Life

The Parable Of The Pencil

The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside just before putting him into the box. “There are five things you need to know,” he told the pencil, “before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be.

ONE: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in Someone's hand.
TWO: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you'll need it to become a better pencil.
THREE: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.
FOUR: The most important part of you will always be what's inside.
AND FIVE: On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.”

The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart.
- Author Unknown

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Great Photography Magazine

If you love documentary photography, read chinese, then you should take a look at Lens.

《Lens杂志》(原名《LENS.视觉》或《财经.视觉》)杂志隶属财讯传媒,是一本深度关注社会、文化、历史和生活方式的影像新闻杂志。自2005年1月创办以来,以图文结合的叙述方式,关注不断变化的现实和永恒不变的人性,每一期都在努力成为您身边最具阅读价值的出版物。

http://www.lensmagazine.com.cn/

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Both Side, Now

A very interesting community engagement project called “Both Sides, Now” touched on the sensitive topic of death; what it means to live well and leave well.

One of the highlight of the engagement is a participatory performance called the “Last Dance”.

Last Dance takes the form of a gathering 100 days after a man’s passing, where his wife and son ask questions about death, life and memory, and try to seek closure in the process. Through dance, shared stories and open conversations, Both Sides, Now aims to bring the community closer to understanding the plans we need to make, and the legacies we want to leave behind.

Beside the performance, a group of Chong Pang’s very own elderly has spent the past year exploring the idea of personal legacy, through art making workshops by four artists Alecia Neo, Han Xuemei, Jasmine Ng and Shirley Soh. The resulting artworks, through which the elderly share their thoughts about living and dying, will be exhibited around the neighbourhood.

Both Sides, Now is presented by Lien Foundation, Ang Chin Moh Foundation, Drama Box and ArtsWok Collaborative, in collaboration with Yishun Health and Montfort Care Goodlife.

Unfortunately, by the time you read my post, the exhibition will be over by then but do head to their website to find out more about Both Sides, Now and their future programme.

http://www.bothsidesnow.sg/

The Arrival – Shuan Tan

Shuan Tan is an outstanding multi-award winning artist and writer from Australia. His works are remarkable for their dream-like surreal character and the sharp style of his illustration. The stories operate on multiple levels of meaning and although they are directed at a variety of ages, I’d say they’re closer to adult fables than to children’s stories. Through the characters in his stories and the symbolism of his drawings, Shaun Tan pursues questions of meaning of life and creates airs of both depression and happiness.

The Arrival is one of his major work, a migrant story told as a series of wordless images that might seem to come from a long forgotten time. A man leaves his wife and child in an impoverished town, seeking better prospects in an unknown country on the other side of a vast ocean. He eventually finds himself in a bewildering city of foreign customs, peculiar animals, curious floating objects and indecipherable languages. With nothing more than a suitcase and a handful of currency, the immigrant must find a place to live, food to eat and some kind of gainful employment. He is helped along the way by sympathetic strangers, each carrying their own unspoken history: stories of struggle and survival in a world of incomprehensible violence, upheaval and hope.

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This is dedicated to parents!

Pencil: I’m sorry

Eraser: For what? You didn’t do anything wrong.

Pencil: I’m sorry cos you get hurt bcos of me. Whenever I made a mistake, you’re always there to erase it. But as you make my mistakes vanish, you lose a part of yourself. You get smaller and smaller each time.

Eraser: That’s true. But I don’t really mind. You see, I was made to do this. I was made to help you whenever you do something wrong. Even though one day, I know I’ll be gone and you’ll replace me with a new one, I’m actually happy with my job. So please, stop worrying. I hate seeing you sad. 

I found this conversation between the pencil and the eraser very inspirational. Parents are like the eraser whereas their children are the pencil. They’re always there for their children, cleaning up their mistakes. Sometimes along the way… they get hurt, and become smaller (older, and eventually pass on).

Though their children will eventually find someone new (spouse), but parents are still happy with what they do for their children, and will always hate seeing their precious ones worrying, or sad.

“All my life, I’ve been the pencil.. And it pains me to see the eraser that is my parents getting smaller and smaller each day. For I know that one day, all that I’m left with would be eraser shavings and memories of what I used to have…”

By: SHAN AND ROZZ 987FM

Sebastiao Salgado “Genesis” exhibition in Singapore

One of the most important photographer of the 21st century. Salgado has been awarded numerous major photographic prizes in recognition of his accomplishments. He is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and an honorary member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States. He was also awarded The Royal Photographic Society‘s Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography in 1993. The exhibition will run until 31 August 2014 at the National Museum of Singapore.

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