Friday, October 31, 2008

Nomad in London

"Art comes out of failure"
Dun erase, just paint. How difficult
- Anyways, if there is a wikipedia page about me, there must be a section about my "nomadic life" My fragmented life. I probably need to work harder to learn to enjoy this, as i must admit, if thought positively, I have gained a lot from this kind of life. But at the same time, i felt like a particle free-floating among other really ordered grids in the world. I crave to find my own permanent home, but at the same time would hate to conform to the unimaginative, characterless order
- I am not looking forward to tonight's dinner, my friends, you shall understand! Hope it turns out well.
- I enjoy picking the right gift for the right person, it's an art, and I am challenged now.
- I am reading two interesting books. really interesting. I love the bookstore in Selfridges, the right books, the right environment
- I wish to take a few months off from everything and just do something that I want to do.
- The white thick carpet and a sudden flow of scent reminds me of my home in Canada.
- I can't believe I gave myself a 24 hours packed schedule for the London trip this time! This kind of holiday for me, is supposed to be about solitude wandering, sitting, reading, and thinking....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Becoming Jane - work.shadowing.

Edinburgh is really arguably one of Europe's prettiest city. The city was often known as the Athens of the North since Enlightenment, when I heard it, I can't help to re-name it as the Athens in the Cloud, or the Athens in the storm... 

Recently I am working in one of the properties of National Trust for Scotland in Charlotte Square, a grand square, that anchors the grid of the New town together with St. Andrew's square on the other end. After a series of induction, I am shadowing other experienced guides in the property. They are all really nice and friendly, very approachable. I have a lot to read and learn though. (there is a big information pack for everything in every room of the property) 
These gallery rooms and houses on Charlotte Square allow people to get a glimpse of people's life behind the grand palace facades. There will be a Christmas party for all the staffs later on. Hey, in the Georgian House, totally reminds people of Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice and all those! Seriously! That's what people used to do in the drawing room, quite oftenly. The Georgian House on charlotte Square indeed reflects very closely the lives of middle-class families during Jane Austen's era. 
When i leave the place today, the sky was dark already, this depressing weather, really does bother me! There are christmas lights up when halloween has still yet to arrive. London is snowing already. All these mismatch of events leave me confused, suddenly missing home and people back home. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Studio Ghibli

In a conversation last week, Holing pointed out how I like Studio Ghibli so much lol as I was watching a documentary "The Birth of Studio Ghibli"

I have always thought that places in the movie of Studio Ghibli are real places. Until I recently realized that they aren't, I worked out that even if there are similar places, there might not be Totoro in the forest. But the belief has already been so strongly established, and impossible to discard.

As a forgetful person, I grew up knowing how to sing Totoro's theme song in Japanese, and had never managed to get over the feelings of losing my big grey Totoro.

Later on in my life, I remember spending my afternoons playing songs from Laputa on the broken piano of Martin Hostel, falling IN love with a fictional character from the animation, and painting the streets of Spirited Away. It used to be one of my own favourite drawing, but I have managed to lost it in LPC.

I can't help but wonder if we are all perplexed by the boundary between reality and fantasies? I have vivid memories of being on beibei's car on a stormy summer night - the sound of the thunder fusing with the Howl's moving castle soundtrack...

I live in a room filled with Ghibli's puzzle, sometimes, they discourage me from drawing/illustrating. I have always seen art as a gateway for me to reach my dreams, but those shots struck me, that I could never create something as good, and more importantly, I felt like I didn't have to *visualize* my dreams on paper anymore, as it IS there already. .

There were numerous other moments, one of the first gift I gave to bei bei, was a bear music box, coincidentally symbolic, with the song "Always with me"; one of my favourite gifts that bei bei gave me was the romantic story of Whisper of the Heart. My music boxes from Hokkaido that brings me into the magical forests in my mind....... I once said I didn't need to buy another Totoro doll anymore, "as I have already surpassed that stage of searching for something materialistic" the truth is really just because I can't find that, same one again....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Infusion d'Iris

Infusion d'Iris is like a dream, an Italian voyage, an ambience, the clean scent of crisp linen sheets and naked skin. Infusion d'Iris combines classic, exceptional quality ingredients from Italy such as the Iris Pallida from Florence and the warm top note glow of Sicilian mandarin. 

