Friday, September 17, 2010

Go Fly A Kite!

Meet kite master Mikio Toki-san. He came into our studio in traditional Japanese kiting gear. Ooh, I love his wooden clogs!

Kite Master Mikio Toki.

Mikio-san is a kite maker and carries on the tradition of Edo kite making. "Edo" is the old name for Tokyo, and these kites are rectangular in shape, made of bamboo and washi paper, and all hand-painted.

This gentleman - who learnt the art from his master Katsuhisa Ota from observation - creates about 300 to 400 kites a year. Each kite is handmade & painted from scratch. His drawings are inspired by ancient Japanese tales.

Edo kites inspired by ancient Japanese tales.

These kites can go up to 2- to 6-metres high in size, and require up to 20 people to fly. Some of Mikio-san's Edo kites will be taking the skies at the Kite Festival Singapore 2010, which happens this weekend at The Promontory @ Marina Bay, 4pm to 8pm.

Aside from making Edo kites, Mikio-san also makes origami kites! In fact, he has even written an instructional book on how to fold origami kites. Mind you, these origami kites can fly!

The origami kite book & origami kite Mikio-san made. It's supposed to fly!

Here is Mikio Toki demonstrating how an origami kite is folded. He will be conducting workshops for kids at the Kite Festival Singapore this weekend, so watch out for him. Apparently, it takes just 10 mins to make one!

While Mikio-san teaches kids to make simple kites in his workshops, he often plays the Japanese flute ~ Kabuki style. We could not pass up on the opportunity to have him play for us in The Living Room. Check it out!

And of course, we had to put his origami kite to the test.

Well, MediaCorp isn't exactly Marina Bay or the beach where there's a natural breeze. We're pretty wind-less. But Mikio-san was game, and so we headed down to the basement carpark with him and his kite.

The moment of truth...

Kite Festival Singapore 2010
18 - 19 Sep
4pm - 8pm
The Promontory @ Marina Bay
FREE Admission

For more info, click here.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

In This Moment (in honour of TEACHERS!)

Years on from being a bespectacled boy in navy blue shorts with my imported school badge nicely aligned and pinned above my right shirt pocket, I still celebrate this day. Yes, teacher's day! I used to take advantage of my florist mum and get free stalks of roses to give away to all my teachers. Even my Chinese teacher (who didn't have much hope in me) had a stalk - it must have made her smile!

But I truly appreciate all my teachers who have tirelessly moulded and shaped me, taught me and trained me, challenged and disciplined me, praised me and spurred me. Among the dedicated that made an indelible mark in my life: Mrs Ponniah, Mrs Gladys Chia, Ms Chia Bee Teck, Mrs Lee Gek Kim, Ms Marianne Chong and Ms Caroline Rajaiah,

This Teacher's Day, I join many in honouring educators past and present for your dedication!

Composer of 'In This Moment', KC Gan and educator Ng Yeow Ling.

Our guests in The Living Room today Ng Yeow Ling (Principal of North View Primary School) and Creative Director KC Gan paid tribute to the contribution of teachers in Singapore. KC who's also composer, music arranger and musician, shared with listeners a song he'd written and composed in appreciation of teachers. It's titled "In This Moment". The lyrics go like this:

No matter where I go
Every time I look back on this road
You’ll always be a part of who I am
Everything I’ve known
Every seed of greatness you have sown
Through good and bad
Your love has watched me grow

You teach me right from wrong
Inspire me to be strong
You care in every way
In my heart you will always stay

In this moment let me say
How I’m grateful everyday,
You are here to guide my way
When I’m lost, beside me stay
In this moment let me say
You turn my little into great
There’s no fear, my dreams awake with you

All that I can be
Mean so much ‘coz you believe in me
You show me how to live with dignity
When the lessons end
I can share with you just like a friend
Your loving smiles and frowns keep me safe

In this moment let me say how I’m grateful
Everyday, you are here to guide my way
When I’m lost, beside me stay
In this moment let me say you turn my little into great
There’s no fear, my dreams awake with you
And I really want to say “Thank You”