Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Coming Soon in SIFA: CABANONS World Premiere

I can't believe August is coming to an end! As September is around the corner, it is saddening to see Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) coming into the second half of the festival. How fast time flies! Thankfully, it is not too late to purchase your tickets and be a part of this mammoth festival of arts. While there are many good shows lined up in this edition, I am particularly looking forward to Táng Quartet's Celestial Remnants - no way it will be close to what I saw last week I'm sure. It will be held on the opening of Week 5 of SIFA, and of course, not forgetting CABANONS which will be presented to you arts fanatics next week!

Done by Daniel Buren, Fabien Demyunck, Dan Demuynck, Buren Cirque, we will explore the relationship between the circus and contemporary art in a magical, cutting-edge performance on an art-installation stage.

Three small circus tents, or cabanons , stand in an open field. Designed and erected by spectacular French installation artist Daniel Buren (well known for Les Deux Plateaux art work), the cabanons are in bright primary colours and set up with minimal internal structures, the combined result of which gives spectators a powerful impression of sheer colour and the utter freedom of space.

Here, Buren – who has been making art with stripes since the 1960s (vertical stripes, to be precise: 8.7 cm wide and 8.7 cm apart, over and over) – has turned the circus tent into a singular art object. Sitting in his cabanons is like sitting in an art installation. Think of Aladdin's magic tent! The circus tent, with its audience and artists, becomes an intimate magical artwork constantly transforming with sensory delights.

In each installation, we will witness – in a different order, but at the same time – the vulnerable performances of human individuals overcoming the physical challenges posed by the circus.

Listen to the sounds from the neighbouring cabanon as they waft into your tent, the sounds outside melting into the sounds inside to form an enchanting soundscape. Be emotionally moved by the circus performers, who have to be alive and vulnerable again and again for different audiences. As with Federico Fellini’s legendary film “La Strada”, you will encounter the profound emotions of the circus in CABANONS, where tragedy and joy are intertwined.

CABANONS tickets are available for sale here, and special rates and concessions are available here.

2, 3, 4, 5, 6 September 2015
Open field opposite Bugis Junction @ Tan Quee Lan Street

Get close and personal with Daniel Buren on 3 September 2015 in the SIFA Shares talk which will take place at 6.30pm, Drama Centre Black Box.

Daniel Buren has punctuated the contemporary arts scene for the last 50 years with his memorable, thought-provoking art projects, which explore, challenge and complicate the relationship between art and the structures that frame it. Join Buren as he reflects on his past works as well as CABANONS – a magical performance project blending the circus with contemporary art – which makes its world premiere in the Singapore International Festival of Arts.

Born in Boulogne-Billancourt (Paris) in 1938, Buren is a world-renowned French conceptual artist whose work lies at the crossroads of sculpture, installation and painting, as well as action and intervention. He has been the subject of major exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (2005) and the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2002). Buren has exhibited in the Venice Biennale more than 10 times and was awarded the Golden Lion for his French Pavilion in 1986. That same year, he produced his first and most controversial permanent public commission, “Les Deux Plateaux (The Two Plateaux)”, for the main courtyard of the Palais Royal in Paris. In 2007, he received the Praemium Imperiale for Painting from Japan.

SIFA Shares is a series of talks where audiences can engage with Festival artists to discover and learn more about their works. Curated by Festival director Ong Keng Sen, these dialogue sessions provide greater relevance to the productions in a bid to give audiences ownership of ideas, issues and themes explored in the Festival. The aim is to develop a holistic approach to the issues presented, leaving marked impressions in the minds of audiences.

Click here for more information.

See you there!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

SIFA: Guts & Steel - Galvanizing Classical Favourites

I have been to many concerts and to patronise Guts and Steel at Singapore International Arts Festival (SIFA) this year thrills me in a way no other concert has done because this would be the first ever classical concert I had attended.

