Name: Celeste

Bio: Reviews are her forte! Having written for various publications locally and abroad, especially for Mediacorp's suite of lifestyle publications, Celeste Yap brings a fresh interpretation to the lifestyle section of Covered Asia.

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    8 Must-Sees and Must-Do’s at ART STAGE 2017

    January 3rd, 2017

    ART STAGE is back this January 12th – 15th 2017.

    Art Stage returns to the Sands Expo and Convention Centre this January '17

    Art Stage will return to the Sands Expo and Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands this January 2017. With more than 170 galleries from 33 countries participating this year, this year’s Art Stage looks set to be a bustling affair. Wondering where to start? As your definitive events and lifestyle guide, we’ve put together a checklist of 8 must-sees and must-do’s at this year’s edition of Southeast Asia’s premiere art fair event.

     

    #8 Eddie Hara – Uncle to Young Indonesian Artists

    "There's something kinky going on over here 2016" (Photo Credits: Nadi Gallery)
    “There’s something kinky going on over here 2016” (Photo Credit: Nadi Gallery)

    With his single hoop earring, Eddie Hara would fit right in with the head-bopping youths at Laneway Fest (happening third week of January). But make no mistake, the Switzerland-based artist has had a successful three-decade long career.

    His works, influenced by street art, comics and the subculture are often depicted in bright colours and act as social commentaries. What will he have to say about 2016, a year marked by political corruption and the passing of many beloved celebrities?

    Hear Eddie Hara’s commentaries at Nadi Gallery booth at ART STAGE 2017.

     

    #7 Miya Ando – Metal Whisperer

    Miya Ando x Sudram Tagore Gallery
    Miya Ando (Photo Credit: Sudram Tagore Gallery)

    Even though Miya Ando has a Bang & Olufsen collab under her belt, 2017 will mark the year as her debut at Art Stage.

    She’s a 38-year-old half-Japanese half-Russian artist who has perfected a method of dyeing anodised aluminium, which creates a soft but permanent colour change to the metal, resulting in works that at times resemble reflections upon water, and at times hazy sceneries.

    Enter an alternate world at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Booth A7.

     

    #6  Livin’ La Vida Imelda – a Performance by Carlos Celdran

    Carlos Celdran "Livin' La Vida Imelda" Performance (Photo Source: Carlos Celdran)
    Carlos Celdran will entertain event goers with his “Livin’ La Vida Imelda” Performance (Photo Credit: Carlos Celdran)

    Performance artist and HIV/AIDS awareness activist Carlos Celdran will be walking the fair grounds carrying book of vintage photographs and a boom box playing disco music, while dressed in bell bottom jeans.

    His performance will re-enacts life in the Philippines during the 70’s, where the flamboyant Imelda Marcos served as First Lady, and how her extravagance impacted the people.

    Daily at various timings.

     

    #5 Southeast Asia Forum

    Max Haiven Co-Author of "A Soft Spot in a Hard Place" (Photo Credit: Max Haiven)
    Max Haiven Co-Author of “A Soft Spot in a Hard Place” (Photo Credit: Max Haiven)

    Titled “Net Present Value: Art, Capital, Futures”, the 2017 forum will focus on capitalism, in particular how ideals and money interact and influence each other in the art market.

    The agenda includes an exhibition and a series of lectures. Speakers include authors Max Haiven and Suhail Malik, and founder of Grey Projects, Jason Wee.

    Click here for the full agenda.

     

    #4 Waterkasteel: Canto

    Waterkastell Canto 2015 (Photo Credit: Lawangwangi Creative Space)
    Waterkastell Canto 2015 (Photo Credit: Lawangwangi Creative Space)

    Meet 26-year-old Eldwin Pradipta who became a full fledged artist only in 2012, is adept at using new media and is the name to watch.

    Waterkasteel: Canto is a mesmerising installation consisting chicken coops and bird cages, superimposed with a video projection. Who knew huh? That your pet budgie’s home could be transformed thus.

    Located at the Southeast Asia Forum Exhibition.

     

    #3 Joseph Balestier Award for the Freedom of Art

    Aye Ko (Photo Credit: Aye Ko)
    Aye Ko (Photo Credit: Aye Ko)

    This year’s nominees are Indonesian contemporary artist Arahmaiani, and Burmese artists Aye Ko and Chaw Ei Thein.

    We are rooting for 52-year-old Aye Ko who also runs free art education programs in Yangon. He lost out last year to Lee Wen – who is, in many ways, Aye Ko’s Singapore contemporary.

    Both suffered setbacks when they sought to express themselves through performance. The National Art Council of Singapore, for a decade, had banned funding for performance artists, while performance art was deemed illegal in Myanmar up until 2012.

