Easter Hula on the beach!
The music and words of David Kawika Kahiapo says it all. And it doesn’t get old.
By His wounds we are healed.
By His blood we are washed clean.
To remember Easter, the hula dancers of the Hawaiian hula dance school, School of Hawaiian Hula Singapore - Ka Pā Hula Ka Lei Maile Hi'ilani presented this hula called Hoʻomana as our tribute.
Mahalo nui loa e ke kumu, Kumu Hula Leihiilani Kirkpatrick, for teaching us this beautiful hula. Hula haku by Aunty Pua. Music by David Kawika Kahiapo. We hope it blesses many people.
O Lord You’re beautiful, your face is all I see. And when Your eyes are on this child, Your grace abounds to me.
What a privilege to listen to these interviews of Kumu Hula and hear their stories. Hula is not just a dance form but it is a way of life, a life that has honor and respect as it’s foundations. Mahalo nui loa to our kumu, Kumu Hula Leihiilani Kirkpatrick for teaching us with so much aloha, so that this culture and way of life is not hidden or opaque to us. Mahalo for explaining everything to us so that we can grow in hula, your Hālau extension across the oceans. - Alaka'i Namiko
Ke Ao Mālamalama o Ka Hula: The Enlightenment of Hula is a talk story series featuring some of Hawaiʻi's most celebrated and accomplished kumu hula hosted by world renowned songwriter, kumu hula and Windward CC lecturer Frank Lehua Kawaikapuokalani Hewett. Intimate talk story and panel discussions offer a deeper understanding and appreciation for the traditional ways of learning hula and “becoming” a kumu hula.
In Kumu Hula Talk Story Panel Part One | Ke Ao Mālamalama o Ka Hula: The Enlightenment of Hula Ep. 3-B, Kumu Kawaikapu sits down with three of Hawaiʻi’s most seasoned and accomplished kumu hula for a talk story session on hula knowledge, hula stories, and hula lineages. Each featured kumu hula has a unique story with connections to Hawaiʻi’s most legendary mentors and hula masters such as Pilahi Pākī, ʻIolani Luahine and Vickie Īʻī Rodrigues. Leimomi Ho is the kumu hula for Kealiʻikaʻapunihonua Keʻena Aʻo Hula and carries the teachings of her kumu hula Vickie ʻĪʻī Rodrigues. LLeialoha Lim-Amina is the kumu hula for Hālau Nā Lei o Ka Holokū which she started under the guidance and blessing of Pilahi Pākī. Maelia is a former Miss Aloha Hula and kumu hula for Ka Pā Hula o Kauanoe o Waʻahila which was started by her late grandmother and hula master Aunty Mae Ulalia Long Loebenstein.
We had a wonderful time presenting these hula for you! Merry Christmas to one and all!
The launch of Read! Fest 2021
Thrilled to do my part with fellow writers Zhou Decheng, Okky Madasari and Cho Dharman (and Minister Josephine Teo too) to help launch the National Library Singapore's Read! Fest 2021, celebrating our national reading movement that started in 2016.
This year's edition of Read! Fest has the theme "Reboot". When asked what "Reboot" means to me, I offered my view that it is a timely opportunity to nurture our 'offline self' by reading a good book. To Indonesian pengarang Okky Madasari, "Reboot" means "to pause, to come back again, start afresh with more clarity". Sinophone poet Zhou Decheng says it is a reminder "to return where we came from and gives us courage to venture". Sahitya Akademi awardee Cho Dharman said simply and wisely, "start living a life in harmony with nature, and everything will be possible".
Read! Fest 2021 is anchored by 12 key books and topics, and hosts more than 60 programmes. Check it out here and jump right in:
Honoured to have been invited to present and share perspectives at 'Landscapes Lost and Found: 1990-2010' -- one of five panels at the Nanyang Technological University's Singapore Literature Symposium 2021. This panel had a stated aim to "take stock of how a new generation of writers, growing up in newly-independent Singapore, was confronted by a changing landscape - altered beyond memory and recognition in tangible and intangible ways."
The other two panelists were Ann Ang and Alvin Pang (also moderator). In the symposium summary, NTU's A/P Cheryl Julia Lee (co-organiser) wrote:
"Our second panel consisting of Dr. Alvin Pang, Ann Ang, and Aaron Lee offered us a thought-provoking look into the HDB and the heartland as a contested space that both reinforces and resists the imperatives of national development. This tension within the space was discussed in terms of the Gothic, and its relationship to nostalgia. The panel also discussed the fraught relationship between nature and the urban, which is foregrounded in the image of Singapore as a Garden City, a City in a Garden, and a Biophilic City. Dr. Pang and Aaron also reflected on the process of putting together No Other City: The Ethos Anthology of Urban Poetry, which attempts to capture the dynamic interplay between people and places caught in the throes of a new urban reality, wrought within one generation of independence. The anthology traced the development of the idea of the city as one determined by loss, to one involving coming to terms with the urban as a fact of life and not replacing the rural, to finally a new way of looking at the city in the 2000s as a thoroughly modern and urban space that does not begin from a sense of loss."
