Showing posts with label Singapore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Singapore. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Diva's Interview with Tomotaka Takahashi, Inventor of Robi the Interactive DIY Robot


Mention the word "robot", and most geeks would immediately think of the Terminator, or Robocop, the heroic Iron Giant, Wall-E, or R2-D2 from the "Star Wars" movies.

In real life on the commercial level, other than your Roomba, there is 34-cm tall Robi - a cute, portable robot that dances, speaks (yes, there's a Singlish option!) and walks. The robot comes in parts via subscription to the Robi Weekly Magazine, so there is also the satisfaction of building your very own Robi.

The humanoid boy robot is designed by Associate Professor Tomotaka Takahashi, CEO and founder of Robo Garage. Takahashi has invented several robots other than Robi. One of these is the tiny but sturdy Evolta, powered by Panasonic batteries. Back in 2011, Evolta completed the Iron Man Triathlon in Hawaii!

The roboticist is one of the special guests at the Japan Park Singapore event held on 4 and 5 August 2018 at Suntec Convention Centre, and Red Dot Diva manage to snag a short interview with him.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

ArtScience Museum's Marvel Studios: 10 Years of Heroes Exhibition Needs More Punch


The Marvel Studios: Ten Years of Heroes exhibition, which celebrates the 19 Marvel superhero movies in the last 10 years, opened to the public at ArtScience Museum on 9 June 2018. From now till 30 September, fans will be able to relive their favourite Marvel superhero movie moments at the show.

The project is part of a three-year collaboration between Singapore Tourism Board and The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia. For the exhibition, Taiwan-based toy company Beast Kingdom worked with Walt Disney for the concept and displays.



Within the exhibit hall, there are 10 different galleries featuring places from the movies - for example, Stark Industries, Aasgard, and Wakanda. Each of these areas have life-sized statues, static displays, or interactive areas for fans to get their superhero fix.

Red Dot Diva was at the special preview for bloggers to take in the signs and sounds of the exhibition, and here are some of the things you can expect.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Singapore Repertory Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park: Julius Caesar - A Fascinating, Modern Take on an Old Tale


The weather was sticky and muggy last Sunday evening, but Red Dot Diva felt happy to be back in Fort Canning Park for an evening of theatre accompanied by a enjoyable picnic on the lawn. She was there to indulge in one of the biggest Shakespeare in the Park productions in the region - Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT)'s adaptation of Julius Caesar. The production also part of SRT's 25th Anniversary celebrations.

In 2017, SRT called off the beloved annual Shakespeare in the Park due to funding issues, as they saw large sponsors depart and production costs rise. However, with backing from loyal corporate sponsors as well as support and crowdfunding from an ardent group of theatre lovers, the outdoor production is back in its usual venue, with a huge impressive set!

Right after entering Fort Canning's Gothic Gates, attendees were invited to climb up the stairs from backstage and to walk around the modern, "concrete-and-glass" looking Roman Piazza set. A semi-circular structure held an audio-visual display, and flags of the seven "nations" of the R.O.M.E. alliance marked the stage where the Shakespearean tragedy will later unfold. Standing up on stage with ushers who were dressed the part as government officials, Red Dot Diva felt as if she has already become part of the story.




Sunday, April 29, 2018

Diva's Interview with May the 4th Festival 2018 Guests - Albin Johnson and R2-KT


Two wonderful special guests will be celebrating Star Wars Day aka May the 4th Celebrations 2018 with the local Star Wars community in Red Dot Island next weekend. They are Albin Johnson, the founder of the international costuming group the 501st legion, and R2-KT, a compassionate yet spunky pink astromech droid who is also known as the pink beacon of hope.

Both Albin and R2-KT have made appearances in countless events through the years, especially focusing on bringing hope to seriously and terminally ill children at hospitals around the U.S.A. This time, the duo will be entering into hyperspace to visit the Red Dot Island, with a mission to bring more joy and hope to the fans and children here.

In fact, R2-KT has arrived a week early and is already on the island. She got her new power cells, oil baths, fancy polishes... basically, getting all prettied and prepped up for Star Wars Day.

Here she is, chillin' out before she charms everyone's feet off.