I was especially eager when I got to know that Melvyn Tan and the Táng Quartet decided to channel their indisputable talent at the classy Victoria Concert Hall. An exquisite recital that no music lover should have missed.

It essentially brought us back to 18th and 19th century version of recital from Luigi Boccherini's charming piano quintet to Antonin Dvorak's melodious masterpiece. Simply said, what we had listened in Guts & Steel were the exact same tunes we would hear back in those days.

Back then, the tuning of stringed instruments was not the same as it is today; gut strings - or catguts - produced a different sound from modern strings made of steel or synthetic polymer. It was indeed, a remarkable experience for those who went!

Here's my embarrassing moment when they played a piece from Mozart, and a lesson for all.

Since it was the first time attending a classical concert like this, I had no conscious idea that it is a practice people do not clap after a movement (measurable pauses in between composition). Not to say I was ignorant but I had no idea such unwritten rule even exist!

The thing is, that was not entirely the most embarrassing part because some of them did clap along. It was an audience beside who nudged and whispered "Don't!". I was like... "Oops?" It was only after the concert I read up online that today, it's really normal not to clap! In the days of Mozart, he would have liked it though!

I cringed all the way home thinking how silly I was. What made me feel better was that it happened the second time and was sure it was not me who initiated it! Whew! Well, at least my intention was to give credit for such wonderful performance.

Be sure to catch the upcoming T'ang Quartet's concerts in September! Looking forward to see them!

T’ang Quartet will be presenting two more concerts – Black Angels on 12 September, and Celestial Remnants on 19 September. Black Angels will showcase avant-garde composer George Crumb’s maniacal alchemy of electric string instruments, with glass rods, crystal glasses, tam-tam gongs, against a backdrop of artwork by an acclaim Icelandic artist.

And Celestial Remnants will see the Quartet perform with the Ensemble Dimension Players, a group of young and upcoming string players – some of them still primary school students – whom they mentor as part of the Ensemble Dimension Project.

Remember to book your tickets and mark your calendar!

Ticketing information to Black Angels and Celestial Remnants can be found here and can be purchased here.

Photo credit: Aloysius Lim

Saturday, August 22, 2015

SIFA: Dirtsong - An Express Immersion of Australian Aboriginals

Hello everyone! I was at Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall last evening for Dirtsong presented by Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) it was amazing! I just wish more people had seen the new way of singing country! I had to run a quick errand before attending the show and I was glad to make it on time because Dirtsong is a must-not-miss!

Performed by a group of Aboriginal performers called Black Arm Band, Dirtsong was predominantly done in indigenous languages from across Australia. It brings the past and future together, and celebrates language restoration and cultural survival through songs that maps out the primitive facets of Australia. It was an unusual and clever way of reviving what to many see as irrelevant in modern living.

It resonates closely to our life. Have we ever asked ourselves, what will happen if one day, everything we had ever known becomes irrelevant anymore? When what we know becomes extinct, do we do something to revive it, or go with the flow and be unconnected from the rest. In the Aboriginals' world, there were hundreds of native languages spoken before 1788 and have been irretrievably lost, or are at risk of disappearing. Fortunately, some languages survive and are thriving, while some with a tinge of hope are being recovered, restored and learned anew by their younger generations.

The show re-maps and strengthens these cultural relationship between the race and their language, feeding back into the larger project of language revival in Australia. Many of the songs are newly commissioned not only to reinforce or affirm its culture, but actively creating it.

Which is why I think this is one of the best shows for cultural immersion! Australia is huge and the Aboriginal life is one visitors should explore and experience first hand.

Two of my favourite numbers are Rainstorm which is sung in the language from the southern end of Kakadu National Park - Gundjeihmi, which is still spoken fluently all over the region. I find it to be profoundly soulful.

The second one is Coming Up Close Now, which illustrates the spirit of the Wongi word GrunGada (gathering) from the Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie regions of Western Australia. The sounds of didgeridoo was well jazzed up by the sultry tunes of the saxophone.

