I’m finally done with my 5 year excursion through art college and like many recent graduates from art school, I’m trying to figure out how to get out there.
Yes, it’s a scary, real world. No, there aren’t any office jobs waiting for my butt to sit in (unless you’re like an in-house designer or something fancy like that), and no my friends won’t pay me for private commissions (they’re broke too, I get it). So, I decided to just use my free time apart from my mind-numbing waitressing job to just…well…keep getting out there.
So thus a new journey of posting, posting, and harassing everyone’s eyes, ears, and minds with my drawings, paintings and anything that inspires me to keep me doing what I love to do…
…and hopefully, what I love to do will motivate you to keep doing what you love to do, even if it is sitting in your cubicle.
Inspired by Haruki Murakami’s book, IQ84. German short story called the “Town of Cats.”
So, I’ve been working on this project where I have to create my own font out of zoological, biological, or human motives. I chose figures, more specifically acrobats in the air to spell out the word aerodynamic. This is just the beginning process but I feel like it looks pretty good. However, my professor and I don’t seem to see eye to eye. He isn’t convinced that my Y, N, and A are “readable,” or at least not to its the best of its ability. I don’t know, I wasn’t so hot about his comment.
Anyway, I brought the print home and showed it to my friend and she made some good points, which made me realize that maybe, my teacher was right. My two legs on the Y need to shorten, and the arm on the n is a little long. I need some work on the A (unfortunately.)
I just finished the saddest movie of all time called “Be With Me” directed by Eric Khoo. It consists of three love stories that relate back to each other by the end of the movie. So the first story is about a lonely grandpa/shopkeeper who lost his wife but then becomes inspired by a blind and deaf woman by her life story that his son translated into Chinese. The second story is about a tubby, and quiet man in his fifties who’s only two loves in life are food and a beautiful executive woman whom he secretly stalks, and finds joy in observing her. Then, the third story is about two schoolgirls who fall in love through the internet, but then it doesn’t fall through.
This isn’t your everyday romance, cutesy, heart-wrenching-but-everything-works-out-in-the-end kind of film, and i just texted my friend stating that it’s a movie about love, but it’s not about the romance; rather, it’s about the breaking point, what happens after, and the mental torture that comes with being in love. Whether it’s a 60 year marriage, a secret admiration, or a fling, love definitely HURTS.
So, what’s really interesting about this movie other than the fact that it made me bawl like a baby is the limited script. There is hardly any conversation going on in this movie, but Eric Khoo does an amazing job focusing on the power of physical interaction and facial expressions. There is some talking, but most of it is dubbed over by the blind and deaf woman who talks about her life journey in understanding what love truly means in life, quite empowering. Also, this movie reminded me a little bit of Wong Kar-Wai’s filming methods such as prolonging a shot to create tension, loneliness, and sadness, no stark contrasty colors though, sorry Mr. Wong!
Anyway, if you’re looking for a solid cry, whether you are a man or woman, check this movie out. I guarantee you, whoever you are, you maybe the toughest person on the block but the realness in this movie hits home, that is if you’re not a robot or something.
This movie made me think a little bit about what love means to me. I joked with my friend and told him, “this movie was so sad that I think I’m just going to love everyone now!” I mean I don’t think I could handle loving everyone, or whether that is even possible. No, I think I dislike more people than I could ever truly love someone. Love surely comes in many forms, even weird ones, like the ones where you get struck meeting eyes with someone getting off the train. Maybe an experience like that isn’t exactly what love is, but it’s definitely a fluttering feeling that may or may not be similar to love. Love is sneaky, tricky, and totally confusing, but when it’s there, it’s the best feeling in the world. Love is a total bastard.
I can say I’ve been in love before, and fallen deeply for it, almost like an addiction. The rise from it is almost as bad as withdrawal from coke. Ok, that’s a bit dramatic but I don’t need to tell you guys how bad it feels to lose someone you once loved. But what I can say is that after my experience falling in and out of love, that no matter what, love can be found everywhere in everything. So what if you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend at the age of 14? You don’t need that title to be in love. If anything, love can even be applied to yourself. I truly think that in order to find someone you truly love, you have to love and understand yourself first or else how will you find that true person? Anyway, enough ranting, touchy topic for me, for everyone, ick love right?
Here are some other movies I checked out over break. I just didn’t post them because I thought wow, “Be With Me” hit the spot!
Like I promised, some work from first semester. I’m not uploading everything, just the good ones :)
Chrysanthemum Portrait. Because chrysanthemums are my favorite :) I might get a tattoo of the flower once I make some doughh
A quick acrylic painting. I’ve been real into it nowdays!
Phat and Ballin! Party D.J Buddha! Dig it.
My two favorite past-times. One, day dreaming, two driving. Put them together and you get this funky piece! I don’t suggest for ANYONE to do these two things together. Ever.
Arooj Painting properly photographed and uploaded. For some odd reason, and I hate myself for saying this but the quality MAYBE very similar to my stupid android phone. Yuck. Weird. Technology.
This is of my friend looking stressed out and annoyed. I tried to capture her mood during finals. I think it’s pretty clear how we all felt haha. She also has like the perfect almond eyes. What a desi princess!
Another one of my friend. This is more of her chill time.
Here’s a bit of a close-up. Gouache is NOT my friend. I do not like her. She’s difficult.
So those were my favorites, and here’s some random exploration of media pieces :) Enjoy!
Gouache, watercolor, color pencil on printmaking paper. I think I could go further with this, I’m digging the leaves.
Mmmm. Fruit. Nom.
This was one of my first landscape pastel drawings. It was fun, a little hard to see though. The funny thing about pastel paintings is that you have to view it at a certain distance so that each mark will optically mix. It’s like magic! Do it next time you go to a museum :)
oH man this was just a pain in the butt, BUT I’ll show you guys anyway. I think this was a crazy moment for me.
That’s it! I did a bunch of digital work too but I’ll post those later. My computer is freaking out! Ick. Technology. How I love and hate you so..
So I wrote a long post about Chinese-Americans and their on-going political and cultural struggles living in this country which was inspired by this movie that I’ve found on netflix called Chan Is Missing, but it got deleted. Poo.
Oh well! This is an awesome, awesome old-school black and white film about two Chinese-American taxi drivers, an old Chinese man named Jo and his nephew Steve running around the streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown in search of a man named Chan who ran off with their money. I researched a bit about it, and apparently it’s the first American-made film in which Chinese-Americans are portrayed in the most realistic way. Unlike many other Asian-American films where Asian actors and actresses are limited to certain roles based on stereotypes, or just another predictable racial awareness movie, Chan Is Missing brings the viewer INTO the struggles by the way the director, Wayne Wang films it. It’s very documentary-like, not just any ole’ detective story; rather, Wang uses this motive to explore deeper cultural issues. The movie gets really hectic, lots of shouting, talking over others, and that’s because Wang brings the viewer into the conversation by making the viewers observe the scene through one of the character’s eyes, kind of like being the first person. Throughout the movie, the two cabbies meet up with various characters to find out where Chan went, and as they encounter these people, issues that Chinese-Americans face trying to “fit-in” to contemporary American society come up in conversation, as if it’s just normal everyday conversation. Nothing racist, or dramatic really happens which is why I think this movie is so interesting because it’s really just a bunch of Chinese-American folks talking, analyzing, and even laughing about the issues that they face for as long as the Chinese immigrated to America. The different people that they meet in various parts of Chinatown all carry a different persona, different views, opinions, cultures, and even sub-cultures which is a clear commentary on the stereotype that all Asians are alike.
It’s very much like what we do nowadays, bitch, moan, about the injustices that minorities face day in and day out, but hey, we have all the right to do it, and honestly, sometimes it’s a bit funny how things are the way they are. I don’t think this movie was made to change the world or anything, but it is definitely a much closer, more personal, less cheesy insight to how, what, and why Chinese-Americans feel left out in both western and eastern culture. It’s like we’re another breed or something. It’s really quite different.
Oh by the way, this film was made in 1982 so it’s the culture is totally different. It’s really funny to hear a Chinese man talk all funky and cool-cat like with a heavy Chinese accent. Honestly, it was kind of hard to follow especially since there was a lot of talking trying to find out where this man is, and then the different opinions about life as a Chinese-American in the United States, it’s a movie you gotta watch twice at least. But anyway, the shots were cool, not as artsy as Wong Kar-Wai’s films but definitely different. Even though it was made in the 80’s, I can somehow relate so personally to this film. It’s really fascinating, and even as a Chinese-American, I learned a lot from this, about history, about identity, about culture, really highly recommended for anyone, but for my Asian Americans out there, you gotta check this out. Plus, its pretty funny. Not anything like Harold and Kumar but, funny in a cultural way. I mean c’mon, old Chinese men arguing, a well known Chinese restaurant, mah-jong, chain-smoking, Chinglish!? all wrapped up in a mystery!? Please, humor me, watch this for your own sake. It’s just great.
COME ON YOU GOTTA LOVE THE OLD GUY. husband.
No but really, LOOK AT HIM. He’s like a little grandpa. Can’t you just imagine him shuffling down Chinatown eating a pineapple bun, drinking coffee loaded with cream and sugar, reading the Chinatown newspaper!? Also, Marc Hayashi, definitely JAPANESE.
Which reminds me.
I went to a Saloon yesterday night with my cousin, her boyfriend, his cousin and a friend of mine. It was kind of an unexpected find, we had no idea that it was going to be a saloon…but anyway. This moroccan guy taps me on the arm and proceeds to drunk flirt with me. This is how the conversation went:
MoCo: Hey what is your name?
Me: Helen. (I don’t know why, don’t ask me.)
MoCo: Oh hi Helen, (and had to repeat his name 5 or 6 times because I couldn’t even try to listen, but eventually I gave in. I forgot though.)
Me: Hi. (shakes hand)
MoCo: I like Japanese Girls.
Me: I’m not fucking Japanese. I’m Chinese. (whips hand away) Specifically, Cantonese.
Me: And I’m a blazing lesbian.
MoCo: Coommee oooonnnn
You know, I just don’t think I can educate drunk people. Nope.
Did a photoshoot with one of my really good friends, Jrubez.
After a long night of trouble, we didn’t have much of a choice but to run to my friends free apartment. Let’s just say we made the best out of a not so great situation. Anyway, nothing too serious, we had a lot of fun together :) here’s some artsy pics from it!
Vibrator (2003) Toronto International Film Festival. Directed by Ryuichi Hiroki.
Weird, awesome, sexual, raw, grundgy, adventurous, crazy, all the works of a great Japanese film.
Thank you Japanese film makers for understanding us crazies. I love you guys.
Please check this out if you’re into quirky, sometimes sad, but also very exhilaratingly, and unexpectedly raw story lines about real people, their secret desires, thoughts, and feelings towards other out of the ordinaries. Sometimes, we find ourselves acting, and thinking like these seemingly odd characters. But really, if you think about it, we are all people, so face it, we’re weird. Somehow, I find myself relating to these characters, their longing, pondering, and confused demeanors. I’ve been doing that a lot these days. So if you’re especially confused, lost, feeling a bit down, watch this movie, it’ll make you feel, well, real again.
Someone will always be crazier than you. But at least you’re not normal. Thank god.
its 3:06 AM. I don’t know when I want to sleep. For some reason, I don’t want to.
Also check out this author that my friend recently suggested to me: Haruki Murakami. He’s also a real crazy. I’m reading this novel of his called “Dance, Dance, Dance.” It’s about another sort of “lost soul,” a man with nothing much to live for except to work as a writer just for his own survival sake, or in other words writing because well, someone’s got to do it. He refers to his job like shoveling snow, cultural snow that is as he writes articles, editorials, and journals about living in the city life. He starts off the book talking about a mysterious, dirty, nasty, who-the-hell-would-book-a-room-in this hotel except if it involves a mysterious lover of course who drags him into it. I haven’t gotten too far into the book, but he returns to this hotel after 4 years of avoiding it, and finds that the old place has turned into a four-star pristine, prim and proper billion dollar enterprise. Dissatisfied with this new facade, he goes on a journey to find what really happened to the old hotel, and perhaps his mysterious lover that caused him all the trouble in the first place. Somethings going down, I will update later.
What really kills me is that the mysterious lover is an all-time high call girl who goes by the name “Kiki.”
Kiki. This name makes me cringe inside. What a coincidence really. The man that I’m in love with is with this girl with the same name. Not much there is to say about her, I only know a few things. I don’t even know what the girl looks like. I just know she exists, and why I don’t know but it kills me every single time.
Anyway, it’s a fun read.
I don’t know what it is but I think I’m channeling my inner asian nowadays. Everyone! ^__________________^ peace!
As a chinese kid, I’ve never really kept up with chinese media whether it be music, film, or art. I’ve tried to get into chinese pop music but I never seem to dig it too much and the main films that I grew up with were Stephen Chow movies (which are genius by the way). So, I’ve always felt a bit disconnected with that generation of Chinese media. When my friends used to follow tv dramas, I would never know what they were talking about.
It didn’t occur to me though until recently when I started taking these classes on Asian art, primarily chinese and japanese. Then, I just became fascinated with Asian media. I realized how little I knew about my culture in the modern era and I want to know what my people are creating nowadays! Anyway, I found out that there are tons of Chinese modern artists who totally do awesome, radical, powerful pieces that include all sorts of mediums from painting to performance art. It’s too bad though, many of these artists are underground and aren’t as well known due to censorship laws in China. Nevertheless, there are books about these artists such as China Now (which I flip through every time I go into the library). But anyway what I really wanted to talk about are these two films that I recently watched that are directed by this awesome director named Wong Kar-Wai.
This is a pretty fly photo of him.
