last board-meeting

Making sketches for the cabinet. Have to combine feasibility with providing space for all objects and presence in the room! Since last board-meeting suggested it – I will include one of the transport-boxes from Johannes lab. When the board had the idea, to create the whole cabinet made of boxes – such as cardboard or wooden one, I intervened. Because it would simply look like a trash installation in the end.

The nice cleaning woman doesn’t come anymore – a new (strange) one, instead.

Went to CQT, to meet Debashis at 2 pm. We are creating a 3-D-Model of the cabinet after my drawings. Went quite well! Preparing board-meeting in afterwards. The last one already!

Slowly people drop in – leave again, coming back. Somehow we get started – a quarter past 4 pm. I introduce Madhura to the others. Johannes joins later. Some ideas came up – such as printing out all papers published by this institute (founded in 2007). Discussion, if it would be show-off to exhibit them. The majority of board-members votes or displaying them.  Johannes makes jokes on sexiness and self-confidence. The meetings start to be really fun, now! Finally we get through all decisions!  The round dissolves by 6:25 pm as slow as it came together.We try to measure the space with human-body – to estimate the size of the cabinet. The distance between fingertips of both spread arms, is aprox. the same as height. In my case 176 cm. Finally some useful knowledge from anatomy- and nude-drawing classes.

I introduce Momo and Madhura to each other more personal – in the hope, they may find each others work interesting, since both seem to deal with lattices and patterns! Finding a base to talk about, happens more quickly, than I expected. After some minutes, there are already planning an art-work. That’s great.

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Got up at 10 am. Made a diagram of recent and upcoming projects. Preparing my talk for the art-science-museum – and uploading it for Lise. Took until 4 pm, half a day! Emailing with Artur in between. We won’t meet each other this time, since he stays in Europe for an urgent reason. Very nice conversation, only I had to explain him, that my main part of the project are the conversations, chats – spontaneous discussions over lunch tables – recorded in a subjective  perspective within this diary.

Jenny has good news – it looks like, that finally I can have the bridge as temporary work-space, before it will be torn down!

Can’t remember more of this day – too long ago.

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dancing atoms

Got up at 10:20. Still tired. Making drawings, writing emails. No cleaning woman today! Went to CQT – should prepare the display-panels to show them at the board-meeting today. Therefore it has happen early enough, that at least the paint can dry. Works out! Again, also Christian is working at the workshop. I tell him about our collection of spoiled works. He has two pieces for me.

I look for Debashis office – can’t find it. No more energy to run around – just went for lunch. Meeting Troy, Miklos and another guy. I ask them about astonishing entities, maybe visuals. They can’t think of any. We also speak about lab-books, dance and physics and visualisation of data. Somehow we drifted into language and their different conceptual metaphors. I argue, that every language has terms, that are nearly untranslatable. Miklos disagrees. I mention the French word ‘mirage’ – English language took it from French. Once, it was taking part in an exhibition having this term in the title and I wrote a text for the catalogue – this is why I know, that there is no similar German word for it, because I spent a day to search for it. Miklos says, that in Hungarian there is a word, literally translated as ‘noon puppet’ – which sounds really nice.

And there is more surprising discoveries! Miklos knows the place, where I was born. He spent some month there. That’s contrary to my experience of last weeks. People hardly know where Dresden is – let alone Gera … East Germany is not even well known in the western world.

Our small round moves – I was offered coffee but have to refuse, since it is almost 3:20 and I have to prepare the board-meeting! Which should start at 4 pm. Unfortunately the conference-room is already booked. Evon gets me the meeting room near the office. This is actually a perfect stage for the board-meeting. Only that I have to collect people from different floors. We start at 4:18 pm. Much too late.

Good news is, that Lonce and Isabelle joined. Finally there is artistic engagement! Immediately it became more lively and easy for me, since I could focus more on the moderation and not have to give artistic input at the same time. I collected all suggestions from last board-meeting plus those ideas, that came up this time. First we started with the qubit-discussion. When I realised, that we were too much into details – such as: which paper shall we use? I announced the whole list of about 12 topics. And put some speed behind. Forcing decisions, by hand-sign. Afterwards Jenny called it gentle but straight. So we ended at 6 pm – precise in time! Lonce left a bit earlier.

