Hermitage literally means the Dwelling of a Hermit. I used to have a beloved Hermitage or Creative Inner Sanctum or Man Cave. I bought it as one of my property investments.
I bought it at a time when commercial properties were (unbelievably) NOT in vogue. The property developer even paid for my stamp duties and legal fees.
One of my crazy items in my Life’s Bucket-Hat List is to own a non-descript invite-only Art Living Room in a light industrial building. It’s meant to be an Art Sanctuary for the Creative Crazies.
Almost upon the opening of my art sanctuary, my buddy Steve Wozniak (Apple co-founder) and his fun wife Janet paid me a visit on a weekend (above image). Check out my uber-cool glass-top coffee-table flight case.
To Steve’s left (on the floor), you can see the original Beatles’ Rubber Soul B/W print – a present from Robert Freeman who shot the cover image. I had the honour to speak with him once on the phone. He was in Spain at that time.
Next to the Rubber Soul framed print, is the rare Led Zeppelin lithograph of the iconic untitled 4th album. Signed by Jimmy Page, mine’s #4 in the edition. I usually get the#1 from this seller/art agent. He tells me Jimmy Page has reserved #1 and #2, I could have #3. I asked if I could have #4 instead. He said okay and asked me the reason for this particular number. I told him I’ll tell him after he sent it.
#4 equates Led Zeppelin’s 4th album, yes?
I even made cool jackets, T-shirts, stickers, aprons and other memorabilia for my studio/gallery.
Debbie Harry (Blondie) demonstrates how to properly wear my gallery jacket (above image). Haha.
My psychedelic folk-rock hero, Mr. Tambourine Man himself, Roger McGuinn (leader of the Byrds) with his awesome wife Camilla hung out at my hide-out. I made the Living Legend lie down on (clean) garbage bags with Byrds and his solo CD covers (all signed) around his head for an impromptu portrait shot (above image).
I even arranged a local newspaper to interview Mr. McGuinn for an article (above image).
It’s not an everyday affair to have the originator of my countless toy figurines drop by and hang out at my toy sanctuary, Frank Kozik for three days in a row (above image).
An array of Mr. Kozik’s toy masterpieces (above image).
An honour to have the highly respected opposition leader, Chiam See Tong, hang out at my gallery (above image). He looks at a large “The Firing Squad” print of a portrait I took of him years ago. The portrait portrays how he stood stoic and proud in the persistent heat from the ruling political party.
It is noted that Mr. Chiam is the only opposition leader openly respected by Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of modern Singapore. At See Tong’s daughter’s wedding dinner even Singapore’s President SR Nathan was in attendance. CST is my Chiampion!
This is the plain unassuming front view of my Hermit’s Dwelling (above image). There’s no dominant signboard, only a stenciled flight case next to the entrance door. If you know, you know.
I subsequently added some of my B/W framed images onto the display wall (above image).
The serene Zen interior of my Sanctuary/Living Room with a tranquil unobscured full-height window scenery (above image). You can see, at eye-level, the MRT track. I love the sound of the therapeutic train passing by every few minutes.
Enjoying a Zen moment in my Sanctuary (above image).
Sometimes like-minded creative friends will congregate for fun times (image below).
A part of my Galactus toy figurines collection. He devours planets for breakfast!
I’m extremely honoured and grateful to have the various media’s interest in my rock photographic journey and achievements.
I presume the media are also amused at my retyred lifestyle, toy collection and unique fun take on Life (above and below images).
Happy to be The Poster Boy of Fun Retyrement!
An article from Today newspaper interview (above image).
An article from L’Oficiel fashion magazine interview (above image).
An article from Audi car magazine interview (above image).
Once Canon asked if they could invite some camera enthusiasts to pay a visit to my Studio/Gallery. I said “Sure! Organise a B/W photography contest and I’ll select six winners.” They promptly made it happen. Pronto! (above image)
Me giving a talk to the Canon winners (above image).
As a rock photographer, I also acquire iconic signed prints of my rock photo heroes. Amongst others, I own the complete set of the late Barry Feinstein’s signed Janis Jopin’s Pearl album photo out-takes (above image).
Happy inside the Inner Sanctum of my Inner Sanctum. My happy Creative Corner (above image). Check out my brief-case flight case.
And so, after 8 years of enjoying my Hermitage (property investment), I sold it to my medical doctor neighbour for 50% more mullahs than what I paid for the commercial unit. It’s a 30-year lease-hold property so it’s best to let it go with only 22 years left, while it’s still deemed easy to get a bank loan for the next buyer for the remaining short property tenure.
Been there, Enjoyed that, Sold that!