Dirtsong all in all brings out the enchanting side of Australia, showing how Aboriginals are being forward and progressive through their blend of music and technicolor presentation. Well done Black Arm Band!

I would strongly recommend you to catch their last show tonight, 22 August! Enjoy their timbre and harmonious voices, while immersing yourself with a widespread buffet of Aboriginal culture.

Ticketing information can be found herepromotions available can be found here and tickets can be purchased here.

20, 21, 22 August, 8pm
Victoria Theatre

Photo credit: Kevin Lee

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Coming Soon in SIFA: dirtsong

I have never been to Australia, and I hope to be there one day. Not only to enjoy my time but to share with all of you the finest things in life. For now, Australian music is closest I can get to the land down under.

So grateful that SIFA will be presenting dirtsong!

Inspired by the words of Alexis Wright, winner of Australia’s prestigious Miles Franklin Award, dirtsong will take us on a powerful musical journey of pop, blues, R&B, soul and jazz through Australia’s cultural heartland. This performance will move your heart and lift your spirit!

Set against a backdrop of stunning moving images and text, dirtsong features unforgettable songs performed in 11 different Aboriginal languages by some of Australia’s most extraordinary performers, backed by an exciting ensemble of the country’s finest musicians!

In exploring the connections between people, language and land, dirtsong draws a map of Australia in music – a map that charts the cultural and linguistic diversity of the country. dirtsong does not simply reinforce or affirm cultures and traditions; it also actively creates them. Many of the songs featured in dirtsong are new commissions.

dirtsong features the talents of Black Arm Band, a collective of renowned Indigenous singers, musicians, performers and actors from across Australia, and is dedicated to showcasing and celebrating the very best of contemporary Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music, culture, experience and identity.

Check out the trailer and listen to the fusion of mellow and epic tunes! Nothing beats learning new cultures through beautifully composed music! Join me if you would this coming 20th August for dirtsong, it would be lovely to enjoy the performance with all of you! Otherwise, you can always opt for the one on 21st or 22nd August!

Ticketing information can be found herepromotions available can be found here and tickets can be purchased here.

20, 21, 22 August, 8pm
Victoria Theatre

Photo and video credit: Singapore International Film Festival (SIFA)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Agrobazaar - The Finest from Malaysia's Agronomy

Hey everyone!

It's been more than a month since I talked about food. There are so many places to eat today yet so little time! I was so elated to be at Agrobazaar to try out their finest delicacies!

I was so excited to be there to meet new friends and explore what Agrobazaar has got to offer. The visit started off with an introduction on what Agrobazaar is all about.

Agrobazaar Malaysia @ Singapore is your one stop for shopping, dining and chilling out with friends, family and loved ones. Not only it is a bustling hub of promotion solely for Malaysian grown and produced goods, they also have a cafe - KopieSatu and a restaurant - The Verandah, which served the most authentic and fresh tasting Malaysian food and beverage possible outside of Malaysia.

In its home country Malaysia, it is famous amongst locals and tourists for the finely processed and fresh products, perfect for gifts to bring back home.

Located on the first level of Agrobazaar Malaysia @ Singapore, the KopieSatu, or commonly known as KopieSatu Cafe, serves great gourmet coffee with a nice and cozy ambience, equipped with free Wi-Fi for its customers to enjoy their coffee and hanging around with their friend or families. KopieSatu Cafe also serves as a favorite place to hold meetings, appointments or discussion while enjoying the various types of coffee and desserts such as Ice Blended Caramel Coffee, Cafe Latte, Rainbow Durian Cake and Chendol.

We were treated to a show on how a cup of coffee is made at their KopieSatu Cafe and we got to learn how shapes are done on a cup of coffee. Not as easy as it seems!

After the tour, we were ushered up to The Verandah for the subsequent segment - fruit carving! One of the many exciting parts that I was looking forward to.

The chef showed up with a carving knife and a watermelon. He then demonstrated to us how we can carve flowers on the watermelon. It was done so earnestly! Just look at the design!

