Happy Green Balls from Paris

Friday, 31 May, 2019
Green Balls from Play | Alexander Ekman & Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris | Palais Garnier 2017

Green Balls from Play | Alexander Ekman & Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris | Palais Garnier 2017

Respect and help others, even total strangers. This is one of the many lessons my dad taught me by example.

You see. one year our family traveled to Thailand and there were performances (dancing and singing) at lunch. As our tour group finished our meals, people were getting ready to leave. All except our table.

Dad convinced our fellow travellers to stay seated for a few more minutes to allow the singer to finish her song before we left. The singer noticed and appreciated it. She was someone we would never meet again. I guess in some sense even she didn’t mind people leaving en masse mid-song as she must have come to expect and have seen happened many times. But our small gestures made a small difference to her that day.

Dad didn’t intend to teach me any lessons. He was just being himself. Respectful and polite (and be firm with reasons when needed) to everyone including strangers. I in turn got a lesson for life. By example.

So back to my green balls which signify playfulness and happiness to me thanks to the epic ballet Play in Paris (see trailer video below). It just so happened that while watching Play in Paris during an intermission, I was posting stuff on Facebook and saw a friend’s post which I saw as a “cry for help”. Long story short, after getting my hands on a few of the magical green balls at the end of the performance, I snapped a photo and sent it to my friend and promised to arrange a coffee meetup to give the friend one of my treasured green balls. We had a good talk. And the friend felt better.

Today, another Facebook friend from overseas seemed to be having a bad day so I took the above green balls photo and sent it to the friend with a few words of encouragement and care. Giving the friend my balls (photo of them) and keeping them. My version of “having my cake and eat it too“.   ;)

At the end of the day, I believe love and care are like that, the more you give, the more you have. We are all on this earth for the blink of an eye and may be gone tomorrow. Might as well be good and caring to our loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers. We may not be able to be good all the time, but try we can. A new thought just came into my mind as I typed this paragraph. You see, if you think about it carefully, we are that “strangers” to others we don’t know. And the world and we ourselves would be better if we are all a bit nicer and kinder to that strangers as our world seem to fall into a darker period in our recent years.

Thanks dad. Thinking of you. OK, here are those balls, lots and lots and lots of balls! Enjoy!

Play trailer | Alexander Ekman & Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris | Palais Garnier 2017

xxx


At Eternity’s Gate – starring Willem Dafoe as van Gogh

Friday, 30 November, 2018

The Oscar nominated director (and painter) Julian Schnabel‘s film At Eternity’s Gate about the final years of painter Vincent van Gogh‘s life seems fascinating.

Insightful short clip via TIFF: AT ETERNITY’S GATE director Julian Schnabel on art and creating

AT ETERNITY’S GATE – Official Trailer

AT ETERNITY’S GATE – A Journey Inside the World of Vincent van Gogh

At Eternity’s Gate’ Press Conference | NYFF56

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Banksy’s $1.4m transformative act (self-destructing stunt?)

Sunday, 7 October, 2018

(with 2018, October 11th & 18 updates) Fascinating $1.4m transformative act (self-destructing stunt?) by anonymous UK-based street artist Banksy. The work is not really “destroyed” because it is in a funny Schrödinger’s cat half-alive & half dead state. A total and more messy destruction would be one that cut the canvas into tiny squares and cut the whole canvas completely and let the pieces fall onto the ground. A total and more beautiful “destruction” is what Tibetan monks do when they blow away their own sand arts (sand mandala is a ritual of creation and destruction, that “symbolize the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life“).

Finally, the money/worth question is probably the easiest one to answer. It will be rather stupid for the buyer to use legal means to get out of the deal. The work, after this stunt, will easily worth a lot more. Way more! But what is more interesting to me about art is always about the questions we ask ourselves or the thinking we do about them. We (National Gallery of Canada) paid a controversial $1.8m for Voice of Fire (a painting consists of “three equally sized vertical stripes, with the outer two painted blue and the centre painted red“) in 1989. It was estimated to worth $40m in 2014 and probably more today. And of course, art can’t just be about money. [HT Seastar]

P.S. This “making of” video was posted on Read the rest of this entry »


Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Thursday, 26 October, 2017

New York City to me is a readymade! The beauty about New York City is co-existence and tolerance and sharing.” “Fences can be solid as a wall. But many fences you can see through. You can have hatred or admiration about the other side.” – Ai Weiwei (Vimeo video @1:47 & @2:42) (ref Public Art Fund) (Adding this to my long list of Quotes I LOVE)

PAF40: Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors (here is a Public Art Fund link to donate any amount small or big)

P.S. Thrilled to have made a tiny contribution to Public Art Fund for this project. “A small act is worth a thousand Facebook Likes.”  as I like to say.

