Art exhibition review – Mazel Galerie

The hearty guffaws from the Michelin Star restaurant “Kam’s Roast”, the hustle and bustle from Singapore’s busiest district, Orchard Road and the occasional honk from an exasperated driver. Amidst the fast-paced nature of the surroundings lies a peaceful respite – a glass-enclosed Art gallery, where the constant “whir” of the air-conditioning humming in the background serves as the only element of sound disrupting the peace. A pleasant contrast.

Mazel Galerie is indeed a hidden gem on the second level of Pacific Plaza on Scotts Road. Open from the 21st April to May, the gallery features a wide variety of visual Arts – from traditional sculptures and paintings, to an interactive magnetic table and a sculpture made up of dust, this is a place for both the Art enthusiast and the newbie.

The theme of the Gallery surrounds the Chinese Zodiac, with most works inspired by animals of the Zodiac. Take a look at this painting. Can you spot all 12 animals?

Members of the Origin* strained our necks, trying our best to view the painting from all angles. Joanna, deep in thought, recited the list of animals in sequential order. Ashley tip-toed, bent down and turned upside down in attempts to decipher the animals. Jacey, curious about the Art exhibition, struck up a conversation  with our gallery guide. Upon asking the chief curator who hailed from Brussels on why he chose the theme of the Chinese Zodiac, he replied, “I just like it”.

Some of the sculptures were carved with the purpose of creating the most symmetrical carving in mind. When viewed from the front, both sides are congruent in terms  terms of dimension and design.

Here is a snapshot of Joanna and a symetrical bunny sculpture.


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My personal favourite piece of work was a sculpture made entirely out of dust. Yes dust.


Sculpture of a mouse made up of dust

What intrigued me was the ability for the sculpture to remain together as well as the artist’s creativity in taking something seemingly cheap and insignificant and turning it into a piece of work worth hundreds and thousands of dollars.

If you wish to momentarily seclude yourself from the hustle of life, pop by Mazel Galerie which opens from 11am-8pm. It will not disappoint.

For most of the team, it was our first time attending an Art exhibition, and truly, what an eye-opening experience it was.

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Some of our team with a painting resembling a dragon!
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Can you spot what’s amiss with the painting? Hint, look at the shadow of the snake

CCA in the Spotlight – Computing and Robotics

Photo credit: Computing and Robotics Club

Interviewee: Ng Wei Han

1. What is an average CCA session like?

Wei Han: Filled with lots of fun and exploration! Last term we embarked on our own projects relating to what we have learnt in the past year. I really look forward to every CCA session because I get to work on something that really interests me, data analytics, and to learn more than I can ever imagine.

2. What do you enjoy most about your CCA?

Wei Han: I really enjoy our CCA Camps! I think we were extremely privileged to be one of the few CCAs to have had 2 CCA camps. These camps have enabled me to get to know my CCA mates better and have made me a much more open person 🙂

3. As seniors, what is your CCA looking out for in prospective members?

Wei Han: Passionate and zealous students who are willing to learn and uphold excellence in character.

4. What do you think was the highlight for your CCA last year?
Wei Han: CCA Camp and Rube Goldberg project

5. CCA information (Timing, achievements, etc)
Wed 3.40-6.45, Fri 3.10-6.15


Interviewee: Brenda

1. What is an average CCA session like?

Brenda: Training and competition preparation. We also work on projects and have fun exploring the internet.

2. What do you enjoy most about your CCA?

Brenda: There are lots of learning opportunities, as well as opportunities to conduct workshops to share what we learn to the school. There are also BBQ parties that I look forward to,as well as cool and helpful people I have met during CCA

3. As seniors, what is your CCA looking out for in prospective members?

Brenda: Someone who is enthusiastic about technology, coding and robotics. We are also looking out for people with the willingness to contribute to the school

4. What do you think was the highlight for your CCA last year?

Brenda: There were many highlights but I felt that Technology Day, Deep Dive Day and Unconference Day modules were very successful.

5. CCA information (Timing, achievements, etc)Wed 3:45-6:45
Fri 3:15-6:15
– won awards in competitions such as Tableau and NJRC
– prototyped an electric car as part of MakerSpace 

Are you passionate in STEM related things? Drop by the Computing and Robotics club to find out more about them!

