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Posts Tagged ‘singapore’

Photo: Singapore Philatelic Museum
When a new museum opens in 2022 in the philatelic space, children will be able to explore Singapore’s heritage and culture through play.

I’ve been following artist Diana Beltran Herrera on Instagram since I first blogged about her, here.

Recently her Instagram account led me to news about a children’s museum under development in Singapore. She wrote, “The Singapore commission I have been working over the past months is completed. This will be my first solo show in Singapore, to open early 2022, and it is the first exhibition of the new Children’s museum. …

“It is very important for me to educate through my work, make information accessible for all of us, and offer a new way to interact with nature. … Art is a very powerful medium of communication that can be used to discuss important subjects about our beautiful world.”

Art: Diana Beltran Herrera
The artist-naturalist’s paper creations may be seen on stamps in Singapore.

At Singapore’s ‘zine Mothership in March, Melanie Lim reported on an opening planned for 2021, but coronavirus seems to have moved the target.

“The Singapore Philatelic Museum (SPM), which is currently closed for redevelopment, will re-open as a dedicated children’s museum, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) Grace Fu announced,” she wrote. “Speaking at MCCY’s Committee of Supply debate on Mar. 6, Fu elaborated that children will be able to ‘learn about a wide range of themes, including the heritage and culture of Singapore and the region, by playing with interactive and immersive exhibits.’

“According to the National Heritage Board (NHB), the new children’s museum will serve as a ‘starter museum’ to introduce young visitors and their families to the museum-going experience, and offer children’s programming all year round.

“Targeted at children aged 12 and below, it will also present them with the opportunity to learn about themselves, their nation and their place in the world. … For instance, there will be a permanent exhibition on ‘Singapore, Our Home,’ where children can learn how early pioneers lived and worked, and role-play as hawkers, coolies and merchants, Fu revealed.

“Meanwhile, SPM’s philatelic collection will continue to be used alongside other artifacts to support children’s learning in the new museum.

“Stamps make excellent educational resources for children who find them attractive and accessible, NHB added, and they will be part of the museum’s refreshed permanent galleries and special exhibitions.

“SPM will also complement National Gallery Singapore’s Keppel Centre for Art Education and Singapore Science Centre’s KidsSTOP, among others to create a more diverse and vibrant museum scene in Singapore.”

I admit to knowing little about Singapore other than that a childhood friend of Suzanne’s lives there now and that the people hang messages on outdoor trees at Christmas. I’m glad to be a little more au courant now.

More at Mothership, here.

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Photo: Thomson Reuters Foundation/Rina Chandran
A small farm on top of a mall grows herbs and leafy greens in a high-tech urban farming model that could improve Singapore’s food security.

As agricultural land becomes more scarce around the world, we can all learn from the way tiny Singapore is using rooftop gardens to help feed the population.

Rina Chandran at Reuters writes, “Visitors to Singapore’s Orchard Road, the city’s main shopping belt, will find fancy malls, trendy department stores, abundant food courts — and a small farm. Comcrop’s [6,450-square-foot] farm on the roof of one of the malls uses vertical racks and hydroponics to grow leafy greens and herbs such as basil and peppermint that it sells to nearby bars, restaurants and stores. …

“Comcrop’s Allan Lim, who set up the rooftop farm five years ago, recently opened a 4,000-square-metre farm with a greenhouse on the edge of the city. He believes high-tech urban farms are the way ahead for the city, where more land cannot be cultivated. …

“Singapore last year topped the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Food Security Index of 113 countries for the first time, scoring high on measures such as affordability, availability and safety.

“Yet, as the country imports more than 90 percent of its food, its food security is susceptible to climate-change and natural resource risks, the EIU noted.
With some 5.6 million people in an area three-fifths the size of New York City — and with the population estimated to grow to 6.9 million by 2030 — land is at a premium in Singapore.

“The country has long reclaimed land from the sea, and plans to move more of its transport, utilities and storage underground to free up space for housing, offices and greenery. …

“Urban agriculture currently produces as much as 180 million metric tonnes of food a year — up to 10 percent of the global output of pulses and vegetables, the study noted. Additional benefits, such as reduction of the urban heat-island effect, avoided stormwater runoff, nitrogen fixation and energy savings could be worth $160 billion annually, it said. Countries including China, India, Brazil and Indonesia could benefit significantly from urban agriculture, it said.

” ‘Urban agriculture should not be expected to eliminate food insecurity, but that should not be the only metric,’ said study co-author Matei Georgescu, a professor of urban planning at Arizona State University.

” ‘It can build social cohesion among residents, improve economic prospects for growers, and have nutritional benefits. In addition, greening cities can help to transition away from traditional concrete jungles,’ he said. …

“At the rooftop farm on Orchard Road, Lim looks on as brisk, elderly Singaporeans — whom he has hired to get around the worker shortage — harvest, sort and pack the day’s output.

” ‘It’s not a competition between urban farms and landed farms; it’s a question of relevance,’ he said. ‘You have to ask: what works best in a city like Singapore.’ ”

The article was reprinted by the World Economic Forum and can be found here. One weird thing about this story: There are still small farms in the countryside, but they are not as efficient as the rooftop gardens and will be cleared — to give the land back to the military. Now, that is truly bizarre.

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Here’s an interesting start-up by a couple of entrepreneurs who love to eat. The two women decided to build a business around helping travelers find truly authentic cooking.

According to Aashi Vel and Steph Lawrence’s website, “Traveling Spoon believes in creating meaningful travel. We are passionate about food, and believe that by connecting people with authentic food experiences in people’s homes around the world we can help facilitate meaningful travel experiences for travelers and hosts worldwide.

“To help you experience local cuisine while traveling, Traveling Spoon offers in-home meals with our hosts. In addition, we also offer in-home cooking classes as well as market tours as an extra add-on to many of the meal experiences. All of our hosts have been vetted to ensure a safe and delightful culinary experience.

“Traveling Spoon currently offers home dining experiences in over 35 cities throughout Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam, and more countries are coming soon!” More here.

I have no doubt that Traveling Spoon is also boosting international understanding. What a good way to use an MBA! Business school is not all about becoming an investment banker, as Suzanne and Erik would tell you.

Photo: Traveling Spoon
Traveling Spoon founders Aashi Vel and Steph Lawrence met at the Haas School of Business.

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Last year around Christmas my husband visited Southeast Asia on business and came back with descriptions of Christmas trees decorated from head to toe with written words on strips of paper.

That got me thinking about a new stealth project, one I hinted at here.

I printed out the quotes below and covered the paper with sticky plastic. I will put one set of quotation strips on our Christmas tree, but the first strips are now posted here and there around town. We’ll see what happens to them.

Feel free to use the lines here for a stealth project of your own, with or without sticky plastic. Or send some other quotes that I can use. If you are really ambitious, you might put strips of poems at the bottom of a poster headed something like “Help Yourself to Poetry” so people will be encouraged to take one.

“The roses had the look of flowers that are looked at.” T.S. Eliot

“The endlessly changing qualities of natural light, in which a room is a different room every second of the day.” Louis Kahn

“God inhabits the praise of his people.”

“Flowers have their agendas.” Mark Jarman

“I’d like to have a hand in things, what’s going on behind the screen.”  Kate Colby

“I don’t know where I’m going but I’m on the way.” Carl Sandburg

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