Being Friends of Centre For The Arts

If you think PhD is hard, boring or research is mundane, well, my friends, I do not agree with you, especially if you have lots of opportunities in the school.

I found HERE Arts Festival organized by Centre of Arts(CFA) when I started PhD, at 2019-Aug. Thereafter I signed for membership (free+free advantages) of CFA at NUS.

I wanted be away from where I stucked in my projects (also in the country) for a while during pandemic. Wanted to try something different. Then, I realized I have tons of other opportunities at NUS. There are many different active student clubs, graduate sub-societies (established recently)and events for art-enthusiasts.

Festival flyer. Image courtesy: NUS CFA festival page.

I volunteered for several events happening (demo before the real one) to write my opinion last year. The theme was Lost in Time(once again due to pandemic). Here are my comments for the events I joined during the volunteering session (Disclaimer: my personal interpretation of the the events):


My mother’s daughter

Life is built on evolution. Not only human but also every creature comes to life to change. Even though fusion and unification brought us to life, controlled self-division from that unite makes us growing and makes us what we are. In fact, this process never stops, it even continues for the transition from childhood to adulthood. In this respect, family’s expectation from its child is to transfer the values they have been accumulated by imitation. However, as Khalil Gibran says, “they are sons and daughters of life longing itself” (On Children). This does not mean a separation but more of a combination of our past which is intertwined with our surroundings to build a better future with a proper reference.


The portrait of self might be more complex than one can imagine. In fact, both micro and macro level, we have affected by the environmental changes as epigenetics, psychology or sociology is trying to figure out. Whereas we have one special thing called: willpower. When we act based on this superpower, we move to some direction, which might either converge to or diverge from where we stand. Although the choices we make distinguish us from anyone else around, when we put effort to gather this uniqueness of each of us, we create a movement that creates a beautiful harmony. This is a real syn-esthesia (syn: together, estesia: sensation)!

Renungan Masa

Memories of Japan

Summer Nostalgia

John Green says “Imagining the future is a kind nostalgia” on Looking For Alaska. Hence, the music we listen, the visualization the scenes whether it is warm, naughty, classic, calm, or fun by the help of the reflection of the musical notes on us, provides us a time travel in between the past and the future. This helps us to reconstruct the present with love, passion, and self-confidence despite all the struggles we face in difficult times like pandemic.


It is contradictory whether our mind have innate ideas or is “tabula rasa”. What we might know is the memory we made through the experience creates the identity of ourselves. So, self-conciseness, recognition of our emotions and claiming an ownership of any part of the life we involved is connected by memory and makes us. In this piece of performance, you will have a chance to bring lovely memories to present with feeling the hope, excitation, passion, fear, and sweetness of the past.

Bedroom ennui

We have started to spend a lot of time at home, including the bedrooms and on the screen. In this case, boredom is inevitable unless we create new opportunities by remembering. As Roland Benoit believes, “Memories is not made for the past, but for the future”, for the future-self. Every moment turns into a sort of Déjà-vu by various iterations. Maybe this supports the idea that Déjà-vu (:already seen) is not a glitch in our rhinal cortex, but it is a system to resolve the conflicts of the present by adopting us to current situations. As long as we are able to reflect and share, either with art or verbal, our emotions freely with people around us, and feel their support, we can make through the loneliness of a pandemic bring.

The interesting part of the festival is the events were held in places as designed like different rooms of a house such as living room or bedroom, where we lost our sense of time.

Moreover, I had a chance to watch more of these free art events during wrap-up party for the volunteers.

Apart from this, I had a chance to chat with the director about the events organized. I would say I am amazed by their eagerness towards bringing arts and science in many ways.

Hope to enjoy free admission to many great events in 2022, too!

If you are interested in arts, step aside from your research for few hours and give a chance to watch/listen talented student and professional artists on the stage in these events =)



Ortaya Karışık (Fatma Betul Dincaslan)

FeBe/ Molecular Biologist and Geneticist / Bioinformatician/ Single Cell Assayist / Socially developed nerd