Classical music review – “Resonates With” ft. students from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music

A staircase towering over three levels. A sea of faces with varying emotions. Some brimming with excitement, some faintly fascinated, some puzzled. Some totally indifferent. All transfixed on the flurry of action at the bottom of the towering staircase. Perhaps a slight twitch in reaction to a sudden change in sonority, or, a murmur that crosses the audience due to a unique instrument choice.

“Resonates With” was a classical music performance consisting of quartets/quintets featuring students from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music from 7-8th April at the National Gallery of Singapore, Padang Atrium. Instead of seating on cushioned chairs like those in large concert halls, the audience sat on the steps of a towering staircase, admiring the intricate architecture of the former Supreme Court and City Hall building, while bathing in the presence of quality classical music.

The performances which lasted for 30 minute sessions were enjoyable, both for die-hard classical music fans and rookies to classical music. For the classically-trained individual, the sheer expertise in technique was enough to amaze, while for the beginner, the exposure to the wide spectrum of musical instruments made an excellent first foray into classical music.

Not being a brass player, I surprised myself upon reflection that my favourite performance of the afternoon went to Brass quintet “Brassisimo”. Hailing from different parts of the world, the quintet consisting of ID-ANAN NETTHAI, trumpet, PHAM THAN BINH, trumpet, KATHERINE YANG, french horn, DANILO IGNACIO CONTRERAS OSORIO, trombone, PAWIN PUNGBUA, bass trombone, worked as a cohesive whole to pull off pieces ranging from classical repertoire such as Mini Overture by Lutoslawski to Star Wars by John Williams. The players communicated by glancing at one another knowingly, breathing in sync and listening to each other’s playing to ensure that one did not overpower the instrument who had the main melodic line. There was also a range of instrumental techniques used, such as the mutes on the Trumpets and French Horns, Trombone glissandos and even a surprise percussion instrument towards the end! Ending with a standing ovation, the Quintet pulled off a remarkable performance that was pleasing to the ears and soul.

If you are a newbie to classical music, attending these sort of informal events by semi-professional musicians are a good way to dip your toes into the wonders of classical music. First of all, they are free-of-charge. Second, they are usually located at fairly accessible venues. Thirdly, the musicians are actually representative of the standard one can find in full-fledged orchestral concerts. So the next time you hear about a free classical music performance, go for it!

Overall, the entire experience would attain a 4/5 rating.

Stay tuned for more reviews!


Revealing what Eunoians truly think of the Arts!

Photo credit: Sandra Tan Jia Ying

The Arts. What does this word elicit whenever it crosses your mind? Boring? Meaningless? Or according to a General Paper question – A luxury only the rich can afford?

You might have come across a survey titled “The Arts or Nah” whereby the Origin* sought to find out what were the general sentiments the school had towards the Arts. Wondering what the responses turned out like?

Statistics for Arts or Nah 1

Statistics for Arts or Nah 2

Statistics for Arts or Nah 3

From 3 simple questions, the results turned out somewhat shocking. Judging from the responses of question 1 and 2, Eunoians seemed to hardly engage in Arts-related activities.

BUT here’s the catch. Although the response to the first two questions might cause one to jump to the conclusion that Eunoians have no concern for the Arts, the response to the third question dispels such notion. The reesponses reveal that majority of Eunoians believed that the Arts actually do improve their personal quality of life, telling us that Eunoians would attend Arts related events if not for the reasons hindering them in question 2.

Fear not! The Origin* presents solutions to deal with the top 3 problems hindering Eunoians from attending Arts events:

1. I’m way too busy! How does one even find time to dress up and attend fancy concerts that last 2-3 hours?

Do not stereotype Arts events as glitzy theatre productions with elaborate sets, luxurious venues and the need to dress up. We acknowledge that there are a good deal of Arts events that are of this nature, such as the recent American Ballet Theatre’s Swan Lake. But in all honesty, the bulk of the Arts events in Singapore are informal in nature, held in an informal setting and last for a maximum of an hour. This gives you the freedom to pop by after school for a refreshing hour’s break before heading back to study.

“WHAT, that can’t be true!” Is this your response? Well let’s list some examples!

Check out the Esplanade Outdoor open theatre or the Esplanade Concourse for performances nearly every Friday night and the weekends. #TGIF! There is always something going on, whether it is the Hua Yi Chinese Festival that features Chinese dance and music, the Indian Festival of the Arts, or even a junior college/secondary school band!

