In a previous post I described the Future World exhibit at the Art and Science Museum.
Its centerpiece is the “Universe of Water Particles” – a seven-meter virtual waterfall. It is serenely beautiful, hundreds of thousands of water particles cascading gracefully down a virtual rock, following the laws of physics. And with a backpacker’s silhouette, it’s picture-perfect.
But I miss the mist, the unpredictable gust of wetness on my face as the wind blows the water away from its normal free fall. I miss the rustling of the leaves and the way my feet slide on the slippery banks. I miss the smell of decaying trees along the river, and the greenness of young shoots rushing to rise above the rocks and catch the sun.
I like my waterfall to be raw, with the water falling down in complete abandon, daring to defy the laws of physics.
I want nature’s embrace to be sensual. I want to feel its wetness.
Black Waves is part of the Future World exhibition at the Art and Science Museum in Singapore. It is a collaborative work with teamLab, an interdisciplinary creative group.
Black Waves is “an expression of nature, rendered entirely in digital technology.”
The effect is created by “calculating the interaction of hundreds of thousands of individual water particles, and then representing the movement of waves in a crescendo of white foam.”
Computer animation is not new, but what is intriguing about this work is that it depicts the seascape in the style of traditional Japanese painting.
There is some kind of formality, a sense of order in what appears to be random, and yet it seems so realistic. Science capturing art capturing reality.
The artwork invites the viewers to immerse themselves in it. One can literally “step into the waves” or simply watch them from a bean bag on the floor while listening to the soothing background music.
By blurring the separation between viewer and artwork, it expresses the idea that we ourselves need not be separated from nature.
This vision of the future world is intriguing indeed.
In my post Solitude Is Not Loneliness I wrote that “we should pay more attention to Solitude. In the silence, hear our inner voice, find our way when we feel we are lost, see and appreciate the poetry in the universe.”
This is where I go to hear my inner voice.
Imagination — sometimes it is enough.
Above the clouds at Mt. Fuji 5th station, at dawn.
(A ferry crossing from Tsim Sha Tsui to Hong Kong Central.)
The Star Ferry in Hong Kong used to be the main means of transport between Hong Kong island and the Kowloon side. Today, with the connecting tunnel serving trains and cars, the ferry is used mainly by tourists and some passengers. It has been rated the most exciting ferry ride in the world.
It is best experienced at night with the lights from Hong Kong providing a colorful backdrop. The ride costs only 2.50 HK dollars or 32 US cents. How can you go wrong? Definitely not to be missed when visiting Hong Kong.
And since today is Chinese New Year, let me greet you
恭喜发财 / 恭喜發財 (Gōngxǐ fācái)
‘Happiness and prosperity!’
The ao dai is the Vietnamese traditional costume, commonly worn by women but also worn by men (George W Bush and Vladimir Putin wearing the ao dai can be seen here).
Today western clothes are prevalent, so a girl gracefully riding a bicycle in an ao dai is a rare sight, specially in Ho Chi Minh City where motorcycles dominate the road. But the ao dai remains the standard costume for weddings and big events like Tet holiday celebrations.
Incidentally, celebrations for the Vietnamese New Year (Tet holiday) start this week. It’s the most important festival in Vietnam.
As they say in Vietnamese, Năm mới dồi dào sức khỏe! (I wish you a healthy new year!) and Năm mới tấn tài tấn lộc! (I wish you a wealthy new year!)
May all your wishes come true! Vạn sự như ý!
Every place has at least two faces. Even for a simple thing like shopping this dichotomy manifests itself.
To experience a place, they say one has to immerse in it, go where the locals go.
Mong Kok in Hong Kong is one such place.
It has a lively sense of chaos. One can get lost in the noise and smells, the crowds and the lights.
If adventurous enough one can even sample local street food.
Or one can go to Tsim Sha Tsui where the tourists go.
You won’t get lost in there, but where’s the fun in that?
“So tell me, since it makes no factual difference to you and you can’t prove the question either way, which story do you prefer? Which is the better story, the story with animals or the story without animals?”
― Yann Martel, Life of Pi
An interesting question: The Chaos of the tail lights or the chaos of the cars?
The tail lights for me!
“That’s what fiction is about, isn’t it, the selective transforming of reality? The twisting of it to bring out its essence?”
― Yann Martel, Life of Pi