thoughts on: The Universe and Art

How we see the Universe, how we document the Universe, and how we think the Universe is going to treat us (and how we are to treat it) in the future.  That is what this exhibition explores.

In order to understand my perceptions gathered from the exhibition, allow me to give a short breakdown of its contents.  The narrative happens in 4 main themes:

  1. Our Vision of The Universe
  2. The Universe as Space-Time
  3. A New View of Life
  4. Space Art

Come to think of it, I think that’s quite self-explanatory, so here we go:

Section I: Our Vision of the Universe

This bit is about how we used to see the Universe in all its glory.
So in this section, there are a range of artworks and scientific documentations: from Indian deities of various religions (Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism) to Star Charts illustrated by the Greeks.  There’s also a handscroll from Japan detailing The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter (google it.)
It really puts into perspective how our view of the cosmos today has been shaped by our ancestors: religion, astronomy and other life.

That being said, there are a couple of things that I thought of looking at these artifacts:

1: Why do we like to worship things that we believe will one day rain judgement upon us?  I’m not saying it’s wrong, but why has it always been a human thing to create a being that we must fear and worship lest it brings judgement day a century too early?  There is a ton of detailing put into the artworks created in honor of the gods, more so than in contemporary artwork today (seriously, this stuff is legit.  You should see it), and it is all for the gods.  The gods we don’t see and to some of us, the gods we don’t even hear.
But I suppose the bigger question, and the more unanswerable one (for I have thought of the answer to my original question) is: Who created them?

Who heard the Heavens first?  And why did they think we needed to be afraid to love our creators?  (Is that even love – ok this is for another time)

2: Humans are awesome.  Can you imagine, we lusted for space before we even knew what space meant.  The idea of exploration is intrinsic to humans, and that is absolutely beautiful.  What is better than exploring and appreciating all that life has to offer?  We decided to chart the stars and to find our place in the Universe to see where we fit in.
It is wonderful, so so wonderful, in how we chose to look to the stars to find the answers we could not find here.  How great is that?

 

Section II: The Universe as Space-Time

I’m a massive fan of the meaning of life and the universe, and quite literally, this was heaven to me.  For me, it was a discovery of what we were doing to probe the Universe and explore it.  How we strove to understand the galaxies around us with what we had.  How we are working to find out more.  I think it’s fantastic that the spirit of exploration never dies.  There is this very inviting thing about the unknown that thrills me to my bones.  It is our eternal quest to see it all.

Science progresses best when observations force us to alter our preconceptions.”
– Vera Rubin, Astronomer

 

Section III: A New View of Life

This section is essentially how we think we’re going to be in the future.  Whatever “being”, is.

Okay, first of all, harking back to Section I: why do we like to believe that the future is bleak?  Why is it so often sterile and clinical?  Why can’t it be sunshine and rainbows for once?  Why does it always have to be a dystopia?

Majority the artwork in this section is monochrome, grey-paletted or downright dark.  Why doesn’t anyone think that the future has vibrancy and colour?  Why is space a harbinger of disaster?  Gosh.  Why can’t we all just have a nice time.  I assume it is the influence of one too many Terminator-like movies, or simply the fact that we like a good conflict for drama, but really.  I’d like someone to depict the future as a good place.  I’d say Back to the Future, but it has already happened, so it doesn’t count (don’t get me wrong, though, I’m a sucker for this movie).  I’m not saying we should put our guard down, but I am saying: give it a chance.

Now, onto some thoughts about aliens:

How does one think, in this vast Universe, that we are the only sentient lifeforms?  I mean, I’m not saying it isn’t a possibility, but the chances are, we really can’t alone.  There is so much STUFF out there that we barely even understand, that we’ve barely even scratched the surface of.
Is it scary to think about?  Oh, downright terrifying.  In fact, I can’t imagine life any different, and I can’t imagine welcoming a new species that is not of this Earth into this Earth.  And maybe that’s why we haven’t come into contact with anyone – because we all want to be alone.  Not just us, but them too.
Also just a note to self:  Remember that difference should only make you stronger, not weaker.  Just a thought.

 

Section IV: Space Art

Seriously, this bit was just rather entertaining.  It’s so gladdening to think that while all the serious stuff above goes on in some minds, others just want to have fun in space.  I’m going to be that guy having some fun when all the other stuff goes down.

