see? look, nothing for two years, then two in as many minutes. i might have to lie down.

when i look at this drawing this way, i see a ladder with some rocks next to it.

when i look at this drawing this way, i see a ladder with some rocks next to it.

when i look at this drawing like this, i see some nice pillows falling through a window in heaven

when i look at this drawing like this, i see some nice pillows falling through a window in heaven


catching up

it seems silly to think in terms of catching up after nearly two years without a post, and i’m not going really going to talk about all that’s happened since september of 2011. at least not all at once. and probably it’s not very interesting. however, i have nearly finished my MA (just one more paper that i hope will write itself while I work on bringing this blog up-to-date), and, rather than make new year’s resolutions, i’m going to make post-MA resolutions. One of them, the only one, so far, is to be more active and regular with this blog. how regular? if i commit, then it will be disappointing for everybody if i don’t keep to whatever i say. so, how about if i start with, ‘more frequently than about five times and then nothing for two years’. so, ok. enough of that. more soon. love, matt

days 5, 6 and 7

since monday (it’s now thursday morning), we’ve settled into a working groove (the exhibition opens friday night, after all), stopping only to eat amazing food (which will be discussed in the next post), so this set of photos is made up of shots of me at work, and a few of my colleagues as well. the shots in the print room were taken by my capable co-worker karen, unless she’s in the photo, in which case it was taken by me. also, it should be noted that karen pulled the best print of the day, the one that’s going into the exhibition.


lina and i contemplating the screen set up



lina and karen contemplating the screen set up



pulling the background colour



first colour on the drying rack



washing out the screen for the second colour – this was take one – the emulsion didn’t set properly in one spot, so we had to scrap this and do it again



emulsion going down the drain. karen took this photo, and is clearly an artist who thinks like i do, because this is exactly the sort of picture i would have taken



we had to test the colours together, so why not use a picture of salleh?



pulling the second colour



karen preparing to put me to shame by making the best print of the day



and that’s that. edition finished, screen washed, on to the next project…



getting started



sketches of gem biscuits


artmaking3loosening up



it’s a gem biscuit game!



artmaking6woo, perspective



a stand for displaying the screen prints, which are actually kacang putih wrappers



a lot of kacang putih wrappers


and that brings me more or less up to date. it’s thursday, and it’s going very well. we’re having a paper cone making session this morning, i’ve got to put the finishing touches on the big drawings, and then in the evening, my singapore souvenir – which i’ll show you tomorrow.


day four – part two

ok, it’s the morning of day eight, i’m three days behind, and there are only three days left. you’ll just have to bear with me as i bombard the blog with photos in an attempt to catch up with myself. this first set is a few more from our trip to the island on sunday.

big sky

big sky in singapore – view from the boardwalk across the chek jawa tidal flats.

hey mister tally man


big food

lunch at the season seafood restaurant at the water’s edge. halfway through the meal, there was a massive rain storm, which added considerably to the ambience.

big storm

see? it was big rain. but we were safe and dry under the big marquee.

eternal flame

last stop before getting back on the ferry was a temple. i missed the explanation about the nature of the temple because i was taking pictures of the temple, and recording audio of the crickets around the temple that were making the most incredible sounds.


a lot of incense.

banana leaves

i made several, if not dozens, of photos of these leaves – i will not make you look at all of them. after the temple, we returned our bicycles and rode the ferry back to singapore, and then the bus back to the hostel, whereupon i crashed. it was a good day.

singapore day four – field trip to pulau island

sunday in singapore. i woke up after my first really fitful night, having been dreaming about being bitten (well, burrowed into, actually), by a big insect. today was our field trip to pulau ubin, a little island between singapore and malaysia that is one of the last remaining vestiges of old, traditional singapore life – also home of giant, vicious mosquitos that might give you dengue fever. great. so i anointed with 48 sunblock and lots of varieties of mosquito death spray and hoped for the best. it was a lovely day, hopefully these photos will attest to that, and, as far as i know, no mosquitos made it through my blockade.


boat tops

not beet tops, boat tops


pulau ubin ferries

each ferry holds twelve people, so we were on two boats. ferry races!


liu di on the boat

liu di astern, me standing on the side of the boat, thinking about how far i can swim.


