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May 23, 2010

The Legend of Tian Du Yuan Shuai 田都元帅

Perhaps, the one Deity who comes to mind when we talk about Chinese Marionette Theatre, it must be Tian Du Yuan Shuai 田都元帅. There are many different threads and tales about Tian Du Yuan Shuai and his involvement with the Chinese Opera and Marionette.

Professor Kenneth Dean did a detailed study on the Chinese temples in the Putian Plains, Fujian, China, and with them, the Chinese Marionette Theatre. Below is a teaser to his full length DVD that tells a little about Tian Du Yuan Shuai.

Bored in Heaven teaser from Image Fatale on Vimeo.

May 18, 2010

Mosquito bites leg? You are wrong..

Sorry folks, I know I have not been updating..but had a good chat with Singapore's very own historian painter Marcus Lim and he corrected my (and a lot of people) misconception of the term "Mang Ga Ka"(referring to the Balestier area, including Bendemeer area).

That's what Marcus said: 
The name actually means "under the jackfruit tree". The Balestier area used to be home to Whampoa (Mr. Hoo Ah Kay) who owns Nam Seng Garden (南生花园) and it is in that villa where many fruit trees, especially jackfruit trees, were grown.

In the old days, the locals who are mostly illiterate would use physical landmarks as place names, thus this place (referring to Balestier/Bendemeer area) is named after that.
As explained by Marcus, "Mang ga" refers to jackfruit, so "Mang Ga ka" means "under the jackfruit tree" ("ka" means leg, so it has the connotation of below the jackfruit tree). This cleared my misconception of the term after so many years...argh..stop thinking Bendemeer/Balestier area is a place where people get bitten by mosquitoes ok..

Picture by Marcus of where the location of Whampoa Gardens is, later on identified as Bendemeer House: