Singapore Writers Festival 2012

Literature on the Equator

Art work: Yuree Kensaku: "The Killer from Electricity Authority" (detail), 2009
Art work: Yuree Kensaku: "The Killer from Electricity Authority" (detail), 2009, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore. Photo John Tranter. Other photos of Singapore at night by the well-known 'unknown photographer'. «Blade Runner» photos courtesy of «Blade Runner».

Just back from the Singapore Writers Festival 2012. A busy week, with multicultural literary insights interspersed with varied culinary delights. Singapore is the acme and ne plus ultra of shopping and cooking, as the closing debate of the Festival agreed, and Orchard Road at night, the premium shopping area, outdoes the scene in «Blade Runner» where the Harrison Ford character eats at a roadside stall, surrounded by milling throngs and lit by the glare of dozens of huge video advertisements.

Orchard Road at night: lots of shopping!

A trip to the Singapore Art Museum was very worthwhile. When I had lived and worked in Singapore in 1971-72, the art was okay, but rather bland and illustrative. It's grown up and now challenges and often outdoes contemporary work from Europe or China. More later, when the jet lag has subsided.

Blade Runner dystopia

Shot from Blade Runner (1982): Alas, Pan Am is no more. That's the airline that flew me and Lyn to Bali en route to Singapore in 1971. I remember a lovely meal (on the aircraft, somewhere over Darwin) of beef steak and beans... they were the days... never mind. Capitalism can be cruel. But Orchard Road survives.

Orchard Road at night: even more shopping!