(Is) Life is the Heart of a Rainbow (?)

So yesterday after class I went to the National Gallery Singapore to visit Yayoi Kusama's exhibition, LIFE IS THE HEART OF A RAINBOW. I actually only found out about this exhibition by chance. One morning when I was going to class, I saw the ad banners in Orchard. I was like, why didn't I know about this?!? I have never seen any of Yayoi Kusama's works before and I actually only heard of her when one day her exhibition was featured on the news. It was the one in USA I think and the news was mentioning that it's so popular that it's hard to get tickets. So I was really interested on seeing her exhibition here. The National Gallery Singapore website recommend getting the ticket online, in which you have to choose a time slot. When I went to the website, the time slot is never sold out. That coupled with I don't think Singaporeans are into arts, I decided to just get the ticket on site. I was quite wrong. Yesterday the queue was very very long. This is my third time visiting the National Gallery and yesterday was the first time I saw there's a queue whatsoever. Sadly that's not the only queue I had to do. There were so many queues inside the exhibition that overall I didn't have a good visit. For the ticket, I think it's like half an hour or so waiting in line to get it. Singaporeans and permanent residents actually get free entry to visit the permanent exhibitions, but for special one like this, we do have to pay for entry. Not that expensive though, it costs SGD 15. After I got my ticket, I went straight to the gallery. Again there's a queue to get in and it's quite long :( I think even when you buy the ticket online, you only avoid the queue for getting the ticket, you can't avoid the queue for entering the galleries so I don't know if it gives you a lot of advantage. First gallery is Gallery A, where the first few paintings of her I saw are actually quite small. Then it proceeded to show bigger works of hers. The works are abstract and look like a pattern. At this point, they're not really dots yet which she is famous for, but it's called nets. Towards the end of Gallery A, the works are about her pumpkin collection. If I'm not mistaken her family had some sort of pumpkin farm and she ate a lot of pumpkins growing up, so I guess it inspired her. There's a queue here is to enter what I call the pumpkin room.

Inside the room, there's an installation art where you peek inside a smaller space where with mirrors and all you see infinite pumpkins. There's a queue to enter the room and there's a queue to peek into the space and being that you have to be considerate of others, you kinda couldn't just stand for awhile and absorb what is going on. Basically you didn't have time to just experience. Everyone was just focused on taking photos which I don't think what arts is only about, though I am guilty of that as well as evidenced by the photos here. Anyways, I didn't have time to process what's inside the smaller space. Definitely there are mirrors and it seems there's also many smaller sculpture of pumpkins. You can go here to see what I mean. After Gallery A, it's off to Gallery B where the queue was even longer :( I took some pictures of the floating dot balloons while waiting.

Inside Gallery B, there's another queue for the Infinity Mirrored Room - Gleaming Lights of the Souls. I almost missed this one because I was so eager on just leaving the crowd behind. This mirrored room is another small space where the number of people going in and time spent was limited. The recommended number of people is 3, but I think they tried to put more people in. My group happened to be 3. The time we could spend in there was only 20 seconds. There were mirrors and light bulbs inside and the light bulbs changed colors and it did feel rather magical and wonderful, just plain extraordinary. I hate having to be rushed though and not having to again as I say, just experience and breathe :(

Then it's Gallery C, which I'm sure had a queue of its own too. Here there were more bigger paintings of hers, starting with a black and white done with marker pens. There's many eyes and faces in the paintings. It's quite detailed and perhaps calming when doing it.

There's also installation arts with similar mirrors effect and a space for you to peek through. There's a queue, but it's shorter and not manned by any staff. Perhaps because in this one there were more places to peek in. However again with people waiting, people just quickly took their pictures and couldn't really linger.

Then there's the tulip room. The art work is called With All My Love For The Tulips, I Pray Forever. There are big sculptures of tulips dotted with colourful dots inside a white room dotted with colorful dots as well.

Then it's a room with also big paintings but these ones are colourful. The details are quite interesting. I have no knowledge of Australian arts, but I wonder if some would feel like me that the works feel aboriginal. Inside this room there are some sculptures as well.

After that I entered the City Hall Chamber where there were many metal balls on the floor. This is the only place where there's almost no queue. The art work is called Narcissus Garden. I was relieved upon reaching this. There's only 2 more art works left to see. One is Dots Obsession which is the floating dotted yellow balloons I already saw while waiting in the queue and the other is The Obliteration Room. So I proceeded to make my way there. The National Gallery is also having a Children Biennale, but with the queue I had to endure, I wasn't keen on exploring the exhibitions. I did pass this one room where children are encouraged to write wishes on ribbons and tie them. I actually love how this kinda arts get children to participate.

Before I made it to The Obliteration Room, I did another queue for Homogenizing and Transforming World installation art. This is a room where there are many balloons / balls that changed colours when you touch them. You entered in a group and were given like 5 minutes to have fun. The room is not so big, but it really was quite fun. My camera couldn't really focus though and I didn't have many pictures.