Then came our turn! We were divided into a group of five. My team and I came together and tried to brainstorm for something. We had no idea at all! The game did not allow us to carve flowers (it's not that we know how to anyway!) and since National Day had just ended, the SG50 vibe remains strong.

We carved something that we were sure would touch everyone's heart! Tension was escalating but we tried our best! Unfortunately, an accident happened.

One of our team members cut her hand. We had a one man down situation. We pressed on. It was one of the toughest moments in our lives. It was a mess!

Despite being shorthanded, we are proud of what we did. For beginners, I think it's beautiful!

Here are some other designs done by the rest of our friends!

Here's my squad and our masterpiece!

Agrobazaar is definitely convenient for those who are on transit in Singapore and do not have the time to travel north to the nearest state in Malaysia - Johor. Here, you can get prime Malaysian products like exotic honey and try out the best picked durian at their cafe.

Amazing thing their durians are kept in a huge fridge, sorted by grades.

The Verandah amazingly offers both indoor and alfresco dining. The restaurant serves authentic popular Malaysian food such as Penang Asam Laksa, Mee Bandung Muar and Ayam Percik Terengganu, just to name a few. From time to time, the restaurant will also bring and introduce a lot more of Malaysian food. With the experienced kitchen staff spearheaded by an experienced Chef Razif, you can be sure to have a great dining experience at The Verandah!

No kidding that The Verandah is a popular event spot for high flyer clubs like the Bentley Owners Club that organizes durian fiesta. Why not? It's so convenient to get there and it is located right beside an open carpark, which makes monitoring of your expensive car all the more convenient. You can do that from the rooftop!

Oh here's a funny highlight!

The subsequent segment of the program was to learn how to make teh tarik and I got the honor to try it out! It was not easy! After doing a few for the audience, I don't think teh tarik should cost that cheap anymore. It takes a lot of effort to master the art of not spilling it!

So there I was, shamelessly made teh tarik for everyone!

Who says I don't know how to do things in the kitchen? See, I pulled a stunt! I can't probably do it without the barista's help though. It pays to pay attention in class even if the lesson is as short as making coffee!

The wonderful event ended with selecting the winner for the fruit design and teh tarik performance. We had to explain our design and I hope it resonates and strike the chord in everyone there! How can it not be?

The swan is the symbol of Singapore's transformation from being a third-world to first, just like how ugly duckling transformed into a beautiful swan. The ribbon is to commemorate the passing of our former Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kwan Yew, and the carriage we designed carries the weight and hopes of everyone in Singapore. Oh! And blood was literally shed while putting up this grand masterpiece (because our friend cut her hand by accident...)

It was a coincident epitomisation of our city state for sure.

The blood shed was worthwhile. We won first place in the fruit carving competition!

We would like to thank the judges and everyone who gave your support! No gathering concludes without a monumental group photo - with a spiky durian!

Thank you The Influencer Network for the wonderful invite. It's really wonderful of you to host this! To more ahead!

Agrobazaar is having a promotion this SG50 season. Get 20% discount for all cakes and drinks from KopieSatu with a minimum purchase of a cake and a drink. Great way to end your work - with a good drink and a nice cake! Promotion ends on 31 December 2015.

Word has it their rainbow durian is delicious. Have a bite!

Agrobazaar Malaysia @ Singapore
Lot 37 – 43, Sultan Gate
Singapore 198485
Telephone: +65 5391 9841

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Singapore's Golden Jubilee Celebration

Hi everybody!

I hope everyone in Singapore had a wonderful golden jubilee last weekend. We got to thank our president for gifting us a public holiday on Friday that some of us had the time to travel out of Singapore. Where's your patriotism people? I had better expectation from some of you! If you have to ask how was my jubilee celebration, I'd say I thought of spending the evening watching the parade and performances at the comfort of my couch with pizza. I was quite disappointed this year so several reasons.

