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Singapore- and Portugal-based designer Gabriel Tan on the revival of craft and how cultural exchange sparks inspiration

Beautiful interior objects have become more vital pleasures this past year. As we’re at home more often, we want our environments to inspire, soothe and delight. A recent trend towards handmade items is one part design humanism and one part high-tech fatigue. And during a pandemic, it’s all part of the slow-living zeitgeist gaining traction even in the world’s fastest cities. Currently doing the job are the hand-polished quarry bowls made from three segments of Portuguese marble, textured salt vases in cobalt blue or earthy orange, tall conical jugs or the wonderfully shaped charred clay vases...

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Museum of Ice Cream is opening in Singapore this year — here’s what we know

When the Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC) opened its first popup in New York five years ago, tickets sold out faster than you can say “I have a second stomach for desserts”. It soon garnered a waitlist of 200,000 people. The experiential museum (or “experium”) went on to sell out stints in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami. Jimmy Kimmel called it “the Hamilton of Museums” and the Smithsonian listed the playground as one of its top 10 most Instagrammable museums in the world. David Beckham, Stephen Curry, Ryan Reynolds, Katy Perry, Beyoncé and the Kardashians have all spent time frolicking in...

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At Cuturi Gallery, Singapore’s emerging artists share the spotlight

It’s a feat worthy of applause when a relatively unknown artist manages to cut through the noise and emerge with an exhibition of their own work. At Cuturi Gallery, then, a standing ovation is in order. That’s because the independent gallery, newly relocated on Aliwal Street, is now hosting the solo exhibitions of not one but four homegrown artists. Even more remarkable is the fact that the line-up is a diverse one: there’s Vanessa Liem, a 19-year-old painter who graduated from the School of the Arts, Singapore just last year; Faris Heizer and Mujahid Jalil, both equally young Fine Arts alumni...

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Classic travel books to satisfy your wanderlust

“Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and dreams. They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner,” once wrote celebrated author Neil Gaiman in M is for Magic, his collection of poems and tales. Indeed, stories — and books in general — can help us explore the world from the comfort of our homes. Through vivid descriptions of faraway lands and diverse cultures, books transport us to places we’ve never been to, and might even help us relive fond travel memories from past trips. A fantastically written book about...

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Churchill’s Marrakesh painting, owned by Angelina Jolie, sells for £7 million at Christie’s London

A painting of Marrakesh by Britain’s famed wartime prime minister Winston Churchill, owned by Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, smashed expectations to sell for £7 million at auction in London. Churchill, a keen artist, took inspiration from the Moroccan city and painted “The Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque” oil work during a World War II visit in 1943. He gave the finished article to fellow wartime leader, US president Franklin Roosevelt. Auction house Christie’s called the Marrakesh painting “Churchill’s most important work“. “Aside from its distinguished provenance, it is the only landscape he...

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A rare portrait by Picasso up for auction at Bonhams

A painting by Picasso kept in the same private collection for more than three centuries, “Femme au Béret Mauve,” will be offered for auction in May during Bonhams‘ “Impressionist and Modern Art” sale. This portrait is one of the many paintings by the Spanish painter depicting one of his most famous muses, Marie-Thérèse Walter. “Femme au Béret Mauve” was painted during the first months of 1937, when the Spanish War was in full swing. At that time, Pablo Picasso‘s personal life was torn between two women: Marie-Thérèse Walter, his mistress of the previous ten years and mother of his daughter...

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Want to get back to reading books? Here are a few tips

If you want to pick up the habit of reading books, there are a few tips that will help you integrate this activity into your lifestyle. For instance, choose a book that interests you and set up dedicated reading times throughout the day. Taking the time to savour the written word is not always easy. Especially after a long day at work. Here are a few simple tips for making sure you open and devour that book you just bought. Changing one’s habits In order to succeed at reading more, there really is no secret. You must make reading a priority in your daily life. This activity must find its place...

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A Wong Kar-Wai retrospective: Asian Film Archive is screening debut features by the acclaimed Hong Kong filmmaker

There are few filmmakers who have the privilege of being synonymous with cities: Martin Scorsese with New York; Jean-Luc Godard with Paris; and Wong Kar-Wai with Hong Kong. In Wong’s films, the former British colony is a character in its own right. We see its bustling streets illuminated with dizzying vibrance by neon signs, or else blurred into painterly strokes at the deliberately unsteady hands of cinematographer Christopher Doyle. We are led into the shadows of gangsters’ lairs, or made to linger in the tense silence of hotel rooms. Hong Kong also serves as the backdrop for the stylish...

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Rana Gorgani, France’s female dervish, takes Sufi whirling online

One of the world’s few female whirling dervishes, Rana Gorgani has opened up Sufism to a wider audience, and is now making surprising spiritual connections over Zoom thanks to the pandemic. French-Iranian Gorgani, 37, used to think of whirling — a sort of “moving meditation” through which Sufis seek to commune with the divine — as something that should remain behind closed doors. Despite growing up in France, she was initiated into the practice while visiting Iran, a place where Sufis often face persecution by the authorities and dancing in general is frowned upon. She had never intended to...

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