I received a gift from Prada today

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Lion and the Wardrobe

Lion and cat both felt bored, so they each left their home and went for a walk.
They walked across the wide forest, along the rushing river, and bumped into eachother under the big yellow tree

"What beautiful eyes you have, Miss cat!" the Lion Growled, Do you want to have some cheese cracker with me?"

The cat was taken aback and a bit frightened

"I would love to" she said "But.... I am worried that our encounter will turn into a love story..... Actually, We both have beautiful golden coat why dun we gang up and rock the forest"
But they didn;t knwo what it meant to gang up. so they continue to talk and walk, until they arrived a blue-white stripped wardrobe.
"This is my home" said the lion " it is a bit embarrasing as it is so small but ya, this is where i live"
"May I come"asked Miss cat
"Of course - is your home nearby"
"Oh Oh , my home is red and orange, filled with the scent of lili, in the shape of a mushroom down by the sea. But... it got blown away during the snowstorm.
Your home looks really nice, who was the architect" asked the cat

Lion looked guilty, "I ... I actually found the wardrobe from a nearby village, everyday I fear that they will come looking for the missing wardrobe...." 
Golden coat cat decided to help Lion, and Lion secretly decided to help golden fur cat, so they moved the wardrobe together, deep into the forest, under the big yellow tree. 
And there they became wonderful neighbours, grew mushroom, and had catwalks everyday. 

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Colourful Autumn Leaves

Maoshan Connie watching the yellow leaves flying across the sky.
One of the tree outside is 1/3 red and 2/3 green - pretty, like a kind of jelly Candy.
Sitting in a Starbucks, in fact, just below my home, made a list, a lot to do.. dunno where to start, where is the best place to work? Some libraries! All my good friends are away from Edinburgh this weekend, all went home ... sighhh
Dear my dear, I realize another I lack today... I lack this in my life! And does it matter?
Luckily my Swedish friend just called me to join me. I need something soothing, to soothe my current unsettling heart. It's pretty outside, but I feel tense, and my hands were shaking this morning..

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Has been feeling really tired these few days, but have no idea why, also feeling stressed with no idea where it's sourced...
Just went for a walk to the faraway neighbourhood to visit the black white cow, it feels natural, cats are natural animals, they are individualistic, always alert, and pays most attention on themselves. Watching the cow seems like the most natural and relaxing to do. I brought Whiskers biscuits for him.

It was cloudy and wet everywhere, I sat on some wet stone, cow sat next to me, I felt tired, the sky was grey, it felt like the most natural composition..

However, I still feel tired, after the walk, I identified that it's not just a mental feeling, but also a physical one - stormy and heavy head, suffocating, as if there's a big bag of air in my throat which I am unable to breathe out, very very dried and heavy eyes...
Hasn't been (able to) working all afternoon, worrying. I have no idea why I feel so, is it a mental thing or a physical thing, I can't tell.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Whisper of the Heart

Question - Should I keep it black and white, or add colour to the background (e.g. just one simple colour - greyish blue, dry pastel) urgent, advices needed!This evening, I feel very very tired, and felt my eyes being very heavy, literally, physically heavy and tired. (vulnerable) Can't think of how to continue my drawing...
So I shall just sleep early.. sigh, I feel bad for that and other things.

Just watched a bit of Whisper of the Heart (耳をすませば), aw, it's such a nice film, and also - suddenly - brings back memory from .... 2? years ago... reminded me of many places... It felt so different now and then, just in general.. how things are and stuff.
I always love Shiji's (the boy from the film) home very much! It has such an amazing view! Unlike the bathhouse in Spirited Away, I always believe that Shiji's neighborhood do exist! And once again makes me wanna go to Japan again (when do I not want to?)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Art and Bravery

Bringing SB Sprit to everyday life. Bravery and Support is what I need now! My IB art teacher also always encourage me to be "braver" in art. Oh, it's really difficult.... 
Haven't been talking about Architecture much since I am back. 
I am about to start the final piece of the current move (move 2) - a composite drawing - documenting a "fragment" of the building in a little artistic/abstract but accurate manner. My "fragment" is a pew inside the building, the background is ambiguous - as the site had been a citadel in the 1600s, then turned into a Train station, a pub and now a Youth Centre. So the area that I am working at could have been a waiting room of the train station, or the tables of the pub etc. 
Every groups in the class are documenting a different fragment of the building - cast iron column, corinthian column etc. all added on to the building from different period of time - and could be pivotal in our later design proposition, especially in our position towards the conservation of those fragments. 
Working on paper is so frightening, if I get the things wrong, then I need to redraft everything over again! Why is there no Alt+Z (UNDO) in real life! .....

