Close to Culture, Close to Creativity, Spot on Asia.

Articles by Stella Lee

Stella Lee

Stella Lee

Business Journalist at CCTV News
Best described to be always on the lookout for a stimulating conversation and loving everything business related.
Stella Lee
Source: NursesSimple

Architecture: How to Create A Time Machine Effect into the Past

Posted on April 17, 2013

The walls inside Kam Leng Hotel show signs of age, in a style disconnected from today. Sun rays from outside, its eternal companion, had discolored it into a light hue, leaving much imagination as to what was the original paint color. Earlier, someone rode a bicycle into the premises and parked it at the foot of a stairwell, as if in a hurry to a lunch date upstairs, the faded paint sign above it depicting a restaurant serving European food on the building’s fourth storey.

There is no indication of whether the rider had left; the bicycle itself upon inspection had aged in years. A poster cast along the stairs, which may have listed notices, is left blank—as though it was silenced. A clock perched above an elevator around the corner had froze its hours of the day in time.

Nothing here seems willing to reveal its secrets to the visitor.


+Read more

She Who Dares by Audrey Kawasaki

Room for Erotica in Singapore?

Posted on March 7, 2013

“… it is vital for good erotica to be published, so that we can see for ourselves the difference between the life-enhancing, and the sordid and destructive.”

~ From Erotica: An Illustrated Anthology of Sexual Art and Literature, by Charlotte Hill and William Wallac

Mention the term erotica, and people are divided into perhaps two distinct types of reactions. There is the reluctant group, which seals its communication off like a mimosa, and the opposite camp may find themselves unraveling to share their relationship and sexual experiences.

But even for its reluctant and conservative societies, South-East Asia is not any less interested in erotica, according to a local publisher. The erotic romance novel, 50 Shades of Grey, written by British author E.L. James, registered itself as a bestseller in Kinokuniya Bookstores for months in 2012 within conservative Singapore. The ubiquitous title even found its way into the name of a fringe panel event at a local writing festival in the island republic last year. Judging by the event’s successful turnout and a growing public acceptance of books detailing sexual content book sales data, erotica, has apparently a strong following.


+Read more


Rethinking Education in Rural Asia

Posted on February 28, 2013

In 1972, a young Indian man with an elite education and the promises of the world at his feet moved to a rural place, much to the chagrin of his mother. He said he wanted to dig wells for five years, and that marked the start of a different education for him.

“I was exposed to the most extraordinary knowledge and skills that very poor people have, which are never brought into the mainstream, which is never identified, respected, applied on a large-scale”, said Bunker Roy, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Education, often entrenched in the idea of expertise and professionalism, recognizes the attainment of a formal qualification from an institute.  Roy’s success with the establishment of an institution now known as Barefoot College, utilized emerging technologies to transform learning and flouted the paradigm of education held by society. And as OpenBrief discovers, he wasn’t the only one.


+Read more

Asia Corporate Art

Posted on February 15, 2013

At Deutsche Bank in Singapore, a large artwork by local born artist Jimmy Ong sits right outside the trading floor. The subjects in the artwork seem worlds away from people who make their living in an investment bank, until you realise Lottery Man, its artwork name, credited beside the male subject in charcoaled writing.

Jimmy Ong: Lottery Man

Source: Tyler Rollins Fine Art

In artworks, the ethnic profile of the subject is important to global corporations, where they usually look to their own roots first when starting a collection. American companies in Asia often have Western art first and then amass Asian art as a statement.

Jonathan Stone, Christie’s International’s business director of Asian art says, “In Japan (offices) you will see modern Japanese art, this is where they start,” which indicates the importance of artwork as the link to which people feel the closest to from where they expand.

Art within the four office walls, is an aspiration statement about a company and its arrival in a particular business setting.

“For American companies in Asia you see Western art then they start Asian art as a statement.” says Stone. So it’s not surprising that a large number of corporates doing business in Asia, favor works from local artists or those from the Asia continent. As such, essentially art reflects conscious corporate decisions, commitments to its focuses, and its own awareness amid the realities of doing business.


+Read more