Friday, August 11, 2017

Diva Chats with the Organisers of the local Memorial for Linkin Park's Chester Bennington

On 20th July 2017, Red Dot Diva received the news of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington's passing, while she was at work. It was terrible news, but since she had to put on her game face at the office, she was unable to outwardly grieve for the loss of this talented musician who had touched her soul with his beautiful voice and music.

"Hybrid Theory" and "Meteora" were released during a time of self-reflection and monumental changes during Red Dot Diva's life, and Linkin Park's angsty anthems which featured an alternate wave of Chester Bennington's trademark raging screams and soothing vocals helped her made sense of things.

She finally got to watch Linkin Park live in concert at the Padang back in 2004. It was one of the most perfect concerts by the band, and she will never forget the experience. She was also a few hundred metres away from Chester himself, when a few of the band members attended the MTV Asia Music Awards held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium around the same time.

Admittedly, Red Dot Diva was a little numbed by the loss of Chester as life's day to day practicalities had to be dealt with. It was only the next evening that she was in an emotional space strong enough to deal with her grief. So, she holed herself in her study and played through Linkin Park's songs and videos for an hour or so, listening to Chester's voice and messages while saying goodbye to this amazing, talented individual.

A candle virgil for Chester Bennington

On 30th July 2017, local fans got their chance to say their own goodbyes to Chester Bennington, at a specially planned memorial called "Remembering Chester". It threatened to rain at first but the skies cleared up in time for people to converge at the event, which was held under the Benjamin Sheares Bridge. Red Dot Diva was unable to attend because she was not feeling well. She followed the event online, watching the Facebook live videos, and pics of emotional fans singing songs and lighting candles. More than 60 people attended the event throughout the evening, and many stayed through till the end. The fans shared their tears, laughter, and personal stories about what Chester and Linkin Park's music meant to them. It was a means of catharsis for so many who needed someone to share their grief with.

The "Remembering Chester" Memorial was organised by a cohort of dedicated fans, with many others who chipped in neared the date. Red Dot Diva managed to speak to the main organisers - Vanessa, Kyra, Cain, Aisyah and Jaslyn:

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Fans Gather at Kinokuniya to Celebrate Sonny Liew's Eisner Award Win


Old and new fans of comic book writer/ artist Sonny Liew are still on a high even though it has been over a week since the Eisner Awards held at San Diego. Sonny is the first Singaporean to be awarded an Eisner. In fact, he won not just 1 but 3 Eisner awards - for Best Writer/ Artist, Best US Edition of International Material - Asia and Best Publication Design!

On the night Sonny Liew arrived home from SDCC 2017, a bunch of fans from the local comics-loving community gave him a surprise "hero's" welcome at Changi Airport. It was the first time any of them has seen an Eisner award up close.

Since then, Sonny has been constantly in the local media, with several personalities putting in their two cents' (oh wait, got inflation. Now, five cents, liao!) worth regarding the discourse about the government's funding for the arts. Sonny has also been speaking to the press and bloggers about his personal journey in the comic book industry.

Yesterday afternoon (4 Aug 2017) at 2 PM, Kinokuniya bookstore gave Sonny Liew's fans an opportunity to celebrate his 3x Eisner Award win, and to get their copy of "The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye" signed.

Friday, August 4, 2017

STGCC 2017: Diva's Interview with Hunky Professional Cosplayer, Leon Chiro

When professional cosplayer Leon Chiro was announced as a guest of STGCC 2017, a collective wave of squeals and happy sighs rippled through the local geek and cosplay communities.

Who can blame them? After all, the Italian cosplayer does realistic performances of gaming and pop-culture characters, is absolutely shredded (Yum!), interacts constantly with his fans, and has a cheeky sense of humour to boot!

Leon Chiro's detailed and convincing cosplays have caught the eyes of many AAA gaming companies, and they have hired him as official cosplayers for their promotional activities and events. These companies include Ubisoft ("Assassin's Creed" / "Watch Dogs"), Square Enix ("Gladiolus - Final Fantasy XV" - a huge fan favourite!), Capcom (honorary mention for his Dante) and many more.

For the "Assassin's Creed" movie, Leon go to put on the mantel of Aguilar de Nerha and worked with 20th Century Fox on the film's promotional campaign, stunt work and official European launch events.



What attracted Red Dot Diva to Leon's cosplays were his confident, very true-to-life takes on characters, like Gaston from Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" and his playful spins to existing personas, for instance, Baywatch Gladio. He even does a spot-on Leon version of Saltbae!

Leon Chiro is so popular in the gaming and cosplaying community that he gets invited to attend several conventions around the world - about 3 to 4 shows a month! In many of these events, he is asked to judge cosplay competitions as well, and at STGCC, Leon will be one of the judges for the Championship of Cosplay 2017!

Before he steps foot on our sunny island, Red Dot Diva got hold (mmm mmm) of Leon to ask him some nosy questions:

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Illustration Arts Festival Returns On 12 & 13 August 2017 With A Bigger Artists Market

The Illustration Arts Festival (IAF) is back this year at the LASALLE College of the Arts on 12 & 13 August 2017. It is held in conjunction with the 11th anniversary celebration of the Organisation of Illustrators Council (OIC Singapore).

The indie event, organised by LASALLE (partner and sponsor) and OIC Singapore, brings the illustration arts community together in an inviting, vibrant showcase of creative works, in a space where the public can mingle with the artists and experience their art first-hand.

Red Dot Diva and her friends attended IAF last year and hands down, it was the best, visually exciting indie arts event of the year. Browsing through the Artists Market and checking out the self-published graphic novels as well as eye-catching art showcased by the community, took about 2 hours to complete. There was so much to see! It was also an inspiring day out, as she spent time chatting with several artists and creators to find out more about their inspirations and ideas.

This year's festival is filled with equally interesting guests and even more activities. There will be talks by the following guest artists:

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