The Dutch DJ is set to raise the tempo of the dance floor at Podium Lounge 2013, in conjunction with the F1 Singapore Grand Prix.

The last time I was drunk, I… took my pants off in a hotel lobby in San Diego.

Girls are… a diamond’s best friend.

Music is… the answer.

The craziest gig I’ve played was… at the foot of the pyramids in Egypt.

The musician I respect most is… Larry Levan. Google him.

God is a DJ because… he knows how to mix it up.

Sander Kleinenberg plays at Podium Lounge, which happens Sep 20-22, 10pm. $138-19,888 (VIP package for 25 inclusive of five bottles of Champagne and meet-and-greet sessions) from the site or call to book.


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The fun loving founder of the city’s original secret bar 28 Hong Kong Street (and winner of Bartender of the Year and Best Cocktail Bar awards at our Readers’ Choice Awards two years in a row) talks to Terry Ong about the brighter side of life.

The role of a barman has been like a best friend. A best friend you end up marrying. We always had each other’s back. I guess it was only a matter of time before we came to understand that we were destined to be together.

I was dating a girl I met when both of us were focused on our professions. She moved to the Philippines to follow her career. I went to visit her for 24 intense hours during Sinulog because I realized she was my best friend. Three months later we were married on Mount Faber.

Singapore was the loving and stern aunty that said “prove it”. She challenged me to reach my full potential and gave me room as I spread my wings. She gave me a home with support and affection. She has rewarded my conviction at every turn. I am a better man because of her.

Due to my devotion it pains me to hear of others that take her kindness for granted.

Singapore is a young city with an old soul. It has beautiful pockets of old world nostalgia while still having the charm of a rookie sensation. I hope to see within my lifetime a city-state that grows to rival New York and London in its diversity, relevance and charm.

Why must all of the taxi drivers in this city change shifts during the busy hours of the afternoon?

I find inspiration in images. Sounds silly but it’s true. Many of us create cocktails to relive old memories or escape to places we always dreamed of. Seeing a picture of a guy lounging on a boat off the coast of Portugal, I would ask myself “What would be the best drink for that guy?” and “What ingredients would he have available?” It’s always an image.

My routine at the moment is very regimented. Wake, work, gym, lunch, work, work, work, work, feed, work, sleep. Repeat. Sunday is family day and we often do things with the staff like spend the day at Tanjong Beach Club. My dream is to end up more along the lines of wake, something, whatever, something else, maybe climb a coconut tree, watch sunset, sleep. Repeat.

I’ve had quite a few travelling experiences. Three days across the US via Greyhound Bus, stopping in little towns spending hours talking to old guys in diners and young farm kids with big dreams. Or a trip with some of the world’s best bartenders to Queenstown, New Zealand, for a competition that changed the competitors’ lives forever.

Making connections with people. Getting to share experiences of wonder and excitement. It’s the process of sharing life’s little moments that can trigger some intense emotional responses.

Aside from memories and experiences, I collect very little. My mantra is “travel light, live light.” I have less trappings now than ever before. I see little value in them and will most likely give away most of my possessions when it’s time to move on—except my hats.

If you have been to 28 Hong Kong Street more than a few times you would notice my deep love of music. It transcends all genres and I often incorporate multiple different styles and artists in any given setting. Currently I have been on a Latin-American kick.

I personify pretty much anything in life. Every vehicle I have ever owned has a name and a personality. I will nickname my pillows if they exhibit some unique quality. Shoes, the gecko that lives in the hall, my man-bag, nothing is safe from getting a nickname and a personality.

I am guilty of taking time on this planet for granted more so than I would like.

After many years of late night philosophical conversations at 24-hour diners I am pretty sure that no one has a clue what happens after we die so its best not to offend any religion. It’s better to respectfully hold on to whatever speaks to you.

You’re not getting rid of me that easily.


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Gillman Barracks’ first anniversary is not just a celebration. Terry Ong finds an enclave keen to keep growing, and picks five of his favorite shows.

This month, Gillman Barracks celebrates its first anniversary with extended opening hours (until 9pm every Friday), weekend art tours  (organized by Art Outreach every Saturday, 11am and 4pm) and noteworthy new exhibitions by both local and international artists (of which we’ve picked five of our favorites below).

One year on from launch and Gillman has welcomed 15 galleries into its fold, played host to more than 90 exhibitions and hosted more than a few fun events (including our very own ArtWalk in August, the pictures from which you can see above).

The area is not yet drawing regular crowds and it remains to be seen whether all the galleries can stick it out until those crowds start coming, but with a new push from the Economic Development Board and some big new names incoming, the stage is set for an exciting few months.

Ai Weiwei – Baby Formula
The controversial Chinese artist’s solo show here is a biting installation piece on corruption and mortality.
Through Oct 6 at Michael Janssen Singapore

A Thing or Two about the Bed
Local artist Tang Ling Nah subverts the literal and figurative meanings of the bed with nine mixed media artworks.
Through Nov 3 at Fost Gallery

MILKY WAY: The Luminous Galaxy of the 20th Century
Rare works by Robert Rauschenberg and Jean Michel Basquiat are the highlights here.
Through Oct 30. Partners & Mucciaccia

POV – Persistence of Vision
Experimental photography and printmaking works by Urich Lau, one of the city’s most cutting-edge artists.
Through Oct 6 at Space Cottonseed

Careening Meteorites and the Early Mind
Celebrated Australian artist Sam Leach has produced a new series of genre-bending paintings and sculptures based on Paleolithic stone tools, accompanied by a moody sound piece by musicians Tim Young and Dan Gawler.
Through Oct 18 at Future Perfect

Hear what Dr. Eugene Tan from the Economic Development Board has to say about Gillman Barracks' latest developments.