I think about writing the summary immediately after the meeting – sitting at the computer. Christian enters my office – I am already the last person there. “Still working?” he asks and suggests to join Markus and him for food and beer at West Coast Plaza. The bus runs at 8 pm, directly to there. Some minutes before, I was willing to work – now, I decide joining them. Only the bus ran at 8:30 pm – so I was quite late when I arrived. Christian and Markus are already there. Markus and I introduce each other – we speak German.

Again, similar to what John asked yesterday, the wanted to know how it is like to be around with  physicists. When John asked, I didn’t think about the motivation of this question. Today, I think it is a reflection, they ask for. I can understand that well.

The only thing I wonder about, is why physicists complain about other physicists – not only here – same experience in Dresden! Am I surrounded by artists, I have the feeling of a slidely special world, but I appreciate company of all sorts of artists (besides there are of course artists too, that complain about other artists). I have to say, 70 % of my circle of friends consists of visual artists, even sculptors, or those who are creating installations, drawings and/or sound-art. Followed by the friends which are architects and musicians. Some are authors, dancers, composers or cultural managers, philosophers, sociologists, crafts-people, designer and computer scientists. Also physicists (!) , biologists and jurists. And there is one archaeologist, an engineer, a mathematician … and then it get wider and wider … Maybe is is just an attitude?

Second part we discuss about being rational and saving time. Being asked, I tell them, that my impression is, that people with physic-background often behave with a high clarity and not not much doubt as a grey-zone, which I find exhausting from time to time. Also a relevant amount of impatience for unclear situations and open developments. Answers are: “Yes – I like it” or “No, I don’t like it”, while I am often times like “Maybe, I don’t know?”  “Otherwise, this and that are also possible”. This is one of the occasions for the feeling of abundance or sometimes I get angry when I have the impression someone forces me to clarity and unambiguity. Because one can hardly always know, what this is all about. One may miss opportunities to learn about new ways. I tell them about an experience that I once had with a performance: Someone was simply washing his hands with a piece of soap. When it started, I hoped, something else than just hand-washing will happen. But it didn’t – that was all! It took him more than 1 ½ hour and was the most incredibly boring piece, that I ever saw. Really tremendous in boringness –  remarkable! I guess watching performances teaches patience, attention and openness. Markus starts kicks-off a discussion, that in his opinion a lot of people are boring. He doesn’t want to waste his time. I have the opposite opinion – I hardly meet people, that are uninteresting. When I avoid people – it is not because of disinterest, but more about self-protection.

Somehow Markus and I came into arguing about philosophers. (He likes Aristotle and Karl Popper – he says he has read Aristotle in ancient Greek.) He complains about Kant and Hegel and doesn’t like, that they are is difficult to understand. Markus theory is, that this happens is on purpose to fool readers and philosophers should be able to explain their thoughts as simple as everyone understand. I disagree. Although philosophy is not an explanation, but the text is a work on its own. Explanation happens after the text, rarely within. Since philosophers build up their own vocabulary within a treatise, it can be hard to follow, especially when one tries to read them without knowledge of the vocabulary, that they usually develop upon several works. Markus thinks this definition is unnecessary – words have an obvious meaning for him. I ask Christian – that had rather been in the role as observer before – to introduce my little misunderstanding about the concept of cabinet. When we leave, Markus seems to have no better argument on this topic.

In the end I regret, that we were discussing more on philosophy than out Christian’s and Markus’ work. But I felt, that I had to defend poor Hegel and Kant!

Came home – checked emails – a nice recommendation from Troy, that he mentioned this lunch-time before. It is a TED-Talk, were someone explains the process of  cooling atom via dance:

I like contemporary dance! One of my favourite choreographers is Pina Bausch. I learned about her in Wuppertal. One of the most impressive pieces is – Café Müller!

