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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!

Who would have thought that I'd do a posting out of the blue after such a long disappearing act? I surprise myself too.

Well, this does not mean that I have more time now for more postings. My life is still in a mad chaotic rush as I juggle my baby with my career and my artistic pursuit.

A quick check on my sitemeter tells me that there are still people reading this Godforsaken blog even though my last post was 7 months ago. People, that is very encouraging and I thank you readers with all my heart even though you may be random.

This year's celebration is my first with my 11 month baby girl. After 7 years of ang pow giving, this year it's payback time! Well, it's not payback all of the time, especially when we meet up with people with 3 kids and more - then the output becomes more than what you get back.

But I'd like to believe that things even out in the end. Pardon me, I think you'd only understand what I'm talking about if you're celebrating Chinese New Year and if you're on the giving end of the whole ang pow debacle.

This year I came across a couple of beautiful ang pow packet designs which I kept selfishly all to myself and didn't really give them away (I gave away the ones with bad designs). Pureen had a few interesting ones which I thought was worth keeping.

And surprisingly UNACO, which is probably one of the cheapest cheapo supermarkets with zero customer service, came out with these intricately breathtaking ones this year!

I collected stamps once, when I was a nerdy kid a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away. But don't worry, I won't be going back to that kind of hobby at my age. I've got more important things to worry about at this point in my life, like making money. But all the same, these ang pow packet designs were awesome!

If anyone of you are getting married or having a baby this year, you might be lucky enough to get one from me (just the packet). Happy Chinese New Year!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Video Collection

Or what was left of it...

My apologies to the younger generation born in the era of DVDs; you may not know what I'm talking about here. Before there were DVDs, there was VHS. Movies came in the form of tapes, which needed rewinding & forwarding. And if you keep them too long in a moist environment, they will grow bacteria, microscopic mushrooms & toadstools. If you're lucky enough, they might even flower.

I even bought myself the top of the line video player at that time. It had 6 playheads man!
It even had a jog shuttle which allowed you to forward/rewind right down to the single frame! But this baby really hurt me good. It cost me about RM1,300 at that time. This was pure self-gratification, and I had to go back to my Maggi noodle diet for a while.

Because I studied film in the States, and because I was coming home to teach film, and because you can't find these films at home, I bootlegged around 70 films, and bought the rest in original. I think I lugged back around 100 films in my suitcase in total (It could have been close to 150). The immigration department just let me through cos I looked like what a Malaysian student should look like back then; scrawny student on a Maggi noodle diet, living on my parents hard-earned money (for Chinese students).

Last year, I decided that DVD was here to stay. No, actually the strongest contender was that most of the films that I needed for teaching are now available on YouTube. Yes, you've got that right. Now, I'm not talking about the recent Hollywood blockbuster like Pirates or Avatar. I'm talking about the classics. I'm talking about films which all film students have to watch. All these now were on YouTube. And that made me rethink about my video collection, which was taking up a lot of space.

So eventually last year, with a heavy heart, I decided to clear my inventory. Here's what I threw away (basically everything except my limited anime collection):

                                                                 The Alfred Hitchcocks

The Hollywood Classics that all film students must know. If you don't, then you'd better start thinking about doing something else, like accounting or engineering or medicine.

Orson Welles & Noir

Uhh... where did Shirley Temple come from? Some people believed that she was really a midget in disguise.

Frenchy Films (Poetic Realism & New Wave)


The Three Colours Trilogy. This was art.

Italian Neorealism

German Expressionism

Japanese classics (Ozu, Mizoguchi, Kurosawa)

Japanese New Wave


Satyajit Ray

And before YouTube, there was Astro, from which these collection came from: 

What kept my VHS going for so long then was a secret weapon that I had. This baby cleaned tapes like a car wash.
VHS came in around the 70s, VCDs in the 90s, and now its been DVDs & BluRays. Next we'd be downloading movies from the internet into our heads. By then, we'd need RAM implants.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fishes Dancing with Lotus

Umm, it may sound like one but this is not a food blog.

I had the privilege to witness this awesome woodcarving exhibition when I was in Taipei back in February this year. It was done by someone called Huang Ma Ching. Didn't know much about him until I did a bit of research just before posting this.

I took TONS of pictures of his collection, which the gallery strangely allowed, but had no time to blog about this until now. Here are just a few samples of his work to experience the awesomeness.

You can close your mouth now.