Anyway, I’ve watched two movies by him. The first one, “Happy Together” and the second, “In The Mood for Love.” Now, I know these titles sound super cheesy, but the english translation is always different from the Chinese. What is really interesting is that these two movies are both in Cantonese! Two serious, mind-blowing, touching, beautifully and artistically filmed Cantonese movies? What!? I know this sounds kind of dramatic, but seriously, I’ve been seeing way too many cliche, corny, and mindless Chinese tv dramas to actually take Chinese film to be serious and GOOD at the same time. Unless it’s some deep martial arts movies that became popularized in the states, I’ve haven’t watched any Chinese movies that has such an impact emotionally and pyschologically than these two movies.
Happy Together is about two gay Chinese men from Hong Kong who decided to take a vacation to Argentina in hopes of saving their relationship. It sounds like a simple, dare I say, cliche plot but the way Wong Kar-Wai films changes everything. He is a genius at capturing the most beautiful, and emotionally stirring shots. You feel like you’re in the movie from the way he films because he shoots very specific, almost insignificant aspects of a scene, but he makes it so that it fits in with the mood of the moment so that it creates a very powerful feeling. It’s like looking at a live photograph. He’s also really successful at capturing very raw moments of human interaction. So although the plot maybe simple, Wong kar Wai makes the movie impactful by “keepin it real” that is, very relatable to real human emotion. In this case, Wong kar wai captures the realness of being gay, chinese, relationship issues, abuse, and being foreign in a foreign country. Oh god, it’s like living in a mind-fuck situation.
Then there’s this movie that I just watched today which is about two married couples, a man (Mr. Chen) and woman (Mrs. Chan) who’s significant others are off on business trips and leaves them alone in their apartments in Hong Kong. Driven lonely, and desperate the two end up meeting and hanging out together but soon realizing that their significant others were cheating on them. Again, very cliche plot, but like I said, Wong kar wai is a genius at capturing what is real within a situation like this, and he definetly does not sugar coat the problem.
The thing is, relationships maybe an overrated topic for films but if done right, and not like a cheap chick flick can be very empowering. Relationship problems are real, and there are many complications that come along with them. This is something that almost everyone can relate to. I mean, how would you feel if you found out your husband or wife was cheating on you with your next door neighbor? Sounds super funny, but if it were you, you probably wouldn’t be laughing. Anyway, some clips from the films.
beautiful really. Maggie Cheung, awesome. Tony Liang, my new husband.
oh, too sexy.
theres a part where they just dance together. Leslie is an awesome actor. Seriously took him for granted.
So anyway, I think I have a pitch for my essay thats due on Monday. Check out these films, there are subtitles, but if you’re cantonese or if you know how to speak it, it’s totally worth seeing. Wong Kar wai is my new art crush.
Its 5:51 AM. I think this blog was meant for late-night posting. My gaze is drowsy, and I can hardly think straight. My friend and I decided to pull an all-nighter to prepare our finals for reviews. I really have mixed feelings about reviews. One, i really like reviews because I think it pushes me really hard to look good for reviews, and two I get a lot of great work out of it. However, three IT KILLS ME.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! says my hard-drive. I agree.
For the past semester, I have found myself pulling at least one to two all-nighters every single week. I stress myself out about every assignment, and despite my brain exploding, my work is coming out awesome. So, whether this is a healthy way of working or not, I am producing work that I like. However, I should think about an alternative way to pace myself and NOT drive myself insane. Anyway, this the painting I was working on last night, the one I stayed up till 6 in the morning for.
Aroojie Acrylic Some random sized canvas I found at home (what better use than for painting home work assignments!)
Although this is a crappy reproduction (thank you obnoxious android phone), I figure I should upload SOMETHING art-related that I’ve done recently. Once I have the time, I will properly scan and upload a nicer version, along with the other work that I’ve created this semester. But, you guys get the picture.
Anyway, it was really fun painting my friend Arooj, and this was done in a totally different painting style that I have never really tried before. Usually, I am all about photo-realistic painting, and trying to render as perfect as I can. But last night, I decided to just let loose, and play with my subject matter. I mean, I’ve been practicing figure drawing, portraiture, and realistic rendering for so many years. Seriously, shit was getting old! Time to have some fun! So, I made this. Lots of color, very loose, a line between unfinished and finished, very moving, and varying brush qualities. I think its a much more interested painting than if I were to paint this photo-real. In that case, I might as well just submit the photo. But frankly, my painting is SO MUCH better. I also think this maybe my new style of painting. I’m really digging it. Anyone need a portraiture done?
Anyway, leave comments for what have you. I’m going to go make some arroz con pollo! (spanish rice and chicken) or at least a version of it because I live with a picky eater and a vegetarian.