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a fable on language in art and science

Got up at 9:30 a bit late – so I meet the nice cleaning lady. We don’t understand each other very well, but I think, there is sympathy. Will meet Isabelle this noon. Missed the time by writing emails at ERC – couldn’t even finish my coffee. Had to rush – to bring art supplies to CQT: for the test examples, that I will have to create today. Say hello to Jenny. Quickly deliver the email for tomorrows board-meeting (and forgot to announce starting time!).

Took a taxi to LaSalle, were Isabelle and I will meet. Isabelle arrives sometime later. There I realise, that I feel really dizzy. Now, I have a suspicion: the coffee. Maybe for some reason I can not drink usual coffee any more – without feeling strange.

Isabelle and I jump immediately into a conversation about art-science projects. Isabelle studied biology first and second art. She knows a lot of people at LaSalle. She works on ‘failures’ – she explores them and classifies. Giving performance-lectures – that sounds terrific! She invented a machine that never fails and does: nothing. I invite her for our nothing project. She promises to send me some links to videos. It feels good to talk to someone, that finally understands details and their relevance. Next summer she will have a residency in GB in a bio-lab, observing failures happening over the time. Not as joke, but seriously. Also, good point for me, too.

Madhura joins us. She does textile works – weaving. Her main interest is pattern – she even wrote a thesis about this topic, researching them in different ways. Her opinion is, that in many cases, when we recognise something – it happens through patterns. I can see that. Often times, I observe this at myself. It is a funny feeling, when you realise, that something is calculating inside you – but the only thing, that you get – is the result: an idea, a decision a concious feeling. We visit her Studio. I take pictures from some works. I am amazed, by this former undiscovered perspective. I tell her, that Momo promised to send me a lattice of something – yeah, of what? Anyway, this pattern thing has something to do with Quantum Mechanics.

We go for lunch to Little India. Very nice talk – I enjoy Madhuras and Isabelles company a lot! They both are interested to attend the board-meeting tomorrow – I would love to see them involved in the project. Within all conversations, Isabelle nearly misses her appointment and I am also late – if I still want to produce something today.

I visit the wood-shop in order to buy plywood – to create examples for tomorrow. People there are very friendly. Explain a lot. Only, I forgot to ask for a receipt in the end.

Went back to CQT by taxi – with my wood. Almost late afternoon now. Spent the day nicely, but unproductive. Fortunately Christian is working after 6 pm at the workshop. That allows me to do my stuff – I am lucky today.

Back to office then – John enters – we discuss about to continuing our talk from last week. About his work at CQT. I ask him if he has time on evening (and meant ‘evening-time’ in general). Since John is only free for THIS evening, we make an appointment around six. Today seems to be my talking day. Actually, I would be a bit in a rush to continue writing and do other admin-stuff. Well anyway – it may have some reason, why all talks happen today. Maybe otherwise it would not happen at all.

Writing emails for tomorrow. Debashis enters – we discuss the his (cool!) qubit animation and the Schrödinger-cat-box, only, that I can’t do multi-tasking (Frank Schirmacher, German author says: Multi-tasking ist Körperverletzung / Multi-tasking is bodily injury). So I apologise and promise to come by his office, later. When I look at my computer, I realised, that it was 5:30 – no chance to be finished by 6 pm. So I shift my appointment with John a bit.

Change dresses – working trousers and lap-coat. Glueing the wood panels – assembling prototypes of presentation panels to display A4 sheets of paper. Chatting with Christian in between – about technical details of operating CNC-machines and shaping metal. Always very relaxed atmosphere. I like it there. Surprisingly finished in time, to meet John at 6:30 pm. Some confusion about the meeting point. Finally managed to get together. We decide to go out for walking, talking and having dinner.

John suggests to visit Geylang. He says it is one of his favourite places. We go by MRT – on various lines – I just follow him. Meanwhile we discuss a lot of issues on our ride. Such as the difference between quantum-mechanics and quantum-technologies. Quantum-mechanics is the fundamental research field, that explores natural laws within the realm of atoms, photons and electrons. Quantum-technologies is rather about applications, based on that knowledge. John also explains the relation between physicists and mathematicians. Physicists try to describe nature as precise and simple as possible – with mathematic language. Chemistry and biology is much less precise than physics. But still there is no clear border between physics, chemistry and biology. John asks about my impression from physicists. I say, that I sometimes have the feeling, of falling behind within a talk. If the metaphor would be walking together, the speed and frequency is sometimes too high, for me.

