Pong, Smoothie ‘Bols’ & Crayons

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Omg I found this at scape!! it’s called pong. it’s vegan and it tastes amazing!! you should totally go there. let’s go there some time! – Goo on Sunday 27.03.2016 at 7.16pm

During the next few moments after having received that text from Goo, my thoughts rapidly transitioned from “What in the world is a PONG?!” to “Omg Goo is right, that (the picture of pong gelato that Goo sent) looks good , I need to try this,” and how my words started out with an initially chill “Oh cool!” to an over-the-top, kid-in-a-(Vegan)-candy-store, brimming-with-excitement “LET’S GO ON A FOODIE ADVENTURE!”

“I’m free tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday.”

“So Tuesday, 3.30pm at Pong?”

“Okay Tuesday, 3.30pm at Pong!”

Good, cruelty-free food does this to me. I go a little wild.

1st Stop: Pong Gelato

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It is handcrafted everyday from fresh fruits, blissfully smooth, delightfully creamy, heavenly delicious and undoubtedly good for You. That day, I got for myself a coconut shell — which, by the way, had coconut flesh in it!! — of coconut and mango gelato, with red beans, corn and aloe vera to top it off. If You were like me, You would probably think — gelato mixed with savoury topping?? YES GO FOR IT. Thank me later! Goo got the same, except for grass jelly in place of the corn, which I opted for. OH and the gelato comes with a complimentary small serving of fresh coconut water. 😛

Posters plastered around the shop told me that getting coconut and mango gelato scoops was the way to go, but… while the adventurous side of me was thinking of going against the status quo and trying banana instead of the mango, the not-so-adventurous side of me didn’t like the idea of missing out on all the bliss and sparklers and happiness which came with arguably one of the best flavour combinations in the world — coconut and mango. The server could see the little quandary I was facing and granted me the option to try the banana gelato before making up my mind. The banana gelato tasted a little too unripe-y for me and that, my friends, was how I ended up with a coconut shell filled with the best gelato flavours in town.

Thanks for introducing this to me, Goo!

2nd Stop: ArtScience Museum

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Goo and I initially intended on only having an adventure involving food that day, but since the ArtScience Museum was in the vicinity of the Pasarbella pop-up food event at the iLight Marina Festival 2016 (more on that below), Goo suggested a trip to the museum too! I’ve never been in the peculiar lotus flower-shaped structure before so You can imagine how immensely excited I was for this!

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The walk to the museum presented itself in the form of a beautiful palm-tree lined ‘runway’, which opened up to a large man-made pond filled with floating bright pink and purple lotuses.

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P.s. Thank You, Goo, for this BTS shot. 😉

As we approached the font desk, we were informed that the museum was scheduled to close at 7pm. It was already 5.45pm then, but Goo knew for a fact — from personal experience — that visiting all the exhibits of the FUTURE WORLD: Where Art Meets Scienc can be done within an hour, so we went ahead and paid the S$11 student fee — with a slight pinch in our pockets but big BIG smiles on our faces nevertheless.

The FUTURE WORLD exhibition is a fully immersive 1500m² digital universe, where 15 spectacular art installations are brought to life and evolve in real-time through visitor presence and participation. It is a stunning interactive world that responds to visitors’ behaviours, and changes according to their creative input — a touch, a swipe, a bounce even.

It is, quite simply put, Singapore’s largest interactive digital playground.

Part I: An Enchanting Stroll Through Nature

It is an interactive world of flora and fauna comprised entirely of digital technology that invites you to reflect on the intricate relationship each of us shares with the environment.

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Do we scare You yet? We look good in camo, no? 😛

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We walked through a field of luminous flowers that seemed to go on forever and ever and ever. I realised that, depending on where we stood, the flowers either blossomed faded away, recreating nature’s endless cycle of growth and decay. Everything kept with the theme of perpetual change. I found out from a reading on the wall of the exhibit that the installation evolves throughout the year with the four different seasons, so no two visits will ever be the same.

There sure were magical moments in there. The background sounds paired so well with the  luminous display of flowers. It most definitely was a beautiful symbiosis that served our humble human senses well.

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A short walk further into the exhibition led us to a large empty space surrounded by large ‘TV screens’ which spanned the encircling wall, and which had comfy cushions plopped in the centre of the room to allow for comfortable viewing of the Sea Animation Diorama titled “100 Years”.