     

    #2 Yodogawa Technique

    "Chinu, Uno" by Yodogawa Technique (Photo Credit: Yukari Art)
    “Chinu, Uno” by Yodogawa Technique (Photo Credit: Yukari Art)

    So the story goes that in 2003, two artists in Osaka, Hideaki Shibata and Kazuya Matsunaga, decided to clean up the rubbish floating along the Yodogawa River, and with whatever they collected, create works of art.

    This Samaritan act and the sculptures won the duo attention from the media and critical success in the arts scene.

    Discover the Yodogawa Technique at Mizuma Gallery, Booth C7.

     

    #1 Collector’s Stage

    Enin Supriyanto (Photo Source: Rustikaherlambang.com/2008/11/09/enin-supriyanto)
    Enin Supriyanto (Photo Source: Rustikaherlambang.com/2008/11/09/enin-supriyanto)

    Following the success of Collector’s Stage in Jakarta last August, six local collectors will open up their private collections to Singapore fair patrons.

    We reckon Collector’s Stage will be the highlight of this edition, curated by famous Indonesian curator and author Enin Supriyanto– who takes a Herb and Dorothy approach to collecting art,

    “Sometimes, we generalize that these (art collections) are an accumulation of wealth. Why don’t we consider them an accumulation of knowledge? It is about creating a platform so that knowledge can be shared.” – Enin Supriyanto, Curator and Author

     

    Art Stage 2017 takes place Jan 12 – 15 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Basement 2.

    Tickets are available from SISTIC or at the door, starting from SGD $35.00 (inclusive of SISTIC booking fee) for a 1-day pass.

     

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    EDEN PARK: In Conversation with the Founder and Rugby Legend Franck Mesnel

    December 16th, 2016

    #UNCOVERED – Inspiration and Goals with EDEN PARK Founder, Franck Mesnel.

    We lunched with rugby legend. Franck Mesnel, who was in town for the launch ofEDEN PARK – the sports-inspired menswear he co-founded with his former team mates.

    Franck Mesnel at Eden Park Singapore
    Franck Mesnel at Eden Park Singapore

    Dressed in a camel suede sports jacket and a blue-and-white scarf, the retired rugby fly-half is not only the brand chairman but also its poster boy. Quick witted and irreverently charming, when asked to describe his personal style, Franck offered to show us his underwear, “It’s my own brand, you know.” The khakis, though, were from G-Star. “I have sportsman thighs, he says with a glint of nostalgia in his eyes.

    Yes, it is this love for the gentleman’s game that prompted the founding of EDEN PARK and what makes it so successful – Singapore is its 33rd international market.

    EDEN PARK FW '16 Menswear Collection
    EDEN PARK FW ’16 Menswear Collection

    About that Pink Bow Tie

    So the story goes that Franck and his team played the 1987 French Championship Final outfitted with pink bow ties. The stunt garnered lots of media attention and the pink bow tie practically became a celebrity in its own rights, and eventually even became EDEN PARK’s logo.

    Franck Mesnel and his team wore Pink Bow Ties during the 1987 French Rugby Championship Final Match (Photo Source: www.uk.eden-park.com/institutionnel/histoire.cfm)
    Franck Mesnel and his team wore pink Bow Ties during the 1987 French Rugby Championship Final Match (Photo Source: www.uk.eden-park.com/institutionnel/histoire.cfm)

    “To celebrate our 30th Anniversary next year, we would like to make a special capsule for women – inspired by menswear but with a global thinking. My personal job when I come to a new country is to adapt EDEN PARK – adapt its fantastic roots to the Singapore style. The next step could be a flagship store in Singapore, maybe even a standalone store for women. But I keep my feet on the ground today, we are not in a rush.” – Frank Mesnel, Ruby Legend, and founder of EDEN PARK

    Eden Park Celebrates its 30th Anniversary in 2017
    EDEN PARK Celebrates its 30th Anniversary in 2017

    The concession at Takashimaya in Ngee Ann City, Singapore will only carry menswear for now, even though the brand had, six years ago, expanded its product range to include women’s wear and children’s wear.

    But ladies who love the French marque for its crisp tailoring and sporty look won’t have to wait too long for the women’s range to arrange in Singapore. Franck shares that we can expect a women’s range to be launched in mid-2017.

    Check out EDEN PARK at Ngee Ann City Shopping Centre, 391 Orchard Road, Level 3. 

     

     

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    Central Perk café opens in Singapore

    November 29th, 2016

    #TASTES – The iconic Central Perk from “FRIENDS” opens in Singapore

    Central Perk – the very same hangout of the six friends from the hit 90’s sitcom, FRIENDS is now serving giant cups of coffee right here in Singapore. Coffee lovers rejoice! There are six different coffee blends on offer – one for each character, and the food inspired by various episodes right here in Singapore.