I’d like to tell a story as metaphor – it is a Russian folk novel (after a recording by A. Tolstoi) about a fox and a crane – maybe to describe my idea about the two different languages known as art and science:

Once upon an time a fox and a crane were friends. One day, they met in the grass-fields, and fox said “my dear crane, please visit me, that we can have dinner together, today”. Crane happily agreed and both of them were looking forward spend time together. Fox prepared  a nice kasha-porridge at home. When there was dinner-time, crane came and they sat together – enjoying their company. As we know, fox brought delicious buckwheat-porridge – spread on a flat plate. Well prepared, but not well-thought, because only suitable for a fox snout, while cranes have pointed traps. Crane picked on the flat plate – getting nearly no bite of the porridge. Pleasurable, fox ate the all porridge – saturated and satisfied: “My friend, this was all I could offer!”. Crane angryly planning revenge. “My dear fox, I would like to reply for your hospitality and invite you for dinner tomorrow”. Fox agreed.

Next day in the evening crane cooked delicious soup. Fox came. They were sitting down together and chatting. Crane brought the meal – as I said a well-done Okroshka-soup served in a precious carafe – perfect for a long cranes trap. With hearty appetite cranes slurped the soup – only fox sat beside nearly getting not even drops from the fringe. When the soup was finished crane said “I hope you enjoyed your meal?”. Fox angrily started to jump after crane to bite his throat avenging for staying hungry. Since this time all fox hunt cranes though the fields and their friendship was over.

This story came into my mind afterwards – it is not meant to match for all points of communication. But it describes nicely, what happens, if one doesn’t pay attention to different needs, presuppositions and conditions. Certainly it isn’t meant to address my communication with John. But maybe some others at CQT. Some serve food on flat plates and are irritated, if I don’t get it. There is no doubt, that I would rather see myself as the crane than as fox. Why? Because the convention is on fox side. Our society does not use too much poetry in every-day-life; rationality, efficiency and clarity are seen as ‘professional’ and ‘good’, while intuition, indifference, doubt and ambiguity are avoided. Let’s see the food as ‘message’ and the ‘plate’ or ‘carafe’ as language used to express the message. Although this metaphor is incorrect, since language is not only a container for messages, but rather the medium were thoughts and concepts are created (after Wittgenstein, as fas as I know). What I find interesting in this comparison, is that failure in communication causes negative emotions and enmity.

My belief is, that if Artists and Scientist want to work together, they will have to figure out a new language. At least I can not imagine, that one learns the language of the other and can express the same things within this foreign language. Still, I don’t know how a new language will look/sound like, but I guess a lot of meta-communication is necessary. From my point of view philosophy helps a lot within this translation! Defining terms is a big issue within this discipline. It may seem unusual and unnecessary to some people, but only because they assume, that everyone shares their concept of a sign or term. Which I see as dangerous mistake. Maybe because math is a formalised, simple and defined language. While vernacular language is not.

I guess John and I are aware of our different languages. I have the impression, that he observes a lot – without judgement – at least there I can’t see any signs, that he does. What makes it more comfortable for me – he seems to be interested and curious. He ‘advises’ even less than I do – I guess. I mean he doesn’t explain the world – without being asked. Other people do – even more, they lecture the truth.

We get off at MRT-station Aljunied. After some walk we enter a small street with two-storey houses. The first one is a temple. While John is explaining, a man invites us to have a look. We take of our shoes and enter the room.

It smells nice. A bunch of colourful figures is displayed above eye-level. Three big figures in the back and rows of smaller figures below in the front. John says, that the god with the red-face is sort of a war god, a former general, that became a god. At the other side of the wall are the gods of the underworld, which are all black. They smoke and drink spirits and beer.  The old man of the temple chats with us – complaining, that it becomes harder to keep this place running. The rents are rising and the temple-community has to finance all expenses on their own.

