Even though mid-autumn festival is still a little while away from now, but everywhere is filled with mooncake advertisements. One of the newsletter I received from La Maison du Chocolat was especially attractive!
It's probably the cute rabbit : ) But you know, I don't like chocolate :P
Cant' wait till Mid-Autumn Celebration arrives, I love lanterns and mid-autumn festival
It's arguably disconcerting when you more than once realize certain of your own embarkments reflects certain subconscious flees... it was indeed a very mysterious night, but this isn't completely unprecedented, I am surprised that you two would think it's something outrageous when you are used to living outside the castle until three in the morning!
Anyway, back to work - have to start drawing certain Japan maps for a travel magazine, I can't believe that I am looking at all the oishii milk, beautiful green and ocean but not there. ha. but there are sooooooooo much going on here! let's charge ourselves up and prepare for it!
Today marks an exciting beginning. Even though Shizue adviced us not to be stressed, but frankly, one would naturally be filled with a mixed variety of anxiety and excitement! With many help from Shizue, we together worked on "Tsubuan Stamp"s exhibition. I guess it's always better to see for yourself, words could hardly describe!
Also started my intensive course this morning, nice to meet more people and *learn.*Feel very thankful for everyone's patience. Apart from that other busy endeavors continues....
For now, I should pay a visit to my neighbour - two lovely dogs : )
There are more and more artjamming places around HK these days, it's something positive I think, so that more people could share the joy of art. Once I started painting though, I really want to paint a lot more....
Finished my painting in around an hour, not a good thing.... feels like JUST painting a picture, but not enough of the emotions of the moment. Even though my beloved Hedgy and Blackie bebe are in it. On a side note, maybe we can consider an art jamming gathering with all petit morpho rubber stamp artists sometimes, there are many beautiful french picture story books that does an amazing job mixing painting and stamps : )
Sometimes it's so difficult to write about a day within one entry :P A rainy day, a nice swim, an interesting afternoon meeting very sweet and lovely rubber stamp artists, an evening of Japanese drinks, crazy singing, followed by exciting midnight chats...
These young artists seems to be another beautiful little community living within an innocent but magical world. Of course there's also our "Meet the Artists" event, Eric once again turns into a very serious and excited teacher when talking about photos and cameras. His passion is something so genuine and admirable. Even though it's not me who's leaving Hong Kong this time, there's still an urgency, to want to do all the things we could within the remaining two weeks :P Haven't been painting on a canvas for awhile, quite looking forward to paint : ) Also looking forward to early mid-autumn festival celebration, wonder if this could materialize? Ah, full of fun, full of challenges, full of love : ) Wanted to exclaim again :P Why's everyday so good? For now, let me listen to the new CD bought yesterday
Woke up to a beautiful rainbow on my first day back home.
Still remember earlier, I didn't really wanted to go to Japan before the trip started, and then it grew into not wanting to come back - very me indeed :P
There are a lot of little things on an everyday level that I am not used to upon returning to HK! I guess this "little-long" trip was part of an important process to prepare for my permanently return back home. There's a lot to get on track, finally being in a place for good, on a positive note, I could perfect my tennis, yoga, start swimming everyday again, take my easel out, be enclosed by all the treasures I acquired, organize beautiful seaside parties, continue Japanese lessons; and also start working on something I truly love : ) Joey and I joined Shizue in unpacking the exciting new exhibition items - can't wait to see them all displayed! Yet at the same time, I realize there's a lot of emotional baggage to overcome upon returning, a little more than i expected - surprisingly... And being at home/at a place for good, is still a concept I have to get used to. Persistency,also. Not easy, but not impossible : )
Discovered another really must go place in Tokyo, thanks to my sister! Wouldn't normally choose to go to a bar if it wasn't her choice.It's hidden in the tiny streets near Roppongi, a dark library bar + cafe that opens from 19:30 - 04:00 every night, so wish there's such a place in Hong Kong. It's so beautiful, with thousand of artistic books around, all the seats are like niches surrounded by books, with wonderful music. My sis talked with the guy there a bit, and he showed us around to another secret lounge in the building where the hidden torch was lit on the top floor, and a beautiful rooftop with the view of Roppongi Hills and Shinjuku under tonight's full moon, seriously..... He even told us to make sure to come back to Tokyo in winter - how can he read our minds :P This makes me wish I live in Tokyo....
