Painted faces on parade

I’ve been backing up lots of my photos from my undergraduate days abroad on flickr, after all it’s a free terabyte, something I could easily use.

Lots of memories were stowed away safely and conveniently with every click of the shutter – almost too easy to recall something nowadays. I wonder if our photo-obsessed culture will lead to an increased probability of alzheimers or dementia, given how few neurons are fired in pursuit of a memory – we have photos of pretty much anything and everything now.

I don’t usually take photos of people, but at the Ithaca festival of 2011 (usually happens in May or early June), I decided to help out at my church (Tabernacle Baptist) by painting faces.


I wasn’t a real good painter then, but hey, the service was free! Most of the girls wanted to see what their new temporary tattoo looked like, so I took pictures of them instead (I forgot to bring a handheld mirror).

This little girl got a little pink and gold butterfly.

The pastor’s daughter wanted a black cat. Perhaps she’d been reading Harry Potter, although most of the cats in the series weren’t black.

She’s so adorable! I love it when people ask me to do things that are easy for me, like painting a heart.

This was a really young girl (maybe age 4? 5?) who wanted a heart with polka dots. The younger kids twitched like anything and couldn’t hold still for very long – perhaps they need a repetitive action to distract them? Sierra wanted a full faced tiger at the Apthorple but kept getting tickled by my brush.

This was a tough one, but it exemplifies the kind of culture you find in Ithaca perfectly. (Can you imagine any teenager in Singapore asking for the recycling logo?) Face painting isn’t real popular in Singapore either, although I’m not sure why. We do have lots of National Day tattoos of the flag or of red stars or the merlion logo, that adolescents paste on to their faces but no one really sets up a face painting booth during celebrations. It’s all the rage in Ithaca though, during the Christmas celebration in Pyramid mall and also during the Apple Fest.

I miss the town, hippies, anti-fracking signs, and the beautiful turqoise windows in my church. Wish I could be back to hear the bell choir play for christmas!



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