We continue our walk – seeing more shrines – discussing statues – explore shops with paper items, that are sacrificial offerings to be burned in stoves all around. Besides traditional shapes, there are also mobile phones, shoes, shirts and even batteries made of paper! Also, we see a frozen-cat performance  in front of a temple, an air-conditioning-installation and weird construction side, a back door street and many more astonishing entities – places that I wouldn’t have seen on my own. I guess we did a dérive – surprisingly. I enjoy the mixture of relaxing, exploring and education a lot. Only sometimes John had to save me from car-accidents, since cars continuing running on the wrong side where they are unexpected.

After a while we decide to have food and beer at a hawker center. Continuing our discussion, but more focused on our work. John says, he was studying Quantum gravity for a quite a time. It bases on the assumption, that matter bends time and space. I stumble over the expression ‘bended space’ – I can image, time being bend, but not space. John says, that I am strange, because ‘every-one’ thinks the other way round, in his opinion. Really? Okay, but still I can not image, how space can be bend. Maybe it depends also on the concept, that one imagines as ‘space’. Of course, something being bend ( i.e. a light beam), I can easily imagine. But nothing being bend – my brain flickers if I try to understand that. I feel sorry afterwards, but again our talk shifts to ‘nothing’, economy and surviving as an artist.

Nowadays, John is about to make a shift into other tasks and topics. Such as developing models in order to forecast climate change. He has a blog. This topic seems more urgent to him. Sounds really interesting!

We have to run to catch the last MRTs. When we arrive at Kent Ridge – we took one train before the last – around eleven. It was an incredibly lovely tour – so many impressions and talks!

Back at home around midnight – I feel awake enough to finish the summary of last board-meeting. Somehow crazy, but I promised to send it today – before tomorrow. And I can work much better at night than in at early morning. And due to the time-shift and jetlag, it is even worse. So I finish the  summary around 3 am. Went to bed and couldn’t sleep until 4 am. Why does it always happens, if I have to be focused next day? Tomorrow is board-meeting and I should be attentive by then.

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singapores artistic future proof

Got up at 10 am. Writing dairy, since yesterday was so interesting and I wanted to keep all details. Thunder and rain started – took photos of this cloudburst. Also, I wrote a couple of emails.

Made plan, to go to the Singapore Art Museum today. Went out on this purpose around 4 pm. Discovered art-in-the-MRT-project on my way. Some is just decoration, but not really bad, some I like:

Got off at Dhoby Ghaut. Couldn’t find the exit to the street ended up in a shopping mall on subbasement -2 – really disturbing. Finally managed to escape.

Walking along Orchard Road to the Museum. Free entry – very few people there. A golf-installation with interpretation from different audiences. Conceptual and well-presented. And a learning gallery, with contemporary Southeast Asian artworks. Colourful, proper and mainly figurative. I enjoy rather classical artworks, but I guess, they do not represent, what is happing. There may be also experimental, provocative and less finished works as well? Or maybe that is just my prejudice from other places.

Entering another building –  and the ‘future proof’ provides more experimental artworks. That’s how the special show for Singaporean artists is called. ‘Speak cryptic’ covered the staircase with black lines of painting – I guess he (?) is a street artist. Shah Rizzal’s work ‘this is home’ I liked most. A small ‘tent’ made from waste materials. Next to it Francis Ng “displaced” – photographies in red light – sea-side. Chung Kaifeng with his uncoloured architectural dealing with urban issues such as gated communities and casinos ( “¥ € $”). Ang Sookoon grew crystals on breads, called “Your love is like a chunk of gold”.

Drank decaf coffee and ate scone (knew them from Belfast, haven’t had one in between – almost four years now). Then took the MRT to One-North, since Jenny invited me for dinner, today. Made field-recordings from crickets and frogs at the park along my way to Jenny’s house. Had to ask someone to find the entrance.

Get to know Rosh, Jenny’s husband – Rohan, their son is of course sleeping. Besides all conversations on all different topics, we had also very nice self-made pizza and beer. And a discussion about alcohol-free beer, that I like a lot.