    The iconic "Central Perk" cafe from the hit sitcom FRIENDS opens in Singapore
    The iconic “Central Perk” cafe from the hit sitcom FRIENDS opens in Singapore

    Although many stores emulating the spirit of the landmark café have opened up around the world, this 100-seater café on Magazine Road is officially the only one outside the US to receive the stamp of approval from Warner Bros., and licensed to use the trademark name.

    The Coffee for FRIENDS
    The Coffee Bar at Central Perk Singapore

    The private launch of Central Perk on November 24th, Thanksgiving Day, is not only a nod to several items on the menu – such as Chandler’s Thanksgiving Chicken complete with “Chanberry” sauce, and Potatoes the Way Phoebe Likes it – but also the perfect way, according to the Jit Min (founder of Central Perk SG), to give thanks to friends and donors.

    The attention to detail – from the famous orange couch to the sidewalk facing window where Phoebe performed Smelly Cat – is meticulous and there are even plans to organize events related to the six characters. While perusing the menu that is filled with references to the show, we were chuckling as scenes from the award-winning sitcom flashed before us.

    The couch for FRIENDS
    The Couch (Photo Credit: Central Perk Singapore)

    The Food and Coffee

    If you reckon the“You’re My Lobster”salad, though refreshing with well-seasoned lobster chunks, isn’t quite worth the SGD $32 price tag, then perhaps go for the Ahh… Unagi (SGD $36). Not many places do eels well, but Central Perk’s kitchen helmed by three former fine dining chefs, manages to hit the mark with a well-executed sauce, umami and moreish.

    The food menu for FRIENDS
    The Food Menu (Photo Credit: Central Perk Singapore)

    Ross’ Thanksgiving Sandwich, the one with the “moist maker”, a piece of gravy soaked bread chucked in the middle, is tasty albeit messy to tuck into. Ladies who desire to maintain decorum may consider the equally tasty Joey’s Spaghetti – a pumped up spaghetti alla puttanesca with sausages.

    The Coffee Menu
    The Coffee Menu (Photo Credit: Central Perk Singapore)

    For dessert, out of the five offered, Mrs Braverman’s Cheesecake definitely takes the cake. To quote Rachel, it has “…a buttery, crumbly, graham cracker crust, with a very rich yet light, cream cheese filling. Wow! My whole mouth just filled with saliva!”

    Mrs Braverman's Cheesecake (Photo Credit: Central Perk Singapore)
    Mrs Braverman’s Cheesecake (Photo Credit: Central Perk Singapore)

    And yes, Rachel’s quip just about sums up the café, built for nostalgia and designed with the FRIENDS fan in mind, whetting the appetite for more.

    Address and Operating Hours

    Central Perk Singapore is located at #01-01 Central Mall on 1 Magazine Road.

    Hours: 10am – 10pm (Tuesdays to Sundays), closed on Mondays

    Web: www.facebook.com/centralperksingapore

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    Affordable Art Fair 2016 Autumn Edition – Covered Picks

    November 16th, 2016

    First Scoops from the Affordable Art Fair 2016 Autumn Edition

    Hot from the perfectly lined lips of the Affordable Art Fair PR team, here’s a preview of the not one, nor two, but five art installations to look out for this weekend at the F1 Pit Building.

    Also, as a bonus, a few names that managed to catch the eye of a fair insider.

    Affordable Art Fair 2016 Autumn Edition Poster

    Iskander Walen

    The Singapore based Dutch artist is back at the Affordable Art Fair with Can, an installation consisting two – yes, you guessed it – cans that both pay homage to icons, the late Mr Lee and Andy Warhol, and at the same time pokes fun at the modern urban warrior’s obsession with smart devices.

    Iskander Walen's "The Can"
    Iskander Walen’s “Can”

    Inkyo Back & Shin-Young Park

    Both artists hail from Korea yet their installations are different as night and day. While Inkyo’s offering Pink Box invites fair patrons to experience and touch its undulating curves – practically an embodiment of the fun, accessible spirit of the Affordable Art Fair; Park’s Ball Pool made from hanbok cloth and filled with 500 ceramic balls is look-but-don’t-touch – a message from the Korean-born New Zealander about the discrimination that some multicultural children face in South Korea.

    "Pink" Box by Inkyo Back & Shin-Young Park
    “Pink” Box by Inkyo Back & Shin-Young Park

    Angeline Kin

    Shown here is Lasalle alumni’s Angeline Kin’s graduation work, Grief, a stunner measuring 2.7m and weighing in at 5kg. The self-taught artist will be exhibiting for the first time ever and is currently working on a new fabric sculpture titled Hope.

    Experience Hope and process Grief at the Talking Textiles booth.

    Angeline Kin’s “Grief”

    Yen Phang

    Singapore artist Phang’s ink-dyed toilet paper has travelled with him to Montreal where he’s based, and around Singapore, at Lorong 24A and LASALLE in February and September 2016. In a couple of weeks, you too can view Ocean’s Mind – an installation piece using the same unconventional medium at Woodbridge Hospital Charity Fund stand at the fair.

