Aug 5, 2008
Garden festival marred by shutterbugs
THE Singapore Garden Festival 2008 at Suntec Singapore was a breathtakingly beautiful event. I am so glad I made time on a weekday to go and see it. Everything about the event - the exhibits, the staff at the information counter, the ticketing staff (who made it a point to ensure people got discounts) and the arrangements were top class.
The core of the festival - the exhibits, be they in the Landscape Design category or Fantasy Garden category - were sights to behold. Hats off to the judges for executing the difficult task of awarding gold, silver and bronze to entries. Competition was tough.
So what marred the intensely beautiful experience? The customers. I mean, as an appreciator of visual beauty, you want to stand before the exhibit, gaze at it, admire it, let it sink in, learn from it and so many internal experiencing involved.
But you are jarringly disturbed by shutterbugs and their posers. I wonder if I saw anyone who had come to enjoy the visual treat that the horticultural exhibition really was. More like, people were the exhibits. There was incessant posing , some even (courteously) shooing genuine gazers to move aside so they could get their pictures taken, with the exhibits in the background.
I confess I too took my camera along, and got some great shots without inconveniencing anyone. But I needn't have worried. Very few were really interested in a serious first-hand experience of the exquisitely beautiful work before their eyes. More interested in capturing them on film and experiencing it on celluloid. What a state we have come to.
I wonder if such exhibitions can be organised with shutter-free options, for example, assigning some viewing days as 'no-camera' days.
Prema Jayakumar (Mrs)