R2-KT holidaying in Red Dot Island (pic by Hansen Khoo)
Before it gets too wild at the May the 4th Festival next weekend, Red Dot Diva caught hold of both of them (via an efficient protocol droid through a secured channel, of course!) for a quick interview.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

SRT's Shakespeare in the Park : Julius Caesar - Diva's Interview with Director, Guy Unsworth


Freelance director Guy Unsworth is currently back here working on another Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) production - the upcoming performance of Shakespeare in the Park : Julius Caesar.

Last year, he directed the dark comedy SRTs "Hand of God", which scored positive reviews from critics and audiences. His recent works include an acclaimed UK tour of John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" and his own adaptation of "Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em".

Even though he is busy getting the play ready for the 2 May launch date, Red Dot Diva managed to grab a few minutes of his time for an interview:

Red Dot Diva: How did you get involved with SRT's Shakespeare in the Park: Julius Caesar? 
Guy Unsworth: I was introduced to Gaurav Kripalani and Juliet Chia back in 2016 and since then we’ve been talking about the exciting potential of Julius Caesar. I came to Singapore last year to stage Hand to God, and since then have been working solidly on this production.

RDD: What is it like adapting the play for Singapore audiences?
Guy: It’s a fun challenge. I was very keen to find a contemporary equivalent that would work in the international community of Singapore. There’s a lot of talk about Rome and Romans in the play, but specifically the honour, history and responsibility that that identity carries. The big question for me to answer therefore was ‘What is the equivalent of Rome today?’. More than just a literal place, 'Rome' is an identity, it’s a community, and a title which binds these people together. It then struck me that intergovernmental organisations like NATO, the UN, G7, G20 etc. carry stakes on a much more global scale. They require their members to work as a team, but inevitably alliances form and factions are made. And where better to have lots of different nationalities coming together than Singapore? So it seemed a perfect fit to set this at a R.O.M.E. summit.

I was also excited by the age range of the Singapore audiences and I want the show to reach out to younger audience members. When I was a teenager I found Shakespeare very difficult to get my head into, so whenever I direct it, I'm very keen to bear my younger self in mind. It's going to be pretty fast and furious, and there are lots of theatrical surprises along the way. I want to make something which my teenage self would have enjoyed.

Monday, April 23, 2018

SRT's Shakespeare in the Park : Julius Caesar - Diva's Interview with Actor, Julie Wee

In Shakespeare's historical and political thriller "Julius Caesar", one could argue that the senator Caius Cassius is more of a baddie than the titular character. After all, the politician was the main instigator of the plot to kill Caesar.

Starting 2 May 2018 at Fort Canning Park, Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) will be presenting Shakespeare in the Park -"Julius Caesar", set in modern times. Two key characters in the play has been cast as females. Well-known actress Jo Kukathas takes up the lead role of Caesar, while Julie Wee - a familiar face for local viewers, having been on Mediacorp 5 TV series like "Moulmein High" and "Light Years" - will be playing the manipulative and politically savvy Cassius.

Julie is no stranger to SRT's Shakespeare in the Park productions either. She has acted as Portia in "The Merchant of Venice", Miranda in "The Tempest", Hero in "Much Ado About Nothing" and Bianca in "Othello". "Julius Caesar" will be her 5th Shakespeare in the Park role!

To get some dibs about Julie's role in "Julius Caesar", Red Dot Diva got in touch with her for a mini interview.

Red Dot Diva: Hi, Julie! It’s just a couple of weeks away from the first day of SRT’s Shakespeare in the Park: Julius Caesar. How excited are you to be finally on stage with a live audience? 
Julie Wee: Very excited! The audience is the missing character in rehearsals, so it's always such a relief to finally have them with us to share the story.

Monday, April 16, 2018

ArtScience Museum's "Marvel Studios: Ten Years of Heroes" Exhibition Begins 9 June 2018


"Avengers: Infinity War" is set to have an epic showdown of Thanos versus almost everyone's favourite Marvel superheros. The film, plugged as the biggest movie event of the year, premieres in Red Dot Island on 26 April 2018. It is going to be longest Marvel movie, with a runtime of 2 hours 36 minutes. So, do plan your toilet breaks accordingly!

After watching the "Avengers: Infinity War" movie, Marvel fans can indulge with even more superheroes fun at a special interactive exhibition called "Marvel Studios: Ten Years of Heroes", which will be held at ArtSci Museum. Curating from Marvel's decade of movies (which consists of 19 films in total), the exhibition will present the superheroes, like Iron-Man, Thor, the Hulk, Black Widow, Starlord and more, via cutting-edge AV and media technology.