Interestingly yet another blog entry about morning. But waking up early really feels as if your day is quite as long as other's. I love how the Moomin cafe and shop opens at 8 am - when most of the other things opens at 11 am or later.
Gave up the wide variety of hotel brunches around tokyo for a very shiawase breakfast with moomin. I see other people having breakfast with other characters from Moomin Valley too, looks really sweet.
Ah Mei looks really grumpy as usual, both Moomin and I were staring at her :P
I always wonder whether the obstruction of language between us makes everything a lot more innocent, like kids playing with each other. Starting to get sweet email replies from my new and old friends from Japan.
While in Niigata, I always made fun of Yoshiko as Yoshiko maki, once she scared me with cicadas in her hand, so I painted a drawing of her sleeping with snakes and cicadas to make fun of her. She took the painting home and turned the it into a clock, just like Phoebe's "canvas that work"... it's something I always wanted to make, didn't thought she'd do that. but in any case, all of their emails are extremely sweet, and I miss them a lot. She also said "Yellow and white cats lamp is in my bed room. I read books with the lamp. It's very good. I can dream happy."Don't you think it's extremely sweet? ahhhhh : ) I miss all of them.
"Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day hunting for it" - forgot who .. Went out for a little walk to get breakfast this morning, I love that the world seems to be mine before 7 am, air seems fresher and cleaner, and streets so quiet, it's cloudy again, how beautiful. Was thinking to stay in today, all day, and just go to bookshop to get inspirations, since I am out of money. Yet I realize that there's a "handmade market" somewhere in Tokyo just today, feel like I should go, since I have missed so many, and really wanna try selling things at one of them sometimes in the future. This kinda spontaneous discoveries feels very much like the days when I was working in Beijing, spending a lot of time to search for interesting little things to go to, and pondering whether to stay in or go out for the day. Thinking back to those days there, I am not sure whether it was good or not - working aboard alone in Beijing, maybe not the best mentally, but surely interesting eyes-widening cultural experience, no? This also leads to other endless ponders that probably has no answers. I have also always wanted to write about the queues during rush hour in Tokyo's JR platforms, unbelievably orderly and straight, having lived a little while in 東京 and 北京 I feel like i have seen the best and the worst in the world - in terms of queues. I love Beijing people and the city, but they just have no sense of queuing, remember those days of getting into the elevator or the bus to get to work, I feel like they will push over the bus, sometimes I walk down 21/F from my office instead of waiting for the lift.... no kidding, I was afraid that the lift will break down soon...... i mean....seriously............ but I still think it's a beautiful place. here too, everywhere is beautiful lol :P (sounds weird or stupid, but i really think so maa.....)
Went for a little 御菓子 trip with my sister to 目黑,惠比壽,代官山, liked both 黑鯛+ 蜜香 very much, it's a little cooler here in Tokyo now, walking around the quiet neighbourhood feels just right. Saw a pretty white cat yesterday around here too. The 桂花酒杏仁豆腐is very very oishii!!!! I really want to go back for another cup now. I like that it's a little cloudy now. Wanna spend another afternoon at bookshops later... Need to get some inspirations for my new freelance task...
27th day @ Japan - 之前嘛，去過茂庵等等的咖啡店都很喜歡。朋友都會問為什麼不在香港開返間－當然是因為無錢，但也沒有太大的desire去開間cafe.不過今天去了一間cafe卻令我很想將來（如果）有錢的話在香港開返一間。
Carrot juice, coffee, still amazing as ever before. Many great breakfast memories. The only difference is not only that you were not reading newspaper opposite me, not only that the breakfast basket is a lot larger... In any case, everything was and is genuinely beautiful, but there are a lot in life that is not always within our control - as much as I would love them to be - since we only live our short life once. One of my motto is to pass everyday uniquely, as everyday is really only once-in-a-lifetime... But at the same time, there are things that just couldn't be forced, things flow naturally, keep your hopes, our universe balances the rest - and decides what is best.
