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Monthly Archives: August 2012

How a man’s life and practice is as artful as the food he creates

“Jiro Dreams of Sushi” was nominated for the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival in Lower Manhattan.

“What is delicious?”

The 81-minute documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” directed by David Gelb, on one of Japan’s most esteemed sushi chefs, Jiro Ono, starts with this question.

“What is beautiful?” “What is good art?” “What is good music?” These are subconscious judgments of taste that we constantly encounter in daily life but seldom stop to define. The film explores this simple question that has driven the fascinating career of 85-year-old Jiro, who was crowned one of the oldest living three star Michelin chef, and one of Japan’s “living treasures” – a term for those individuals certified as “Preservers of Important Intangible Cultural Properties”.

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How art textbooks have evolved in Singapore

Two art textbooks I’m reviewing: Art Starts: Art Design for Upper Secondary (1999) (C) and Artworks: Art for Upper Secondary (2006) (L)

My pet project of 2012 (more of that later) has been pushing me into the direction of researching about Singapore’s art education system. What are students learning today? How has the art curriculum changed since I was a student back in the early 2000s? Why are there changes? Will art for the masses truly be less of a miracle?  I was curious to find out.

I made some discoveries after a brief study comparing art textbooks used for Secondary level students (from the age of 12-16) over the past 7-10 years. The books that I will be reviewing are (right to left): Artworks: Art for Upper Secondary (2006), Art starts: Art & Design for Upper Secondary (1999) and Eye for Art: Visual Arts for Secondary One (2007).

Their similarities and differences not only reflect profound changes in the focus of art pedagogy in Singapore but also symbolic of paradigmatic shifts in the State’s emphasis and value on nurturing visual arts.

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Book of words

Books, reviews and all things worth reading

Visual Culture Blog

Writings about those moments of curiosity

an art teacher in China

Writings about those moments of curiosity

Bijay Gajmer Photography

personal page of bijay