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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.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

An Encounter with Taipei Girls Down in the MRT

I knew with a title like that, you'd pop by really quick.

I haven't been posting for quite some time now but on the contrary I have a lot of things to write about. Quite a lot of things have been happening lately which has been taking up most of my time. Don't worry, they're all good things, exciting things which I hope to share with you in due time.

I managed a trip to Taipei, my first ever trip to Taiwan, during the Chinese New Year in February. I know that was about 4 months ago, which means the more reason for me to put this post up as quick as I can, before it starts to grow fungus & giant mushrooms.

Taiwanese girls have always been well known for their porcelain beauty. They have a fragile quality about them which makes you want to handle them with extreme care otherwise they'd break down into millions of pieces right in front of you. 

And so the trend, once upon a time, was that Malaysian guys would bring back Taiwanese wives upon returning from their studies there. That happened back in the 70s, when the playing field was still leveled. Malaysia was as good as any Singaporean, Taiwanese or South Korean country back then. But I think a lot has changed since then. Although increasingly more beautiful, Taiwanese women have long  elevated into the culture of materialism.

I came across this exhibition in the most unexpected place. It wasn't in a posh gallery or musem but it was in the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall MRT station.

Now I don't read mandarin so I can't tell you who the artist is but if you can read it, please share with us.

I think this artist has been around since the 80s. His rendering of beautiful women often appeared as bookmarks which were sold in the mom & pop bookstores.

But I never knew who he or she was, or what became of him or her. So it was quite a nice surprise to rediscover this artist again.

This series of paintings portray the legendary female figures from the different dynasties in Chinese history.

Each one of these women were influential in their own era, some were powerful like tyrants, others had more tragic endings. 


Some were representations of pure wisdom, love & support. Others were destructive forces like tornadoes.

These were probably women which you couldn't live with & some without. Hmm, this is beginning to sound strangely familiar.

I wonder if this collection was meant to be a profiling of Chinese women in general.

In more practical terms, this looks like a wives catalogue for the single guys out there. Just point & choose - I like, I want.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cat Nap

With the level of activity that is close to zero on this blog, you'd probably think that I've been pretty much like the cat below - doing nothing.

On the contrary, I've been extremely busy with work. I've been so busy that I don't even have time to wipe my butt. I miss blogging extremely & I hope to be able to do it consistently over a longer stretch of time.

A cat came to stay with her kittens over the Chinese New Year. The kittens died, each in their own freakish way, & now it's just the mother cat alone. When I put a collar on her & started feeding her, that's pretty much saying that I'm keeping her. At least for the time being, until she starts popping out new kittens. Curious? Read the story of the cat here.

My apologies if this photo may seem inappropriate.

It is also not an ad for Petronas. Even though Yasmin Ahmad is not with us anymore, I think Petronas will not stoop so low.

But it does remind me of the Chinese saying, Ka kooi kooi, Tan tua looi.
Literal Translation: Legs open wide wide, Earn big money.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Masahiro Motoki Once Upon a Time

This is not a gay post. It is a perfectly straight one. But gays may enjoy it more than non-gays.

When I first saw Masahiro Motoki in Departures, I knew I had seen him from somewhere before, a long long time ago, a forgotten face. I am more of a visual person in that sense. I usually forget names but I remember faces. And so I remembered seeing this face like I remember the few faces from my kindy years.

If you are of the fairer gender, you will probably agree with me that this guy is hunky bunky.

But unbeknownst to his more recent fans, he had a dark past. Or maybe I should say a bright pastel-coloured past.

Once upon a time, in the era of 80s bubblegum pop, he was a victim of mismanaged fashion.



If you thought that was bad, believe me, it gets worst.

Captains of the Macross ship.

I cannot even comprehend what this concept was about.
Form 5 boys hanging out in the neighbourhood 
after school instead of doing homework, 
with hands playing marbles in their pockets .

Very fortunately, against all odds above, Masahiro went on to build a successful career as an actor after he left the group. I can understand why he left. I would do the same too if the recording company keeps dressing me up funny.

At his age now of 45, he has definitely achieved a level of maturity in his acting. And he rightly deserves the Best Performance title at the 2009 Asia Pacific Screen Awards. I have to say it, I am now a fan. Of his acting.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

KPOP: 2NE1

I don't care ay-ay-ay-ay-ay if you hate them. They're just so addictive. It's like an uncontrollable overdose of sugar intake.



