Father’s Day for the Living and the Deceased

Are Father’s Day and Mother’s Day once a year on this special day for the fathers and mothers in the world to celebrate for only the living while the parents are still alive?

Is this a weird thought moments to blog about?

Our parents are not transferrable, not for cloning the ways done with sheeps.  Its God’s gifts in His image as human form to “breed” and populate the world.  Pause.

Parenting is not a science lab for experimenting to produce babies.  No scientist had ever done that in the world.  God forsaken to ever try.

Our ancestors, great grandparents, grandparents and our parents are brought into this samsara world are spiritually linked and connected with some form of lineage of the same family. Where are the trees without roots?

Speaking about the modern-day Westernised culture which invented “Mother’s Day” and “Father’s Day” which many thought it was businessmen who capitalised on these ideas to commercialise.  Its good for business, good for everyone …  a “win-win” situation.

Its not material gifts to be presented superficially by the children to their parents who can afford the presents.

Its the thoughts that counts from the heart, and expressed in each’s personal ways … to give and receive.

A special day is devoted every year. This is universal in every language for all people who celebrate in this modern world.

Are the dead loved ones to be forgotten?

They may be on different realms, different “worlds” but the thoughts are the same for parents and children.

We would need to remember the dead and the living on these special occasions to offer them their loving thoughts with gratitude.

This photo montage created by Alvin Oon in memory of his late father, Outramian Ronnie Oon. Alvin shared his collective memories of his beloved father who lived a rich life as an active sportsman and teacher with love and passion to everyone who benefitted from him. Happy Father’s Day, Ronnie Oon.

“Happy Father’s Day” to all the fathers in the worlds!

River Hongbao 2015 @ Marina Bay

PicsArt_1424309507966_bestmasterPicsArt_1424310642259_vignette PicsArt_1424265046912_newThe main entrance arch into the River Hongbao 2015 to usher in the Chinese New Year at the Singapore floating platform at Marina Bay which I could recognise during my childhood days in the 1960s. PicsArt_1424265197690_new

It was reconstructed and copied the design and architecture of the New World Amusement Park’s entrance located at Jalan Besar. Completed in 1923, the New World Amusement Park was one of the few amusement parks in the early days of Singapore.  The vintage entrance and the ticket offices at the sides, took after the distinctive facade of the now defunct New World Amusement Park.  In its glorious past, crowds of people visited the park and it was a source of joy to children while traditional Chinese operas, Malay dance performances and Hollywood movies screenings appealed to the adults. Here, a walk through the entrance reveals a retro extravagance promenade.  The bustling promenade evokes a familiar atmosphere of traditional Chinese opera performances with the classic opera masks, the beautiful winding flowers and the drawn curtains lined on both sides of the pillar.

new world entrance_editThe entrance of the New World Amusement Park c 1962.  Photo courtesy: National Archives of Singapore

A short video-clip of the River Hongbao 2015 evening program on YouTube to share on this blog.

With thanks to Susan Koh, “A Juggling Mom” for her interesting “River Hongbao 春到河畔 2015” blog here .