Fans will be transported into these Marvel cinematic worlds, with interactive exhibits that include segments from the recent international hit "Black Panther", "Thor: Ragnorak", "Avengers: Infinity War" and the upcoming "Ant_man & the Wasp".

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Drowning In Kawaii-ness at the Tokidoki x Kumoya Cafe


Kumoya Cafe has collaborated with lifestyle brand Tokidoki for a pop-up cafe. The entire set up is filled with wildly colourful Tokidoki characters, making it an Instagrammer's dream come true!

This is the world's first Tokidoki cafe, and it is open till the end of June 2018.


LAUNCH OF CAFE ON 29 MARCH

Red Dot Diva went to the official launch two weeks ago. Simone Legno, co-founder of Tokidoki, was back in Red Dot Island for the opening as well as meet and greet for 30 fans at a first-come, first-served basis.


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When she arrived, there was already a long line of hardcore Tokidoki fans waiting to meet Simone. Luckily, she managed to score the last ticket for the meet and greet.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Meet Albin Johnson & R2-KT at Star Wars Day's May the 4th Festival 2018 in Singapore

Albin Johnson, R2-KT and some members of 501st Legion

May the 4th - the Star Wars-iest event of the year - is back. The festival is organized by Esprimo and a group of local Star Wars fans, with the support of the Singapore Tourism Board, and will be held at the F1 Pit Building on May 4th & May 5th 

Last year's May the 4th extravaganza was held at the Gardens by the Bay, which featured Disney Park's Kylo Ren and Chewbacca, as well as a scintillating Star Wars-themed light show at the Supertree Grove. If you missed the party last year, come join the fan community for a weekend of nerdy fun and camaraderie.

In fact, you might get to meet an actual movie star! The pink astromech droid R2-KT will be in Red Dot Island just for the festivities. She is already on her way here!





Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Robert Downey Jr and Benedict Cumberbatch in Singapore for "Avengers: Infinity War" Fan Event on 16 April 2018

It's going to be red carpet (phew, it's not blue carpet!) time again at Marina Bay Sands (MBS).

On April 16, mega stars of Marvel's superhero action movie "Avengers: Infinity War", Robert Downey Jr (Tony Stark/ Iron Man) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Stephen Strange/ Doctor Strange), will meet fans at a special fan event as part of the film's publicity. YEAAAAASSSS, Team Rich Guys!!

Karen Gillan (Nebula) and director Joe Russo will join them for the occasion as well.

The fan event is free and open to the public, but there is a registration process this time round. Places are limited, and ticketing will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Details about time, venue and registration process will be revealed at MBS' website on 2 April, noon. So keep an eye on that page!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Enjoy Hanami at Garden By The Bay's First Sakura Matsuri - 16 March to 8 April 2018


Gardens by the Bay is hosting its first Sakura Matsuri from 16 March to 8 April. Red Dot Diva was invited for a preview of the event, and based on just the sakura show at the Flower Dome, it is a beautiful feast for the eyes!!


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Saturday, March 3, 2018

Gamestart Asia and Anime Festival Asia Form Alliance To Build More Awesome Content in Asia

Fans who enjoy gaming and anime are in for a treat this year and beyond.

SOZO, the organizer of Anime Festival Asia (AFA), Red Dot Island's largest Japanese pop-culture event, has joined hands with Eliphant, the owners of Gamestart Asia. The two companies intend to use their newly formed alliance to power up on more gaming, anime and cosplay content in both of their shows held within the region. They have even moved to a new office premise together in order to consolidate their efforts.

As previously reported, Gamestart will be expanding their show to Indonesia this year. Dates have not yet been announced for the new show.

As for AFA, there will be plans to add more gaming activities and content in their events. 2018 is also AFA's 10th anniversary for the Red Dot Island show, so there is definitely are going to be a host of celebratory activities happeing at the convention!

Southeast Asia emerges as one of the fastest growing markets for gaming and content, we recognised that both AFA and GameStart audiences have diverse interests in both gaming and anime. With our partnership, we hope to work closely to bring even more exhilarating content and holistic experiences to both fanbases across the regions,” said Shawn Chin, Managing Director of SOZO and founder of Anime Festival Asia.

