Friday, September 26, 2014

2014.09.27 'Connecting the dots' Hamamatsu

I m finally feeling that drag when the communication I'd love to share begins to drag away day to day and the time in front of the keys to put my thoughts into words are further and further apart. A week later or so, I m in Hamamatsu. We just set up the show for Botanica Gallery in Japan. I am having a solo show, 'Connecting the dots', that opens today. I 'll be in the gallery prepping and screening shirts for the event and probably hanging around to talk to anyone who just happens by. That seems to be the plan. So, lets see what I can remember. I still do not have images to share. But you can follow me on instagram and post to that a bunch. Much easier and very immediate. @surfnuts195 After arriving in Singapore, Shingo Wakagi and I began our little 'look-see' of Singapore. We did about as much research as the original 'Lets Go For a Drive'. The conversation before arriving to the sprawling city/country pretty much goes like this. Shingo- where do you wanna go in Singapore? Mike- I did some google research on Singapore and there is are Skate parks and two aquariums! No surfing beaches, tho. Shingo- cool. I heard they raze graveyards to make housing for all the people they expect to move to the island. One of the last remaining graveyards, Bukit Brown might get the ax. I'd love to go see it before it's gone. Mike- Sounds interesting. They raze graveyards, huh? That sounds like Poltergeist and zombie movie scenerios... Shingo- Oh, there is a really cool book store in Singapore Housing Projects for young married couples. The government supports married couples who might be financially unstable to help them get up on their feet. They are cool asian buildings that was modern in the mid 1900's. I want to take photos of that. Mike- Housing Projects in Singapore for married couples, young and old? Don't they cane people in Singapore and arrest people spitting on the streets? Shingo- .... No man, they only kill drug traffickers. And you only get a fine for spitting. Mike- .... why are we going to Singapore again? Shingo- Its gonna be cool, man. I have a friend trying some new format gallery/store front at Robinson Walk in Robinson Quey. It is a concept store where they invite 'curators' to set up unusual or original one-of goods to a city whose citizens are thirsty for new things beside all those Mall Shop Shops. Something more personable. And we are going to curate ourselves an art show and revisit 'Lets Go for a drive' because we've been talking about it for awhiles now. Mike- Right. This is going to be awesome! Can we do 'Let's go for a drive' on motorcycles? scooters? Shingo- I got mad camera equiptment. Mike- Are we renting car? Shingo- Taxis are cheap and plentiful. We can avoid getting ticketed, getting lost and paying outrageous amounts for gas. Mike- .. uh.. I m gonna look at Singapore more on the google. Shingo- I got a history book with little excerpts from all kinds of writers from pre-british occupation times to modern day observances of Singapore and why Singapore is a big deal on a little tiny island of 5 million inhabitants probably smaller than the size of NYC's 5 boros. Mike- It's tropical down there! It's next to Indonesia and Malaysia! The other outward islands all surround Singapore from waves! Crazy. Shingo- yea.. I think it's going to be pretty hot. I was there a few months ago having a meeting and checking out the opening for the new shop, Edit Life. The food was really good. Mike- Sounds great. New York is cold for summer. I love the tropics and the humidity (not sarcasm). so on and on.. we learn a little bit about Singapore but nothing but brain fodder until we finally do arrive. It always feels like this to me. No matter how much I read about a place I ve never been to , I think I ve read enough to feel like I might have a handle on the situation only to be pleasantly surprised by all that slips out of my grasp of control and find myself immersed in it.. head first, kinda. The first day, we did the graveyard in the jungle. we did the aquarium. we went to Malaysia's Johor Baru by bus across the one bridge that separates Singapore, which was once a Malaysian City from the Country of Malaysia, so that we can take a photo of Singapore insted of taking a look at Malaysia. The difference from one side of the water to another was overwhelming. Felt like an iron fist controlled Singapore whose PR makes her look super pristine with no problems to the I-didn't-bother-to-fake-my-appearance-what?!-Malaysia. I could write a lot about this but you should just ask me. I m pretty sure your eyes will glaze and I ll have ate up a lot of your life filling it with third person baggage. It is a fascinating dichotomy. Two countries, pretty much with similar roots, two completely different peoples.. separated by a bridge. I guess like Brooklyn and Manhattan.. or maybe more like any of the five boros from the other five boros. Same city. Different attitudes. Terrible comparison. The second day felt more like what we do. Get up and eat 2 plate full of breakfast. Fill up and go travel all day long. First stop was the Extreme Skatepark. SUPER FUN! all concrete. At 82 degree Fahrenheit and humidity real feel index at 102 degrees and sunny, sounded like a dream! An hour later, 10 pounds lighter without the water weight and my pants looks like I peed all over myself, we moved on. We went to check out the housing units and it was a cool part of town. Tight little streets and housing units that look like small city housing in chinese art house films of Wong Kar-Wei of yore. Singapore is also a hugh hub of asians from all over asia living together for many generations. They are not only their ancestors roots but also Singaporean! Complete with Singlish and a local dialect made up of at least 4 chinese dialects, malaysian, indonesian, indians and english. A very religiously tolerant city with temples next to each other and lots and lots of vegetation! even the modern building they build boasts of gardens and trees growing in and on and part of the architecture. We had lunch from recommendations of our japanese ex-pat living in Singapore for the last 6 years at Colburn, originally british housing but currently asia housing neighborhood complete with a local Singaporean rice and meat dish diner~esque eatery who fields a futbol team for about a century, while we waited out a tropical storm.

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