My contribution of old photos of my family album of the “Memories of River Hongbao 1992 春到河畔” was shared to the Singapore Memory Portal. At the “River Hongbao 2014 @ Marina Bay”, I posted this blog here . img0120 Singapore River Hongbao 1988 Variety Show on the steps of the City Hall on 16 February, 1988.  (Photo Credit:  National Archives of Singapore). img0011 Last year, I did not notice the bronze life-sized sculptures at the Marina Bay. PicsArt_1424264626846_vignette picsart_1424267260062_edited “makan angin” by Lim Soo Ngee Makan Angin (literally, “eating wind” in Malay or “jiak hong” – “吃风” in Hokkien) depicts a family of five enjoying a day out at the old Esplanade waterfront. The commissioned public sculpture by notable local sculptor,Lim Soo Ngee, adds a touch of nostalgia to a promenade still beloved by locals and visitors alike. It reminds us that the simplest act of “eating wind” can be one of life’s greatest delights. I missed the opening of River Hongbao 2015 as reported in Channel News Asia here .  On the eve of Chinese New Year on 17 February, 2015 afternoon to “makan angin” and capture memorable moments at Marina Bay to celebrate the traditional annual events for Singaporean Chinese, foreign visitors, guest workers and tourists.  Tonight coincides with the traditional reunion dinner with the family. PicsArt_1424266118411_new PicsArt_1424266280074_new PicsArt_1424306483694_new The annual Chinese New Year carnival will be held over 12 days at The Float @ Marina Bay from Feb 17 to 28. This year, it will be celebrating both the Lunar New Year and Singapore’s Jubilee year. When we were young, we always used to look forward to the Lunar New Year holidays. Over the years, the Lunar New Year has left us with many wonderful, heartwarming memories. The River Hongbao 2015 takes us through a journey of time to relive the past 50 Lunar New Years for the fond nostalgic memories of pioneer generation Singaporeans for the jubilee celebration of Singapore. PicsArt_1424305894842_new PicsArt_1424305984521_new In the exhibition, we will find precious photographs of Singapore’s pioneer Lim Boon Keng and his family having their reunion dinner, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong carrying his daughter to view the Chingay Parade in Orchard, the late Mrs Benjamin Sheares giving out red packets to the needy seniors. Through the pictures, the younger generation will also have to chance to see how the celebrations have changed over half a century: How did Lunar New Year greeting cards look like in those days? What are the differences between past and present Lunar New Year markets? Besides visiting the homes of their relatives and friends, what else did our parents and grandparents do during Lunar New Year in their time? In this photo exhibition “Reliving the Past, Welcoming the New Year” showcase over 230 photographs curated by the Lianhe Zaobao editorial team at the exhibition.

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PicsArt_1424308616255_master PicsArt_1424307919471_new PicsArt_1424308168006_new PicsArt_1424305340564_new PicsArt_1424305168354_new PicsArt_1424305510282_new PicsArt_1424305610506_new PicsArt_1424305785743_new PicsArt_1424307141606_new PicsArt_1424307724550_new PicsArt_1424306851202_best PicsArt_1424306682697_new PicsArt_1424307375006_new PicsArt_1424308342493_new PicsArt_1424308446797_new PicsArt_1424308919516_new PicsArt_1424309174211_new The business was slow at the Food Street at the River Hongbao at Marina Bay and there were fewer visitors on this hot, sunny day.   Chinese Singaporeans were preparing to return home for the traditional family reunion dinner at home. The “River Hongbao 2015 @ Marina Bay” “happening event ” in the evening for the family to remember the Jubilee Singapore50 memories for this special year. family reunion dinner Family Reunion Dinner 團年飯 (Mandarin pinyin Tuán: Nián Fàn – In Cantonese: Tyun Nin Fan) The biggest event of any Chinese New Year’s Eve is the Reunion Dinner, named as “Nian Ye Fan 年夜飯 or tuán nián fàn 團年飯 “. img0087_sm

A family reunion dinner in Singapore in 1950s (Photo courtesy of National Archives of Singapore)

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New “Thingy” @ Google+

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I am an amateur photographer who capture precious moments to store in my memory bank, as and when the memorable scenes appear in front of my eyes.

A camera, however intelligently programmed with image technology with the lens, is merely a mechanical computerised tool …

On Sunday 28 September, 2014,  I was blessed with a bright, sunny morning at Beach Road, Singapore and did not expect to capture a few of these unforgettable moments.

On the right of the photo above was the Suntec City while on the left was the traffic jam at the Beach Road flyover,  a contrast of the scene, sound and sight.

It was the first time to photograph at this spot after the construction of the Bugis Downtown Line MRT station was completed recently,  four years later  – “Delivering a People-Centred Land Transport System”.

