Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Best in Technical Achievement award winner
Dear Linda: sterling silver, found finding, aquamarine
Possible Future Scenarios
#2 Apocalyptic 2067
As I congratulate your 20th birthday, I send along a brooch I created for you and for your future, with materials I have kept for almost 50 years. A ballerina was an artist who created the most beautiful movements with her body. Unfortunately, their dancing is now a rare sight, but they were known for the immense effort they put in their practices, sacrificing their feet to achieve those graceful movements. We must remember: without sacrifice, there can be no achievement; it is the wisdom that prevails since the time of our very old ancestors. I hope that, as you age, your future will be ever brighter.
Happy 20th birthday Linda.
awwwwww.... congrats again on your award winning piece!
MAG-2067 Crafting the Future
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
If you’re really, really short, you feel it, because this is your life:
• Forget seeing anything at concerts. Sure, everybody loves being behind you, but at what price? The standing area is a bad scene and mosh pits are strictly off limits. No, you’re stuck sitting at the bar or watching from the balcony.
• You can’t reach anything. Kitchen cupboards and closest shelves are bad enough, but the worst is when you find yourself somewhere alone and stoolless. People, if you’ve ever found yourself climbing the hotel bar fridge to reach the coffee filters or stepping on the metal grocery store shelf to reach the hot sauce then you know what I’m talking about.
• Hard to date people. Well, not hard, but complicated. I mean, would you date someone really, really short? If not, you see the problem here. And don’t even get me started the short-guys-dancing-with-tall-girls things. Fellas, I been there, too. It’s not easy.
• Shorter life span. Sadly, according to these eggheads at The New York Times short people are more likely to develop coronary heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. To add insult to injury, they’re apparently less educated and make less cash at their jobs, too. Bummer.
• You’re constantly adjusting driver’s seats and mirrors. On top of that, really, really tall people complain when they get in the car after you and have to adjust everything because they can’t fit.
• Some roller coasters are off limits. Minimum height requirements are clearly relics from a discriminatory society that inhabited this land before us.
It really is a tough life.
So next time you see a really, really short person, break out the empathy. Remember: they’re short and there’s nothing they can do except learn to live with their crazy shortness. Sure, they buy cheaper children’s clothes, find the best spots in Hide and Seek, and curl easily into cramped spooning arrangements, but they also have to live life with a lot of limits. In this upside-down and inside-out world, that’s worth something.
So go on and throw them a smile and a nod, a cracking high five, or just some quiet and humble respect.
AWESOME!(p.s. Some of you may be wondering why really, really short people so ranked much higher than really, really tall people on the Top 1000. All I can say is that the answer involves a lot of calculations.)
this post is so sad...
especially I am a very very short person and now I find out I have short lifespan and more vulnerable to stroke and diabetes, get paid less and .. what else???
it is so NOT fair. not my fault I stopped growing!!!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I could not fight off the temptation.
I was like a helpless moth to a bright light. bzzzzzzz.
image from flickr:romankov
It's filled with everything a woman can possibly want and own for her
self-esteem boosting vanity desk, as mine are filled with them too.
The customer reps there are very helpful but feel so guilty just walking out
after getting a sample. It is impossible not to buy something. ugh..
image from flickr:froghammer
Recently I went to Sephora few times to get samples of some tinted moisturizers:
Smashbox Sheer Focus Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15
Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15
Stila Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15
Tarte Smooth Operator SPF 20
but now I found another product I want to try on their website:
Lorac ProtecTINT™ SPF 30
Damn the reviews and power search ability on sephora.com
image from absolutely glamorous
I don't wear lot of make up (thank God, otherwise I would have spent all my money here)
but some of the products are amazing here.
Majority of my skincare and make up are from Clinique and Sephora carries them, of course!
and the point card, aka beauty insider card, is so hard to resist.
I can see the points getting added up and every 100 points I can get a sample of choice.
As I see the points grow, I realize how much I had spent because they said I became
a VIB (very important beauty insider), but for that reason, I keep going back here. ahhhhh the point card!!!!!
So I am obsessed going to Sephora. Good thing I am not obsessed buying at Sephora, yet!
I found a funny but very-true article about Sephora.
"stores are just too strong for one woman to handle"
link to A Guide to Sephora
Monday, November 23, 2009
My parents came to visit on weekend and she brought something and took something back.
