Saturday, 26 July 2014

July Sketchwalk: The Singapore Sports Hub - The National Stadium.

The National Stadium at the Singapore Sports Hub, Kallang, Singapore.
Daniel Smith Watercolor on St Cuthberts Mill Waterford 300gsm Rough White
Our sketchwalk takes us to the National Stadium at the SingaporeSports Hub in Kallang. It’s an opportunity to visit the interior of a space that I otherwise would not have seen: let’s face it, sports and sporting events and I don’t quite mix.

At the hub, the concierge/liaison who brought us in briefed us on several protocols before we stepped on the hallowed grounds of the sporting arena. At the briefing, we were given strict orders on locations we can or cannot go, doors should or should not open. We are finally setting foot on grounds tread on by sporting gods that levitate across the field, pitch and tracks. So obviously, for security reasons probably, we were informed that we would be unable to leave the arena without an escort; and once we leave, we can no longer return to the interior again.

There was a rather amusing amusing exchange: when asked what if “we wanted to leave the stadium earlier, say in 10 or 15 minutes’ time”. The respond was, “Why would anyone want to leave in “10 or 15 minutes’ time”?”

To the liaison, the concept that anyone would want to leave such a heavenly place as the National Stadium, that anyone should wish to sketch the exterior and the surroundings seemed inconceivable. It has certainly been a long time since an employed personnel has demonstrated such infinite faith and confidence in their organisation of employment. How terribly refreshing!

In all fairness, the National Stadium is an impressive structure. Located in Kallang, Singapore, the National Stadium is a multi-purpose arena featuring a dome and retractable roof. As the only stadium in the world currently with a mechanised and automated retractable seating configurations on the lowest tier, the arena can host football, rugby, cricket, athletics, concerts, cultural and other entertainment purposes at any time. It takes approximately 48 hours to reconfigure seating arrangements to suit an upcoming event. The stadium has a maximum seating capacity of 55,000 for football and rugby, 52,000 for cricket and 50,000 spectators for athletics events.

The arena is located at the site of the former Singapore National Stadium , which was closed in 2007 and demolished in 2010. The stadium is a part of the new multi-purpose Singapore Sports Hub complex which comprises of the OCBC Aquatic Centre, the multi-purpose OCBC Arena, the Singapore Sports Museum, the Sports Hub library, the Kallang Wave shopping mall and the current Singapore Indoor Stadium, as well as a Water Sports Centre at the adjacent Kallang Basin. The Singapore national football team makes a return home to the National Stadium for the first time since the demolition of the old stadium in 2010, after spending 4 years at the Jalan Besar Stadium and will play future international matches there and hosting National Day Parade in 2016.

Dome and Retractable Roof
The National Stadium currently holds the record of the largest dome structure in the world. The retractable roof itself will take an approximate 25 minutes to open or close. The roof is made out of a lightweight material called ETFE, which is weather-resistant and blocks the sun's heat giving shade and protecting spectators from the hot and humid Singapore weather during the day and potential torrential rain at any point of time. At night, the retractable roof doubles as a giant projector screen on both sides, which can display images such as the Singapore Flag during the National Day Parade.

Spectator Seating
The stadium has configurable spectator tiers depending on the event being hosted, namely "Football/Rugby mode", "Cricket mode" and "Athletics mode". To configure from athletics mode to football/rugby mode, the lowest spectator tier can be moved 12.5m forward, hiding the athletics running track underneath the seats and bringing spectators close to the pitch to provide optimum spectator viewing distances. An energy efficient cooling system is also designed to deliver cooled air to every seat in the stadium while using less than 15 per cent of energy as compared to a conventional air-conditioned stadium, providing every spectator a cool and comfortable time to enjoy an event.

Stadium Pitch
Desso GrassMaster will be installed as its grass pitch, a natural grass pitch with artificial fibres injected in between roots, to ensure a smoother playing surface.

UPDATE: 28 July 2014

Exterior of the National Stadium at the Singapore Sports Hub, Kallang, Singapore.
Daniel Smith Watercolor on Moleskine A3 Aquarelle
After completing some paper work over the weekend, I headed back to the stadium to sketch an exterior of the place. The incredible space-frame structure is a sight to behold from the outside: like a spaceship has landed on the island...