    Ben Young

    New Zealander glass sculptor Ben Young spends a lot of time by the sea – his job as a boat-builder and passion for surfing demands it – so it’s natural the ocean features a lot in his art. Young usually works with clear sheet float glass, but has recently included concrete and bronze in his works.

    See and hear the waves lap up the shores at the REDSEA Gallery booth.

    Ocean’s Mind by Ben Young
    “Ocean’s Mind” by Ben Young

     

    Cynthia Delaney Suwito

    Holding Breath, an installation by Singapore based Indonesian artist Cynthia Delaney Suwito encourages you to ponder the possible environmental benefits of holding your breath. And at the same time, question the bigger-picture issue of the actions of humanity upon Mother Nature.

    "Holding Breath" by Cynthia Delaney Suwito
    “Holding Breath” by Cynthia Delaney Suwito

    Nissa Kauppila

    Born in the US, Nissa Kauppila moved to China in 2015 because of her love for Chinese ink painting and to learn more about them. Her works combine Chinese ink and watercolours and has a delicate quality to them. Just like Chinese ink masters Qi Baishi and Chen Wen Hsi, whose pet subjects were prawns and gibbons respectively, Kauppila who is exhibiting for the first time at the Affordable Art Fair Singapore, has a pet subject as well – birds.

    Watch her birds in flight at the KF Art Space booth.

    nissa-kauppila-square
    Nissa Kauppila debuts at Affordable Art Fair 2016 in Singapore

    AFFORDABLE ART FAIR 2016 – Autumn Edition
    WHEN: November 18th to 20th ’16
    WHERE: F1 Pit Building, 1 Republic Blvd, Singapore 038975

    To find out how to get there, check out: http://affordableartfair.com/singapore/visit/how-to-get-there/

    Tickets are available to purchase from SGD $15 here.

    Affordable Art Fair 2016 Autumn Edition Poster
    Affordable Art Fair 2016 Autumn Edition Poster

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    Kurama Robatayaki : Grilled Goodies Just Perfect with Japanese Booze

    November 8th, 2016

    #Tastes : Authentic Japanese Fire-side cooking at Kurama Robatayaki.

    Kurama Robatayaki, by former Japanese chefs-turned-entrepreneurs Raymond Tan and Max Lai, is a mid-priced Japanese grill offering rustic fare that is meant to be paired with Japanese liquor and sake – as the sake-imbibing dinosaur on the wall reminds you.

    Be enticed by the selection of fresh seafood at Kurama Robatayaki
    Be enticed by the selection of fresh seafood at Kurama Robatayaki

    The menu includes a few clever adaptations from other cuisines. Kurama’s version of prosciutto di parmaand melon replaces the prosciutto with bacon and is wrapped around a plump lychee, and then there’s the truffle onsen salad – the three-month old establishment’s take on the French asparagus and poached egg, where you are encouraged to dress the salad greens with the warm oozy yolk.

    But the main draw is of course the grill, where you can select what you like from the menu – even more fun, though, is picking directly from the showcase of raw foods heaped in front of the grill: Colourful vegetables, succulent seafood and choice cuts of meats, including wagyu – though not the priciest grades, so you can indulge your lust for a hunky piece of beef without breaking the bank.

    Minced Meat with onsen egg
    The tsukune with onsen egg

    The tsukune (S$8) is easily our fav, with bits of soft bone mixed in with the minced chicken patty for bite plus a raw egg yolk for a silky texture.

    The hotate grilled scallop with butter and sake

    The hotate (S$30) or scallop, grilled in its own shell with butter and sake, is very well-done, with the right amount of bounce and tenderness.

    Also delicious, the ebi prawns (S$18) and buta bara (pork belly, S$9) – ideal bar bites over a flask of shochu.

    The Raindrop
    The Raindrop

    Kurama offers the perfect “cooling” dessert after all that grilled goodies, the Instagram worthy Raindrop (S$6) – refreshing agar that comes with kuromitsu (black sugar puree) and kinako soybean powder.

    Modern Japanese Lanterns light up the ceiling at Kurama Robatayaki
    Japanese lanterns on the ceiling evoke a modern, yet cosy zen chic dining experience

    With its modern Zen décor, bright lights and tasty savoury fare that hold their own when paired with alcohol, we would say this is a restaurant more suited for business dinners or a boozy tête-à-tête; Not so much for a romantic date – unless your date has a penchant for grilled meats and has no issue making out while smelling and smelling like charred meat. Gives a whole new meaning to piece of meat!

    Kurama Robatayaki is located at  9 Raffles Boulevard, #02-07 Millenia Walk, Singapore.

    For full information visit their official Facebook page here.

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