Now I have brand new custom-mommy-made covers!!!! YAY!!
I really love the dots.. red and green.. my fave complimentary colours.
It's reversible and amazingly soft since it's got down feathered inside.
It will definitely keep me warm during the long long winter nights
especially now that Milly is back home with my parents. :,(
I miss you-*
Sunday, November 22, 2009
from the creator:
This is my senior project at Savannah College of Art and Design. Where my idea comes from is that every time when I am busy, I feel that I am not fighting with my works, I am fighting with those post-it notes and deadline. I manipulating the post-it notes to do pixel-like stop motion and there are some interactions between real actor and post-its.
Directed by Bang-yao Liu
Music by Röyksopp (http://royksopp.com)
Sound design by Ian Vargo, Shaun Burdick
Actor: Chun-yao Huang
This is a very clever video presentation.
The pixelated images created by thousands of post-it notes
resembles classic video games,
plus the music is quirky! I love it!
Think of 3 months 4days and 6000+ of post-its
put into make this short 2 minute video.
Something like this is a challenge I may want to venture in the future ;-D
Circuit Gallery is a web-based project co-founded by Claire Sykes and Susana Reisman. Modelled after Jen Bekman's highly successful 20x200 concept, it takes advantage of the internet's wide reach and the affordability of digital reproduction to offer editions of contemporary art at wonderfully low prices.
Here's how it works: the art sold through the gallery comes in standard sizes -- like 8x10, 11x14, and 16x20 -- and in limited but large editions (usually around 500). These two factors are then taken into consideration in determining the price of each piece. The smaller the size and the larger the edition, the less expensive the work is -- and, of course, vice versa.
I've been waiting for something like this for a while. Despite the fact that there are numerous online galleries that have popped up over the last coupe of years, very few offer art of this high a quality at this low a price. As an art lover who's yet to hit the pay dirt, I used to bemoan the fact that purchasing "real" art just wasn't an option for me. Although there's loads of art that can be viewed online, the majority of it is either crappy and amateuristic or, if the work of an established artist, exorbitantly priced.
And yet it's about time that high quality virtual galleries take root. The recent arrival of Amazon's Kindle to Canada is a timely reminder of the digital paradigm shift that's taken place over the last half decade or so. With the rise of new technologies and the electronic dissemination of information, the materiality of our music and books has become less and less significant.
For reasons that are not altogether surprising, the fine art industry, on the other hand, has been slow to react to these changes. Traditionally speaking, the artistic object acquires its value based on two related qualities: originality and rarity, or what the German philosopher and literary critic Walter Benjamin refers to as the aura of the work.
For Benjamin, the rise of mechanical reproduction (which could be traced as far back as the printing press, but really took hold with the invention of photography) had the double effect of solidifying and threatening the aura. In cases where an original and its reproduction are different (like a painting and a print of the painting), the reproductions tend to increase the prestige and authenticity of the original. But with art forms like photography (and virtually all digital media), where no material difference exists between each edition or print, the aura of the work is either eliminated or forcibly constructed through the limitation of the edition.
The plurality and equality of the works produced in an edition thus has political as well as artistic importance. The aura of artwork has always been associated with a certain cultural and financial elitism, both of which are disrupted by the availability and affordability of reproductions. Being academically trained (both have graduate degrees), Sykes and Reisman know their Benjamin. So they also know that a work's aura must be delicately managed.
As affordable as one might want to make it artwork, the limitless reproduction of a work ensures that it will retain very little value and, as such, desirability. So the key is to find the right limit for each edition. And I think Circuit's hit the nail on the head in this department. Editions of 500 may be higher than the successful 20x200 model, but this also ensures that popular work doesn't sell out too quickly. There's also what they call a "variable option," in which artists can offer their work in custom sizes with lower edition numbers and commensurate pricing.
But what, one might wonder, makes Circuit a "gallery?" Isn't it just an online art shop/store? Well, lest we forget, private galleries are also commercial enterprises. The reason we don't often think of them primarily in this manner is that they also tend to foster appreciation of artwork even for those who have no intention or means to purchase pieces. So, Circuit's taken steps to do this as well.
Not only do they keep up an active blog on the website featuring critical considerations of artists on their roster, they also plan on periodically coming out of the virtual world to occupy gallery spaces around the city on a temporary basis. In fact, the launch and opening reception for the gallery took place at the Department, giving those interested in the project a chance to have an in-person look at the work available via the website (and me a chance to take some photos for this post!).
