Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Be Crafty

I often wished I was a really good craftsman. You know that kind who sits at a piece of something really intricate and works on it the whole day with so much focus and intensity? That kind of work that makes you forget about everything else and lets you enter into a different dimension?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Major Crush

I have this huge fascination for Japanese urban landscape. The way the cables hung unruly from pole to pole against the blue sky and meshed perfectly with those smaller buildings, that certain orderliness in the midst of all the juxtaposition somehow relates to my own personality. I enjoy having a lot of little things around me, yet I cannot tolerate mess. So I spend a lot of time tidying and organising, but always making sure I do not lose my personal style.

Japanese Urban Landscape

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

There is a nice little place in Paris that houses my France memories. It's called Maisons-Alfort Alfortville, where my good friend, Alison's apartment is. For one precious week of my life in Paris, I got to stay in that sweet and cozy place, all because Alsion has been so lovingly generous. I can still smell the air and feel the warmth of the sun about the apartment as I write. It may be a little out of the way from the city centre but it feels totally comfortable, so you can actually stay in if you don't feel like going out.

I remember the last day I was in Paris, I'd spent most of it walking around the neighborhood in the rain. It was quiet and peaceful, with friendly little shops at every corner. And I also remember wishing I could live in a neighborhood like this for the rest of my life.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Somewhere in a book I read this quote : "Blogger: someone with nothing to say writing for someone with nothing to do." I thought that was funny, and rather true sometimes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Times of Your Life" by Paul Anka

Good morning, yesterday
You wake up and time has slipped away
And suddenly it's hard to find
The memories you left behind
Remember, do you remember
The laughter and the tears
The shadows of misty yesteryears
The good times and the bad you've seen
And all the others in between
Remember, do you remember
The times of your life (do you remember)
Reach back for the joy and the sorrow
Put them away in your mind
The mem'ries are time that you borrow
To spend when you get to tomorrow
Here comes the setting sun
The seasons are passing one by one
So gather moments while you may
Collect the dreams you dream today
Remember, will you remember
The times of your life

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Feeling is the language of the soul. If you want to know what's true for you about something, look to how you're feeling about it. Feelings are sometimes difficult to discover - and often even more difficult to acknowledge. Yet hidden in your deepest feelings is your highest truth.

Words are really the least effective communicator. They are most open to misinterpretation, most often misunderstood. And why is that? It is because of what words are. Words are merely utterances: noises that stand for feelings, thoughts and experience. They are symbols. Signs. Insights. They are not truth. They are not the real thing.

Words may help you understand something. Experience allows you to know. Yet there are some things you cannot experience. So you are given other tools of knowing. And they are called feelings. So too, thoughts.

Your experience and your feelings about a thing represent what you factually and intuitively know about that thing. Words can only seek to symbolize what you know, and can often confuse what you know.

Listen to your feelings. Listen to your highest thoughts. Listen to your experience. Whenever any one of these differ from what you've been told by your teachers, or read in your books, forget the words. Words are the least reliable purveyor of truth."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What Is Hope?

When my nephew Elliot was 5, I asked him what he thought hope was, he answered : "Like when you don't have something?" Perhaps Elliot was just thinking, every time he was hoping, he wanted something he didn't have.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


24, originally uploaded by Greg&Lindsey.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Paris, Shakespeare&Co

Paris, Shakespeare&Co, originally uploaded by overthemoon.

A unique book shopping experience. Shakespeare and Company, located in Paris' Left Bank, is both a bookstore and a reading library specializing in English-language literature. The original bookstore was located at 12 rue de l'Odéon and was often visited by artists of such as Ernest Hemmingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Man Ray and James Joyce. The current owner, George Whitman, has been inviting people to live in his shop. There are now 13 beds among the books, and all he asks is that you make your bed in the morning, help out in the shop, and read a book a day. Also, if you happened to buy a book, you have to remember to get it stamped with the trademark Shakespeare & Co. stamp.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Unforgettable Experience

We met many motivating people and were told many inspirational stories when we were making So Simple II. So we felt we owed it to the audience to bring across that great experience we were privileged to have. Hence a sincerely wonderful show which later earned itself a nomination for Asia Television Award 2008 and Peifen, for her Best Host in 2009.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Memories of London are often very close to my heart and I hope to revisit them someday. I hear the unique Pollock's Toy Museum (picture) isn't at the same corner where I used to stay each time I visited anymore. In fact, it's totally removed due to lack of funding. I felt a little sad knowing. I wonder, perhaps somewhere in the life before this, I had also been there and loved it. 1997 photo by mian

Monday, February 09, 2009

A colleague of mine who recently toured Europe bought me these cute little things from a museum in Prague. They are actually variations of one famous cartoon character called The Mole (or Krteček), created in the 50's by Czech animator, Zdeněk Miler. I'm grateful to my colleague who has introduced me to this great illustrator.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The lesser something shouts for attention, the more I am inclined to notice and grow fond of it. I think it's the same with people. I have very low tolerance for people who try very hard. I prefer taking the time to uncover what's truly interesting about something, somebody.

