This summer has been a multi-age Painting-Play-fest!

What a joy it has been to serve these wonderful people of all ages, all walks of life in the “No Comment” Closlieu. For the majority of them it was their first time trying Painting-Play, but they took to it like ducks to water. Since it’s a brand new and quite alien concept in Singapore, I’ve been hosting “discovery” sessions. I know Arno might not approve of a Closlieu taking bookings for less than an entire year(!), but I hope he would understand that in the context of Singapore this really is a necessity. Lots of these one-time sessions are leading to longer-term bookings of 5-7 weeks… Baby steps headed in the right direction!

The first Closlieu in Singapore has landed!

Against all Covid-19-related odds, “No Comment” Painting-Play studio opened on 14th July 2020 – the first and only Closlieu in Singapore!

I’m allowed to welcome 5 people at a time and I leave an hour between each group to deep clean and disinfect (and archive the paintings). It’s been such a blast already, more than 70 painting-players and almost 400 paintings later! Phew!

Here are a few glimpses of the journey so far…

Happy Birthday from Singapore, Arno!

I’ve just seen that it was Arno’s 96th birthday on Tuesday. In this photo that his son André took, there was a row of colourful candles inspired by one of his wonderful inventions: the table-palette. Such a perfect way to celebrate the long and vibrant life of this pioneering man! Because Arno has devoted more than 70 of his 96 years to the development of “le jeu de peindre”, which requires a “closlieu” room with its “table-palette” nucleus of 18 delectable colours in order for “la formulation” – the universal visual “mother-tongue” – to arise in the participants. Much like the flames on his candles, the paint colours shine a light on this neglected and endangered language. When you bring people of all ages around the table-palette, just as when you bring families and friends around a regular table to share a meal together, it strengthens a bond of trust in humanity, solidarity, of shared experience, creating memories and a brighter, more hopeful future.

Thank you once again, Arno, for bringing Painting Play into our lives! Here’s to many more happy birthdays ahead!

Copyright: Top AndreSternOfficial Instagram, bottom Arno Stern Official Facebook Page

A Trace Of Pleasure

Stuck in lockdown, unable to launch my dream Painting-Play space in Singapore as planned, I took a breath and some time out to playfully translate an extract from Arno Stern’s “Une Tracée De Plaisir”:

“Painting can be an art, but it can also be playful.

And play nullifies

The notion of talent; the obsession with success; the dependence on an audience.

As play, a trace is left for the pleasure of it, for its own power and purity.

The trace is enough in itself.

Leaving a trace is a fundamental and essential act; a tangible creation.  

The act of leaving a trace resonates deeply within the person.

No other activity is as spontaneous.

No other activity eludes teaching to this degree.

No other activity procures such immediate pleasure.”

(Le Closlieu – le Jeu de Peindre et la Formulation, 2013, p.139)