10 September 2005

Sherman M4A1

The M4 was one of the war-winning tanks of the Second World War. The combination of armament, armour, speed, reliability and numbers were decisive.

I have sketched an early model with a cast-iron hull.

"I've given you my friendship, my friendship you betrayed
The more I get to know you, the less I want to know
I don't want to see you, I'm feeling whole again
I' m feeling whole again"
Clan of Xymox 'Hypocrites'

09 September 2005


Hurrah! It's Friday. This evening, I shall go hunt for books at Borders as usual. Maybe, I will do a sketch or two.

I did this quick sketch using on a Wacom display last night. The electronic medium is colour pencils. I am still learning to control for this medium. I need patience. The technique is quite different from paper. A lot can be accomplished.

For the second piece, I chose a coarse paper and colour pencils. There, I did a bare outline with some definition of light. Then, I used colour pencils. Fast strokes. I did achieve an effect I wanted. Colour control isn't very easy.

I will be experimenting further.

'After the capture of Singapore, Japanese forces arrested more than 70,000 overseas Chinese suspected of subversive activities. In a short period of tome, too short for their guilt to have been established, several thousand persons were slaughtered in a vengeful massacre.'
Exerpt from Saburo Ienaga's 'The Pacific War 1931-1945'
Hotel 1929

A sketch from a photo in IS magazine of Hotel 1929. I saw the hotel for the first time just a few weekends ago.

The sketch is done using pencils, Artline technical pens and Copic markers.

"The universe is a strange and wondrous place. The truth is quite odd enough to need no help from pseudoscientific charlatans. " Richard Dawkins

A heavy assault vehicle first saw action in Operation Zitadelle (Citadel) in 1943. It was largely invulnerable to Soviet tank guns at standard combat ranges and was able to take a toll of Soviet tanks. However, it had no solution to Soviet close-in tank-killing infantry teams. This drawing depicts a later vehicle armed with a co-axial 7.92mm machine gun (MG) for self-defence. The Elefant was also known as the Ferdinand.

As usual, I sketched one Saturday afternoon at NYDC at the Heeren while sipping a blended coffee.

"Acrobats and comets floating by so fast
Children's faces smile like suns at last

Lilac butterflies are cruising without fear
All inviting you to stay and rest here"

Alphavlle 'Afternoons in Utopia'

08 September 2005

My Friend's Work

My friend has given his consent and here are two of his drawings. I have respected his wish to remain anonymous.

I have always admired his work and have said so. The splendid line work, the utilisation of different methods to create textures and the disciplined use of a limited and matching set of palette lend to give these drawings a mood of mystery. The drawings of his are slightly reminiscent of Moebius' work but he has a strong individual style.

Earlier, in another blog entry, I wrote of a Moebius volume, 'Forty Days in the Desert'. The volume had escaped my notice until he told me of it.

He has numerous sketchbooks with drawings of this quality and in those books, I have not seen a mediocre piece or half-conceived mistake. It's simply overwhelming. The drawings in those sketchbooks are to be marvelled.

I have decided to post the entry due today to the next day.

07 September 2005


I was trying to create a lightness of feel here.


The 'Life' section of the local paper, the Straits Times, has an article on the Singapore Writers' Festival in which they give out 'awards' of a sort. The 'Best Put-Down' award is given to Sterling.

As I mentioned in my blog entry earlier, Bruce Sterling, his fellow panelists, Robert Sawyer and Norman Spinrad and a large proportion of the audience did not think much of Frank Herbert's 'Dune', which, today, is more of a marketing phenomena, especially with the new series which is written by his son and another author.

06 September 2005

The Majestic

The facade of the Majestic during a rainy day some years back. The arrangement of the windows and glass panes with a lack of embellishment and the bordering motifs on the edges of the building define this building for me. Is this an iconic building? Maybe it is for some. However, I have seen small and nondescript buildings that hold a greater interest for me. If I can find their images, I will post them in later blog entries.

Personal Favourites Part III

Front Line Assembly - Civilization
Front Line Assembly - Epitaph
Clan of Xymox - The Best of Clan of Xymox

I have heard and shelved quite a number of releases after I got them. These ones survived. They are delightful soundtracks for a decaying metropolis. At least, in my imagination, they are. I could just watch people going about their business. Watching the world go by...

In time to come, I will be creating a list of what I would term as robotic music along the lines of Kraftwerk. 'We are the Robots'...

Personal Favourites Part II

Faith and the Muse - The Burning Season
Faith and the Muse - Evidence of Heaven
Faith and the Muse - Vera Causa

Years ago, I used to compile little monthly lists of what I have been listening to. It was fascinating looking back at them.

These Gothic CDs were mesmerising. I was listening to them when I was sketching or reading in cafes during weekends and they became my favourites. I have had 'Evidence of Heaven' for years and was captivated by the second and third track. Somehow, I did not return to listening to them until earlier this year and that album has been a constant companion.

