Monday, September 22, 2014

Good Food Doesn't Need Good Pictures

I'll try to take better pictures next time though.

Ludwigsburg

A day to the quaint town of Ludwigsburg. It is located in the outskirts of Stuttgart. I really liked the vibrant art scene and I am definitely going back to explore more.

Skype No 2



Sunday, September 14, 2014

Stuttgart Week Eins


It was 12am in Singapore, and 6pm in Stuttgart. Gugu looked so happy today it made my day. 

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Jitters

This is a really funky feeling. Excitement, yet a positive kind of fear. It's a weird concoction of emotions. Like mixing Ribena with Bailey's? Both great itself, but doesn't go as a mix. It's only 4 months so I don't understand this jitters.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014

Tactless Pete

It's been an interesting day. Lazing about and being generally short-tempered for most of the time. The weather is good, the weather is good. All I want is some beer and a good read.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Alien Ideology

"Time interval is a strange and contradictory matter in the mind. It would be reasonable to suppose that a routine time or an eventless time would seem interminable. It should be so, but it is not. It is the dull eventless times that have no duration whatever. A time splashed with interest, wounded with tragedy, crevassed with joy—that’s the time that seems long in the memory. And this is right when you think about it. Eventlessness has no posts to drape duration on. From nothing to nothing is no time at all." (East of Eden, John Steinbeck)

Maybe this is the key to understanding her mind. Nothingness is nothingness. 

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Good

Days are mundane and good.
There's no need for documentation but it just feels right.
Even trials involves planning for meals and presents.
There's nothing more in my mind but that's good.
Mundane is never always good, but this is.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Iced Americano

A shot of Americano followed by another brought an unpleasant high. Feverish & gibberish like premature shrooms-high. 

Racing heart, short tempered. Physically drained but mentally psyched. Lucid dreams so real yet so surreal. Another me, another you. Warm bodies, cold hearts. Tears, then abnormal laughter. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dead Vs Death

Some have moved on to greater responsibilities, while others remained at status quo and developed a sense of losslessness. Two years after her death seemed short, but the you in the past was so much jovial and optimistic.

I myself have been desensitized of your unusual negativity. I stopped caring much and my words have become nonchalant.

Perhaps, my nonchalance can be your Placebo and Prozac to recovery. It will assure you that this loss and failure will become normalcy, and it is alright to not be alright.

Yet, some days I wished I said more but these words no longer connect to my heart. They are of another tongue alien to my beliefs.

Dead Vs Death.

I hope this phase is just descriptive, and not definitive.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

11 July 2014

Still the same chatters, the same personalities and the same familiarity after 11 years. Behaviours and beliefs can change, yet we are still the same 12 year olds playing catching in Cedar Primary. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Edvard Munching

As I read about artists and their philosophies, I find treasures about ideologies. It's amazing how famous people think so differently. And morbidly, I wished I did as well.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Final Year Exams

A good morning is not one with coffee and egg benedict. It's one with the accompaniment of Angels & Airwaves, and Fauvism. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Typography II

Lately, I can't help but feel the lack of depth in my design process. It's so important to always start this process by thinking, thinking and thinking. It's a phase you can't miss lest you produce shallow work.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The Sign of Change

In today’s context, the sign definitely represents an impending change in Singapore. From the Central Business District to the heartlands, these signs are placed to remind people that change is happening. They are no longer just mere physical signs to warn people about danger, but symbolically, they represent a sign of change. As if used to mark a territory, these signs enclose an area of change, acting like a surrogate, and nursing change to complete maturity.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Swallowing Judgements

I've always talked about how I feel I am inadequate or not qualified to design because I don't understand the history of design, or the topic of study I am designing for. Yet, when I am given judgement by a professor, I couldn't swallow it as well as I would have expected.

I guess it's one thing to reach an epiphany, and another to be pushed for enlightenment. The former glorifies an individual, while the latter display a lack of self-awareness.

At that moment, many excuses and alibis arose to defend me. Yet I knew that she is probably doing the right thing. Why are we settling for mediocracy?

Oh well, back to research.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Process

I've been stuck at the project for the longest time. And honestly, I think I still am. I cannot achieve a cohesive look-and-feel.

