Thursday, August 29, 2013

Princely Treasures at National Museum of Singapore

We went to the Princely Treasures from the House of Liechtenstein exhibition at National Museum of Singapore.

This exhibition features  91 exquisite works including paintings, prints and engravings, tapestries, sculptures, and rare decorative art objectives by European masters from the High Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical and Biedermeier era.

Portraits of the royal family.

More rare artworks from their collection.

It's always an interesting experience for me to see the artworks in details.

I was impressed by the Pietra Dura Ornate Chest. "The overall design of the chest is inspired by Venetian furniture of the late 16th century. The skill of the stonecutter can be seen in the way the natural shades of various stones have been assembled and fitted to produce small, charming scenes on the panels..."

Art of the Renaissance. "The term Renaissance is often used to describe the renewed interest in and rediscovery of classical culture in Europe. It began first in Florence, Italy around 1400 and slightly later in northern Europe..."

Baroque Art. "The term Baroque is derived from the Portuguese word barroco, meaning 'irregular pearl.' It was coined at the end of the 18th century as a criticism of and reaction against 17th-century architecture and decoration. Its florid style was viewed as being opposed to classical Renaissance art forms...Baroque painting in particular is characterised by an overwhelming richness of colour and solid forms that are assembled in dynamic compositions. It achieves theatricality through strong contrast of light and dark, and highly contorted poses..."

"The figure of the Roman goddess of love illustrates the classical notion of an idealised female form with harmonious proportions. The clear contours and subtly weighted stance give a natural grace to the form. She is shown here with her arms shielding her breasts and pubis - a gesture that at once conceals and reveals - thus emphasising her sexuality. The dolphin is traditionally associated with the goddess..."

Artworks by Peter Paul Rubens. "Rubens (Siegen 1577-1640 Antwerp) was one of the most important Barroque artists of the 17th century and enjoyed great success during his lifetime. Profoundly imaginative, he synthesised diverse artistic styles and techniques to produce monumental works that are characterised by a tremendous vitality. Rubens was among the first to make the small compositional oil sketch (modello) significant. He was inspired by Italian artists such as Titian who produced such sketches in preparation for large compositions. In his coloured sketches, Rubens combined drawing and colour in a way that the distinction were maintained yet unified, thus revealing the spontaneity of artistic expression. The loose, open, sketchy brush marks point to the articulation of the idea, while the vivid pigments show the fulfilment of that initial thought in paint..."

Allegory of Africa by Jan Boeckhorst. "This painting, from the series Four Continents, Boeckhorst offers a feminised representation of the continent as a young woman in a Venetian-styled shift. She wears chains on her left arm, possibly an allusion to the slave trade..."

Vengeance is Sworn by Francesco Hayez. "The works were inspired by an unpublished novel by Andrea Maffei. The realist stage-like space, spot-lit illumination and exquisite Venetian backdrop evoke a theatrical setting. In the centre are Maria and Rachel, who has just informed Maria about the deceit of her lover. The narrative of intrigue is compressed in the quotidian gestures if the two figures - the distraught Maria removing her mask and pushing away Rachel, who tries to comfort her. Hayez' skill can be seen in the smooth elegant forms, dramatic tonal contrasts, rose-pink and blue hues, and the rich textures of the women's dresses..."

The exhibition also displayed historical portrait paintings from the Singapore's National Collection.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Steamed Tofu in Spicy Sauce

Steamed tofu is one of the easiest dish to prepare and tofu is my favourite food! Lately, I like to eat steamed tofu in spicy sauce. I'll show you how to make it!

I happened to find the Mama Sita's Caldereta spicy sauce mix and extremely love it! It's very useful to marinate meat, cook stew or even make gravy!!! I use this sauce in my steamed tofu and it tastes very good!!!


+ 1 silky soft tofu.
+ Minced meat.
+ Chopped garlics, chillies, mushrooms, carrots...(Up to your own preference)

+ Put tofu in a bowl, sprinkle some Mama Sita's Caldereta spicy sauce mix onto the tofu, add a bit of light soya sauce then steam the tofu.

+ While tofu is steaming, heat oil in a pan, toss in chopped garlic and stir until fragrant, add in mushrooms, carrots, followed by minced meat and chillies last. Add Mama Sita's Caldereta spicy sauce to taste. Add a little water and corn starch to make the gravy. Pour on top of steamed tofu! Serve and enjoy!!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Stuffed bitter gourd soup

I love to eat bitter gourd, besides the delicious bitter sweet taste, this fruit also has numerous health benefits! I share one of my easy way to cook bitter gourd! It's stuffed bitter gourd in clear soup!


+bitter gourds
+minced meat (any type of meat), wood ears (optional), egg and tofu (optional).

 Note: You can just use any type of minced meat to stuff inside the bitter gourds, I love to mix random ingredients besides minced meat, so sometimes I stuff meat and mushrooms, sometimes meat and carrots, sometimes just meat and pepper! Well, depends on your own taste buds!!


+Wash and cut bitter gourd into half, remove core.
+Cut wood ears into small pieces, combine with minced meat, tofu and egg in a bowl, add seasoning and toss all together.
+Stuff the bitter gourd with the mixture above.

+Bring water to a boil. Add the stuffed bitter gourd. Boil the soup over high heat for 10 minutes then turn the cooking mode to slow cook. Cook to the softness that you like! Add seasoning to taste! Enjoy!

 Note: Shape the left over mixture into meat balls or beat another egg to the bowl and steam.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

S.E.A Aquarium

One of my favourite tourist spot in Singapore is the S.E.A Aquarium, the World's Largest Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa.

On the board walk to Sentosa, we went on a weekday, to avoid the crowd!

I love the travelator, so convenient!!!

At the entrance.

We explored the Maritime Experiential Museum, looking through Asia's maritime heritage.

A sweet surprise to see a Vietnamese section there! A big hug to my heritage!!!

I like to learn about other Asian heritage too!

I was playing with the drums and it's fun!

There were many games around too!

Continued our walk to the Aquarium. I love love love the ambience of this place, felt surreal!

Looking through the large window panels. I was overwhelmed by the majestic view of the ocean!.

Besides featuring more than 100,000 marine animals from over 800 species across 49 habitats, the aquarium is home to these adorable dolphins!!!

On this trip, I was so glad to see lots of deep ocean fishes, some of them were really funny looking or weird, but I enjoyed learning about them and seeing them close up!

I saw Manta Ray at Open Ocean, spotted Giant Moray Eel at South China Sea, had fun looking at Indonesian Sea Nettle, not missing out on the Silvertip Shark at Shark Sea!!!

A fun trip that I wouldn't mind to visit again!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Wake me up

This afternoon, when I looked up to the sky, I saw a the most beautiful cloud, it's a heart shaped cloud. I rushed to the room to take my camera, but the cloud was already gone! So fast!!!

I've been so busy lately! I didn't have time to listen to my MP3 as often as I used to, didn't even have time to paint something new, didn't have the time to sit down and read my books, didn't do my exercise regularly, didn't drink as much water as I used to! But I managed to do all these today!!!

Anyway, a song that I currently love listening to:

Wake me up - Avicii