Circuit has also joined forces with Alphabet City, an annual anthology that addresses issues of global concern organized around a single word (this year it's "water"), to offer print editions of works that appear in the small-sized collection. Currently on offer via this collaboration are pieces by Eamon MacMahon, Stefan Petranek, Meredith Carruthers and Susannah Wesley.
Although it remains to be seen if the concept of the virtual gallery will really take off in Toronto (and Canada), experiments south of the border and the quality work on offer at Circuit certainly suggests it's a viable business and artistic model. With prices that start at $30 (for an 8x10), there's little reason for art enthusiasts to resist starting or increasing their collections.
Lead image courtesy of Circuit Gallery.
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Saturday, November 21, 2009
way to go #407!!
Rozi and I went to see whodunit, well I was at OCAD to meet her and we happened to see it.
The whole idea behind purchasing then finding out the artists' names draws out curiosity and excitement, though I was able to recognize one of the photography works.
It'd be amazing to have one section of the works put in my room. I will keep in mind for my interior deco in the future. noted!
whodunit preview link
Ugliest Buildings Page
|VirtualTourist.com's 2nd Annual "World's Ugliest Buildings" List|
As comprehensive as the list was, there are still dozens of buildings out there that make us want to avert our eyes when we walk by, so with that in mind, we've compiled our 2nd Annual List of The World's Ugliest Buildings! Enjoy!
|1) Morris A. Mechanic Theater; Baltimore, Maryland|
Looking at the grim, impersonal façade of this once-thriving theater, it’s hard to believe its stage once hosted the likes of Katherine Hepburn and George C. Scott. Although it would be ugly without them, the windows boarded up with wood certainly don’t help matters. Its doors now closed, the structure still incites debate among locals, many of whom feel the final curtain should have come down on this building long ago.
|2) Zizkov TV Tower; Prague, Czech Republic|
While its ugliness could easily stand on its own, the installation of small, climbing babies by the artist David Cerny transformed this tower from an eyesore to a head-shaker. Originally meant to be temporary, the unusual infant sculptures were re-installed due to popularity!!!
|3) Parliament Building; Wellington,New Zealand|
A slide projector that fell on a wedding cake that fell on a waterwheel is one description of this building known as “The Beehive.” Built primarily during the ‘70s, its proximity to the neighboring Edwardian neo-classical Parliament House only accentuates its unattractiveness.
|4) Centre Pompidou; Paris, France|
When looking at the primary color-coded ducts constructed on the outside of this world-famous museum, one quickly sees why these elements are usually hidden. The result of a world-wide competition, this design makes one afraid to fathom what the losing sketches looked like.
|5) Federation Square; Melbourne, Australia|
Billed as “Melbourne’s Meeting Place,” we’re guessing that this is where city residents meet…to go somewhere else. Frenzied and overly complicated, the chaotic feel of the complex is made worse by a web of unsightly wires from which overhead lights dangle.
|6) Petrobras Headquarters; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
A cross between a penitentiary and an unfinished Lego creation is one member’s description of this dreary, block-like structure which occupies a regrettably prominent place in the city’s downtown area. To make matters worse, exterior slats give the illusion that the building is actually falling apart.
|7) Markel Building; Richmond, Virginia|
Although it sounds like urban legend, this futuristic building was in fact inspired by a baked potato served to the architect during a dinner for the American Institute of Architects. If only he’d been served fries instead.
|8) Royal Ontario Museum; Toronto, Canada|
What I.M. Pei’s pyramid is to the Louvre, so is the relatively new Michael Lee-Chin Crystal to the Royal Ontario Museum. While many praise the glass structure, just as many are troubled by the incongruity to the original, more traditional museum that still sits directly beside it.
|9) National Library; Pristina, Kosovo|
It’s hard to know whether the honeycomb-pattern mesh that coats the outside of this library enhances or worsens this bizarre structure. It’s been said that when the building first opened, some thought the giant net-like feature was actually scaffolding.
|10) Ryugyong Hotel; Pyongyang, North Korea|
Riddled with issues that range from lack of money to poor construction to rumored collapse, this still unfinished nightmare has been under some form of construction for over 20 years. Started in 1987, construction was halted a few years later and left untouched until fairly recently.
aaaah how sad... ROM's crystal is at 8th. I think it's strange but not ugly. It does clash with everything else near it but it's something new that Toronto can have...
article from VirtualTourist.com
Friday, November 20, 2009
Gord Smith was at the top of the Canadian art world in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. A Montreal-born sculptor who originally learned to weld with a torch his older brother used to rebuild old cars, Smith's rise to prominence was a rapid one. By the time he reached his early thirties, he had already built up an impressive list of public and private commissions, collaborated with architects like Arthur Erickson, and exhibited with such international heavyweights as Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.