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The above photo of the poster was displayed on the hoarding in 2010.  Reeling backwards to a 4-year-old blog “What Happened To The Former New 7th Storey Hotel” here .

What we see today
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New “Thingy” @ Google+

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At the end of the day,  my Samsung Galaxy K-Zoom Android phone had a pop-up of the screen as shown on the above photo.

This is something new.  The Google+ app was activated and I then realized that the photos I had taken on Sunday was created as a Google+ stories automatic scrapbook.   Please check it out here .

It was able to pick out my best photos for the day and organize them into a visual journal.

The story was compiled when users backed up their photos and videos to Google+ by dates. The feature will be integrated into both web and mobile versions of Google+.

The tool relies on Google’s Auto Awesome and landmark detection tools, as well as a user’s location history and the geotags of individual photos.  It will be able to automatically find the best photos from your library, tag images with city names, and display the places visited.

Users will be notified of a new story within 24 hours of  the photos taken on the Android phone camera each day.  All stories are private by default, but users can edit or share stories publicly after they are created.

Google+ Story was rolled out on the web and Android using the iOS app.  That was how the Story popped out on my smartphone screen at the end of the day.

iOS app, the new multimedia, scrapbooking-like feature which automatically combines your photos, videos and places you visit into a travelogue.

With Stories, the idea is to form some sort of narrative out of all those photos, and do so without you having to take the time to build content collections yourself.   Instead, Google+ Stories will find your best shots algorithmically, then combine that with location data in order to create distinct collections of photos, video, and text.

When viewed, these Stories launch multimedia experiences that take over your browser like a slideshow on steroids, with support for animations, transitions, captions and interstitials.  Like your auto-uploaded photos themselves, your Stories are private by default, letting you make edits, add or remove content, and change the captions before choosing to share them. When new Stories have been created for you, you’ll be notified by a push notification.

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After exploring the  “creative” work on Google+,  I found that the story scrapbook was not very accurate.   It provides only a framework as “skeletons” which the user need to add layers of “flesh” to complete the job.

Human intervention is still required to put in the final touches which “robots” would never be able to notice or interpret the story with details.  Great efforts anyway.  Thank you, Google!

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I was at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) bus-stop outside Google Headquarters on my way to the Computer History Museum at Mountain View, CA about a decade ago.

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Lucid Moments Captured In Photos

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Precious moments captured through the lens and cameras in printed photos in the past may be lucid, but their memories are profound.

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“When we look back into our lives we see that our life is but a collection, a collage of these moments which take the shape of images, images which lower our spirits, images which inspire, images which help us remember the people that have come along our way, touched us and silently left, images that go on to become memories and leave a lasting impression as long as we are here, as long as we are here to be.”
― Chirag Tulsiani

During the Bukit Ho Swee fire on 25 May, 1961,  there were 2 poignant photos taken by the Straits Times journalist and published in the newspaper.

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bukit ho swee fire 1961lPhoto credit and courtesy of The Straits Times to share on this blog.

“A moment can be left inside the memory of time.”
― Munia Khan

“…and realizes how there are all these moments, moments like just this one, there are all these moments, and how everyone lives their lives in these short, all-too-short moments. There are all these moments and what’s so interesting, what makes them beautiful, is the fact that none of them last.”
― Joe Meno

 Photos of  Fan Ho

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Fan Ho as the Chinese Buddhist monk, Xuanzang in the Shaw Brothers movie, “Journey to the West” in the photo below:

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A few years ago I was surprised to discover that Fan Ho (surname Ho), whom I’d known only as the venerable monk in Shaw Brothers’ four-film adaptation of Journey to the West, was also a highly acclaimed photographer.

Even before he joined the Shaw studio in the early sixties, he had made a name for himself in international competitions, exhibitions, and salons. From 1958 — when he was just 17 years old — to 1965, Ho was named one of the Top Ten Photographers of the World by the Photographic Society of America.