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MINIMART and tea with Hegel

Got up at 11 am. Felt much better. Writing some emails to the board-members, before leaving to Buona Vista. Meeting Jenny around 2 pm, to buy art-materials for the installation. I promised to make test-examples for the next board-meeting.

Visiting “Substation” afterwards – a recommendation from Linda. An alternative art-space on Armenian Street, close to the city-center. They run a conference series, starting with “Target Audiences and the Publics of Art”. I was a bit late for the talks, so I just visit the exhibition MINIMART. Quote: “minimART is a platform for young contemporary artists to showcase and sell their original fine art works ranging from painting, sculpture, and photography, to installation work, performance, and other forms of contemporary art. All works for sale are priced under $1,000“.

Everyone got a space – about 1,5 x 1,5 m x room height – to presented their artworks. Some of the works I found really interesting. Although, I thought the presentation was not precise in many cases. White cloth over tables – resembling a plinth: a no-go in Dresden. I even teach this to my art-pedagogy-students. But, I wouldn’t want to stay so much on the surface. I spoke with some of the artists.

Li – she made several objects of fibres and copper. A contemporary interpretation of Wabi Sabi, as she says. Cheryl Teo makes dystopian dioramas on gender issues. She takes photos of her self-made models and writes stories – accompanying the images. We speak about Thomas Demand – she likes his work a lot. Her work is much smaller and she displays both – object and photography. pang + kanako shows a white cloth, forming a human shape. He passes me a small booklet. I tell him that one of my students in Dresden did a similar work. Not with a human shape, but with every-day-life-items – such as a vacuum cleaner. She also had the idea to dissolve the shape, by using water. Which didn’t technically work, but still, you could see the idea behind. pang + kanako is interested in presence and absence, that can turn into present absence again. Speaking about death. Because white sheets reminds on it. Also as cover, he says.

Next to him – paintings. Not sure, about the artists name – maybe Eunice Lim? The sketch-book was really nice. Great drawings – pages becoming stories, moving cut-outs through the whole book*. I liked this most! She said many people would not see the book, since it is relatively small – covers about 50-100 pages. She finished it within one month. I recommend her, doing an installation with these drawings. Check out her Soundcloud page:

*Screwords is an interplay of pages with important segments of each painting in the book being cut off. Each painting on canvas is thus created as result of various pages inter-playing with the following negative space reflected from the book.

She gets Yen Phang, who has his place next to her. Paintings in black and white – orchids and ultra-sonic images. All drawn/painted from his mind – after some training, he says. We speak about my mind-drawings of the ex.uranium-mining area as well. I invite him for the cabinet.

Some nice photos from Tan Jingliang. Bought a postcard ‘Book Monster’ from Janet J.E. Chui – the last one! Reaching sif doodle‘s place. He is doing postcards – I love postcards! And selling them for 2 $ each – made-drawn, nice postcards!!! I take five of them. Writing postcards was on my agenda since weeks! He asks me to take a picture of him and me. I invite him for the cabinet as well. I guess there is some picture of me and him on his facebook-page.

At the other end of the room. A quiet Tatlin-like installation by Tran Xuan Anh. Made of paper strings. Very poetic.

Big drawing-installation by Lee Gwo Yinn. Impressive – very diverse, detailed and colourful works on black and white laser copies – about 50 ? All made from the same image – a male in his 30ies. I ask who the man is. “…… …….” (sorry, forgot the name) an American Actor, mainly straight-acting. Do you understand that? Not really. There are straight and gay  … . Of course, now I get it. Lee Gwo Yinn says, the person on the copies was famous at his time and a male role model, until he came-out. He died in the 80ies – of AIDS. First, the work reminded me mostly on Andy Warhol. We speak about reactions of people to his art-work and the related issue: being gay – acting straight. He says, that Singapore is not as open as Germany. From what I understood, it is more the “don’t ask, don’t tell”-behaviour. I also invite him for the cabinet, but since is working as a security-officer at the construction-site he can only join events in the evening – so, I can only offer the “finale”.