If the Esplanade still seems too inconvenient, don’t forget Singapore’s first UNESCO world heritage site – the Botanical Gardens. Surrounded by a lily pond, the Shaw Foundation symphony stage is home to countless symphonic band performances, dance showcases and many many more! What’s more, Botanical Gardens MRT is merely a few stops away from Buona Vista MRT station (closest MRT station to EJC).

Lastly, if you happen to be patrolling the CBD area during the weekends, drop by the National Gallery Singapore, which is merely a stone’s throw from City Hall MRT Exit B. Apart from the eye-popping, jaw-dropping facade of British Colonial architecture, the National Gallery features classical music performances on their iconic Red Piano, as well as contemporary dances from various dance institutions around Singapore. What’s more? There are a couple of free Visual Arts exhibitions such as those sponsored by DBS, which feature works by renowned Artists Georgette Chen and Liu Kang. These Artists played a pivotal role in capturing snapshots of Singapore’s history during the colonial era when film and photography had yet to become a commonality.
2. I can’t afford anything! The tickets to concerts always cost more than $20!

Don’t get the wrong idea that all Arts events end up leaving a hole in your pocket. In fact, there are a ton of Arts events that are free-of-charge in Singapore. Take the Singapore International Festival of the Arts (SIFA) which occurs from the end of April to May as an example. Apart from all the glitzy stage productions, SIFA features free events such “Jacob Collier on Harmony and Groove”, “Deciphering the operatic Cadence of rhythm and Meter”, “Verses of Love and Life, Selected poems of Taha Muhammad Ali”, “Sky Kave Performances” and many more!

Aside from SIFA, here is a list of website links to source for Arts-related events:


3. I have no interest in the Arts at all

Do not feel bad. Treat this as an opportunity to open yourself to a new, unexplored world! Usually, people who claim they have no interest in the Arts are not anomalies of society, but rather have not had ample exposure to the beauty of the Arts.

Well you are in luck. EJC is holding our second Humanities and Aesthetics Week during the last week of April. Aside from supporting your friends in Arts-related groups, truly be in the moment and approach every performance/exhibition with an open mind.

If you are watching a dance performance, ask yourself: Why do the dancers choose to adopt certain facial expressions? How do they manage to move in sync? Is there any significance in the formations they adopt? How do they move to the beats of the music?

If you are listening to a music performance, ask yourself: Why do the musicians choose to play some parts at a louder volume and other parts at a softer volume? How do different musicians work together in an ensemble? What are the unique sonorities of each instrument that give it its unique sound?

If you are watching a drama performance, ask yourself: How does the stage set-up convey the mood of the setting? How do the actors convey the emotions of characters through inflections of their voice? How do the actors project their voices? How do they use stage props to enhance their performance?

If you are viewing a Visual Arts exhibition, ask yourself: What different brush strokes do the Artists use to bring across certain textures? Is Visual Arts solely restricted to drawing? What other mediums do Artists use? Where did the Artist get their inspiration from?

Above all, the big umbrella question you should be asking is: What is the larger message all the Art forms are trying to convey?

In a nutshell, all Art forms are a means of communicating feelings, thoughts, ideas through an abstract way where words cannot suffice. There is almost always something deeper behind every work of Art beyond its superficial facade of being a form of self-entertainment. It involves ploughing through one’s inner deep feelings It is the Artist’s job to bring his/her personal touch to their chosen Art form and this is precisely the reason why people come to enjoy engaging in the Arts.


CCA in the Spotlight – Drama

Photo credit: Jayden Sim Hong Kai

Interviewee: Satini Sankeerthana

What is an average CCA session like?
Keerthana: For the first half an hour or so, we do warm-ups which are of a few types namely, vocal, physical and games which require concentration like splat for example. After which, if there are any productions or performances coming up, we split up into our committees and get the work done. If there aren’t any events coming up, then we do group or individual activities like acting or freeze frame and sharings (sometimes) about drama and theater in general so we are equipped with skills about backstage work as well. Lastly, we have a debrief.

What do you enjoy most about your CCA?
Keerthana: Definitely Interacting with people and the synergy among the members! It really hypes me up! And that’s why CCA is one thing I look forward to even on long days as I feel that’s when my energy level automatically shoots up! Also, everyone in Drama is really friendly and we have a lot of funny memories together. I also enjoy playing the games and dancing during warm ups sometimes and most of all acting!