The heat is unbearable on the overexposed plot of land. The trees have yet to mature into their shade-providing form. I seek refuge along the covered walkway and did this piece.

Monday, 21 July 2014

July Sketchwalk: The Singapore Sports Hub.

Sketch by Parka
This month's sketchwalk will be held at the newly opened Singapore Sports Hub. At 9AM, please meet outside exit A (see map below) of Stadium MRT station (circle line). We will have a quick briefing and then you are free to spread out with your friends or on your own to explore and sketch this new sports facility which also houses the new National Stadium with a retractable ceiling. There should be lots to see indoors and outdoors so pace yourself. At 12PM sharp, please be back at the meeting point at Exit A for a small gathering where we see everyone's work and take pictures. The leader for this month's sketchwalk is James Tan. So call him at 98787140 if you get lost. But please call only if absolutely necessary because he will be busy sketching too.

After lunch (which you could have at the Kallang Wave Mall at the Sports Hub), Marvin Chew is inviting a maximum of 20 people to visit his studio nearby. He will be setting up a facebook post for that and the first 20 people who sign up will be able to visit his studio. Look for him immediately after "show and tell". Marvin's number is 81132851. Contact him if you can't find his group after lunch.

Lucky draw

Join the lucky draw by clicking the picture below sponsored by

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Muthu's Curry at Racecourse Road, Little India, Serangoon.

Muthu's Curry at Racecourse Road, Little India, Serangoon.
Daniel Smith Watercolor on Moleskine A3 Aquarelle
I love Indian food. My colleague who knows about my love for all things spicy brought me to Muthu's Curry for their famous curry fish head (a truly local dish). I had the eyes and the cheeks of the fish, of course. They are the best parts of the fish: tender, soft, moist and always delicious. The table was also filled with an assortment of dahls, paneers and a special order of naan. The naan was a delicious overkill on top of the basmati rice. It was altogether hand-to-mouthfuls of heavenly deliciousness!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

The Perfect Sketchbook for Travel Artists & Art Enthusiasts (A Kickstarter Project)

I love to draw… and sketch and paint and colour and… well, if you’re here on this blog, you get the idea and you probably enjoy the activity too.

I am a long time fan of Moleskine sketchbooks and their ability to open completely into a flat book, especially their aquarelle range. The fact that they travel well, that’s an awesome bonus. I am also quite a fan of Cuthbert Mill’s high quality Waterford paper for the pure cotton watercolour papers that seem to resist warping of any sort regardless of the amount of soup the painter throws at it.

I’ve often wondered would it not be perfect if somehow, the two were to collaborate and marry their qualities together: a sketchbook with pages that open up flat and able to withstand any amount of work, glazing, charging, washing on its surface. That, and then some, because I’m demanding and a perfectionist. It would appear that I am not the only dreamer.

Enter the “The Perfect Sketchbook for Travel Artists & Art Enthusiasts”: a passion and commercially possible and viable project started by Singapore's local artist and Urban Sketcher enthusiast, Erwin Lian Cherngzhi.

The perfect sketchbook is one that is “hardbound, compact, binds well, opens flat, and filled with 100% [premium] cotton paper” which is what sketchers dream of, AND with a plus: you will find at the front and back page, a “value chart and "18% photography grey". That bonus completes the ‘and then some’ portion of any perfectionist’s dream.

As a short summary, here are some of the sketchbook’s features:

• Hardcover with smooth leather-like surface
• Elastic band to keep the pages together
• Rounded corners
• 60 pages of 100% cotton acid-free Coldpress archival watercolour paper
• 190 GSM
• Paper is made from England's St Cuthberts Mill (makers of Waterford and Bockingford)
• Paper colour is off-white, light cream
• Ribbon bookmark
• 18% Photography grey front sheet
• Value chart included
• Inner pocket on the backcover
• Durable binding
• 3.5 by 5.5 inch (9 by 14cm) landscape

In other words, it’s a Moleskine on steroids… and better.

Already convinced? Back the project here.

Check out more details and pictures here.

Don't miss this chance to be a part of an awesome passion project and own a piece of artistic perfection.

Campaign ends 21 Aug 2014

Pics and video below.