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The Bling Ring

Editor's Rating: 
Average: 2 (1 vote)
Emma Watson
Katie Chang
Israel Broussard
Directed By: 
Sofia Coppola

There are a couple of moments in The Bling Ring, Sofia Coppola’s latest investigation into modern ennui, that are pure genius. The opening scene for instance, which begins as a quiet contemplation of an impending break-in which then explodes into a frenzied showcase of designer goods set to Sleigh Bells’ electro tune “Crown on the Ground” (perfect), is pure cinema. But the rest of the film, like 2010’s Somewhere, is dull and pretentious.

Opening Date: 
Thu, 2013-09-12
Running Time: 
1 hr. 30 min.
Terry Ong

The Purge

Editor's Rating: 
Average: 1 (1 vote)
Ethan Hawke
Lena Headey
Directed By: 
James Demonaco

Probably one of the most boring and unoriginal thrillers we’ve seen in years, The Purge makes you want to do exactly just that. A supposed morality piece about the state of violence in America, everything about this thriller rings false. From Ethan Hawke’s semi-heroic turn as a steadfast family man who will do anything to protect his wife and kids to a truly ridiculous premise, the film is unredeemable.

Opening Date: 
Thu, 2013-08-29
Running Time: 
1 hr. 25 min.
The Purge
Terry Ong
Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

The young and talented Singapore-based Taiwanese photographer’s work is dark and emotive, featuring scenes of distorted naked bodies that even David Lynch will approve.

What moves you?

Life moves me. I appreciate the world I live in, and try to be sensitive to the subtle nuances surrounding me. I hope by focusing on these experiences, I can create a canvas allowing further contemplation and letting the passage of time to leave behind traces of my mortality. When strangers share private moments of their life and their stories with me, it enables me to live larger by incorporating them into my art. It moves me to know we are never really alone.

Where do you draw your influences from?

Partly similar to my mentor, John Clang, I draw influence base on my curiosities and observations of the people around me. They are like multi-faceted mirrors reflecting my own existence in this world.

How were the shoots organized?

The hardest part was persuading people to be the subject. It is not easy to ask people to pose nude in front of the camera, especially when I do not know many of them personally prior to the shoots. And I noticed that girls are more accepting than guys. I actually had more rejection from Singaporean guys because many of them were not comfortable to show their bodies. Hence I often asked people who have interests to be my subject, even when I barely know them.

What camera do you use?

There are many ways to take an image, and there is no one best camera in the world. By going through the whole concept, I will know which type of medium will be more suitable for certain ideas. I have used both film and digital, as long as it helps me to visualize my idea. For this series, I chose to work with a film camera.

What do you make of the human condition?

There are a lot of uncontrollable factors in life and I am curious about what exist within our own unconscious. What happened during the period of the time when we are in the state of unconscious?

What are your thoughts on time?

Time is very mysterious to me; I feel I know so little about time. I don’t know if time just passes by, or it actually stops. But I know people eventually die, sooner or later, and it makes me wonder about our existence.

Chang's exhibition Unconsciousness: Consciousness is currently showing at ION Art Gallery through Sep 24.


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The Executive Pastor at the Free Community Church is also the organizer of LGBT festival IndigNation, which recently wrapped its ninth edition. He talks to Terry Ong about the state of things.

My activities start from my faith. I wear two hats as I am both a pastor and an LGBT activist. I feel challenged when people cannot separate one from the other.

The Christian right wing sees me a gay man masquerading as a pastor. The don’t see me as a real pastor. I don’t see the difference.

Everybody has an agenda. My agenda with IndigNation is simply to find ways for the LGBT community to live their lives to the fullest. We’re not here to convert anyone or shut anyone out. Everyone has a right to embrace, love and be loved.

If laws are signifiers, why aren’t there laws against gambling?

What I struggle with is this city’s desire to be politically correct all the time, to the point of fetishizing our local cultures and religions.

Beyond just wearing each other’s costumes or eating each other’s food, there needs to be a more organic integration among our multi-racial society, rather than just putting everyone into their rightful places.

Creating categories will only break things down. We fail to see everyone as human beings.

Even by disagreeing, we are actually offering alternatives.

Another struggle that I find here is that we don’t have enough dialogues or conversations. Everything usually gets turned into a debate. So often I get conversations shot down before I could even get started.

It’s not a matter of who wins. It should be about being able to listen and see deep down inside a person, regardless of their sexual orientation.

When people are being humanized, it is harder to oppress them.

Social media only allows us to talk to one another and not with one another. Those who engage in it can choose to hide behind the screens. It can become a war of words and people get hurt.

I think we would have been in a different place today if we weren’t so caught up with such a consumerist culture. I was just at the Bukit Timah cemetery the other day at 7am and, for a moment, I felt totally at peace.

We get so enchanted by material things that we lose sight of what really matters. So it looks like we’re going to build an expressway across the cemetery and soon enough, there might just be malls built around it.

Is that what defines our soul? Shopping? All our cultural heritage has been translated into tourism currency.

The pastel color scheme found in many of our HDB flats or conserved buildings also looks fake, almost like a metaphor for who we are. Why can’t we just go for something simple like white or beige?

The only reasons people are still rooted here are relationships and memories.
Nothing here looks the same anymore.

I really like local comic artist Troy Chin’s The Resident Tourist. I feel like a resident tourist when I’m here, too.

The late playwright Kuo Pao Kun once asked about when is Singapore going to “Pop”? We have J Pop and K Pop, but we will never “Pop” if we continue to make art or films that are so caught up with the Singaporean identity. “Pop” cannot be engineered!

But of course I may be wrong with a lot of things and that keeps me going. I don’t feel the need to justify myself. If we are capable to say that we are wrong, then perhaps we’re listening for once.

We cannot be number one in everything.


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