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Monthly Archives: December 2011

CHINESE VERSION

Special thanks to my first nice host Mohammad. =)

 

During my long weekend travel to Dresden I were hosted by Mohammad, an iranian physic student. Dresden is quite a popular vacation spot for Berliners. Due to the high ratio of elderly in the city, you will enjoy an absolute silent when you step out from the tourist spots. Sitting at Mohammad’s balcony on Sunday, you can hardly see a person on the street. I were borne in Hong Kong, and I have never experience this kind of silence in the entire of my life.

If you are not night-hanger, after the sunset at four in the afternoon you can only stay in your place. The long night at home gave us a chance to have an intensive Chinese-Iranian culture exchange course. The first culture I knew about Iran is food. On the day I drove to Dresden there is a traffic accident on the highway so I took almost four hours to there. When I arrived the city at nine, Mohammad had already prepared an Iranian dinner for me. It was so sweet and touching. This was the first Iranian meal I had, Iranian dishes mainly consist of meat and rice, but not so much vegetable. Their favourite “vegetable” is raw garlic, I seldom eat a whole piece of raw garlic. The taste is excitingly spicy! Another Iranian dish is pot rice, by using his ceramic pot he bought from Iran, the surface of the round shaped pot rice is golden and crispy. Sometimes they put a piece of bread under the rice and cook it, then you will enjoy a piece of crispy bread. The secret of this perfect golden rice is the 1:4 oil-to-water ratio. Mohammad also added some iranian seasoning into the rice, which made the rice more fruitful to Hong Kong’s pot rice.Although you were looking at a cup of oil being poured into the rice, it doesn’t stop you from the rice.

Persian pot rice!

The second night Mohammad showed me an iranian documentary <<The Lover’s Wind>>, it was filmed by the director of <<The Red Balloon>>, one of my favorite movie. <<The Red Balloon>> is about the story of a child chasing a floating red balloon. The director Albert Lamorisse filmed the red balloon in a lively way, making an illusion between the life and object state of the balloon.


Video : <<The Red Balloon>>, one of my favorite movie

<<The Lover’s Wind>> again filmed the sand in this in-between state. Following the sand and the wind, you travelled around Iran. From the physic view Mohammad explained theoretically me all objects can be in the state of floating. Iran is an extreme city with floating properties. You can find snow and desert in this country, but they are not so far away from each other. The extremely rapid development of this country is making itself more extreme, the camera flows from sand to concrete. I met all my Iranian friend from different parts of the world, this gave me a strong feeling that Iranians have high mobility. Sometimes they insist to call themselves the Persian. The stubbornness is filled with a proudness to a past nation.


Video : <<The Lover’s Wind>>

Mohammad loves reading, there is a bookshelf in his place. He has a wide range of interest, it is a pity that most of the books are in iranian. Surprisingly when I started to understand the language I found that it is also floating. Having been reading in “word-by-word” since I were borne, I were totally confused by the linking language system in Iranian. However a form of art was borne because of this fluid language system, there are a lot of calligraphy art in Iran.

My name ! فرشته (Photo credit : http://www.caroun.com)

A trip to Dresden, a light touch to Iran.

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In December I were invited to be one of the critics in the Liebig art review. It was an experimental event of putting artists onto the stage and generating inspiring discussions. Artists’ works are their personal feelings and thoughts, so sometime they are uneasy to be understood. When it was 15 I drew my real paintings, I told myself I have to be an artist in the future. Friends who have knew me for long always made the joke of my artistic characters. Beside keeping my pop-up anti-social character I actually decided in some points of my life not to be an artist.

Liebig12 Live Art Review (Photo credits : Liebig12)

Ivan Kiss, the artist I have to work with also studied architecture. He produced two hundred modular soup stands as his own piece of artwork. “Clean war” aimed to create a new perspective of war using daily elements. It is clean and clear, the sharp blue tooth brush is the tank pointing to the war.