As seniors, what is your CCA looking out for in prospective members?
Keerthana: We look out for people who are committed, responsible and hard working, as we believe that although acting skills or expertise with regards to backstage are important, they can still be learnt and improved over time once you join us, but the right attitude and mindset towards acting or CCA as a whole is really important for our dynamics and in order to get the work done.

What do you think was the highlight for your CCA last year?
Keerthana: OUR VERY FIRST PRODUCTION!! “PEOPLE” It really taught us a lot and there were ups and downs along the journey and I personally have learnt a lot of skills not only pertaining to the sets( I was head of sets) but also life skills such as teamwork and coordination. It was also very exciting as some of us did not have any prior background knowledge or experience, for example, it was some of the actors’ first time on stage and it was my first time doing sets!

CCA information (Timing, achievements, etc)
Wednesdays from 3.30-6.30 and Fridays 3.00-6.00pm.

Do you have a penchant for owning the stage? Think your up for the challenge to embody different characters? Or even manage stage lighting and design? Head over to the drama club and find out more!

Agony Aunt Agatha #2

Question: As part of the Class Committee, how do I get my class to be more involved? We’ve tried to plan bonding activities but they never seem to become a reality. Should I even bother?

First of, congrats on being chosen as part of the Class Committee; it is hard to gain the trust and support of your classmates that quickly. When thinking about class bonding, it is easy to get swept up into thinking about planning large scale activities such as beach outings, barbecues etc. However, I feel that starting small by organising activities like lunches instead of large scale activities might be a better option for convenience. Lunches are a good way to bond as majority of your classmates would have to stay back in school for CCAs. Furthermore, it’s your chance to take advantage of EJ’s close proximity to Ghim Moh and Star Vista. Have everyone buy their own food and have a picnic at Star Vista’s rooftop garden or at Ghim Moh’s sheltered areas.  Also, remember that a less enthusiastic class doesn’t equate to an unbonded class. Every class has its own dynamics depending on the type of people in it. Good luck!


Question: JC is so much more stressful than secondary school 😦 Any tips on how to manage my time?

I’ll skip the usual cliche solutions (planning monthly schedules, checklists, keeping homework diaries, calendars, don’t fall asleep during class etc.) and move on to the essentials. Firstly, make use of your travelling time to read your notes. For many of us, school is probably a good 40-60 minute journey back home by public transport. This time is precious. Many of us, including myself, have been guilty of spending it watching YouTube videos and playing Temple Run. But, this is actually the best time to catch up on reading your lecture notes because it means you can immediately start doing tutorials once you get back home. That’s almost an hour you can save! Secondly, stop trying to prevent yourself from sleeping in class. Instead, try changing your diet to include foods with a low glycemic index. (For the non-science students, foods with a low glycemic indexes are broken down at a slower rate, preventing spikes in your sugar level which is the main culprit of post-lunch snoozing!) So load up on the sweet potatoes, vegetables and juices! Thirdly, get enough sleep. This is an understated tip on time management. A lack of sleep results in a vicious cycle whereby one falls asleep in class and ends up having to pull an all-nighter to catch up on the content missed. Your health is important. Don’t skimp on your sleep. Good luck!


Question: I’m a JAE student and I have troubles fitting in with my class. My class is really cliquey and I’m sort of an introvert so it’s hard for me to talk to them. How do I start conversations and make friends?

Let me tell you that you’re not alone in this problem! There are a number of JAE students in EJ and I’m sure that at some point in time they must have felt the same. Coming to a school made up largely of IP students who have known each other for years is daunting enough to make any individual go weak at the knees. From personal experience, asking about schoolwork is a good way to start a conversation. Sometimes when you are sitting with your peers during assembly, starting some small talk may help break the ice. If these ‘cliques’ decide to go to Ghim Moh or Star Vista to hang out, pluck up the courage to join them. It’s ok to remain silent throughout the lunch if you don’t feel comfortable sharing anything, but if topics you are passionate in surface during the lunch, share your thoughts and views. This way your classmates can get to know you a little more and perhaps include you in more of their conversations. Showcasing your talents at the right time is also a good way to gain some attention and perhaps make more friends. Lastly, give it time. It’s only April! Your class still has many more months left together. As the year proceeds and JC life gets tougher, your class will slowly grow closer through difficult times during which you guys will really need to come together as a class to conquer your obstacles.