Big P.S. the picture is such a WRONG representation of me, it's from relaxing Saturday - with Sex and the City and Starbucks! Today is FRESH Working Sunday, so just serious work

London London - overloaded emotions

After deciding that I will go to London in late October, there are a number of things that I shall decide
I want to see Elisabeth Vigee Le-brun in the National Portrait Gallery! 

- Which train to take
- Deciding what special people I need to see
- Which gallery to go to/any special exhibition i wanna see
- Which Musical to go (and who to go with)
- The places to eat at!
- Calling my host family's sister

In conclusion - Money money money AND
emotionally overloaded - too many mysterious links in this place... I re-covered more and more of those memories on an hourly basis! Do I still like the place!?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Delirious New York

"How to write a manifesto - on a form of urbanism for what remains of the 20th century - in an age disgusted with them? The fatal weakness of manifestos is their inherent lack of evidence.
Manhattan's problem is the opposite: it is a mountain rage of evidence without manifesto.
The book was conceived at the intersection of these two observations; it is a retroactive manifesto for Manhattan.
Manhattan is the 20th century's Rosetta Stone.
Not only are large parts of its surface occupied by architectural mutations (Central Park, the Skyscraper), utopian fragments (Rockfeller Centre, the UN building) and irrational phenomena (Radio City Music Hall) but in addition aach block is covered with several layers of phantom architecture in the form of past occupancies, aborted projects and popular fantasies that provide alternative images to the New York that exists.Especially Between 1890 and 1940 a new culture (the Machine Age?) selected Manhattan as laboratory: a mythical island where the invention and testing of a metropolitan lifestyle and its attendant architecture could be pursued as a collective experiment in which the entire city become a factor of man-made experience, where the real and the natural ceased to exist.
This book is an interpretation of that Manhattan which gives its seemingly discontinuous - even irreconcilable - episodes a degree of consistency and coherence, an interpretation that intends to establis Manhattan as the product of an unformulated theory, Manhattanism, whose program - to exist in a world totally fabricated by man, i.e. to live inside fantasy - was so ambitious that to be realized, it could never be openly stated.

Excerpt from delirious new york, written by the God of contemporary architecture - my ex-professor worshiped him, Rem Koolhaas! big name big name, people's god!

Our tutor this year is very practical AND "REAL" comparing to him - Cary Siress, no fashion shows in crit (the way he wears) no pretentious speeches, imperfection accepted, briefs written in "English", no sarcasm 24/7, (No absurd hybrids between graveyard and school, no looking up weird names, no looking up weird graphs that make no sense, no seminars, no running to the copy shop at 8, no writing of Manifestos weekly...) 
but i guess we all miss that, miss that unreachable sacredness that scared the hell out of us. 

Friday, October 3, 2008


Feeling tired tonight, after brainstorming and drawing the A2 artistic drawing on a detail in the building! So boring, seriously. I should sleep soon! this is really discouraging!

Constructive relaxation. To follow what your heart wants instead of following instructions that you are unwilling to follow. When you are doing something that you are unwilling to do, your body is often *LOCKED UP* in a tense position, Just like the moment when you were suddenly startled, that moment of tense - when you constantly have million of task to do, and trying to do them, your body is tense, all your muscles your spine will be stressed. You will only be at ease when you follow your heart to do whatever you want - whether it's lying down, breathing... anything.. To be STILL, not at the tense startled state, but STILL while everything (in your body) is moving. Try it.

Apart from the workload, I think architecture course also includes too much competition and stress, it's all in that package. I dun see people doing other majors coping with so much stress. Expectation/Interpretation/Prejudice. We seems to live to learn the instructors' TASTE.

I actually intended to write an entry on my Japan trip, as I have only written one after the trip, and I was thinking about it tonight. Ended up writing this... I miss our trip to Japan, it was so great.. I just re-read that previous post, and there's no need to write more, it's so prefect already.... I'm really tired and sleepy, but I need to work, I played hard, now it's time to work hard...... argh..... YES!