I Don't Care MV


Excellent excellent Reggae Remix version

Monday, February 1, 2010

Clouds Over Kuching

For some unexplainable reasons, I love clouds & sky watching. Up to the point of starting a new blog about it. Come drop by if you have the same fetish. http://cloudsoverkuching.blogspot.com

Departures

One of my all-time favourite classical Japanese film director would have to be Ozu. I am truly amazed at the hard-headed way that he was able to maintain a sense of consistency & calm throughout all his movies, throughout every single scene, every action & every movement of his actors, no matter how dire the story situation was. No matter what, he would not budge.

His films felt like watching the breeze rustling the leaves on still branches, & yet they never fail to move our emotions, & make tough hairy truck drivers cry like girly boys & consider putting up their momma' pictures secretly in their glove compartments.

However, this post is not about Ozu. I will reserve that for another time. This is about a film much more contemporary that reminds me of Ozu. I picked up this DVD after a friend of mine watched it & thought it may be worth checking it out.

Well, it turned out that this small film was a giant in its own unassuming & quiet way. For your information, it won a gallon of awards & was also one of the nominee's for The Academy's Best Foreign Film, & rightly so. I felt stooopid for not knowing that.

Hmm. How do I tell you what this film is about in a few words?

The Living Years. Mike & the Mechanics.
Please do not let this photo discourage you.

Departures is about life & the preparation for death. It's about reconciliation with loved ones before it's too late. I think this film is so simple but so well executed that it would mean a lot of different things to different people. For me, it gave me a new perspective in life & that is to live & experience it with full passion.

The story is about a cellist who loses his job when his orchestra is disbanded in Tokyo. He moves back to his little hometown with his wife. Unable to find a job, he settles as an apprentice to a funeral professional.

Ok. If mushy-ness is not your cup of tea, then these should be 2 good reasons to engage in this film:
Masahiro Motoki & Ryoko Hirosue
I you have a chance, please consider watching it. Ladies, make sure you have a box of tissues next to you. Men, you might want to look for your teddy bear stashed away in the store room.

The Living Years (by Mike & the Mechanics)
Every generation
Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door

I know that I'm a prisoner
To all my Father held so dear
I know that I'm a hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Crumpled bits of paper
Filled with imperfect thought
Stilted conversations
I'm afraid that's all we've got

You say you just don't see it
He says it's perfect sense
You just can't get agreement
In this present tense
We all talk a different language
Talking in defence

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye

So we open up a quarrel
Between the present and the past
We only sacrifice the future
It's the bitterness that lasts

So Don't yield to the fortunes
You sometimes see as fate
It may have a new perspective
On a different day
And if you don't give up, and don't give in
You may just be O.K.

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye

I wasn't there that morning
When my Father passed away
I didn't get to tell him
All the things I had to say

I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I'm sure I heard his echo
In my baby's new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye

I know it's strange to think that a bunch of mechanics can write such beautiful poetry. Maybe it's time I paid my mechanic a visit.

For your information, the ENTIRE movie is available on YouTube.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ah Beng's Blog of the Day No.3

"For centuries mankind has excelled in science & has gone far & beyond. We have broken the genetic code & we have nanotechnology. But this morning, when I opened my umbrella, it broke again. Man has gone so far ahead in many things, but still way behind in certain ones. Somebody out there, please make a decent umbrella that lasts!" (Ah Beng 2010)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ah Beng Blog of the Day No. 2

"Life is a bit like them Superheroes. Sometimes, you feel like that Superman guy & you can take on anything that comes your way. Other times, you're like Wolverine, healing from the wounds, somewhere in a dark corner. And then there are times when you have to stay awake & work all night like Batman."
(Ah Beng 2010)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ah Beng's Blog of the Day No.1

"Life is like a box of Chocklits. Y'll know exactly what ya gonna git if ya read them labels. Forrest's ma was illiterate."
(Ah Beng 2010)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ah Beng Shows Off Talents: Part 5

This is my latest baby. It was finished back in November.

I call it Infinity.
Dimensions: 4' 8" X 3' 4"



But you can call it anything else that you like.

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