Friday, January 09, 2009

"Junkie's" New Find

Even though I pride myself for being a "junkie", I rarely pick up stuff from a junk pile. I would normally pay for them, like buy them off a flea market stall when I travel. But this crate was an exception; I actually picked it up from a building next to my office. See how friendly it is sitting beside everything else in the room? photos by mian

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Still A "Junkie"

Guess I'll never ever stop being a "junkie". all photos by mian

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Another New Toy

Something red and cheerful to brighten up the new year! This heavy wooden London bus reminds me of a sprightly old man, longstanding and ever so charming. A gift from a dear friend.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Stripe on 69th, finally.

I'm finally able to put up the animation to share with everyone who's interested. "Stripe on 69th" took almost 10 months to conceive and produce even though it is only 7 minute in length. Having watched it like a hundred times myself, I still like it and believe in it, even though there is plenty of room to make it better.
please do bear with the quality as the clip has to be seriously compressed in order to fit into youtube.

Stripe on 69th (animation short)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A very charming book about tea I picked up from a bookstore in Tokyo.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Little Stories of Nonsense


The Storybook
The Stamps

The Mess

It all started with an itchy pair of hands, then some erasers, then finally a good pen knife.

It's Small, yet "BIG"!

The shelf is quite petit, yet so poetically and emotionally charming.

Endless Happy Clutter

I keep adding things to this shelf. The more cluttered it looks, the happier I am looking at it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Favorite Children's Book Illustrators

Ali Mitgutsch, German illustrator. I've only just gotten "acquainted" with this artist after I chanced upon this book(published in 70's). I'll research more about him. His documentation of the everyday life in a raw and easy style was the first thing that caught my eye. I cannot resist illustrations that are full of details yet seem effortless.
Miroslav Sasek (popularly known as M Sasek), Czech illustrator, whose "This Is..." series of travel books captured not only the minds of children in the 60's, but also the hearts of many adults. His work is refine, sophisticated and filled with details and essence of every city he painted.

The postcard above, showing characters of a tv crew, are illustrations by French artist, Alain Gree. Very simple lines and equally effortless looking drawings, yet they make you fall in love instantly. The red book belongs in a Little Golden Book Classic series. I don't know if the artist, Margaret Wise Brown, is famous but I like the everyday context so I bought the book. The character on the right, Mr Callaway, from a classic stop-motion animation series "CamberwicK Green" is a figurine I picked up from Bath (UK) more 10 years ago. He's been a great companion since.

Jean-Jacques Sempe, is a famous French cartoonist who is born in the 30's. Like the other artists, he loves to record the everyday life with his drawings, except they are more satirical and witty. In other words, adults are the target of his humor, even though his famous series "Le Petit Nicholas" is children literature. Both books shown here are gifts from a very dear friend who knows I'm a fan. There was a note that came with the journal (right) : "I enjoy the feeling of it finding me, after all the effort I put in to find it." She meant to give me this journal when she first set out to look for a Sempe book for me. But after failing to track it down, she bought "A Little Bit of Paris" (left) in place of it. A year later, when she was in a bookstore in Taipei, this journal-book, the one and only copy left, called out to her from a hidden corner. Hence her poetic note.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Dreamers and Their Heroes

Stripe on 69th - the animation that gave me the reason to meet so many nice and talented people and also the chance to visit France for the first time. It's a great effort by a very wonderful team - the Tiny Island-ers. They are the unsung heroes that helped transformed my drawings (seen here) to animated characters that could talk, fly and dream.
My friend made me this nice Victorian sponge cake which came with a sweet message that said:"... if only you could eat it with a cup of warm milk tea in a cafe on a rainy day in Tokyo. "

Rare Finds

It's a pity this metal calendar is not made
of stainless steel but it's still very cool to keep.

Friendly-looking measuring spoons

I also gave a set to my dear friend who loves to bake.

I picked up this tea book from Kurrku in Tokyo.

This plastic envelope is also from the same bookstore.

My friends gave me these. They are both from Tokyo.

These small little things inspire me in a subtle way. They don't necessarily immediately translate into something I do; they just sit in corners of my deepest thoughts and quietly nurture them. Which eventually affect the things I do and the way I do them
all photos by Mian