Culture

Shivaji Das and Yolanda Yu, the authors of Rebels, Traitors, Peacemakers: True Stories of Love and Conflict in Indian-Chinese Relationships. (Photo: Zhao Lancing)

The tragi-comic lives of Indian-Chinese couples

Shivaji Das and Yolanda Yu, an interracial couple and the authors of Rebels, Traitors, Peacemakers: True Stories of Love and Conflict in Indian-Chinese Relationships, share their thoughts and findings of their time collecting stories on the lives of Indian-Chinese couples.
Russian Communist party supporters gather to lay flowers to the tomb of late Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to mark the 144th anniversary of his birth at Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on 21 December 2023. (Olga Maltseva/AFP)

Taiwanese art historian: Joseph Stalin and the other Sagittarian dreamers I've come across

Seemingly surrounded by Sagittarians, Taiwanese art historian Chiang Hsun muses about the different Sagittarian characters he has come across, from a would-be politician and an unconcerned husband, to a fashionista and artist, along with the famous Sagittarians in history such as Stalin, Disney and Yang Hucheng.
People watch the sunset at Dadaocheng Wharf along Tamsui River, Taiwan, on 11 December 2023. (CNS)

Taiwanese art historian: Remembering my dear Arian friend, Cheng Shu-min

Art historian Chiang Hsun shares his memories of former Taiwan politician Cheng Shu-min, who had passed away in July 2023. Shu-min had the true heart of an Arian woman, driven towards success and poised against woes in her private life and political career.
Graduates and guests at Nanyang University's first Convocation Day, Singapore, 2 April 1960. (SPH Media)

The Chinese-educated in Singapore in the 70s: Swept up in the winds of change

Singaporean writer Low Pooi Fong leaves watching Kelvin Tong’s film Year of No Significance rather disappointed — a film that was to have given voice to the Chinese-educated in Singapore in the late 1970s was not true enough to life. For audiences who were among the Chinese-educated in Singapore or who knew of those who led those lives, perhaps the story was just not hard-hitting enough. Might it take another film for this wealth of material to be mined as it deserves?
Movie still: A Year Of No Significance starring Peter Yu. (Singapore International Film Festival)

A Year of No Significance: Portraying the grey life of a Nantah graduate?

Lee Guan Kin, a Nanyang University (Nantah) graduate herself, was happy to see a local film made about the life and times of a Nantah graduate in the year 1979, when “Chinese” elements seemed to be fading from society. But she worries that the grey life depicted may miss the true plot: Nantah graduates with grit and spirit went on to become prominent people in society, not in spite of their education and upbringing, but because of it.
A view of Huangshan, Anhui province, China. (Hong Thai Travel)

A Singaporean's climb up Huangshan 40 years ago

Hua Language Centre director Chew Wee Kai describes his first visit to Huangshan some 40 years ago, which was a memorable trip in more ways than one. Aside from the unapologetic clouds and towering pine trees atop of the mountain, the climb up and descent down is one for the books.
John Taylor, circa 1610, Chandos portrait, National Portrait Gallery. (Wikimedia)

Shakespeare, Su Shi and Tang Xianzu: The dates of birth and death of literary greats

The dates of birth and death of literary greats — especially those who lived centuries ago when the calendar used may not have been the same as we use today — can be confusing and difficult to pin down. Cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai looks at the example of William Shakespeare and several Chinese poets, noting that in the end, perhaps it is not so important whether or not we have an exact date.
Chen I-shu, Aries. (Photo provided by Chiang Hsun)

Taiwanese art historian: The madness of Aries

Taiwanese art historian Chiang Hsun reflects on the prominent Arians from history and those he had encountered. Perhaps there is a wildness in them passed on from generation to generation that brings together poetry, instincts, and even the power of madness.
Lim Tze Peng in his studio, still trying out new ideas.

The 'late style' of 102-year-old artist Lim Tze Peng

Artist Lim Tze Peng, who turned 102 this year, was born and bred in Singapore. From having a firm grasp of traditional Chinese painting techniques, he continually experimented with different methods, adjusting his style and finding a new path. Writer Teo Han Wue was there to witness the artist’s pivotal change in style some 15 years ago, when the artist was in his 80s. This was when Lim experimented with using bold, cursive-style calligraphic brushstrokes to create near-abstract and completely abstract paintings, with trees as the main subject matter — a style which came to be known as hutuzi (糊涂字, “muddled writing”). Lim’s “late style” continues to evolve, even until today.