Perhaps I was being over ambitious trying to achieve something that could explain culture and society too much. Maybe design in ADM doesn't need to be this way. Maybe it's all about the look, the texture and the visual appeal. It's nothing about the content. 

No one bothers to read anyway. Perhaps because it's an anachronistic topic about religious practice. It's not attractive. And maybe some feel they know this topic anyway. Their parents are "Taoist", they'd say. They know the gist of the religion and they are happy just knowing the minimal.

Yet I am a little dissatisfied. I feel I have been writing pretentious text I have no passion over. Words that are copied from Wikipedia because there is no need to turn-it-in. I don't scan through the words myself, so who am I to judge others? All I do is to ensure that the paragraphs do not have any widows or orphans, and that it looks visually balanced.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Typography

Beauty is in uniformity. 
Justified paragraphs, must 
Ragged columns, no no no
Check the kerning & tracking
Remove widows and orphans
Fit your words to a column
Like this, like this, like this

Our lives could be similar, no?
Fitting weaknesses to fit a void
Ensure primness and properness
Like this, like this, like this, yeah

Concealment

I've been thinking about concealment. I wonder which is a graver mistake: the inability to conceal all your flaws, or the ability to conceal all your flaws.

Of course it's totally different context for each hypothesis, making it hard to measure which is a "graver mistake".

One speaks about honesty and openness, while the other speaks about social awareness and being relatable. Conversely, they each lack the very strength the other possess.

There's always a duality in everything we do. And perhaps it's not about which is better or a "graver mistake". Instead, it is more of how our perspective for each can change. We can choose to see the positive instead of fixating on the negative.

In the case of Skeleton Man, I wonder tattooing his face is an act of concealment, or honesty. It's an aimless thought, but interesting.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Wildness of Being Wilde

A great end to the week would be to have caifan, watch Toy Story, and then doze off after dinner. The trivially most interesting thing that happened this week would have to be the birth of documenting witty phrases on my phone. I name it The Wildness of Being Wilde.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Duality

When the identity you were appears personified,
Familiarity breeds content.

When the identity you detest appears personified,
Familiarity breeds contempt.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Unformed Words

Configured thoughts with unformed words
Metaphors explains metaphysics

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Soup and Morals

I think I like making soup because it requires patience and time. You've got to keep brewing and brewing until the essence of your choice of bones secretes to create this sweet and all-rounded taste. There might be a lack of salt, but with sufficient bones, the soup still tastes flavourful.

It's nothing anthropological. But I just like making soup haha.

/

I've been think about absolutism and relativism. I was wondering what if there is no absolutism in religion - meaning there is no need to have a perfect standard that we could match up to. That there is no comparison human beings have to live up to. But instead, we know that our "moral standards" is relative to our own personal life and how we have "improved" over the years. What this means is that there is no need to feel completely wretched to fall from the perfect standard. You just have to know that you have flaws and work towards improvement (and not perfection).

Why would I prefer this mindset is because I feel that many are motivated by the idea that they are fallen and wretched. They allow this sense of guilt to bring them further in religion. I know it might be useful at times, but it is not effective in the long run. Eventually, we will realise we can never reach that perfect standard and get tired and weary.

Maybe it's not about the ideals of absolutism that bothers me, but the idea that we use our guilt to feel pleasurably cleansed from our sins and closer to a higher being.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Maya

There is always a love-hate relationship in the things I do. One moment I get really excited and motivated. I overestimate my capabilities. But halfway through I get really drained.

But I guess I should never stop trying and trying and trying. We should never feel we are good enough and stop learning and experimenting.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Objectivism

Sometimes I wished I could analyze a situation without including my emotional senses. Like a surgeon or a pathologist carrying out an autopsy. To be able to objectify your subjects and desensitized yourself from any emotions. 

It takes practice I guess. And from a very emotion-centered viewpoint, it is known as apathy. As negative as this sound, I feel that apathy will help us to see the world in a different light. Philosophers have all done that in their search for an argument to their existence. And apathy and objectivism has helped them to reach nirvana and have a broader perspective to life. They become smarter, more clear minded, eloquent, and all just in exchange for their emotions.