The last artist, that I meet is Hoong Wei Long. He displays a painted T-Shirt, photos and a text. The texts says, that is not even easy to make your living as an artist in Singapore – as his parents told him – being a working-class son. I get interested in that. Hoong Wei Long explains, that the photos are made from Singaporian concerts – artists from here and all over the world. I ask him about the text. We speak about conditions: He says, that artists here do not have so strong networks like in Berlin or New York. Maybe true. In Germany we do have good artist-networks! Although, that their power is limited. I say, that even in Germany it is not easy to ‘survive’ as an artist – that I am in the Artist Association – – Union? We fight for better conditions such as an exhibition-fees. Artists should get paid for their work. Because creating an exhibition is also fun, but mostly work!

Also my mother was very upset, when I studied art. She used to work as Chemist by that time. “You will starve as an artist!” It took her some years, but now, she supports me – both of my parents do. And sometimes, they are proud. Even if their friends have children, that earn more money, because they studied medicine, chemistry, electronics or other ‘useful’ things. I sign in Hoong Wei Longs Mailing-List – inviting him to the cabinet and finale of the project.

Leaving the building, which is covered with some cloth in stripes. “Building As a Body is an art installation by Grace Tan and Randy Chan. The installation is a veil, composed of a matrix of dots and lines which envelope the entire façade of the building. The Substation is personified, and the veil articulates the opposing and yet inter-connecting themes of concealing and revealing.“

It starts raining cats and dogs. Buying beer and regular postcards. Going back to ‘City Hall’, reaching Bugis. Buying shirts, that are more comfortable for the heat, then mine from home. Having nice – mango-dish. Wander around. Looking for ‘Goodman-Arts-Center’ to attend a dance performance. Asking people, no-one knows. Discovering Sota – another Art-School.

Wander again – or maybe better said ‘derive’. Because I join bigger groups of people in their directions. Giving up to reach Goodmans, since it is too late anyway. Finding myself at “Arab-Street”. A place,  that Linda suggested. Walking around – really nice atmosphere! Only my backpack is heavy. Decide to go back to the MRT-station. Stumple over a shop with herbs in the window. How long had I been looking for herb-tea, other than camomile and ‘Hagebutte’! Enter the shop – starting a nice conversation on herbs. Smelling different teas. Got invited for a special tea mixture. Sitting down with Abdul and Nasir. Abdul estimates, that I am German, because they have German friends, that sound like me. Nasir is surprised, when he heard that I am from the east part – it rarely happens, that people from this part of Germany are in Singapore. Maybe because it is a bank-city and not many East-Germans have good positions in banks – it would be more likely that they are engineers. We speak about economic systems. They are critic and well educated. Abdul speaks about Arabic Philosophy. And that Hegel was inspired by some Arabian philopher 800 years ago. Hegel understood  Arabic. Aryan people (also Germans stem from Mesopotamia) are spread over the world. I say that Persian and German are related as Finnish and Hungarian.

Abdul and Nasir travel a lot, they say, you learn many things, that you do not learn in school, when you travel. They have been in Europe, Arabia – such as e.g. Egypt, Jemen (where the best honey comes from) and Iran. People are very nice, there – they say. Americans are misjudging the Iranian people, they are very intelligent, modern and clever. Both were born in Singapore  – their families came from India. I can see, that they have a different opinion and attitude than what I expect to be ‘usual’ in Singapore. Later on, I discover, that many of their products are organic! There shop is called ‘herbs4life – health through mother nature’. I am impressed, that they even find the time to deal with so many other ‘issues’ apart from their job. They seem to combine job and interest very well.

I tell them about my project, the engagement of scientists into art and the other way round. Abdul says, that there is an Arabic expression – translated as ‘artistry’. It means, that you can only understand when you are not only intellectually an expert, but also can see the ‘higher’ qualities of it. Talent is different from art. In the end he quotes a Arabic saying (that I am paraphrasing):

Live your live as you wish – but you will die one day. Love whom you like, but you’ll get separated. Do what you want, but you will be justified on your acts.

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goods friday

Got up at 9 am. Skyping with Konrad. Worked from 10:30 to 1 am on writing the diary. Skyping with my parents at 1:15 pm – not in best condition. Got the advice to got to bed. Did so.

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