I got confused on where The Obliteration Room is, but I found it. Before I entered, I made another queue to walk on the Firewalk: A Bridge Of Embers just opposite the room. This art work is really cool. It's a glass platform that look deep underground in which there are many objects inside it, like books or drawers with I can only call memories (there are keys, envelope, etc). I don't know how it's done, it looked so real that I actually wondered if they did indeed dig in to make this artwork. I wanted to just spend some time looking at the details, but I was told to move along by the staff. Again, I hate how with the crowd, we just didn't have time to marvel and experience :( Okay, finally The Obliteration Room. Of course there's a queue. This is a room with some furniture inside where you can paste dotted colourful stickers anywhere you like. Initially the room and the furniture were all white. I didn't know where to get the stickers so I didn't stick any :( Maybe you could ask the staff. Honestly before entering, I didn't think much of this room aside for it to be something that invite audience's participation. However inside it, I realized how brilliant it really is. You see, the many colourful dots obscure your perspective. It's even more so when you see the pictures you take because camera take 2D pictures. The more dots being pasted, the more they obscure the whole thing. There's no more dimension, depth of field, planes of existence, all become just one. In other word, it's really obliterating everything. It's really really brilliant. As I looked at the pictures I took, I wonder how it felt like when you entered the room when it's first staged where it's all white and you just started pasting dots. I wonder if you get a sense if what you're doing is equal to obliteration. I also wonder that when the exhibition first opened, if it's really a white room or the staff actually already pasted some dots.

After that, I quickly made my way out. Due to the queue I spent longer time than I anticipated and I just wanted to get away from people. If the National Gallery has some kind of number of visits that they want to hit in a year, this kind of exhibition really helps that. For pictures, you can go here. Okay, how's life people? Mine is so so. I still have anxiety as usual :( Yesterday was the first class of my new level in Japanese class. I'm not going to tell you what level that is because I'm so bad at it. Last week we had end of level test and I only score 19 out of 31. One of the classmate said, you passed! Indeed I did, but I wasn't satisfied :( I made an effort to study and I just got 60 out of 100 :( I mentioned it to mom when I called her last week and she said, it's okay, right? Not bad. I was like, wait what?!?! 20 - 25 years ago, I would have gotten some kind of scolding or lecturing if I had scored 60 out of 100. How time changes. It made me think that as parents you should really be more vigilant / harder on your kids when they're younger. Discipline and expectations are important because life is just gonna get harder. If kids don't do have good work ethics when they're young, their ability to face real world as adults may be insufficient. Maybe when the kids turn to adults, then the parents can somehow also turn into the ones who say, relax and don't stress too much. It's a contradiction, but perhaps that's what they should do. Anyways Japanese class is getting tougher. A classmate asked how was it after class ended yesterday and I just said, overwhelmed. This felt like when I entered Mr. C's class for the first time during french class. Everyone is just so good and you get demoralized. I have to try harder and I have to say I haven't really been doing this. I haven't done any Kanji practice for months now and yesterday I couldn't fill in blanks because I didn't understand what the Kanji says :( It's really like being blind. Seeing a kanji character, I don't even know how to say it so the only way I can ask is to point at it, which I have to admit I get embarrassed to do many times :( I really really need to work harder :(

I haven't talked about movies in awhile. It's because I haven't been going to the cinema much. Recently I did watch Dunkirk and Baby Driver. Both are pretty good. I read the suggestion to watch Dunkirk in IMAX, but I didn't because the timing didn't fit me. I like the storytelling structure and the little dialogues feel good too. Honestly when you're tired, anxious, frustrated, and scared, you wouldn't be chatty too. It's a true story and it's really remarkable. Baby Driver was cool though I was expecting it to be much cooler. It's still really good though. I was thinking that 25 years from now, a remake might be made and my kids (here to believing I'll have kids!) would think the remake is cool and me being the older parent would think the remake isn't as good :D

Lastly before I end this, I just would like to talk about how sad it was finding out Chester Bennington of Linkin Park killed himself. It's sad enough reading in CNN he died. Finding out it's by suicide just broke your heart. I called Linkin Park my therapy music. I started listening to them in really loud volume in one of the darkest and toughest period of my life. When I wanted to cry or scream, it was Linkin Park who helped to drown everything and especially it's Chester Bennington who screamed on my behalf. From then on, this is the music that I put on when I'm super pissed at people or life and when people annoyed me so much that I want to punch, kick, or throw things at them and I need to calm down from all that. It's also the music I put on when I really need to focus on something (like coding) because it drowns everything else or simply to just wake up and get pumped. The first concert and only actually that I had ever gone to in Singapore is a Linkin Park's concert. It was perhaps more than a decade ago. They really mean a lot to me. I guess like many others, after news of the deaths we quickly put their music on and it's sad hearing Chester in them. I know they had a new album out, One More Light, but I only listened to it after his death. Some people may not like it and says it's so not Linkin Park, but I really love it. I called it Linkin Park lite :) It's definitely different. I've been listening to it everyday. It's definitely one of my favorite album or theirs. There's a song in there, Sorry For Now. Mike Shinoda did most of the singing. I know they must be thinking of other things when writing it, but the lyric just felt so apt.

watching the wings cut through the clouds, watching the raindrops blinking red and white
thinking of you back on the ground there with a fire burning in your eyes
I only halfway apologized

and I'll be sorry for now that I couldn't be around
sometimes things refuse to go the way we planned
oh I'll be sorry for now that I couldn't be around
there will be a day that you will understand
you will understand

after a while you may forget, but just in case the memories cross your mind
you couldn't know this when I left
under the fire of your angry eyes, I never wanted to say goodbye

Thinking of his kids, I don't know if they'll ever understand. If they do understand, will it be a case for concerns? What if they think it makes sense that dad killed himself and since he did it, it's alright for me to do the same? Depression is hard and unless you have experienced it, it might be hard to understand how dark it can get. As someone who has my own dark restless nights and days, I know how it feels to be in the darkness *sigh* We're just trying to keep it together. We may look so normal on the outside, but inside it's raging dark shadows. It's a really sad thing, but I do feel a bit of comfort knowing that even the richest, (look) happiest, most successful of us could also have the same struggle. We're not weak, it's just what we have. We're all just trying to stay afloat.

:) eKa @ 9:17:00 PM •

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