Well you’ve cracked the sky, scrapers fill the air.
Will you keep on building higher
’til there’s no more room up there?
Will you make us laugh, will you make us cry?
Will you tell us when to live, will you tell us when to die?
I know we’ve come a long way,
We’re changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?
– Cat Stevens, “Where Do the Children Play?”
Taipa Village is one of the few places in Macau where one can see an authentic slice of this former Portuguese colony. Though casinos are sprouting in the main city, Taipa Village has been preserved for a step back in time.
I like this vantage point where the old is mixed with the new, it almost looks like a collage.
Just a few steps away and one can enjoy history preserved. East and west co-exist. This is where the locals go.
More information about Taipa Village here.
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!