Each and every early morning is beautiful and serene. Still remember the rooms in Himeji and Aix-en-provence that faces the wall of another building - they make me wanna leave immediately. I love rooms with a view, even if it's just a narrow street view like here, the slanted and overlapping layers of roof reminds me of Paris. It's not an especially exceptional room but surprisingly makes me feel like home, there were moments that my mind was illuded to believe that I really live here! And now the morning sunshine washes into the room - since it's home like - and atelier like - Tokyo x Paris - I will acquire some little bouquet today, ah beautiful sunshine.... Duplicating another lamp after getting new painting tools from Shinjuku - the power of new paint brushes and paint :P All the lamp lamp stories are now here: http://maoshan.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html
Have not thought that I would be back in Tokamachi in Echigo Tsumari after a year, and haven't even planned to come here during this trip, but very fortunately Angel etc. are coming from Tokyo just the right time, so I got to come along with their car, drove along the beautiful mountains, and went to onsen under the starry skies!!!
Amazing Niigata rice iceee after onsen!
Ah beautiful Echigo-Tsumari, beautiful open sky! big fields.... starry skies... Sharing a house with many many people, great life in the countryside, going to see Toko's baby! Everyone is out for party now, we just arrived, cannot wait to see everyone back! It's Japan High School Baseball league these days, so ging! their cheering team and the players! Everyone is crazy about it..!
Totally not in the "mood" to "Create" a new story but somehow did it, as a practice perhaps?! lol, or to record summer, somehow this story feels very summer, couldn't take more pics of it, because in the short three minutes i was in the garden, i got more than 20 mosquito bites.... very intense... hope you'll like it!
First pondered on whether it is not appropriate to casually call a place home, then followed by "my" common sensation of not being to easily find a place where I could call "home". Home alone today, everyone is out, last night we all had barbeque together! Both of Angel's sons are back, Tsuyoshi and his wife Naomi are back from San Francisco, they both studied aboard in UCL, Italy, US and Aussie, so speak very good English. Naomi is indeed very nice.
Unluckily it was raining a bit, so we had barbeque half indoor, Yoshiko and Tadashi did all the cooking since they are close to the fire, it's so nice looking at the lamp of the garden and the little rain while enjoying the cosiness of the house.
Painting a lamp in a very japanese room now, it's great to be living in a Japanese house, no? surrounded by nature, but those 蟬 are very noisy lol, I don't really understand thsee houses, there doors and windows and the garden gates are all opened, everyone can easily break in! and there's no alarm........ mysterious.
Really wanna draw a plan of this very beautiful Japanese home. Probably do it after i finish the lamp. Naomi and Tsuyoshi are leaving Japan tomorrow, so they left the house already, Naomi was saying more than once that we would probably meet again very soon in japan...lol......