Of the many sculptures Smith produced during this period, the most significant was surely the Canada Screen, which was commissioned by the Canadian government for its pavilion at Expo '67. A $65 000 project at the time, the finished product was a massive 110'x12' Cor-Ten steel sculpture that weighed approximately 13 tons.
By the late 1970s, however, Smith's life and work was in ruins. The Canada Screen lay in pieces in a gravel pit outside of Montreal -- removed from the Expo grounds by the same government that commissioned it -- and its creator was in the process of drinking himself to death.
The story of Smith's ongoing 50-year career is as fascinating as it is unknown. Despite early attention and accolades, from the late 1980s to the halfway point of this decade, his work received little critical consideration and gallery exposure. Although he continued to create and exhibit, the heights of his success were very much a thing of the past. And so it is that a generation of art lovers has never seen or heard about Gord Smith's work.
I, of course, was one of these very people prior to a recent visit to Pentimento, the Leslieville gallery hosting his first solo exhibition in 20 years. Taking in Smith's work for the first time was thus something of a shock, albeit a delightful one. The quality of and intricacy of his Woodworks immediately reveals a profoundly gifted artist in full command of the sculpted form.
In a sort of return to his artistic roots, the wood dowels that serve as Smith's current medium are really quite a bit like the bits of scrap metal that he first started on. Found at pretty much any home renovation store, previously cut dowel can often be purchased from junk bins for dirt cheap. Having discovered these bins, Smith had something of an epiphany when he realized that he could repurpose the various pieces by combining them in sculpture.
That was about six years ago, and the discovery has led to a late-career resurgence for the 72 year-old, now Toronto-based artist. Drawing on tenets of Eastern philosophy, the geometric principle known as the Golden Ratio, and the aesthetics of Native Canadian masks, Woodworks is a thoroughgoing exploration of the complex relationship between the simple and complex, the iconic and the unknown.
Back in the late '70s, the possibility of Smith resurrecting his career was slim at best. Having left his job teaching in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Victoria, he was drinking so much that his periods of sobriety were reduced to one or two hours a day. Although shortly removed from the height of his success, this rapid spiral downwards was already flirting with completion. Near death, friends finally convinced him to enter the Donwood Institute, a rehabilitation facility in Toronto.
After a month-long stay, Smith had taken the first steps towards kicking his addiction, and to this day he has not relapsed. But as feel-good as this aspect of his story is, the consequences of his alcoholism were far-reaching. Despite receiving some major commissions after leaving Donwood, the latter half of the 80s saw the artist plummet into virtual obscurity.
But, true to his artistic nature, Smith continued to produce. His focus, however, had shifted markedly. The humanist themes and monumental structures that defined his earlier work were set aside in favour of a new fascination: the relationship between geometric form, consciousness and being. Inspired by Danish artist/engineer Piet Hein's combination of a cube and sphere -- known as the Super-Egg -- Smith set out to explore what he's come to call the Super-All, a combination of the tetrahedron and the sphere.
For Smith, this form has far more than aesthetic value. After years of consideration, he's come to understand the Super-All as a key to a unified mandala, a Sanskrit-derived word/concept that denotes a geometric shape or plan that represents the cosmos. Disrupting the hierarchical and dogmatic geometry of the triangle/tetrahedron, the Super-All's defining characteristic is its symbolization of the unity shared by the triptych of form, light and consciousness.
I have to admit, I'm a skeptic when it comes to New Age theories that seek to establish a unity between what I believe are disparate things, but on a symbolic level -- and as a frame of reference for interpreting sculptures that initially appear abstract -- the Super-All helps the viewer to make meaning of the formal architecture that underwrites Smith's ouevre. Take, for example, the series of Super-Alls featured in Woodworks , the arrangements of the dowels are far from arbitrary or the result of merely aesthetic considerations; each sculpture represents an aspect of this tripartite unity that Smith's work explores as a whole.