the girls

gladys and robin, two tropical lab volunteers who have volunteered, quite happily, to give me a hard time almost every day


the other boat

we one the ferry race



after we walk and ride bicycles around the island, this is where we’ll eat lunch


bicycle races

this is ‘town’, where you eat, drink and rent bicycles


please be careful

please observe the sign


thai coconut

i’m a fan of thai coconut


james on firejames and the big oven


pretty lady

pretty lady painting at the crab shack


bicycle races

the bicycle races are coming today…


that’s the first lot, and i’m going to stop, because it’s time to go to sleep, and tomorrow’s another long day. so, stay tuned for day four, part two, and thanks for watching.

singapore day two – second instalment

the first instalment of day two can be found on my facebook page. this set mostly features buildings, though i have begun, tentatively, to photograph human subjects. or at least include them in the compositions. and in keeping with the theme of the workshop, there’s some food too.


fancy centre

not just any fancy centre…the new fancy centre



sign painting in little india


little india

little india. what this photo can’t describe are the smells, which, even at nine in the morning, were heavenly



lasalle college of the arts – this is our HQ during the workshop. many more photos of it to come. the architects won an award for it, deservedly


little india second storey

back-stepping slightly, this is still little india – across a big main road from the art college.


lasalle close

looking out of the library, which is on the fourth floor. there are six wings, connected by bridges and flyovers, all designed to look like a big stone that has broken into pieces. i think.


reflecty bits

reflect-y bits


more lasalle close

the roof, the outer shell part of the roof, is all swoop-y canvas, like a circus big-top



one of my classmates approaching the sofas in our gallery/workspace


christine jumping

and then jumping on them


a pool up there

there’s a pool up there, on the roof. this building is near our hostel. i sorta wish it was our hostel



this is an example of kueh, which is means ‘sweet cake’. custard-y on top, glutinous riceshot through with victoria bluebell flower petals below. i managed to restrict myself to two. i wanted seventeen


stay tuned for day three, as well as a few nighttime shots from day one. the adventure continues…

first day in singapore

right, i made it to singapore without incident. in fact, the flight was so comfortable, all twelve hours of it, that i might only ever fly to places i can get to on singapore airlines from now on. also, the plane was an airbus 380-800, the biggest passenger jet in the world, for you airplane trivia buffs. um, what follows is a set of the photos from my first day. the theme of the workshop i’m taking part in is food, or rather masak-masak, which is a malay term for ‘make-believe cooking and child’s play’, so most of these photos, you’ll notice, are of food or one sort or another. i may take some photos of something else while i’m here, but then, i may not. ok, on with the show.

luna over 142 devonport road

this isn’t singapore, this is plymouth, the morning i left to start this new adventure.

view out the back of ICL

this too is not singapore. this is the view out of my hotel room in london.

of all the things i could photograph on my first trip ever to an asian city, it had to be a load of numbers painted on the road.

cap'n crunch sir

two of the student volunteers, robin and gladys, took me to carrefour, which is the most western of the supermarkets in the city. among other things, i found, but did not  purchase, peanut butter crunch. aye cap’n.


…bacon spam, hot & spicy spam, black pepper spam, spam lite, reduced sodium spam…and plain old spam spam…

kaya toast

my first proper singaporean eating experience: kaya toast and teh C. kaya is a delicious coconut jam, and teh C is hot tea with evaporated milk and sugar. had this at a place called toast box, which is a cafe devoted to toast.

hotel view

remember the view from my room in london? this is the view from my room in singapore.

chicken rice

my lunch: chicken rice. pretty much what it says on the tin – roast chicken, sticky rice, nice greens and a hard-boiled egg. and soup. and a killer chili sauce. and very cheap – approx. £2.50

lasalle building

the exterior of Lasalle College of the Arts, the institution that’s putting on Tropical Lab. reminds me of the Roland Levinsky Building, which houses the art department at Plymouth. different architects, though.

lasalle undergrad gallery

one of the five, yes five gallery spaces that Lasalle has on its campus.


and finally, the top of a crane reflected in one of the lasalle windows. ok, that’s it for day one. well, there might be a few more as i have been out to have dinner yet, but it will be getting dark soon, so that’s probably it until tomorrow.