We are extremely excited to be able to bring our event to various regions, with the support of our partners. We are determined to support the regional gaming industry, especially in esports and game development. We are positive that our partnership will provide more events and enable us to bring awesome content to both gamers and anime fans,” said Elicia Lee, founder of GameStart Asia and CEO of Eliphant Pte Ltd.

It is not too early to start working on your cosplays, and saving money to attend both Gamestart Asia and AFA later this year. Also, remember to keep a look out for more exciting announcements about their calendar of events on both events' official channels in the coming weeks!


Saturday, February 10, 2018

SRT's Shakespeare In the Park Returns in May 2018 with Julius Caesar

In 2017, something was sorely missing in the local theatre scene. Due to the lack of funds, Singapore Repertory Theatre's (SRT) Shakespeare in the Park was cancelled.

The large-scale production held at the historical Fort Canning Park has never failed to provide memorable moments from the Bard's plays, including A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, and the Tempest. Red Dot Diva has attended all of them, except for the first one, Hamlet.

Being part of Shakespeare in the Park is a wonderful and magical experience. When you are sitting out on the lawn and enjoying a picnic under the stars, one is easily enraptured by SRT's brilliant performance of Shakespearean stories that have stood the test of time.

Despite the financial obstacles, SRT was undeterred. Last year, the theatre company started a crowdfunding campaign for the next Shakespeare in the Park. Thanks to several generous supporters, SRT has enough funds to kick off the production, and Shakespeare in the Park will be BACK in May 2018! *punches fist in air!*

Saturday, January 27, 2018

2018 Show Dates for STGCC and Gamestart Asia Announced


Two local conventions, The Singapore Toy Game and Comics Convention (STGCC) and Gamestart Asia, have locked in their 2018 show dates several months early this time round.

In early December 2017, STGCC announced that the 11th edition of the "East meets West" pop-culture convention will be held on 8 - 9 September 2018. Amongst the sea of anime/ manga/ cosplay conventions held in Red Dot Island throughout the ye ar, STGCC is the largest show that has a higher focus on Westernized properties, with high-profile guests who have worked with DC Comics, Marvel, IDW, Image and more.

Last year, with Star Wars as one of Red Dot Island's tourism initiatives made with Disney, the show also drew in props and set reconstructions by the Belgian Costume Division vzw, and guests from Disney and Lucasfilm.

There was also a section called the Good Game Experience or GGXP, which offered gaming enthusiasts their own base to duke it out in tournaments and try out new games. It had been a long time since the "G" alphabet of STGCC was given a fair share of representation.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Diva Meets Nicholas Buc, Conductor of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Concert (29 - 31 October 2017)


Nicholas Buc has a job that most Star Wars geeks might envy, especially if they love making music as well. A composer, arranger, conductor, violinist and pianist, Nicholas has managed to combine his love for film and music, and is one of the few conductors specializing in such live movie concerts. He also gets to travel around the world doing what he loves!


He has performed several such concerts around the world, like Harry Potter, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek and E.T. From 29 to 31 October at the Esplanade, the audience will get to see him conduct the first-ever Star Wars Symphony Orchestra Concert performed in Singapore

For this concert series, Episode VII - "The Force Awakens" (TFA) will be screened as over 70-musicians in the orchestra play the accompanying John Williams-composed soundtrack live. So, not only do Star Wars fans get to re-watch TFA again, Red Dot Diva bets all her credits that it will also be more unforgettable, communal experience.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Indie Animation Festival Called Cartoons Underground Returns 21 October 2017


Cartoons Underground, South-East Asia's largest indie animation festival, returns for its 6th edition this Saturday, 21 October 2017 at Kult Kafe.

The festival attracted the attention of film makers from over 50 countries, totalling over 400 film submissions. This year, 13 specially curated films will be featured including "Poles Apart" by Singaporean Low Ser En and directed by Paloma Baeza.
 

"Poles Apart", a story about a polar bear and grizzly bear with voices by Helena Bonham-Carter and Joseph May, will make its Asian premiere at Cartoons Underground. The short film won the McLaren Award for Best British Animation at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. (Watch the trailer here.)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Gamestart Asia 2017: Strictly Reserved for the Hardcore Gamers and E-sports Enthusiasts


Gamestart Asia, South-East Asia's largest gaming convention, kicks off today at Suntec Convention Centre.