(Singapore, 7 April 2021) - Cosy up in a regenerative seed pod, immerse in soundscape and song atop a grass mound, or unveil new meanings through literal shifts in visual perspectives. From now till 6 June 2021, the public can encounter 14 larger-than-life art installations along the 36km-long coast-to-coast trail, commissioned by the Public Art Trust (PAT) under the National Arts Council (NAC). Titled Rewritten: The World Ahead of Us, this first-ever public art showcase installed across eight nature parks from Punggol to Jurong sees our artists draw inspiration from Singaporean writers and works in the conceptualisation process.
Read the rest of the article here!
[D]uring the pandemic... the arts provide essential relief and have a role in improving emotional and mental wellbeing.
-- Tay Tong, Director, National Arts Council
"Art is a framework, a kind of living trellis on which public dreaming can shape itself." - Elizabeth Janeway, novelist & critic
We are very pleased to see good press coverage these last few days in The Straits Times, 联合早报 and Berita Harian of the National Arts Council Singapore's most ambitious public art project to date.
"Rewritten: The World Ahead of Us" situates various installations of considerable size by Singapore artists along our island-wide coast-to-coast trail. The Public Art Trust's open call in June 2020 elicited proposals aplenty, from which 14 were selected, refined, commissioned and executed. "Rewritten" was facilitated and project-managed by the NAC. NParks as keeper of the grounds, was a genial partner in this tremendous endeavour.
The resulting artworks are very different from one another in aspect and sensibility. We've had the opportunity to visit a number of the artworks in situ, and every one invites you approach, pause and engage. Being large in scale, each installation tends to envelop you as you get close. And that's not a bad thing. One could see each stupendous artwork as an imaginative overture, a concrete polyseme, an Ithacan cave, a mirror of possibilities, an act of love, play or empathy -- even all of those things at once, or perhaps something else altogether.
You are invited to visit "Rewritten" and pay attention to your life, with eyes wide shut.
Plan your trip with this guide:
#rewritten #publicarttrustsg #publicartsg #nparksbuzz #laniakeaculture #freedombirdshope
We'd a really busy time last month setting up a new art installation for the island-wide Public Art Trust "Rewritten" Project. We can't wait to show it to you!
Artweek.sg says "A brand new commission by the Public Art Trust and its most ambitious ever, RE-WRITTEN presents 14 text-based public artworks by Singapore artists, some of which are inspired by local writers and literary works, contemplating the multitude of changes - from the minute to the tremendous - experienced in our daily lives since the onset of COVID-19."
Big thank you to the National Arts Council, NParks and L'atelier Studio for the partnership.
Watch this space! - Aaron & Namiko
#publicarttrust #rewritten #SGpoetry #sgart
Just arrived: a beautifully framed artwork (diptych of mimetic photographs) by Joshua Wong alongside a new poem titled "Waiting Room (11AM)" by yours truly. My poem is not about death per se, nor about Covid. Rather, it is a meditation on that singular moment of a sudden realisation of a loved one's untimely, imminent death. The emotional core of it stems from losing a friend S. to suicide in October 2020.
The Singapore writers involved in this project were affected in different ways by the Covid year, and each contributed different inspired and powerful poems to Joshua's project that explores the theme of objective x subjective time.
See the virtual exhibition at <https://pandemictime.org/> - there are 24 different artworks to choose from and to order if you wish. -Aaron
#laniakeaculture #pandemictime #loveinthetimeofcorona
Stoked to know that our latest bird postcards have flown into the hands (and hearts) of nearly 500 guest workers from India! Since May 2020, my faith community has been reaching out to the brothers in two dormitories in Kranji, in partnership with Hope Initiative Alliance. On a rainy afternoon last week my friends and I handwrote greetings to them on the bird postcards, and I tagged along when the goody bags (toiletries, snacks, masks and sanitizers, along with the greeting cards) were handed over. I mentioned that I had painted one bird a day during the circuit breaker period, and that these birds represent my feeling of wanting to fly freely but not being able to. One of the brothers, receiving the card, somberly said, "all of us, too". We encouraged them to keep up their spirits and that we looked forward to be able to hang out with them one day, soon. -Namiko
Will you join us in setting these Freedom Birds free, to bring hope from Singapore around the world? Details in the Google form
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