Category Archives: Photography

Separation 

    

“For what separates dawn from dusk is day
And what separates joss from ash is respect
And what separates you from me is time
And if you lose even the memories
Then we will truly be apart”
– from Separation by Daren Shiau

***

I remember that twilight hour. I had emerged from a small bookstore where I had been browsing through Daren Shaiu’s Peninsula whilst broodily negotiating an online sale. It had been a long day.  Earlier I had walked through the bright green compound of Dempsey Hill visiting art galleries, along the way stumbling upon big wire cages full of noisy parrots and a dreamy green pond with fishes the size of small sharks. I had a difficult time in Anna Berezovskaya’s exhibit. It was all so beautiful and whimsical and other-worldly, yet I struggled to immerse myself in it fully because I couldn’t stop wrestling with myself in my mind. The second exhibit (Zhu Yan Chun’s The Substance Series) returned me to mountain paths and natural pigments, and I breathed easier.

 [The day’s clippings]
In the glow of early evening the meandering lanes of Duxton road had me scaling a hill and passing the entrance to a small park where I met a big cat, a miniature tiger-like creature.


I lingered a while in Monica Duxton’s exhibit- A Universal Truth, feeling soothed by light and space. When I stepped out to wander again, I looked at all the corridors and windows a little differently. A universal truth indeed. I also felt curiously tempted to get a drink, after a long period of ambivalence to alcohol.
Stepping out of the bookstore, I walked past shophouses to the main road which was lined with cars making their way home from the city. I felt very subdued, and a little bothered inside.

Across the road was a set of flats. Rows of disorderly bamboo laundry poles stuck out from stacks and stacks of faintly glowing squarish windows. Behind them, the dramatic silvery towers of a newer housing development jutted out like a swords. Pattern and juxtaposition. This is also poetry, I thought to myself. The mixture of lights and street sounds left me mellow and dreamy, and I felt myself suspended, like the light in the sky, between darkness and day.

After a long train ride I would arrive home, where I would make myself very upset with my verbal blunders, overanalyse the transaction I had earlier completed, attempt to clean my room, annoy those around me, and end up feeling very hurt and trapped and childish and taken advantage of.

I’m not sure how the evening ended. But once again the night would have come, dark and cool, closing the day and dividing it from the next. It used to bother me terribly, the way one day did not flow smoothly into the next like verses in a song do. It often felt like someone was taking a scissors and cutting each day and each moment off from the next.

In the end, I am not quite sure how to end the telling of this story. Perhaps I shall simply allow it to retire, close this pandora’s box of memory, creep beneath the covers. The words of Alvin Pang float to mind:

“Let waking divide
this day in which you walk
from the past
which already is less
than whisper, fainter
than a breath’s caress.”

“Make space with your words
so those who come after
may hear their own voices
in your silence, deepening.”

(From a poet is instructed by the death of his master) 

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Tokyo at night

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“Hello, goodbye and hello.

I met you, and now I say goodbye

Hello, goodbye and hello.

And then to this world without you, I’ll say hello”

“Hello, goodbye and hello. 

君に会って、今君にサヨナラ

Hello, goodbye and hello.

そして君のいないこの世界に hello”

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Our (delicious) Christmas cake!

From a postcard I sent from Tokyo:

FullSizeRender“It’s our last night in this messy little tatami room in Tokyo. It;s been a pretty hectic 5 days on Tokyo’s loud, cluttered streets, ‘a cacophony of mismatched colours and sound’*. Like most holidays, it has mainly been a crazy race, fighting the crowds and the clock to get to everywhere on our itinerary, interspersed by fleeting moments of whimsy and seemingly more frequent moments painfully awkward and mundane. I’m clumsy and blur and indecisive and my brother gets irritated a lot. I made my mum angry too. But sometimes we laugh about what we did during the day. Sometimes I don’t want to talk. I learn new words talking to Japanese people, but sometimes they get impatient. My feet get really sore from walking, but there are also moments where I suddenly feel alive in the cold night air and all the lights, these teeming streets”

[26/12/14]

*Borrowed this description from Nothing to Envy (even though the writer in that passage was describing South Korea)

These London corners

“Love makes you see a place differently, just as you hold differently an object that belongs to someone you love. If you know one landscape well, you will look at all other landscapes differently. And if you learn to love one place, sometimes you can also learn to love another.” – Anne Michaels, The Winter Vault

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Back in the +44 in January, turning all those familiar corners, taking to the old sunlit streets like a fish to water, everything so starkly familiar, as though I had been gone a long time, as though I hadn’t been gone at all.

Is 10 days enough? I saw Constable’s paintings at the Victoria & Albert, made a visit to East London, passed the New Year on Primrose Hill, had high tea at Bea’s of Bloomsbury, met my favourite people for dinner, watched the Curious Incident, did a speedy run of Oxford Street, had a night walk by the river, had Dutch Pancakes and Ramen, sat in friend’s kitchens, made a quick visit to Camden High Street, ate my favourite yogurts and drank Kefir, went home with 9 boxes of Special K Biscuits.

But I didn’t get to see Turner’s paintings at Tate. I didn’t get to walk through Regent’s Park, or supermarket hop.  I would have liked to watch another play, visit more people, see more of London that I hadn’t seen before. Much of the time I admit to huddling, freezing, in the room my friends kindly let me stay in. The England weather is forever unrelenting.

I sensed time passing, things changing from the time I was studying there. Everything a little colder and emptier, the streets containing less emotion than they did before. Still, with its gentle nostalgic light, this place is a comfort to me.

“背中にあった翼は今はもう必要ない”

“The wings I had on my back, I will not need them anymore”

[28/12/2014-8/1/2015]

Rainy day in Shoreditch

“Beware of doors” ~ Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere

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It was one of those crazy days towards the end of my December London trip where I suddenly realised how little time I had left. Unfortunately it was cold and rainy the whole time, even though the preceding days had been dry. My friend led me around as I snapped pictures of colourful graffiti.

We visited the famous Dum Dum Donutterie for cronuts (which to be honest were really too sweet for my liking), and had a nice spicy lunch at the market. Afterwards, we made a brief shopping trip down Oxford Street before walking to the Apollo Theatre to catch The Curious Incident, tickets to which I had obtained early that morning queuing outside of the theatre. It was a full day indeed.

[7/1/2015]

For Valentine’s

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So! I don’t often bake these days, mainly because I’m not a big eater of sweet things. But on Friday morning I decided to do the domestic thing and speedily baked and packaged a batch of heart-shaped cookies.

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The recipe I used can be found here at Wanna Come With.

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The bunny template can be found here.

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The night before, I also helped my sister with these cuties. I just love how different the swirls came out on each one. Which one would you pick to represent your heart?

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Hope everyone had a lovely weekend.