I have been balloting for the tickets since forever and never had I once gotten it be it the preview or National Day itself. It got me more crossed when I saw some undeserving people get to see the parade when they can't even integrate. This year, I am not so pissed thanks to my newly found purpose. I am not going to sit there with the rest of the crow and cheer for formations I can only see well from far. I rally them. This year, I had the joy of rounding up people and I am so proud of it. Managed to do it within my peripheral vision because the stretch of people was too long! Too bad the main cameras missed the entire show we had at The Promontory!

It was funny because in the afternoon I got a WhatsApp message from my aunt asking if we want to join the celebration at The Promontory at Marina Bay. I was so reluctant of going because I am not going to beat the crowd for hours just to watch a five minutes detonation of black powder stowed in the middle of the bay. I did not express my reluctance though. It was until my aunt sent her spot she was at got me so eager to get home.

Don't get me wrong, I am not choosy of my company or the place I would be at but because I am a huge fan of pyrotechnic shows so it's either I watch it full with my naked eyes or I just don't watch it at all. It hurts if I join the crowd and not get to see the entire fireworks because I am vertically challenged.

I reached home and don myself in red and white, not forgetting my essentials like spare battery, the Singapore flag and some food. I was grateful we were there just in time to beat the crowd. Got to thank my brother who decided not to go as he was able to send us to the nearest entry point without much beating to do. It was a strategic spot to see the aerial show entrance and fireworks. It was also close to the NTUC event which I expected it more happening. Turns out, we were better participants albeit being outside their parameter.

Come on, if their photographers went over to the edges of that barricade to get a snap of us, it says a lot about some parts of the crowd in there.

To make it all worthwhile because it was the day of our independence, we were so participative! As the main parade was telecasted on screen, we were kinda left out in that sense as there were no host around. So we rallied everyone to do to Singapore wave with us. It was satisfying to see that you're the catalyst of something fun and huge. We also led the singing of some national songs despite forgetting the lyrics.

What do you know, I tend to forget lyrics anyway. It's like a tested and proven thing on most occasion I would forget them. Or is it because I am aging that I need a teleprompter right in front of me with all the lyrics?

It was a flag-waving day for all of us while some families shared their spot with other curious tourists.

While we watch the performances on screen, we were mindful of the time. It's just a Singaporean thing to know what time does the firework starts. When it was almost 8.15pm, everyone had their cameras ready for photo taking. The fireworks display was massive and vibrant!

At the end of it, we stayed on as the gates were not open for us yet since the crowd outside had not dissipated. We enjoyed the performances put up by the local band and danced to the tune while everyone else were busy packing. It was heartwarming that some of our neighboring spectators wanted to take photos with us. It was really amazing! God bless them all!

It was indeed a blissful day out with my family. It's rare to see your elder family members dance to millennium music, what's more to the music of their time - Dancing Queen and Angel by Shaggy!

At this occasion too it made me reflect who we are as Singaporeans despite speculation that the celebration was a strong propaganda, freedom of speech and whatnot. After all, freedom of speech is given and no one should ever think it being politicised. Even so, defaming words can be damaging so if anyone slaps you with a lawsuit, don't fret because they're just exercising freedom of speech too. :p

I am also delighted that on this occasion my message to the community was written and shared in the national Malay newspaper; Berita Harian (9 Aug 2015, Pg 9)

My message is strong and relevant as we Singaporeans, are at a point of passing on the baton to younger generation like myself and the people after me. To keep our beloved city survive for the next throughout the century or so in terms of its total defence namely economic, social, psychological, military, and social defence, it is imperative to play along with the economic trends (remember, no one can beat the market), be educated and a civil one. In other words, we have to adapt to the flow of economy. After all, we are humans, not salmons. No point going against the flow of the river. We also have to be knowledgeable especially with the rise of false news and subtle propaganda, it is all the more important to be conscious of our thoughts and beliefs inculcated in us. Imperatively, there's nothing more Singaporean than being a civil one. That goes without saying, campaigns like self-hygiene should be aggressively promoted if we are going to inculcate the ideal Singapore culture.