An exhibit of his photographs is currently up at Modernbook Gallery in Palo Alto until August 2nd. I took a look a couple of weeks ago, and his work is simply stunning. Ho specializes in Hong Kong street scenes, and because the city has changed so much in the fifty-odd years since he shot them, the photos capture a world long vanished. But besides the obvious historical value of his work, Ho impresses with his mastery of light and shadow, his sensitivity to the drama of the street, his cutting social commentary, his love of the magic in everyday life, and his surprising flights into abstraction.

The nearly 150 photos on display are original prints made by Fan Ho himself during the fifties and sixties. This coming Friday, July 10th, the gallery is hosting a talk with Ho at 7pm. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, don’t miss this chance to see him and his amazing body of work. If you don’t live nearby — and even if you do — then consider buying one of Fan Ho’s books, Hong Kong Yesterday and The Living Theatre. Both are handsomely designed and printed (the superb duotone printing really makes the photos come alive).

(Source: duriandave )

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Fan Ho shared his memories and experiences of his masterpieces over the decades for us to learn and enjoy.

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The other side of theater

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Her Study, 1963 reminds me of time I spent in the early 1970’s living in a workers’ hostel next to the Whampoa dockyard in Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong. On the ground floor men would congregate in the tiny room with the blaring TV to watch and chat. Nightly, amid the din of the room, would sit a 5 year old girl – the daughter of one of the men who helped run the hostle and lived there – who would shut out all the multiple distractions, studied, learned, and practiced writing her Chinese characters. Her quiet determination and energy filled all the men with respect and pride for her. But she was not alone in such efforts. Next to the hostle was one of the oldest and foulest public housing estates in the then British Colony, and there one could see the scene of a child choosing to rigorously study amid the cacophony replicated again and again. Fan Ho captured this beautifully. 2014-08-31_1318012014-08-31_131952“A Day is Done” – one can almost feel the tiredness of the individual, absorb the softness of both the lingering daylight and the shadows. Overall almost a sadness that the day is ending…superb.

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According to Fan Ho,  his photos were not planned or designed his subjects intuitively to capture the memories of the moment at any time, place or event.  The above photo was the only one he did deliberately and the lady model was his cousin.

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Comments on Fan Ho’s photography fans

Simply amazing work. Great compositions and use of light.
I can but aspire to achieve anything half as good as these.

Brilliant photos. Taken back when you had to
take time and make an effort to compose a perfect shot.

All superb pictures of the quality to aspire to. Approaching shadow is just an object lesson in composition and tonality.

Gosh, these are stunning, every single one!

Really cool stuff.

Interesting to see that nearly every one of these images is in a slightly different aspect ratio, obviously carefully chosen based on the composition.

Apparently what he mainly did was shoot with a Rolleiflex (that’s a square 6x6cm format camera) and then crop down his images based on the desired composition. In other words, he almost always took more image than he wanted and then adjusted the edges later – unlike some photographers who chose the format they like (square, long 35mm rectangle, 6x7cm, etc) and let the camera guide their compositions.

I like the “private” one. Contrasted with some images we have of Hong Kong (I don’t know myself, since I haven’t been), hustling and bustling and overcrowded, you can imagine this couple finally finding a bit of private time and really making the most of it.

Sensational stuff! I’m always a fan of images that have light as one of the main features of the composition.

Fantastic eye and magical composition. Thank you so much for posting this work.

He’s captured the Hong Kong spirit. I actually have tears in my eyes…

A genius in the depiction of the passage of light over form.

Wordless.

These are truly superb! A great use of mono as well- too many people put average photos in mono when the light just isn’t right.
Approaching Shadow is one of the best photographs I’ve seen.

These photos of Fan Ho were taken “On a little street in Hong Kong” several decades ago.  Watching at these photos reminds me the archived photos of Chinatown, Singapore available at National Archives of Singapore and photos shared on Jerome Lim’s Facebook group, “On a little street in Singapore” and other related popular Facebook groups for nostalgia friends.

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