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Hotel Vagabond X Julia Calfee Artist-In-Residence Exhibition

An invitation to attend the newly opened Hotel Vagabond’s current Artist-In-Residence exhibition was one I couldn’t refused. After all, the hotel is being touted to be Singapore’s first experience-driven luxury boutique hotel with a Salon area, with its exquisite interiors designed by celebrated French designer Jacques Garcia. It’s also the only hotel in Singapore to feature an Artist-In Residence program.

 

Hotel Vagabond

Photo courtesy of Hotel Vagabond

 Don’t be fooled by the hotel’s unassuming vintage exterior. Walk through its doors, and you’ll be greeted with luxurious ?interiors, carefully curated art pieces, and razzle-dazzle opulence. Behold the Vagabond Salon.

 

Hotel Vagabond

Hotel Vagabond review

Photos courtesy of Hotel Vagabond

 The Vagabond Salon is where you’ll have the chance to mingle with artists-in-residence and guests while enjoying all of its unique performances, exhibitions and films the hotel has to offer. This place is where the heart and soul of Hotel Vagabond lies! Here, you can enjoy a five star dining experience while socialising , courtesy of the 5th Quarter. Housed within the Hotel Vagabond, 5th Quarter is the brain child of celebrated restauranteur Loh Lik Peng in partnership with award-winning Executive Chef Andrew Nocente. It is a modern contemporary grill with a strong focus on meat curing. Check them out here.

 

Hotel Vagabond

Photo courtesy of Hotel Vagabond

If you prefer a drink through your conversations, head on over to Bar Vagabond and choose from ? an eclectic rotating selection of handcrafted cocktails, artisan spirits and wines, and a curated collection of rare and exotic teas and coffee.

 

Hotel Vagabond

I was delighted to have met up with Julia Calfee, Hotel Vagabond’s current Artist-In-Residence. She is an amazing and humble lady, whose passion for a craft astounds me. One of Julia’s well-known black-and-white images from ‘Inside the Chelsea Hotel’ adorns the walls of the Vagabond Salon, providing much inspiration for the soul of Vagabond Hotel. Do drop by her website and take a look!

Julia shared with us videos, photos and sounds of her latest work, 2 of which I found absolutely enchanting.

 

Hotel Vagabond

Photo Credits: Julia Calfee (http://www.juliacalfee.com/)

A Glacier’s Requiem’ is Julia’s effort to bring light to the world, the effects of global warming with focus on the melting of glaciers. She travelled to Switzerland and there, she captured black-and-white photos and audio recordings as the glaciers melted away. Here is an extract from her website.

“Lying inside this glacier-cave, I heard many strange noises within the last rhythms of the melting ice, sounds like a heart beating very fast, beating desperately for its last oxygen. The ice continued to melt, and was transformed into the shape of dolphins playing. I took photos of all these attempts for survival which were at the same time all encompassing and pitful.” 

As she shared, my mind explored the huge myriad of audio recordings of the melting glaciers Julia took and wondered at the ‘helicopter’ and ‘heart-beat’ sounds that came out of it. Perhaps those were truly songs of a glacier’s last moments?

 

Hotel Vagabond Julia Calfee

Photo Credits: Julia Calfee (http://www.juliacalfee.com/)

 ‘Inside the Chelsea Hotel’ was the other project which enchanted me. The Chelsea Hotel was a place where many creative personalities (including Julia) made their home. She stayed 4 years at the hotel and came to the its ‘residents’ pretty well. Some of these ‘residents’ have stayed for over a decade and have even raised children there.

Living in sanitized Singapore, the various personalities and lifestyles captured by Julia stood out tremendously. In fact, it scared me a little. The Chelsea Hotel was a place where being normal was not normal, a place where its residents were free to be themselves and away from the expectations of society. The hotel seemed to be a place bursting with life, pushing the boundaries of what it means to live life. Today, its creative residents have been evicted and only a shell remains.

 

Hotel Vagabond review

At the Vagabond Salon, you’ll never know who you’ll meet. I had a great time chatting with some of the guests of Vagabond Hotel, and I would say the Vagabond Salon really did play its intended role of bringing people together well. I was attended by a friendly staff and served a drink the moment I stepped in. The atmosphere was fun and friendly, and I eased easily into conversation at a place where I knew no one (initially).

All in all, I loved the experience at the Vagabond Salon (given the little time I have spent there) and am amazed by Julia’s work.

Hotel Vagabond is located at 39 Syed Alwi Road Singapore 207630. Sign up for their e-newsletter and keep a lookout for Hotel Vagabond’s next Artist-In Residence event at their website, you might be amazed at what you’ll discover!

Shawn

 

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Shawn

Heya guys! I'm Shawn, le hubby of Qi Yun. I'm a no fuss, super practical kinda guy , sometimes to a fault. I like travelling and exploring new stuff. This blog helps to chronicle our journeys, which will come in especially handy when my wife asks something I forget. Check out @flyingpistachios for more amazing pics and youtube.com/c/qiyun if you are looking for reviews and the finer details. Do leave us a comment or two so that we know there are living people visiting the blog :D Cheers!

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