We didn’t stay here for the whole ten minutes of the larger-than-life installation film but I found out from Goo that the audience could get a glimpse into the future wrought by climate change — the prediction of the world’s rising sea levels over a century. It is based on scientific data derived from the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) and it offers a unique and provocative way to reflect on the long-term environmental effects of climate change. Talk about an excellent method to educate citizens of the world, aka. all of us, about its impact!

I even read online that at the film’s climax, the borders between the audience and the screen dissolve to create the illusion of eventually being swallowed by the rising sea, oh my!

(I didn’t manage to get a good photo of ‘our house’ on the screen, but I sort of did get one of our fish below!)

I love how much effort is being put into really bringing across the realities of our actions — just as how it was at the +5ºC film display, which I watched at Gardens By The Bay two weeks ago. All of us need to make the connection. There’s nothing more to it. We’ve got to understand the impacts our footprints have on this Earth. We need to open our eyes and be receptive to criticism of our actions, if necessary. We need to adopt the mindset that we do not have the right to exploit everything around us to appease our greed. A lifestyle as such is not sustainable and it never will be.

Part II: Town

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Goo and I partook in Sketch Town next.

It is an interactive digital installation depicting a fictitious town based on Singapore. We created a little humble house by colouring in stencil drawings of a house. We saw buildings, cars, planes, and even fantastical vehicles like spaceships and UFOs too! We then placed our 2D picture on the scanner, and watched with mouths agape (okay, at least mine was agape haha!) as our flowery abode suddenly appeared on the screen and came to life! I couldn’t believe it — it was transformed into a 3D animated object!

I read online that the fun continues with Sketch Town Paper Craft, which turns our 3D digital drawings into physical paper craft models. We could print your 3D drawing as an original paper craft pattern, which we could subsequently assemble take home with us as a souvenir. A pity Goo and I didn’t do this!

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There were tons of other elements in the ‘Town’ exhibit — all of which brought me a little further into my childhood of art and craft. I loved every bit of it and could imagine how much the rest of my family would have loved perusing through the out-of-this-world exhibits.

Part III: Park

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I was blown away by the realism Universe of Water Particles (a fancy way of saying “Waterfall”, don’t You agree?) — an absolutely spectacular seven-metre tall virtual waterfall.

I learned that hundreds of thousands of water particles cascade down the façade of a virtually sculpted rock, with each particle of ‘water’ digitally programmed and generated to flow according to the laws of Physics.

It was an uncannily accurate simulation of a true waterfall that appeared to be alive. Standing ‘underneath’ the waterfall felt like immersing myself in a moment of magic as I beheld the grandeur of nature. One word: surreal.

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Next up on the train of exhibits was Sketch Aquarium.

We explored the magic beneath the waves in the digitally rendered aquatic world. The immersive Sketch Aquarium installation allowed us to create drawings of sea creatures — we chose a cute fishy! — and watch them come to life in a virtual ocean.

It was an amazing dynamic artwork, which constantly grew and evolved as visitors drew and added different images of sea creatures including rainbow fish, stingrays, jellyfish. The busy sea creatures swam around and interacted with each other – we could even feed them by touching fish food bags on the screen!

Goo and I kept trying to touch the fish we created but we realised that whenever a fish got ‘touched’, it’d swim away at the speed of lightning! Sharks in this aquatic world had the same effect on the fish too. It got me thinking: how nice it would be to live in a world where fish wasn’t afraid of humans, in a world where fish didn’t see us as predators, i.e. akin to a shark, or the cause of their dwindling populations…

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Spot our fish in the background? 🙂

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Another portion of this exhibit was called the Light Ball Orchestra.

Beachball-sized globes of multicoloured light and sound were the instruments in this electrifying, one-of-a-kind orchestra. Touching any ball would change its colour and sound of the balls around it, thus creating a resonating effect throughout this dazzling environment. The participation of other visitors sent out ripples in different directions to interact with ours!

If You were to ask me to describe the type of sounds it created, I’d say, “The song of ‘Hahahaha’ because that was all I could make out of it — many ‘haha’s of different tones put together to form a musical piece.” It was, surprisingly, very very soothing.

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There was also this thing called Create! Hopscotch for Geniuses.

With it, we designed out own customised hopscotch game by arranging circles, triangles and squares on an electronic tablet, which were then projected onto the floor. After that was done, I slipped off my sandals and tried my very best to land on the shapes, which Goo and I had cheekily put quite a distance from one another. I found that when I managed to land on the same shapes in succession, I triggerd off beautiful colours and sounds that reverbrated throughout the space.

Magical…

Part IV: Space

aka. my favourite part of the entire exhibition.

Here, we ended our journey on a note of wonder by embarking outward and upward into astronomical Space. I quote, “We immersed ourself in what has been the subject of dreams, mythologies, artistic visions and scientific exploration since the dawn of human history.”

There was a seemingly infinite number of light particles inside the scintillating Crystal Universe — specifically more than 170,000 LED lights!! All of it, together, gave the illusion of stars moving in space.

Standing in the midst of it all and having the light and body of the installation respond to my mass and motion gave me the sensation that I was at the centre of the universe.

Walking out of the installation led Goo and I to getting our hands on a smart tablet, with which we could change the fabric of the universe itself by ‘swiping’ planets and stars on it. Subsequently, we spent the following moments watching the planet that we chose, Saturn, appear in a glorious red before us and become part of the dazzling installation.

3rd Stop: iLight Marina Festival 2016

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iLight Marina Bay is a sustainable light festival that features 25 innovative and environmentally sustainable light art installations by creative talents from around the world. I read online that later in the evening, after sun down that is, advanced lighting technology would be used to illuminate the Marina Bay waterfront so it transforms into a vibrant technicoloured live canvas. I was excited for this!

It was roughly 6.50-ish pm when we emerged out of the ArtScience Museum and now all that was left was appeasing our hungry tummies with a couple of cruelty-free goodies. We found the Propaganda popsicle stand almost immediately — yes, this is the same one that I mentioned in this post! — but I was devastated when I found out that my favourite flavour, Mango Coconut, had already been sold out!

Goo was close to purchasing her very first Popaganda popsicle but decided that while she could treat herself to Propaganda popsicles at some other time and location (considering it’s available at Pasarbella and at Real Foods outlets all year round), she couldn’t get her hands on Coocaca smoothies and bowls as conveniently (because they’re only a pop-up store), so we got going in the direction of Coocaca instead! 😉

Not yet an established brick-and-mortar entity, ‘Smoothies, Bols, and Good Vibes’ is Coocaca’s mantra and they are all about giving their customers a taste of that relaxing tropical beach that is all sorts refreshing and healthy.

“Which are Your bestsellers?”

“Pura Vida and Sao Paolo.”

“Okay may I get the Pura Vida?”

“… and I’ll have Sao Paolo please.”

Their Smoothie Bowls, aka. Bols or Super Bols, have bananas, rolled oats, coconut flakes and strawberries among many other mouth-watering ingredients, are superduperduper nutritious and in my opinion, the best thing to eat in the sweltering Singaporean heat. The hot and heaty food fiesta from most of the other food stalls had no chance. None at all. 😉

I read a light-hearted comment in a forum about this iLight festival, which I’d love to share. I quote, “They’re on that super food kick — acai and healthy living with good vibes (think yoga, environmental consciousness, surfer language and Bob Marley) bandwagon. So if you’re one of those folks, Coocaca is your Buena Ondas call.”

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It was a pleasure to have been able to share the beautiful evening skyline with a beautiful friend while taking generous spoonfuls out of my beautiful Pura Vida bowl.

About 20-30 minutes into sitting at the promenade, where chairs and tables were provided, everyone began to leave their seats and headed from the waterfront.

“Goo, what’s going on?”

“The water show!”

I’d never seen it before and grew increasingly curious, so I walked over to the waterfront, armed with my camera, hoping to get good shots of the water show. To my disappointment and utter confusion, all I saw was randomly positioned boats in the waters. I stood there for a couple of minutes, along with the throngs of other locals and tourists around me, but nothing took place so I walked back to my seat, dejected.

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About 5-10 minutes later, groovy-yet-grand music boomed through the speakers and the most magnificent water I’ve ever seen began. I spent a majority of the water show with my jaw dropped to the floor and my eyes firmly fixed on the elegant waves of water spurts. It was only when it was almost coming to an end that I realised I hadn’t gotten a good shot of it for memory yet! I hurriedly fished my camera out of my bag and snapped the shot above.

Can You spot the ‘bird’? Or at least the almost-disappearing remnants of it? Beautiful, huh? 🙂

Somebody ought to tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit every minute of every day. Do it, I say, whatever you want to do, do it now. — Michael Landon

I’m so thankful this day magically freed up for this impromptu trip Goo and I planned together.

The ways of the universe are magical.

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One thought on “Pong, Smoothie ‘Bols’ & Crayons

  1. Pingback: Roof Got Hole. Can See The Sky. | Stefanie Natascha

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