Friday, November 13, 2009

The Jakarta Post owes me an itsy-bisty apology...

Alerted by Gwee Li Sui's Facebook notes! The Jakarta Post covered Singapore Writers Festival in this article, which included the following paragraph:

"There were almost 70 Singaporean literary luminaries directly participating in events, including established writers like Catherine Lim (The Bondmaid, 1995), a self-described “incorrigible, unstoppable storyteller”, and de-facto poet laureate Edwin Thumboo (Ulysses by the Merlion, 1979) to emerging talents like Wena Poon, who won the Singapore Literature Prize for her debut novel Lions in Winter."

Well, as most of you know:

1. "Lions in Winter" is a collection of short stories, not a novel.

2. Wena's debut novel was actually the self-published sci-fi thriller "Biophilia".

3. She didn't win the SLP. She was shortlisted the same year that, ahem, I won. (She was my favourite to win, though.)

Wena's pretty pissed at them too. They referred to her latest book, "The Proper Care of Foxes", as a romance.

Speaking of literary gossip, there's been an intriguing spate happening between NUS English student Nicholas Liu and Gilbert Koh, a banker who also goes by the nom de blog of Mr Wang.

Basically, Nicholas did a QLRS review of Gilbert's first collection of poems, "Two Baby Hands". It's a very, very cutting review, but I have to say I agree with the points made - I've got a certain style and approach to poetry, after all.

Gilbert, however, hasn't handled the criticism well. And it's quite natural to be upset - I'm always upset when I read bad or even mediocre reviews of my theatre work. But he got really - well - snarky and ad hominemly defensive in his responses: see here, here and here.

I dormed with Gilbert at the Pulau Ubin writers' retreat, so I can say he's a pretty nice guy in person. His poetry's a hell of a lot more accessible than mine, too.

But he's gotta learn something: almost all coverage is good coverage. More people are going to check out his book because of the review, and a lot of them are going to like the book. And the controversy caused by this is making more people think about our work in new ways.

Now if only Jakarta Post would write something, good or bad, about me...

Friday, November 06, 2009

I haven't mentioned, have I, that I've set up another Flying Circus Project blog?

It's on Wordpress this time. Go to


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

expo zéro by Musée de la Danse

I'm serving as the official documenter for this! It's on this Saturday and Sunday, 1-6pm, at 72-13/TheatreWorks. Drop by if you can!

TheatreWorks / 72-13 presents

Flying Circus Project Platform 01: expo zéro by Musée de la Danse

The first-ever dancing museum in Singapore hosted by the Flying Circus Project, expo zéro is a unique exhibition without objects conceived by acclaimed French choreographer, Boris Charmatz and Musée de la Danse.

expo zéro is only open on two days: 7 & 8 November at 72-13 between 1pm and 6pm.

An `exhibition' project with no photographs, no sculptures, no installations, no videos. Zero things, not one stable object. But artists, and areas occupied by gestures, projects, bodies, stories, dances which everyone will choose to imagine.

In the process spirit of the Flying Circus Project (FCP) conceived by Ong Keng Sen, expo zéro is a kind of 'think tank' through analysis, description, performance, movements and ideas which each guide-artist will develop with the audience. This comes at a timely occasion as Singapore has no dancehouse (tanzhaus, dansens hus, centre chorégraphique national), a question which TheatreWorks / 72-13 is presently pondering.

expo zéro is headed by Boris Charmatz in collaboration with dancers-choreographers, François Chaignuad, Mette Ingvartsen and actor-director Yves-Noël Genod. In Singapore, it collaborates with Asian artists, architects, theorists of FCP 2010 like Padmini Chettur, Heman Chong, Torrance Goh of FARM, Donna Miranda, Joavien Ng and Ong Keng Sen.
For all bios, please go to /

Visitors will experience these individuals' visions, subjective and utopian, of what a dancing museum can be.

Join us and be part of expo zéro now!


Flying Circus Project Platform 01
expo zéro by Musée de la Danse

Date: 7 & 8 November 2009
Musée hours: 1pm – 6pm daily
Venue: 72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road
Admission: Free

Please call 6737-7213 or email to register your attendance.

For more information: