Tuesday, 9 September 2008


I found it quite uncanny (using all my senses, that is, not just the ocular). I felt a Christian could worship God quite splendidly (in spirit and in truth) at Sasanarakkha (bottom set of pictures), and wasn't convinced that a Buddhist could do likewise at All Saints (obvious...top set of pictures).

Perhaps my senses were peculiar, not shared by others..

But that's what I felt.

What about you?

(Pic 3: Messages from the Light of the World filtered through a tracery of imported glass.)

(Pic 4: Lovely baluster detail in brass)

As to whether I could worship as meaningfully at All Saints as I can at Sasanarakkha, I.....er...erm....

...am not so sure.
Gotta try it out and see.

I guess I'm averse to clinging to the form of religion and denying the power of it.

... on the meditation platform...

Panoramic view of Taiping from a perch of metal sheet on timber on metal on (again) timber on metal on concrete on earth, with the aroma of durian from a tracery of leaves.

All Saints and Sasanarakkha: A nice contrast between building on earth and building "in heaven" with all its appropriate architectonics and differing design affiliations. I mean, they're faithful to very different architectural preoccupations.

Pic 11 and 12 added (oh, dear!) Sept 11, 2008 !!!

Pic 11 shows real timber clapboarding.

Pic 12: alum trays for anti-termite detail.

Note the timber-grained cement sheets (ya?)

This one is somehow notably different from the lightness of the steel structures shown above..

(img taken from: http://www.fireflymission.org.sg/sbs_rc_021.html)


ian ng said...

yeah...we could do with another trip... a quicky day trip thingey...kellie's castle and Foster's University in Tronoh.
super pics, Dave. Kudos.

er....did we get any work done in Taiping? (The program director checks this blog sometimes.)

Khang Siang said...

im not beholden to either Christian or Buddist belief, so cannot comment on this..
But Sasanarakkha is really a good place to calm & slow down urselves (soul-searching!).
The architecture isnt something out of the world, but what we feel familiar with. So it's a merit of putting normal architectonics together & the understanding of context.
but some are still so fake err : the timber-grained ceramic tiles/plates...

anw who was the architect??

ian ng said...

Jade Saw was the PAM Building Award winner of this building.

Sure, if u meant the clap boarding for the walls, it's 'fake' timber planks. But fake only because we know the real timber planks so much better. Yeah, remove the timber grains and you get a 'real' material. But don't forget, it's still as 'unreal', in the sense that it's factory processed, as the cement sheets used for the ceilings, the ceramic tiles in the bathroom, the aluminium trays used in an adhoc manner for the anti-termite devise atop the concrete stumps (clever, that), and while we're at it, the steel frame of the building.

Is a little bit of ornamentation so wrong? Are we still pure Modernists?

I've added another pic showing a closeup of the bathroom. Ya, here the clap boarding is real timber planks. And the wall and floor tiles are free of pattern/ornament, but still machine made.

Maybe they ran out of money when it came time to build those other pavilions and went for timber-grained cement sheets instead of real cellulose. Is it so wrong to be poor but clever (and romantic)?

Cement sheets are cheaper and relatively maintenance-free. Must we always be rich and 'pure' before we build for our pressing needs?

Should the metal roofing sheets have been Senggora clay tiles or attap or such like?

Sorry, were u talking about artificial representation or the use of natural organic materials?

ian ng said...

..mind posting a pic of the timber grained ceramic tile/plate for us to looksee? Tx

Khang Siang said...

(img posted)
I was talking bout artificial representation..
Have no problem with ornamentations, but not so comfortable with using something n trying so much to be something else.. everything else at other pavillions are presented quite honestly (though factory processed).
Ofcoz, Im not thinking so much on the practical side....