Even the pieces in the show that don't feature the Super-All hint at the philosophy that informs Smith's creative endeavour. Playing with the mathematical/geometric principle of the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci Sequence, Smith subtly reminds the viewer of the profound (and proven) connections between our understanding of geometry and its manifestation in the natural world.
Over and above these technical features, there's a certain "cadence" to the distribution of the dowels in Smith's sculptures that reveals their aesthetic unity. As complex as they may be on a micro level, the individual pieces ultimately combine to form a montage that gestures to an underlying purposiveness that's difficult to pinpoint or categorize. To lose the art-talk for a moment, it'd be fair to say that with Smith's dowel sculptures, the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.
Modest in scale and certainly less expensive and prestigious a material than the steel and bronze of his early career, the Woodworks series is nevertheless a testament to Smith's perseverance and his commitment to the artistic quest he embarked on five decades ago. With such clear-cut motifs of tragedy and redemption, it's difficult to resist interpreting his story through a romantic lens. But, the reality is that Smith has yet to re-acheive the prominence he enjoyed in the past. His resurgence lacks the spectacle and scale of a Hollywood ending.
And yet, in some way, this makes it all the more remarkable. In spite of the fact that few critics and curators showed any interest in his work for an extended period of time, he quietly kept producing, motivated by a desire to work through a set of philosophical and formal problems and by the compulsion to create in general. And perhaps, in the end, it's this silent determination that is the greatest measure of an artist.
Gord Smith's Woodworks runs until November 29th at Pentimento Fine Art Gallery, 1164 Queen St. East.
Photo of Gord Smith's Super-All courtesy of the artist.
Who the Hell is Gord Smith? The Most Important Canadian Artist You've Never Heard Of
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I was so excited to see the Cirques, I've always wanted to see them for the longest time, but there was always something whenever they were in town, and now I can say, I saw the Cirque!
It was at John Labatt Centre in London. The seats were almost full. This was taken just before the show started, no photography was allowed, but I took it before they mentioned it so... it doesn't really count.. lol
"Alegria is an operatic introspection of the struggle for power and the invigorating energy of youth."
Each act was amazing, but my favourite was the Power Track.
It was filled with so much energy, I was on the edge of my seat. I wanted to run into the stage and join them on the trampolines.
The Fire Dance was most visually arousing, Contortion, Flying Man and Synchronized Trapeze were marvelously performed, and Russian Bar and the highlight of the show, Aerial High Bar, was unbelievable. I could not let go off of Carl's hands. The Aerial High Bar had safety net installed, but still, I can't imagine falling from 40ft above, crazy.
The Russian Bar, to me, seemed more challenging, team work was essential in catching the flyer land safely on that thin bars perched on two catcher's shoulders. A major OUCH in the crotch if they fell straight onto the bars... but that did not happen.
"The main theme is about the abuse of power and the subsequent struggle for freedom."
The Snow Storm scene at the end of Act 1 was quite strange, I did not understand it then but then I followed it up on Wikipedia and explains it:
Reflecting the eternal spirit of mankind, the clowns are witnesses to the passing of centuries, the social commentators of the world of Alegría. Grounded in real life, they tell little stories of everyday existence where everyone is a hero, and where anyone can fall in love and suffer a broken heart. The clowns are visionaries - philosophers of absurdity. Endearing, comical and childlike, they turn the world into a circus.
Hmmmmmm.... it was rather odd. The windblower blew so much white confetti it really did look like a snow storm. I am not quite fond of it tho.. seems we will be getting one pretty soon.. ARG!
The music was amazing too. I didn't expect any lyrical songs, but the singers dressed in elegant white and black dresses sang beautifully in their sexy husky voice (I wish I had that kind of voice..... :-S )
Despite my fear for grown-up in white make up with colourful face paintings, ie. clowns, the little acts between the performances were really entertaining. They were ok from a far distance. still scary...
I really really really want to see other Cirque du Soleil performances. It's something one should watch at least once in their lifetime. I had so much fun!! If I would have seen them when I was little, I would have hoped to become a member of the Cirque. Now my body is as stiff as a tree................ tears......