It's a reasonable exchange. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pathetic Prophesy

January, February, March. Time passes fast. Pathetic fallacy, pathetic prophesy. Truths, exaggerations. They'll pass. What if drowning in work because of escapism is a steroids to productivity. Then you escape to become productive. But it's all a narrative. It's all false. It doesn't follow laws. It doesn't follow punctuation.
Van Gogh, post impressionist. They don't follow law. But they speak truths more than masks.
Maybe one day I'll understand.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Misfits

We are similar. Like-minded misfits trying to settle in a space that never did quench our thirst. We try to explain our lives with art and literature but sometimes it doesn't quite align. 

Yet something does amaze me. Our routine meeting - although mostly mundane - runs weekly without fail. Most weeks I push myself to commit. But most weeks, I am also encouraged and inspired in a human fashion. We communicate in ways that is not masked and tainted by a pretentious tongue with cliche terminologies. Maybe that is what I am searching for. Being able to share my thoughts and personality freely. 

Some day back, I had a weird but reasonable thought. I believed that understanding doctrines and commandments have alienated me from myself. I stopped knowing who I really am but have conformed to a certain stereotype to who I should be. I worked ceaselessly, beating my morals and thoughts to fit into a man-made mould. If I failed, I blamed it on my willpower. I never blamed anyone else but myself.

I need to stop conforming but question. I have grown lazy fighting for my own 'secular' enrichment. I don't want to lose my identity while searching the purpose of life because this is not the way it should run, no?

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Rainbow Lodge

3pm Sunday at Towner Road, #08-11. The air is humid and musty from all the plastic bags of clothes. I'll be sitting on my bed with a box and doing my assignments. Mum will be washing something in the kitchen and she would drop by at random moments to check on my sister and I. 

I don't remember what else I do, but I remember hating Sunday evenings because in a few hours I'll be back in Potong Pasir. I hated the 3pm sun and the humid weather because it reminded me of the fact that time is running up. 

We'll pack our bags and head down to my Grandma's at Haji Lane. Everyone would be there and it's not unusual that my family is the latest. We'll have dinner and have free flow of can drinks from the coffee shop fridge. I always have grass jelly. Dinner is always the same few dishes, but good. My favourite must be my aunt's fried bean-curd topped with some sauce and garnished with spring onions. 

It's funny how this dormitory reminds me so much of the past. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Memory

I think why I am so interested in the role of memory in a person is because I feel that what you 'choose' to remember really reflects your character and your personal beliefs. Reflecting on many incidents in the recent, I have concluded many negative characteristics in myself derived from what I remembered, and what I 'chose' to forget.

We try to convince ourselves that it's normal to forget. But I have grown to realise that what you forget is also caused by a series of mental decisions. Memory is like a infant that needs to be nursed and fed. What we choose to remember therefore requires deliberate effort. Conversely, not remembering a certain information shows a lack of interest resulting in nonchalance. For example, if you forget where you place your keys, it might not mean that you do not care about the key, but it could also mean you do not care about your processions in general.

For me, I feel that to improve my memory is actually to begin to start caring about the things around me.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wedding Dinners

The wedding same-day-edit video went better than expected and I am very thankful for that. I think what really stressed me is the expectation I put myself under. It's not because I want to push myself to do something beyond my capabilities, but I feel that my cousin deserves an awesome wedding. Although he wasn't as excited as how I'd expect, I still think this relationship deserves some kind of documentation to commemorate... love and dedication (as sappy as it sounds lol). And I hoped my video could capture their special day, and their real and genuine dedication to each other.

I can't deny that my skepticism of wedding dinners, especially chinese ones, have increased tremendously after this wedding hahahaha. I don't understand the customary fake-cake cutting ceremony, the champagne towers, the overrated 9-course dinner and the religious programs. What I want on my wedding is to have something out of the norm. I don't want to follow tradition religiously. It's cool to follow traditions in the modern way, but no way will it be so religious. Why should we travel to the brides house, go to the groom's house for tea ceremony, and then back to the female's for tea ceremony again?! And why do we need to follow a fixed time to go to each house?!

