sarong. "The sarong, a long skirt, is worn by both Muslims and non-Muslims but the motifs on commissioned by a Muslim who had performed the Hajj."

Magic Square on a buckle. A little game for anyone who is interested for a quick challenge.

"Sarimanok are excellent examples of how pre-Islamic traditions were Islamicised in order to be better accepted. The creature seems to derive from a totemic bird of good fortune called Itotoro that was already a symbol of the Maranao people from Mindanao Island. Sarimanok are normally portrayed flying and carrying a fish in their talons."

That's all for this exhibition. Now, we may proceed to the next exhibition.

I was very excited to look at all the Islamic paintings at the Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum: Architecture in Islamic Arts. Right after we entered the exhibition, I spotted a game "Save the King"! I had to solve it first before immersing myself in the paintings.

It was such a nice experience to have a close look at the paintings, which were painstakingly created. Painters are known to use a single strand of hair from a squirrel's tail to paint fine details.

The exhibition featured more than 100 exquisite paintings and artefacts including architectural artefacts which were very amusing.

As an added bonus for this exhibition, there was a photo-taking session and an interactive art for everyone to create your own magical patterns. I created a blue flower pattern! Personally I think it looked awesome!

That's all for my museum trips this month, I'm looking forward to the next one! Weekend again! Yay!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Canopy Walk and Reflections at Bukit Chandu

Last weekend was a long weekend so we spent a day for a nature trail walk. It's been quite a while!

Outfit of that day! The canopy walk is part of the Kent Ridge Trail that I wanted to complete, which is just outside the Reflections at Bukit Chandu museum.

After having our favourite lunch at Alexandra Village Food Centre, we slowly made our way to the Alexandra Arch to reach the Hortpark.

The sun was quite harsh that day, even walking through the Hortpark made us perspire a lot. But I enjoyed the beautiful displays at Hortpark as always.

Finally we reached a slightly sloped trail and continued walking up to the Reflections at Bukit Chandu museum, it's close to where the Battle of Pasir Panjang was fought on Feb 14, 1942 - one day before the British surrendered to the Japanese during World War II. The museum showcases details of the battle.

I love visiting museums, pardon me if I mentioned that too many times. You may wonder if you would visit this museum even you're not a museum-goer. You should! Because the air-conditioned museum would definitely save your day!

It seems to me that everything in museums are interesting! I just love learning new stuff and improving my knowledge! Nerd much? I do think so!

After relaxing and cooling down in the museum, we continued our trip to the Canopy walk. I enjoyed the lush greenery and Lg's company all the time. We had so much to laugh and chat about along the way.

Love to take minutes like these,
Minutes of peace, surreal ease
Little to hide, leisurely free
Hush and sincere
So connected
Here by my side
So contented.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Japanese Curry Rice

My simple recipe for cooking Japanese Curry Rice, using S&B curry sauce mix.

Beef (I use chuck tender), 2 potatoes, 2 carrots, 1 onions, garlics, ginger, cherry tomatoes and oregano (optional).

Slice beef and vegetables, except oregano of course! Cook rice using rice cooker before preparing the ingredients.

Buy the ready mix curry at any supermarket, it makes tasty curry stew.

Heat oil, saute chopped garlic and ginger until fragrant, add beef (already coated with some corn starch). Stir well until beef slightly turn brown. Transfer beef into a bowl and put aside.

Using the same saucepan to saute onions 'til fragrant, add potatoes, carrots and stir fry in medium fire for 5 minutes.
Add water to boil the vegetables, cook over low heat for 15 minutes or when the vegetable are softened.
Meanwhile, break curry sauce mix and you only need 1 cube for 2 servings. Put the cube into the mixture and stir until it completely melt.

Add cooked beef and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add cherry tomatoes and oregano as garnishes.

Side note: I highly recommend to add cherry tomatoes in this dish, it's very delicious and make the dish even more appetizing.