Question: My friend has been complaining about the heavy workload in JC and how he cannot cope with the stress. But he isn’t exactly trying to cope either, he doesn’t really pay attention in lectures or tutorials. What can I do to help him?

I must say, what a thoughtful friend you really are to care so much about your schoolmate! I feel that your friend fails to realise that he isn’t alone in this matter of facing stress in JC. Try explaining to him that every single student around him is facing the same problem and that the only difference lies in the coping mechanism one has to deal with stress. Lay out the options for coping with stress in front of him. This could entail visiting our school counselor, picking up a side hobby like Judo to release all the stress on etc. If both of you are really close friends, I suggest having a heart-to-heart talk with him about his behaviour and try to understand why he is acting this way. Maybe he has other reasons for not paying attention in lectures or tutorials, and if that’s the case, do not put it upon your shoulders to solve his problems. Leave that to the professionals or a teacher. It may not be easy in getting someone who is unmotivated to be motivated enough to start being productive, but do not give up and remind him that you all have a common goal, be it to get promoted to J2, or even getting 90 rank points for A levels. All the best!

Your’s Truly,

Aunt Agatha

Agony Aunt Agatha #1

Hi Eunoians!

Ever thought about where you can obtain advice for your personal problems? Have no fear because Aunt Agatha is here! Agony Aunt Agatha (AAA) is a new column on the Origin* that offers personal advice to those who ask questions via the link:

The platform is curated by members of the Origin and our CCA teacher. Without further ado, let us begin!

Question: What do I do when I have a group mate who doesn’t help out with graded group work at all? How do I get him to do stuff without giving a wrong impression? Should I just ignore it? Is there a need to tell a teacher about this?

Aunt Agatha: The common solution you might hear from others is to set deadlines. But personally, I feel deadlines are just scratching the surface of what one can do. Firstly, make sure the appointed group leader constantly reminds members of the upcoming deadlines. It’s easy to miss a internal group deadline amidst your test schedules. If this becomes a habit, what’s the use of deadlines?  Secondly, decide as a group what the consequences will entail should anybody miss the internally set deadlines. Perhaps this guilty fellow would have to loan his/her house for the next 5 project work meetings? If deadlines do nothing to spur on your group mate, you have two options. The first would be to continue working on the project with your other group members as if nothing happened, hence leaving the uncooperative fellow out. If all goes well, this fellow would eventually feel the guilt and start to chip in. The second option would be to find out what exactly is hindering the individual. Maybe it’s CCA commitments? Family issues? Disdain towards the chosen topic? Whatever it is, get to the root of the problem. If the problem happens to be heavy CCA commitments, allocate the work such that the group members cover for the individual during his/her busy periods. Then, allocate more work to that individual once the CCA commitment is over. The third option would be to take the unpleasant route and approach a teacher for help. Personally, this should be the last resort because it could permanently damage the group dynamics (when PW has barely started) as the uncooperative fellow might feel slighted that you went behind his/her back. Since group dynamics could literally make or break your PW grade, do your best to resolve disputes internally. Meanwhile good luck!

QuestionI like someone but they’re from a different class, different CCA and different house. How do I keep interacting with them?

Aunt Agatha: At this point it could feel like there is no reason for both parties to communicate because of the complete lack of commonalities between you which,  I myself will admit, makes it very hard to find a starting ground for interaction. Nevertheless, you might still have mutual friends and, chances are, you’ll be seeing them along the corridors and during breaks and all that. Start small, and make it a point to be friendly with them whenever you see them – a casual hey, the usual greetings. Try to expand your social circle and participate in more school activities and you may just get lucky. However, do keep in mind that you still have to manage your school work on top of other personal commitments. If you have the opportunity to socialise, snatch it up, but at the same time don’t throw yourself into it too much – maintain a balance and focus on the rest of your life. Don’t preoccupy yourself with “chasing” them. Be realistic. If it doesn’t work out, don’t be discouraged – keep them as eye candy and pursue other things that make you truly happy. It might have just been a one-off infatuation. 

Thank you for reading! Continue to send me your questions at:

Yours Truly,

Agony Aunt Agatha