Everytime after a long long journey , I feel a little different in heart, there aren't many such ones in the past the last time was probably form three's summer in yunnan. There were always a lot of things which we couldn't let go while trapped in a tiny and suffocating city like Hong Kong, many like competition, jealousy, pressure... being away, meeting other cultures, other people, all the sweet encounters, the near death perils, makes you realize very concretely exactly how big the world is - and how boundless our ability are as a human being. There are often a lot more we could do then we imagined. It's also a long long while since the last time the culture of a place amused me, weird isn't it, even though we travelled to Kenya, Laos, Europe (?), Beijing (?) etc. etc. many things seems to be as imagined, or more westernized than we imagined, but here in Japan, there's always still a sense of mystery and muse! It was hanabi matsurii yesterday night, if you were a Echigo-Tsumariian, you know how the firework here in Japan are different from those in HK. Almost all cities and towns over the country holds hanabi matsurii during summer, even the tiny city Ume we were in last night, the park was stuffed with people sitting on the ground with sake, wine, olives, maki sushi, and many people wore yukata! How exciting. Interesting how Japanese old people looks like those in animation. The firework lasted for more than an hour, almost two, it's less intense than those in HK but still very beautiful, feels much closer... people shouted and clapped on beautiful ones, amazing how easily amused people are, no? Still stunned by simple but gorgeous things, and perhaps the great time with friends and family in the summer breeze. To me, the experience of living with a Japanese family and participating in their everyday life here is very priceless and rare, feels extremely fortunate : ) P.S. Casually looked back at the early summer blog posts I wrote this morning, realized it's a time I really enjoyed, IFC rooftop, yomama, with Nick and Wai sum lol, PP Buying candles, Dbay mimolette, with Phoebe and Tammy etc.... Most of the times in life I look back at beautiful pictures and realize that I didn't really enjoyed that part of the memory as much as I appeared to be, but that was a great time I liked. P.P.S. When I was young (around six) my dream was to live on a caravan with all the things I adore - close to me, drive around the country (Canada) and sell hotdog to make a living... when I was in high school, I still dream that I could bring all the things that I adore and travel around on a donkey back around the world...與世無爭 somehow always wanted to be a nomad alone...
きょわspent the morning in house, had a nice breakfast together, walked chako the shiba inu a bit, and then we went on a big car trip to drop off and pick up people, first of all angel to her choral practice, tadashi to work, and then venus, yoshiko and me to ONSEN! 温泉って気持ちいいですね! Very beautiful onsen with lots of green surrounding, and very smooth skin after onsen! Amazing how we could be surrounded by such rich nature just an hour away Tokyo city centre!
At night, we travelled on JR into the city centre of Tokyo for a little concert in a tiny live music house, quite an interesting scene that I have not seen in Tokyo. It's Angel's high school friend reunion! They are all very interesting and beautiful woman even in their 50s, and very active in the art scene around Tokyo, teaching ballet, chorus, playing piano, painting and knows a lot of artists and singers. The singer is also their high school friend. Will continue to start writing in more and more basic English ね, as I am lost in translation living with the 日本人ね。明日わ花火祭りね！
tadashi's drawing (25 years ago?!), so cute, with hedgehog
the other day I had a random thought of how guilty I would feel if the liquid paint cleaner i use accidentally set the old Japanese house I live in on fire... their homes are so different from ours, first of all it's a lot bigger and older, with many more art work (of their own, their friends, their ancesters) everywhere, and sculptures HUGE sculptures all around the garden, the feeling of "building a home" is very strong, also, it seems to have so much memories and histories embedded... Unlike the tall HK apartments that completely disregards the traditional customs the decor and layout of the homes here comprises many traditional elements.
Thought of "In praise of shadows" or the "Poetic of Space" wow, architecture books... Now at the suburb of Tokyo, the big bulb of light of Tokyo could be seen from the hills at night, feels so at home here away from home. This is the home of Seizo's assistant, the children book illustrator I worked for in Niigata last year. Welcomed by Yoshiko, Angel and Venus with a welcoming dinner in the sculpture garden with also Chako the shiba inu, Mary the goat and the two cute cats... even tho they are all not young but they all play very well piano!!!! Angel's son Tadashi, who's a graphic designer/illustrator, also came back home for the weekend. very ureshii.
for the white and pink fluffy sakura, for the flowing river, for the *matcha*, for the sweet tofu, for the cats, for mo-an's serenity, for cafe bibliotic, for momuteki's matcha latte, for ginkokgi in winter snow, for kaiseki, for the kimono and yukata, for the endless hills of red leaves, for the biking, for the markets, for the handmade market, for the home like efish, for to see a rainy day in kyoto, for ando's pottery museum, for the ceramic cups of the 和菓子店, for all the beautiful printed paper, for the walk in between bamboo forest, for the beautiful inspirations from sou sou, in summer, in spring, in wool scarfs, under yellow leaves, for its gracefulness & elegance, kyoto.... definitely worth many more visits. can u believe it, i already miss kyoto...