 

So just some closing thoughts:  I’m really glad I went to this exhibition, because it made me think about everything that’s out there and everything we’ve yet to see.  The unknown is scary, but it is also exciting, and we should not be scared of it.  Not too scared, anyway.  The works curated for this exhibition truly convey the message it was trying to bring across to its guests, and do it very well.  From our creation, to our religions to our imagination – this exhibition has it all.

 

The Universe and Art is an exhibition held at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.  It closes on 30th July 2017.

Living in a Glass House

The peak of any single success curve usually corresponds to the feeling that you’re suddenly known – that suddenly, you live in a glass house.  Sometimes you don’t even realize you’re living in a glass house until you shatter the floor and fall through; and the problem is everyone could see it happen.

To live in a glass house is to be exposed – but what a lot of us forget is that we chose this flat as ours.  We took the keys, unlocked the door, and made it our home.  Every breath we took would fog the glass, and every step we took watched by the outside, our tracks left to be scrutinized.

But I suppose I am writing this article not to condemn the idea of having to exist in one (because it is, after all, inevitable), but to remind those who are living in it not to lose themselves.  It is easy to lose oneself while being watched; so afraid of judgement and condemnation that we try to pretend to be the perfect person that *they* want us to be.  So I guess I just want to remind you, you who struggles with living in this shatter dome – that you need not be afraid of not being perfect.

It is only human to make mistakes – but what makes or breaks you and your house is whether or not you are brave enough to make amends.

At the end of the day, living in a glass house isn’t all that daunting.  All eyes are on you, and that’s a chance for you to lead the way and show them how it’s done.  It doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

2016

What can I say?  It’s been a very, very busy year.

From Orientation to SYF to A Levels to Prom to the Maldives, to Cameron Highlands and back again – this year has been an absolutely crazy adventure.

This is the year I was taught some of the most important lessons of my life.  This is the year I took one of the most important exams of my life.  This was the year gratitude came to slap me in the face and wake up for those who helped me.  This is the year that my spirit of adventure and wanderlust was truly rekindled.  This was the year I rediscovered music.  This was the year I finally travelled back into the magic of Harry Potter.  This was the year I fell in love with the Doctor.  This was the year I fell in love.  This was the year we finally found Dory.

This is the year I learned I was worth something, and that I have always been capable to help others learn that about themselves too.

This was the year someone told me I was worth something.  And that meant more than anything else.  This was the year my mother told me that if I wanted to pursue something, I needed to be serious about it – and that I shouldn’t let anyone make me feel bad about it.

It was the year that I found out that passion must be tended to.  The flame will not burn indefinitely – you must keep it alive.

 

It’s hard to keep track of everything that happened in 2016.  From personal victories to global shifts – sometimes it’s just a blur.

In 2017,I hope to start documenting my life properly.  I hope to write down what happened in some of the wildest years of my life thus far – these past two – and to continue that in 2017.  I hope to keep to my dreams and start thinking more deeply and exploring more widely to improve myself.  I hope to go to greater places and achieve greater things.  I hope to become a better person.

 

2017, let’s go – and I expect some good challenges.

even when people question you, hurt you, manipulate you and ignore you, you must always be kind for they do so because they are hurt, damaged and broken themselves.

just a musing

it’s always just as you think everything is perfect that the world will decide to prove you wrong

 

but the beauty is that there was that moment in time where it was perfect. where just for that single fleeting moment – you were happy.

 

I suppose we live for those moments.

 

 

when drunk

So I’ve never really been drunk before last night.

But last night I was.  And it was terrible.

I now know what it feels like, and to be honest, it feels terrible.  Words pour from your mouth and you can’t help it, but you just keep talking.  You try to stop yourself but you can’t.  It comes out.  You need to tell someone something.  That’s for me, anyway.

A lot of things I said last night I’ll never repeat sober.  And I will keep sober for the rest of my life from now on so no one else ever has to hear those things.  In fact, I can’t even remember some of the things I said, even though at the time I definitely knew I was saying them.

It’s undeniable that once in a while you’re going to want to have that feeling again.  The feeling of not caring.  Of just speaking anything.  But in sober truth, I don’t want it ever again.  It’s dangerous.  I felt like the amount of self-control I was trying to muster was insufficient.  And I don’t like that lack of self-discipline and control.  The feeling of not being able to control yourself and keep shut because it was too much effort.  Jesus, that was a rough night.

 

Drinking isn’t bad, but over-drinking is.

 

Lesson learnt.