'Gliding from room to room all cast in celebrated gloom
With no where yet to rest our head
Waiting for a door to open from within and bring us home
Lest we possess our souls again... '
Faith and the Muse 'Scars Flown Proud'

05 September 2005

Personal Favourites 2003-2005 Part I

My favourite CDs for the last two years. They include:

The Azoic - Forward
Flesh Field - Belief Control
Flesh Field - Strain
Imperative Reaction - Redemption
Imperative Reaction - Ruined
In Strict Confidence - Holy
In Strict Confidence - Mistrust the Angels
Lost Signal - Catharsis

And a few more from Faith and the Muse, Front Line Assembly and a few others. Those listed here are mostly ebm.

In this era of organic, back to basics, live accoustic music with guitars, jazz, saxophones, world music and who knows what? Stomping electronics! Yeah! Heavily electronic. Heavily processed. Heavily synthetic.

"My concern here is with the weapon itself. To fill a world with religion, or religions of the Abrahamic kind, is like littering the streets with loaded guns. Do not be surprised if they are used." Richard Dawkins

04 September 2005

The Hidden Path

Yes, you have found it. It is the hidden path to transcendence, long used by those wise gardeners in the forgotten days of the Four Emperors.

Okay, that was so much hokum.

This is an uninspired piece done when I was having a coffee with Colin at Oscars at Conrad Hotel on late Saturday night. Evil Wilson didn't show up. Grrr... I can't blame him. Phew. It was so humid and warm throughout all afternoon.

I visited Borders on Friday night and ended up talking to a professor of comparative religions at the history section. He taught history formerly. He was apparently picking up books before heading off to China for a few months. It was an interesting discourse, exhilarating to say the least. He was teaching at an institution at Oslo for twelve years. Previously, he was in Germany. He had mentioned that he had not lived in his native Spain for twenty-six years.

He told me of his extensive travels and that he had visited China with a Spanish delegation in 1975 during the Cultural Revolution. He noted that the bookstores in China were only selling one title at that moment in time. He had been to the Altai Mountains, at least, on the Chinese side of it. The Altai Mountains, of course, is a mountain range that traverses Mongolia, Russia and China. Astounding! He had seen the chaos that is Nepal not too long ago and when I asked of the current Maoist rebellion, he described this as being a strange civil war where both sides, government and Maoist have an agreement not to touch foreigners and he was able to travel throughout a large part of Nepalese countryside when he was there. He had been to Andorra, Monaco, Luxembourg. He had seen San Marino, well, the breath of the entire nation!

We spoke a little on El Cid, then the naming of the Spanish towns, then, the different groups that have resided in Spain over time, from the Phoenicians, Romans, Carthaginians, Celts, North Africans (Muslims), Goths, Visigoths, Vandals and Basques. We spoke of the mysterious isolated Basque linguistic group and also of the Magyars whose lingustic roots are of the Finno-Ugric group.

In the course our discussion, we touched on Franco's reluctance to enter the Second World War and his deliberately impossible conditions that he presented to Hitler for joining the Axis Powers and also how he got rid of the more radical elements of the society via forming the volunteer Spanish blue division and sending them to the Eastern Front!

Topics we discussed included Mehmet the Conqueror, the writing of South East Asian history, Tacitus' 'Annals', the deliberate suppression of the media in certain societies, an accurate history of this region untouched by nationalistic sentiments, Sufism, Zoroastrian faith, the socialist systems of the Nordic and Germanic nations, the strains of life in the Scandinavian countries and the high suicide rates in some of the places, a book on medieval Chinese warfare, city states and small states like Andorra, Lichenstein, Luxembourg, San Marino, Florence and Venice, the free city of Danzig.

When I bumped into him again at Burger King later, he showed that he had an affinity for maps. He could draw the political maps of Europe over a long period of time except the Napoleonic era. He was drawing the Courland, Poland-Luthuania, Danzig and the coast. I was amazed at his ability and I think he was amazed that I could easily recognise it off the ketchup-stained napkin he was drawing on. Hahaha.

He told me that he owns 7000-8000 volumes of books and he had them stored in a warehouse. Buying books had become a consuming habit for him. Likewise, myself.

This has been one of the most interesting discussions I have had this year. The past few weeks was interesting. I have spoken to the very interesting Norman Spinrad who I learned from his website that he had been involved in the mediocre French film, 'Druids'. I wished I had a greater chance to speak to Sterling and Sawyer. One can't ask for everything, can one?


A flamethrower version of the T-34 Model 1943. The 1943 model is districtive due to its hexagonal turret.

I will be sketching more T-34s in future. I have a KV-1, KV-2, SU-100 and Tiger II lined up.

"A Muscovite Mosquito, a Muscovite Mosquito
A Muscovite Mosquito, a Muscovite Mosquito"
Clan of Xymox 'Muscovite Mosquito'