if efish is a riverside home, cafe bibliotic a library, then mo-an must be a perfect studio. perfect. perfecto. was the first customer there this morning, walked up the hills, under the very blue sky and very white clouds, like Japanese animation, no joke, and can see the 大文字山of kyoto from afar! ah, the view is a bit like some safari jungle, don't u think? the green green green + blue blue hills afar and the whole city below you + big big logs supporting the roof, instantly makes one fall in love with it, no? as good as honmura. there were so many so many trees, all wrapping around you, layers of green, and beyond that are red trees..... now back at efish, after a long long day, i am here because I am really so tired and can't go anywhere else, i carried so much stuff with me today..... really want to paint more lamps, a lot more that i wanna do in fact. today was satisfying. today was cho atsui. but still great. the view of the flowing river is addictive. the view of the moving bamboo is addictive the sound of rain is addictive; the sound of wind is addictive...
For here, i should write another post! efish, the closest cafe to 鴨川,the river that flows in Kyoto, it's right between two rivers, and u can see the water flow flow flow, sooooo beautiful in the sunset/blue evening, seriously. Today was 大滿足, am I just easily satisfied, or is Kyoto too good? Started the day with ame the cat still by my side, she's a very human like cat, I almost wonder whether she'd start talking with me.... walked in the bamboo forest of arashiyama, there seems to be something new to discover everyday, and of course, as usaul sweated a lot in the 35*C....... lol Back in city centre, had lunch at a very beautiful cafe, with an antique 雜貨店+clothes + bookshop! ideal shop no? Had a modern style of 京料理，傳統京料理，懷石料理is all about yasai (野菜), the tofu is especially good....... and the matcha latte is arguably the best ever. Shopped around a bit, bought a book.... the books in Japan....... ....... ..... Now at efish, ..... come experience yourself. "Kyoto is a city of secrets. Thousand of secrets. Hidden behind ancient walls, down tiny alleyways, under layers of gestures and artifice. Myriad pockets of incredible beauty that reveal themselves to those willing to see and discover.."
Captured in a still picture is certain momentary beauty, experienced in reality is often very different, beautiful as well, but along with that is pain from sunshine, itch from sweat, or sweet scent lingering from tea, flowing series of thoughts and sounds of dripping raindrops... Things are always at once so enthralling but illusive - what is real and what is not, most of the things just don't seems to have an answer. Isn't it scary when there is something that haunts your everyday life?
Last year in London, I acquired a series of chimes, this year I added on a chime to my chime bracelet, I already cannot tell whether this is an award or a reminder - but I know for sure that this is also a yuanfen encounter. (How exactly is this word like in english? Destiny?!) This chime reminds me of my own power, of the importance of confidence, and also awareness. Realize that I will be in no way be able to see 10% of the important things (i think) in Kyoto - there is just too much to see - it resembles other old cities that I adore very much such as Paris and Beijing, exactly is a 博大精深的古都, requires a year to see it in sakura, snow, red leaves, to go to all the cafes from 錦市場 to 嵐山，to experience the matsuri (祭) over the year, and drink green tea in morning sunshine and rainy afternoons... Old cities - each of them has something so unique, culturally unique, and so beautiful about them - just like people with 氣質.
Biked up some hills to a shirne at 7am, sweat so much, which is good. Went to a very beautiful cafe afterwards - there's just no space that could compare to it in Hong Kong - unfortunately. Beautiful spaces are so inspirational, provoke you into endless flow of thoughts, so by 2 pm I have only finished reading one book and done nothing else. Don't understand why I never have enough time, even though i am doing nothing already....
Spent the afternoon discovering a beautiful design district, with lots of small shops... kyoto elegance, a very mature kind of elegance.
Was thinking of a matter that have always disturb me while biking back home in the dark, I think I know the answer. Home is where your heart is, remember?