At 8:45AM, there was already a small group of gamers lining up to be amongst the first to enter the hall. After all, the first 300 people get a random loot bag filled with goodies.


Red Dot Diva and Ed, her good friend from the Glam Blogger Alliance got to enter the hall for a quick media preview, just before the VIPs were allowed in.


Upon entering the show hall, one cannot miss the trippily lighted main stage looming in front of you. It looks pretty grand, and was a very nice Instagram moment right there.


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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Gamestart Asia 2017 Version 4 Returns on 14 and 15 October 2017


Gamestart Asia, the 2-day convention aimed at gaming fans, will be returning to Suntec Convention Centre on 14 and 15 October 2017.

In version 4 of the premiere gaming convention, the event has taken up an even bigger space amounting to about 6,000 square metres, with two new sections - The Gamestart TableTop for all card/ board games like Dungeon and Dragons, and The Drinkery. Red Dot Diva likes the sound of the The Drinkery, which is plugged as a cyber-punk themed lounge space, where food and drinks are available for hungry, thirsty gamers and attendees. Oooh. Red Dot Diva wonders if the servers will be in cyber-punk wear too?

So, what else can folks expect from Gamestart Asia version 4?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

STGCC 2017: Take a Digital Tour of Star Wars Props with Stefan Cembolista of Belgian Costume Division!


Are you a Star Wars fan??

If you are, there are two main reasons for you to buy a ticket to attend STGCC tomorrow, 10 September, at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre!

Reason No. 1 - The life-sized replica of Rey's Speeder

Reason No. 2 - An iconic section of the Millennium Falcon's interior.

Both these life-sized and near-accurate replicas were made by a group of talented prop-makers and craftsmen called the Belgian Costume Division (BCD). Their models have toured around the world at conventions, particularly at the Star Wars Celebration events.

The head and founder of BCD is Stefan Cembolista, a wiry, energetic man, who is first and foremost a dedicated Star Wars fan. Stefan, who was tactically dressed in a kilt (which Red Dot Diva thought that was most swoonsome!), was on site at the convention today.

Upon Red Dot Diva's request, Stefan leapt at the chance to give a tour of both installations to the Star Wars fans out there.

Watch the video below to see what little "secrets" Stefan revealed about BCD's prop-making adventures relating to the Millennium Falcon and Rey's Speeder:



How awesome is that?

The BCD has built other Star Wars replicas like the AT-AT and Tie Fighter. Red Dot Diva hopes that the BCD crew will have the chance to bring these and showcase them in Red Dot Island too!

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Red Dot Diva's geek bro Jedd has also managed to interview Stefan Cembolista.
Read his interview here!



Friday, September 8, 2017

STGCC 2017: Diva's Round-up and Biceps Collection from the Media Preview

STGCC, the largest Western pop-culture event of the year in Red Dot Island, will be opening its doors just a few hours away.

At the media preview which was held at Central Perk SG yesterday, ReedPop mentioned that the for its 10th Anniversary, the convention has expanded to 1 more hall, to encompass the new zones like the Good Game Experience (GGXP) and Akiba Zone, which focuses on cosplay and Japanese subculture.

For years, the "games" segment which is mentioned in the STGCC brand name, has been notably absent. With the GGXP area, the organizers making their bid to get the industry back into the fold. Within the area, fans can try their hands on games developed by local and regional publishers, including titles like Pokemon Trading Card Game as well as other card, computer, mobile phone games as well as immersive VR experiences. There will also be a few hardcofe esports tournaments held live there.

The show's floor plan is also heavily segmented into different types, with attendees getting hit with "retail therapy" first before they arrive at the Star Wars "Experience The Force" section, main stage and Artist Alley area. Certain parts of the show are only available to fans depending on the types of tickets they purchase. Hopefully, this will allow fans to maximize their different enjoyment at STGCC, depending on their interests.

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On site to meet the invited media at the preview yesterday were several STGCC featured guests. Popular comic book artist Frank Cho had many of the media folks and fellow guests gushing over how his creative works had inspired them. To have him at STGCC may be the one and only chance that some of the local and regional fans will be able to meet him in person.

There were also loud cheers for 3x Eisner Award winner, Sonny Liew. Yes, Red Dot Diva fangirl-screamed as well.

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