I was having a conversation with my cousin about wedding a few weeks back and we were analyzing the reason for some of the rituals in weddings, especially in Singapore. Cake cutting in the past, for example, was meant to display the wealth of families. Because cake is an expensive item in the past, having a cake at your wedding meant that you are well to do. My cousin also quoted this theory (no idea from whom) that believes that the migration of traditions causes a strengthening in these traditions. What this means is that when traditions migrate, for example, from China to Singapore, Singaporean chinese will follow these traditions more religiously than China chinese over time. I guess it's somewhat related to innate need of humans to be culturally rooted. So over time, the chinese wedding traditions in China will dilute faster than the traditions in Singapore. It's believable.

I think the scary thing is that people are unaware of being trapped in this vicious cycle. And they spend thousands of dollars organizing (in my opinion) the most mundane wedding ever. They are forced to flaunt their status by organizing an expensive 9-course dinner, and their friends are also forced to pay for a party they already know the flow of the program. What really disgusts me the most is that websites have been set up to show the ang bao friends are supposed to pack when they attend weddings at different restaurants. I think people have forgotten the reason and meaning behind these religious tradition.

What I want at my wedding is beer, ba chor mee and more beer. There's definitely gonna be an epic wedding video but it's gonna be more of a documentary style. This video shouldn't be dictated by a popular/indie music but the content should be raw footages of people, and inteviews blah blah... Why should a love story be told by a song which is essentially another person's opinion of love?

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Searching for Diamonds in Dirt

Learning about design in a chronological fashion makes me wonder what is the movement of design today:

"As an art student in the late 1970s, Brody wondered if 'within mass communications, the human had been lost completely.' While confronting the decision whether to pursue fine art or graphic design, Brody recalls asking: 'Why can’t you take a painterly approach within the printed medium? I wanted to make people more aware rather than less aware, and with the design that I had started to do, I followed the idea of design to reveal, not to conceal.' Brody’s work evolved from an effort to discover an intuitive yet logical approach to design, expressing a personal vision that could have meaning to his audience." 

"Weingart began to question the typography of absolute order and cleanness. He wondered if perhaps the international style had become so refined and prevalent throughout the world that it had reached an anemic phase."

We are still like the past. Experimenting, experimenting, and looking back at the nostalgia and mimicking designs. It's some sort of human psychology here that I wished I could pry and delve deeper. Design patterns have changed, but we as human haven't really.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Boilermaker

In a society where we are forced to be servile, we restrain so much of our opinions. Yet, when I was given the opportunity to remove this consciousness of being judged, I became dumbfounded. My words came out sounding anachronistic. It was incoherent, and shallow.

Sometimes, we are told what to do and what to think we forgot what we really believe in. Our existence, our character, our very identity.

Hungover

it's a hangover. windows and windows of information on screen. disjointed essays. words that sound wise, but gibberish. you know they made sense at one moment, but it has all vanished to nothingness. a blank page.

these are not words i'd say. they are not ideas i'll adopt.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

End Semester Woes

Having taken exams for more than a decade in my life, I have realized that I conform to a certain pattern in my revision. I usually start out being excited, and then it eventually simmers into nonchalance (with a tinge of callousness). I come up with a list or things to do after exams. I watch Friends excessively. I feign hunger to mentally assure myself that eating is a valid alibi to taking a break.

I become pathetic.

Anyhow here are the list of things to do after exams:
1. Happy Design competition
2. Plan for wedding video shots
3. Branding for cousin's wedding
4. Plan Hongkong
5. Read something. Anything.
6. Pack my things to find lost items (eg. India films)
7. Play the guitar

This has become arbitrary. But if arbitrary reaps short term escapism, then I don't see the point to condemn it.

Friday, November 22, 2013

From Flavour to Fart

A project that I had fun handling ended off in the worst fashion. Not only did it leave an empty kind of after taste, belligerence (that resulted in apathy) in the group was not resolved.

It's quite a confusing state, really.

One night, I pushed the blame to one individual, and the next morning to everyone else. But what I felt the most annoyed was how I couldn't express this displeasure in the most effective fashion to demand a fairness in workload.

I think I am usually quite easy-going. But what I hate is people telling me what to do and what not to do. I like to play the role as an easy-going person but with the mind of my own. I do not like being told to rush an assignment at 4am when clearly everyone else in the group is sleeping.