2017 Nov 6 Update: TimesTalks | Ai Weiwei (2017/10/16)

This is a cool one because they knew each other for so long. 2014/10/29 Ai Weiwei talks with Evan Osnos – The New Yorker Festival (interview with Evan Osnos)

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National Music Centre 2016 Canada Day Grand Opening

Saturday, 2 July, 2016

We did something special on 2016 Canada Day in Calgary by attending the grand opening of the National Music Centre (NMC) Studio Bell (Twitter)! Yes, the lineup was long and around the block (~1.5 hours) even at 10am in the morning but it totally worth our time in the wait because of the special guest pxerformances we got to watch (more on this later). Regular admission fees are $18 for adult, $14 for Seniors/Students, $11 for Youth (3-12), free for Children (under 3) and free on this grand opening day. And there is cool as there is a FREE/complimentary admission for “new Canadian citizens within their first year of citizenship. New citizens can apply for the CAP online at www.icc-icc.ca and present their pass upon arrival at Studio Bell for free entry.”

The NMC really has great exhibitions (22 stages) and a wonderful unique collection (with about 2,000 objects)! Have a watch of following clips and check out some photos at the end of this post. Read the rest of this entry »


父親節快樂 Happy Father’s Day – 與 Simon 談書法的創意 Talk Chinese Calligraphy Creativity with Simon

Sunday, 19 June, 2016

父親節快樂! Happy Father’s Day! In 2013, I had the pleasure of LIVE chatting (unedited LIVE streaming) with my father about Chinese calligraphy creativity.

與 Simon 談書法的創意 Talk Chinese Calligraphy Creativity with Simon

My father has taught me, by personal examples, how to maintain life-long curiosity and learning. Dad LOVEs to learn. And he is a much better teacher than I ever will be. I sometimes lack the infinite patient that he seems to have.

During the LIVE chat, dad told me (amongst many things), on a purely calligraphy level, Dr. Sun Yat-sen 孫中山, Chinese revolutionary, first president and founding father of the Republic of China, loves to write the four Chinese words 「天下為公」 (The world is a Commonwealth). A photo example of Dr. Sun’s writing: 孫中山在故題的「天下為公」四個大字。(Google image search of 孫中山 Dr. Sun’s 天下為公 samples.) And Chairman Mao’s 毛澤東 loves to write the five words「為人民服務」五個字. (Google image search of 毛澤東 Chairman Mao’s「為人民服務」samples.) We had some fascinating discussions on top of the calligraphy in the LIVE video chat.

After my chat with dad talking about 鄭板橋’s words「難得糊塗」, the curious me (thanks dad!) conducted some research Zheng Xie 鄭板橋 (formally 鄭燮) and ended up reaching out to Dr. Lee Shew-Hua in Taiwan to ask her if she could kindly share her PhD thesis with me. As Dr. Lee had conducted her research 20+ years ago, she didn’t have an electronic copy of her thesis. But after finding out which pages/section I am most interested in, she was so kind to arrange and scan an excerpt of her Phd thesis 李秀華博士 〈鄭板橋書法之研究〉博士論文 (4.5 MB, PDF image file) for me. As all PhD thesis are in public domain, I am now sharing Dr. Lee’s PhD thesis excerpt 李秀華博士 〈鄭板橋書法之研究〉博士論文 on this Father’s Day to celebrate the teachings and inspirations by fathers from around the world.

Thanks Dad! Thanks for your continue teachings and inspirations! You rock!

Happy Father’s Day! 父親節快樂!

P.S. Upon further research, I found this Chinese TV show about Zheng Xie 鄭板橋. Enjoy.

《老梁故事汇》 20151023 郑板桥的糊涂人生

There are two Chinese series: 扬州八怪 YouTube playlist and 鄭板橋外傳


Watch “Revolution Trilogy” 睇「革命三部曲」

Friday, 18 March, 2016

(Watch my trilogy of documentaries.)

Watch my docs Revolution Trilogy 睇「革命三部曲」

Watch my docs Revolution Trilogy 睇「革命三部曲」

20190812 Director new preface re the word “Revolution”:

The title of my debut documentary “Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命” was decided in 2004, so 15 years ago. The rationale is similar to “industrial revolution” or “internet revolution”, ideas for improvement. Nothing to do with violence.

“長毛革命”在2004, 15年前定名, 其實跟”工業革命”或者”互聯網革命”道理相同, 是嶄新改革的意思, 完全同”暴力”沒有任何關係.

It saddens and pains me that Hong Kong today has deteriorated so badly that the word “Revolution” has now been twisted by both the HK and BJ governments to mean violence and the guaranteed and international recognized free speech right is almost gone in HK.

可憐今天的香港, 還是逃不了中國幾千年以來皇帝”以言入罪”, 沒有”言論自由”的悲哀。

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Director/producer/independent reporter Kempton Lam has made three full-length documentaries from 2004 – 2015. Kempton’s debut documentary Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命 has been collected by the Canadian National Archive since 2009. The three documentaries are collectively known as “Revolution Trilogy「革命三部曲」 and are in Cantonese with English subtitles (廣東話、英文字幕). You can watch the three films at this YouTube Playlist (beautifully projected on your big screen HDTV or on your computer). Enjoy!

Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命」 (full-length 2005) (read film & Canadian national archive info)

HKtv Revolution 「香港電視革命」 (full-length 2015) (read Director’s Statement)

Umbrella Revolution: History as Mirror Reflection 「雨傘革命實錄:以史為鏡」 (full-length 2015) (read Director’s Statement)


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