Sunday, July 31, 2011

Across the Ocean

 My friend Pauline and I are collaborating overseas. She's painting murals of my drawings in France. Pauline is a dedicated and talented wall constructor. She owns a company Hylé. She constructs and paints walls with environmentally and health conscious materials. Her painting pigments are fine Italian limewash, the same stuff, which murals in centuries old European churches were painted with.

I am so very excited about this collaboration. It is a strange and wonderful feeling to have my friend painting my drawings in the other side of the world. And to think of my work as a permanent mural in some child's room in France! Oh the wonders of modern technology! I'm happy and grateful for the opportunity.

Today is the last day of July. It is usually my favourite month of the year. I've been meaning to post more this month, but just could not find time. I am finishing off my Master's, and things are crazy busy. I am discouraged by school. People are dying all over the world in horrific circumstances. I can't believe I am worrying about petty and insignificant things. I cannot wait to be done so I can get on with my life.

To end this post in upbeat, my sweet friend and an awesome motion graphic designer, Sara made this for me for my birthday! She's another friend who's ocean apart from me. I met both Sara and Pauline in Berlin. Another proof that Berlin is magical.
This is made with the photo she took of me as a ghost. I LOVE it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

★★ Twinkling Stars Above ★★

Finally, the opening sequence for my videogame prototype, Twinkling Stars Above is completed. The music for the opening sequence is by Ghostrust under Creative Common license. The credit says Michael Daykin because my brilliant musician friend Mike composed the music for the whole game.

I thank my coop students, Nayoun and Hyunjin for all their help.

Busy busy busy days!

Resurrection (Zombies!)

I realized that I've never written about Memories of Enemies show from last October. I was waiting for a chance to scan the artworks, but no avail. For the death of me, I could not find a way to scan 30X40" painting and 50X60" drawings. So here are the photographs of the pieces for Memories of Enemies.

Out of All Them Bright Stars I
Mixed Media on Wood Panel
The title was from Nancy Kress' short story by the same name.

This piece was painted during Nuit Blanche Toronto 2010. I've never got to see Nuit Blanche. I either had to do work, help my friends with their art projects or work on my own project (piggy-backing the festival). During 2010 Nuit Blanche, I was busy painting for "Memories of Enemies" show. All the monsters (or minerals from alien landscape) are crying because I was feeling a little sad. I could hear the people having fun outside from my studio. No matter how many times people told me that I didn't miss much, I could not help but to dwell on the things I've missed. Haunted house at the old Bay station on Nuit Blanche few years ago for an instance. How magical is that?! The old Bay station is below the current Bay station. It is abandoned, but sealed from the public. A scene from Matrix was filmed there, apparently. A haunted house in such a strange place sounds like an amazing idea.
Bit of a closer shot. I wish I had a better camera.
Mixed Media on Paper
This one was inspired by a dream. In the dream, I said, "I wish I were ambidextrous." Then this girl walked toward me and said, "If you cut off your right hand, you'd use your left hand more."
My mom was definitely upset by this piece. She called me after visiting the gallery. I asked what she thought of the show. She said, "uh... your pieces weren't good. Why do you draw violent stuff?" Ha ha ha... Thanks mom!
This is the first "violent stuff" I've done in a long time. I grew out of gratuitous violence in my early twenties to make ma mama proud (..not?).

I have a small drawing version of this giant drawing. Size comparison.
Why Me?
Mixed Media on Paper
This is really bad, but I actually forgot the name of this piece. I have a strong feeling that it might have been 'Why Me?'. The green stripes on the trees are dessert take-out bag from Starbucks. I LOVE how they look. I actually cannot eat anything they sell, so I asked for the empty bags. Nice people at Starbucks gave me a whole bunch. I'm not a coffee drinker (I see through space and time continuum if I drink a bit of coffee. And act like a squirrel on acid), but I am thankful for Starbucks. When I was travelling alone in Belgium, I had a wise idea of staying overnight at the airport instead of paying for an extra night of lodging (I learned to never do that again). Um, that airport was cold, dirty and sketchy. Then there was Starbucks. With its 24 hour glowing glory and friendly people... I ordered smoothies and they let me sleep in a comfortable, warm couch. Thank you, Starbucks. Oh and providing me with uniform quality bathrooms wherever in the world I go. Thank you.

Enough blabbering nonsense! And commencing on more blabbering.
I promised a zombie posting. Resurrecting my old art from last October and resurrected dead people. How fitting is that?!

Quite recently, I found out that most people don't have nightmares every night. I have nightmares every single night and I thought it was normal. I was very surprised to learn otherwise. Someone suggested that it's because I watch too many horror movies. Me loves them zombie movies! Very often, I have epic zombie apocalypse nightmares. Epic, yo.

I actually wrote a whole section of zombie movie recommendations but then I quickly felt incompetent. I have a very bad taste and low standard. To give you an idea of my bad taste, Doom made into my list. Delete delete delete my writing. I suppose, part of being an adult is editing oneself. I'm just going to introduce this one:

This is the DVD I have. It has a very embarrassing cover, I know. People laugh when I pull this one out of my shelf.
Anchor Bay re-released much more tasteful cover recently. 
Dellamorte Dellamore
This is my absolute favourite movie in the world. No other movie ever topped this for me. The title means 'Of Death, Of Love.' This movie accurately portrays: love, death, life and bleakness of it all. With its poetic dialogue, strange music and seriously attractive visuals - it is a mesmerizing. At the same time, it doesn't take itself seriously and it's loads of fun. Dread that is not balanced with a hint of humour is just dreadful. There are countless scenes I often think about: Anna Falchi standing under the moonlight, in front of a fake cemetery castle, holding white flowers; Anna Falchi slowly rising in the mortuary saying, "yes, yes my love. It'll be better with me than the others" while Rupert Everett watches; aaaaah, there are too many to list.

The special effects are wonky. You see fishing lines for floating ghost lights. But I just don't care. It is from the time when digital special effects were scarcely available (or too expensive). There is something very charming and even more real about handmade special effects. Imperfection is beautiful.

Every time my relationship fails, I throw my hands in the air and go, "I'm through with love," like Everett does in the movie. It is strange how much 'love' occupies a chunk of life... and DEATH!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

★★ Video Game Playtesters Needed ★★

Dear friends,
I've been working on a small video game for my thesis project, ★Twinkling Stars Above★
I need game playtesters for the prototype. Do you have half an hour to spare? Then please participate!

As long as you are in Toronto, I will visit you at your convenience, with my laptop. You have to play the game (very short) and fill out the questionnaire. I need to observe you while you play. You can ask me to withdraw your questionnaire if you change your mind after the testing (withdrawl deadline Aug 1st).

Playtesting dates: 
Friday, July 15
Monday, July 18
Tuesday, July 19
Wednesday, July 20
Please book a time with me with Doodle Calendar:

I need 20 people for the playtest. Thank you so much! 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

For the Love of Summer

This was drawn during DEVO (!!) concert

More silly sketchbook stuff. My apologies for the short writing. Summer skies are beautiful and I don't want to sit in front of the computer. For my next post, I promise zombie stories.

Man, I LOVE summer. I will be very sad when summer dies. And the summer dies fast.

Here is how one of my sketchbooks look like. I bought it in Germany. I'm so much in love with this sketchbook, but alas, I only have six pages left. The papers are little pulpy (it melts and catches onto felt pens if I squeeze too much ink), but I still love it. Look at the beautiful binding! It had a fun empty thick cardboard as a cover, which I get to draw on.