Come on, after 50 years of independence do I still need to see people picking their nose and flick it indiscreetly?

While there are imperfections on my little red dot, this is still where I call home.

Here's a toast to Singapore, my beloved metropolitan. Hopefully, we are able to live with people who are in line with the Singaporean identity. We are not going to put the efforts of our forefathers to waste.

Wishing all Singaporeans a happy SG50, and happy August to the rest of the world!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Coming Soon in SIFA: Guts & Steel

Hi guys! This coming two months is going to be an exciting one for arts lovers and those of you who are in search of something new to do that can broaden your perspective! Thanks to the curation of Singapore International Art Festival (SIFA), we have a melting pot of artists from all over the world to congregate and showcase their masterpiece(s).

This August may not be a holiday season, but it's a celebratory one as it has 12 local new commissions as its way to celebrate Singapore's golden jubilee! In addition, there are seven foreign productions for you to catch!

Managed by the Arts House Limited, I am for one eager for SIFA because Singapore’s arts scene has grown substantially and this definitely adds colour to this fine city.

With this I am so excited to share with you an upcoming show that I am really looking forward to for several reasons!

T'ang Quartet presents Guts & Steel, performed with Melvyn Tan!

Taking place next Wednesday, 19 August 2015, Guts & Steel will be an exquisite musical odyssey for all to bask in. T'ang Quartet is a name that needs no further introduction - this acclaimed strings quartet will be presenting a concert with Melvyn Tan, recognised as one of the world's best fortepiano players.

Credit: Eoin Carey
Melvyn Tan is a renowned Singapore born pianist who established his international reputation through his pioneering performances on the 18th century fortepiano and continues to cast new light on music conceived for the piano's early and modern forms. He returned to Singapore in 2011 to play to a full Esplanade Hall. Since then, he has returned regularly for orchestral and recital performances, and to teach young musicians. He is also an Artist in Residence at Singapore's Yong Siew Toh Conservatory where he shares his knowledge to aspiring musicians.

Credit: Samuel Cheng
T’ang Quartet on the other hand, is Singapore’s best-selling and award-winning string quartet. The Singapore’s premier classical string quartet comprising Ang Chek Meng (2nd Violin), Ng Yu-Ying (1st Violin), Leslie Tan (Cello) and Lionel Tan (Viola). For the past 23 years, the group’s musical dexterity has surprised and delighted audiences in Singapore and the rest of the world. Hopefully it will surprise me too!

Here's a number from T'ang Quartet, one of my favourites.

Credit: T'ang Quartet's YouTube Channel

Guts & Steel, is a collaboration between the T’ang Quartet and pianist Melvyn Tan. They eschew the 20th-century technique of playing classical pieces with steel strings, modern instruments and techniques. Instead, they play the harpsichord, fortepiano and other period instruments to bring the music of Mozart and Boccherini to life.

I love listening to this kind of music. The last quartet I heard was Bond – international synthpop strings quartet. While in search of alternatives, it was a great revelation to find out big names like T’ang Quartet to entertain myself to. Listening to strings is so therapeutic, especially when it rains!

I am definitely looking forward to the performance next week and all the upcoming shows curated by SIFA. To find out more about SIFA, log on to

Tickets for Guts & Steel are available for sale here. There are substantial discounts and promotion which you can take advantage of here!

If you are going to miss this, fret not because the T’ang Quartet will be presenting two more concerts – Black Angels on 12 September, and Celestial Remnants on 19 September. Black Angels will showcase avant-garde composer George Crumb’s maniacal alchemy of electric string instruments, with glass rods, crystal glasses, tam-tam gongs, against a backdrop of artwork by an acclaim Icelandic artist.

