Visit to Singapore

November 23, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

My stay in Singapore commenced with a visit to my AVPhD Co-supervisor, the American Photographer Paul Kohl. Paul is Professor of Photography in the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University. We had a wide-ranging discussion about the prospect of cultivating a photographic discipline founded on ancient Indian philosophical tenets. Paul gave me a copy of his recent Photography Book: A Holiday in India and an intriguing essay from a very good friend of his in Delhi, the academic Mary Storm. Mary's writing on Shantideva's Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life is uncannily relevant to my Isolates of Valid Perception project in that we both explore the poetics of translating 8th Century Madhyamaka Prasangika philosophy into visual form.

I stayed at my friend Paul Moody's place in Singapore. Paul and I have known each other for around twenty five years - since we studied on the same Film Course in Newcastle. Paul teaches 3D Film at Nanyang Technological University. He is somewhat taller than me.

On Saturday evening I met with Sarasa Krishnan. Sarasa is Creative Director of the Temple of Fine Arts in Perth, Western Australia. She is currently completing her PhD combining Indian Dance and Fine Art Painting At Murdoch University. We met to explore the possibility of a collaboration. Sarasa kindly invited me to the Singapore Temple of Fine Arts production of Taal Express at the Esplanade on the Singapore Bayfront. I enjoyed the privilege of meeting many of the performers afterwards.

Sarasa and I continued to explore possibilities for our Dance-Painting-Photography-Film collaboration. Our previous discussions had been online so this was our first meeting in person.

Paul and I visited Annalakshmi restaurant at the Singapore Temple of Fine Arts. This is one of Sarasa's paintings in the Temple Dance Hall with the restaurant in the background. Curiously, Annalakshmi does not charge a fixed price for meals. Guests are instead invited to contribute what they wish. After dinner, we met Nawaz Mirajker, Director of Taal Express.

The main event of my Singapore trip was visiting the Puttnam School of Film at Lasalle College of the Arts in my role as Link Tutor to the BA in Film. These visits are integral to the Goldsmiths-Lasalle partnership and this was my fourth visit.

The main purpose of my visit was to participate in Team Assessments. I also engaged in ongoing collaborative activities with the Film Programme Team with a view to supporting staff and student exchanges between Goldsmiths and Lasalle.

Participating in Team Assessments with the core programme team of the BA in Film at the Puttnam School of Film at Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore. 

Monitoring the assessors from a student perspective.

Preparing notes during a break in class - with BA Film Course Leader Charles Maideen.

Discussing the finer points of screen grammar with first year BA Film students at Lasalle.

Chatting with a third year film student about her plans to pursue a career in the Mumbai Film Industry after graduation.

Ironing out a few logistical issues with Gisli Snaer, Head of the Puttnam Film School.

Joining the Film Programme Team in a local Malay eatery. From left to right Charles Maideen - BA Film Programme Leader, Mardhiah Osman - Critical Film Studies, Gisli Snaer - Head of School, Gerry McCulloch - Goldsmiths Link Tutor, Sean Ashley - Sound & Image Postproduction, Hideho Urata - Cinematography.

Discussing a photography collaboration with Gilles Massot from the Lasalle Faculty of Fine Arts. Gilles has been an established Photographer-Artist in Singapore for several decades. Our conversation came about as a result of our respective current exhibitions: Gerry's Isolates of Valid Perception exhibition at Goldsmiths; and Gilles' Constant Self Recording Mode exhibition at Lasalle. 

Christmas comes early in Singapore. A number of initiatives worked out well on this trip both in Singapore and back in London. Paul joked that my life was spiralling INTO control. I then flew to Delhi to give a lecture on Visual Storytelling at Jamia Millia Islamia University . . . .


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