Selling my Contax T2.
The Contax T2 is a top-end point-and-shoot cult favorite, renowned for its Carl Zeiss T* multi-coated Sonnar 2.8/38 lens. It takes incredibly sharp images and offers full automation. Some cosmetic wear on my copy, but otherwise still very good-looking =) Comes with a few rolls of film!
If you're interested in buying the camera, please email me at shini[at]casualpoet.com!
It was my first time playing with fireworks.
I was afraid of them at first but as they crackled and came alive, exploding in the sky, I got rid of my fear and found myself getting nearer and nearer to them. I inched towards them, attracted to their danger. I dazzled in their brilliance. I drowned in their simplicity - just gunpowder, heat, light.
That night I kept hoping for a little more permanence in my life.
But fireworks, as we all know, are the direct opposite of permanence.
Taipei is a nice city to get blue in.
It accommodates all kinds of emotions, including sadness. Perhaps because of the rain that never seems to end. So you end up walking around the city, in danger of being drenched. But this danger keeps you alert, and in the end you're better for it.
Well at least we're getting blue together. At least we don't have to do it alone.
There's a new update on Creative People + Projects, my photo project, this time featuring studio juju! Photographs and story here.
Some out-takes below that are not seen in the actual post:
The other day I was at the beach and the sun was about to set. It was that special window when the light would scatter across the sea and make us imagine we were looking at diamonds instead of water. And so I stood there, the wind in my face, watching the sparkling of the sea, with my camera in my hand and all sorts of thoughts choking up my head. There are just too many of them these days. But for a moment the shiny sea insulated me from my worries, and my thoughts were allowed to reach their natural and sometimes premature conclusions.
Everything felt easy and natural.
Later I noticed that there were two kids playing near the shore. They were siblings, a girl and a boy. They had golden hair and they looked like they belonged to the diamond sea. There was another boy, slightly older, also near the shore, desperately trying to fly a kite. He kept running back and forth, intent on keeping his kite in the air. Whenever the kite fell to the ground, he would try again. And again. And again. I lifted my camera and tried to take a picture of him but he was too fast for me, and that was when I decided that some things need not be recorded on film in order to be remembered.
It made me think of the one time in recent years when I tried to fly a kite. We had bought one from a nearby store and was determined to get it up in the air. We tried and tried but it never flew more than a few metres above the ground. My friend realized that it was because the kite was broken. It was a small tear, but it proved to be lethal. But I could not bear to give up, despite my friend's protests. I kept at it. I tried everything. I ran and ran. But nothing made the kite fly.
So I gave up.
Giving up makes me sad.
My contribution to the Good Sweat project by Neighbourgoods: 莫忘初衷!
"One of my favourite lines in a song goes like this, 'don't forget back in the day, your shining dream.' For those of us who are chasing our dreams, sometimes we may lose sight of what it is we had set out to fight for in the first place. I chose this phrase 莫忘初衷 as a reminder to never forget that magical feeling you have when you first embarked on your dream! Never forget as well how it feels to be young and passionate and alive!"
About Good Sweat
Good Sweat #2-6 is a series of 5 handkerchiefs, 5 designs, 5 inspirations, by 5 creatives with Neighbourgoods.
They are available for S$30 each, or S$28 if you pre-order and collect on 29 November at the launch. To pre-order, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Profits will go to a charity.
Good Sweat is an old-fashioned reminder that what matters is not the scale of the work or its reward, but to take care and to take pride in whatever we do. Good Sweat also celebrates the spirit of those who persist, however humble or challenging their job may be, in perfecting their craft.
Will we one day leave Singapore and forget all about it? Is this home or is there a place that can better contain our dreams?
But what exactly is the definition of "home"?
Looking through my photos from Korea and stumbling upon the ones taken in Jeju Island. It's quite strange because Jeju was surprisingly bright and colorful, and yet even though there was so much light the weather was perfect - not too warm and not too cold.
When we got there the first thing we did was EAT. In Korea there are so many delicious things to devour that I spent most of my waking hours there wondering what to eat next. My favorite food in Jeju was something they call "black pork", as you can see in the photo above (top left hand corner). It's apparently a Korean or Jeju Island specialty. Whatever it is, if you ever go there that's the thing to try.
I think this is the Korean name for it.
For our 2 days in Jeju we first stayed in this really wonderful bed & breakfast run by a Caucasian man and his Korean wife (who we later learnt was originally from Seoul). I wondered, of course, about the man and why he had left his family and his country to settle down in Jeju, which to me seems so cut off from the rest of the world, but of course I didn't ask.
This is the house and to the left of the picture is our host, the Caucasian man with the mysterious life story.
The next day his wife offered to bring us on a tour of the island. I usually have a fear of all kinds of tours in general, but given that we had only just 1 day left in Jeju we decided to take up her offer. A few of us (together with another Singaporean couple) hopped on her car and set off. As she drove us to various places she thought we should experience, I looked out of the car window and felt, for a moment, like the French woman in "Paris, je T'aime", this incredible mix of joy and pathos, and this overwhelming sense that perhaps all is well with the world.
"All I can say is that I felt, at the same time, joy and sadness. But not too much sadness, because I felt alive. Yes, alive.”
We were then brought to this beautiful hill. I have a terrible memory, but even though I cannot remember the name of that place, the feeling of being there on the hill - the wind blowing our ears off and the sea shimmering like a thousand diamonds - remains.
Oh we were so happy!