And Celestial Remnants will see the Quartet perform with the Ensemble Dimension Players, a group of young and upcoming string players – some of them still primary school students – whom they mentor as part of the Ensemble Dimension Project.

Bring your friends along! It’s not every day we have an occasion to appreciate good music. Who says Singapore is boring?

We have so many campaigns and festivals it’s becoming hard to choose which the best is. Look no further, this season, SIFA is the talk of the town and I am not going to miss it for the world!

See you there!

19 August 2015, 8pm
Victoria Concert Hall

Ticketing information can be found here and can be purchased here.

Coming up in my next entry, my golden jubilee weekend!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Singapore Sports Hub Official Opening Ceremony

Hey everyone! Last week we had the grand opening of Singapore Sports Hub. After so many events, we finally announced the official opening of our newly built Singapore Sports Hub! Woot! Although Sunday was officially its opening, the 35-hectare Sports Hub - which includes an aquatic centre and multi-purpose sports arena, has already hosted various sporting events including this year's SEA Games and the Barclays Asia Trophy. The Singapore Sports Hub is a world-class, integrated sports, entertainment, and lifestyle hub delivering world-class sporting and entertainment events.

This visionary project is one of the largest sporting infrastructure projects in the world today. It is built to deliver a sustainable, differentiated and competitive advantage for Singapore.

In line with Vision 2030 sports master plan, the Singapore Sports Hub is the first arena in the world to combine world-class sporting infrastructure for football, athletics, rugby and cricket, with community lifestyle and entertainment facilities. The integrated hub also includes a retail mall - Kallang Wave Mall, restaurants, skate park, lawn bowl green, climbing wall, beach volleyball court, hard courts, sports library and museum.

The extensive campus at Singapore Sports Hub is a place for the elite to the novice – where all Singaporeans can experience sports and entertainment in a community that celebrates diversity and inclusion. Something for everyone!

A lot of things happened at the grand opening of Singapore Sports Hub! It was a closed-roof event where most invited were students from schools nationwide. Their energetic enthusiasm which some of us can't keep up anymore made the atmosphere more exciting!

On the same day prior to the event, about 500 students created new records by forming the largest floating Singapore flag by wearing red and white floats at the OCBC Aquatic Centre. Subsequently they created a new Singapore record of 7,505 laps swum in an hour, doubling the previous record of 3,772 laps.

That’s two record in a day! See, I was not kidding when I said they're very energetic!

Later that evening, the Prime Minister came as the Guest of Honor to officiate the event by sealing a time capsule containing 50 items symbolic to the notable contributors. One of them is a running shoe by athlete sprinter Shanti – which I hope it was well aired, ridded of odour and moist. Let’s hope the capsule will not be all mouldy when it reopens in 2040. Otherwise everyone will be pointing fingers to middle aged Shanti, by then she’d be 43. I'm sure her expression would be priceless, but I'm only kidding!

The declaration of its official opening was celebrated by a neon display of pyrotechnics that befits the covered stadium. I have to admit, I hate the stadium's acoustic. Can’t hear nuts with all the feedback going on from the speakers coming from the field. Let’s hope something can be done for a better acoustic!

The grand opening displayed prismatic spectral lights that dance to the beat of the music as more than 50,000, near-capacity crowd cheered on performances comprising martial arts moves, frisbee game and flying displays and some 4,100 students manifested the confidence of seasoned performers with their rousing choreographed movements. The opening also celebrates Youth Celebrate! a Youth Day celebration organised in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MOE).

The grand opening has shown us the capabilities of our National Stadium as an architecture that has allowed for a natural order of crowd control. I also like the fact that it has been engineered for a seamless air change to keep the stadium well ventilated and comfortable!

Enjoy the interesting video below to find out more on the making of the largest free spanning dome on our National Stadium. Really proud for Singapore to have an integrated well-made sports hub with our nation’s name! Hopefully our new monument have fond memories always!

Thank you SIM University for the invite! Wishing everyone a wonderful long golden jubilee weekend!