A clean war (Photo credits : Ivan Kiss)

The review took place in Liebig’s studio. Liebig cleverly cleaned their white studio and stacked up white wooden boxes to form the stage. Most of the artists that night are performative and media artists. Ivan’s installation and another artist Jill Tegan Doherty‘s painting were placed in the corner of the room. It was the success of Liebig art review, there were a lot of people joining and made the studio crowded. The clean war therefore sinked. I considered a successful art or design to be communicative by it own self. The review aimed to broaden the communication circle between the artist and the audiences. However. a success piece of art can already reached by the audience at a certain depth. The more communicative the art itself is, the more deep they reach. Therefore the arrangement of the Ivan’s installation is isolating it from the audience. And what I suggested to him during the crit is to place the tanks on some critical spots of the room, even spread it around and make it annoying so as to catch the attention.

Review in progress (Photo credits : Liebig12)

Before the start of the crit I met Ivan for a short discussion. The first question I ask him is whether his works is art or design. His module soup stand is clean in geometry with strong language. He also spent lots effort on studying the mass production process of the work. Among all the works his one is the most which is closest to a piece of design work and had the potential to be sold onto the market. It doesn’t mean his work is better but for example some extremely interesting work that night like Jörg’s performance art is unable to be reproduced. It brought to a commercial discussion of art. “How much is it?” I asked. I am not disclosing the price here, if Ivan is putting it onto the market in the near future you will know.

The tank (Photo credits : Ivan Kiss)

There is one very spontaneous “art” in that night called “Aiya Dumplings”. I were attracted by the poster so I talked to the people who made Aiya Dumplings. They are two artists from Australia. At first I expected there might be some art related elements in the dumplings, maybe a special design of the dumpling’s shape, like the <<Architect’s Spaghetti>> curated by Kenya Nara. What brings the yummy Aiya Dumplings to us is a simple intention of introducing Chinese food to the community and get some pocket money, there is nothing grand and conceptual. The only question I have on this delicious dumplings is why is it called Aiya Dumplings. One of the artists Jasmine said only Chinese will have the sound “Aiya”, so they use this special Chinese sound “Aiya” for the dumplings. Not sure if it is true but it is definitely inspiring and making it more “art”.

Aiya Dumplings (Photo credits : Liebig12)

I heard from the curator before the crit there is an artist bringing his own critic as his works are not easy to understand. Niels Betorl Diehl, He is also an architect and he developed a strong interest in filming. In the crit he started the conversation with his professional critic who understood his works quite well. His video work films mainly boys’ activities. They are normal daily routines, giving you a large room of imagination of what Niels is thinking about. The video finally attracted lots people to join the conversation.

Ya, in fact we were all communicating in art, so where are the artists?


The review of me and Ivan

 

20111228 WordPress Freshly Pressed

The english version of <<建築師的命運>> for a Deutsch architect

Once upon a time there was a centipede with one hundred legs. He is the best dancer of the forest.
All animals were amazed by the dance of this centipede. He can utilize every single leg to perform the dance. In there forest, there is an animal who dislike his dance:
The tortoise.

The tortoise keeps thinking, he must think of a way to stop the centipede dancing;
But it will not be easy to stop the centipede dancing, as all the animals in the forest loves his dance.
Finally, the tortoise decided to write a letter to the centipede.

“Dear Mr. centipede,

I am writing to you because I were deeply touched by your dance and it would be great if you can share with me your dancing technique.

I would like to ask whether you first lift your left 28th foot , then your right 39th foot; or first lift your right 17th foot, then 44th foot?I will be waiting for your reply.

Sincerely,
Tortoise”

After then, the centipede no longer danced.

It suddenly flashed in my mind that one time I were having lunch with a veteran architect who had been in the field for forty years. He shared that brave design can be only done when you are young. It is the time when you have no burden.
Because after you come to a certain day, when you pick up your pen and going to draw a line,
“This line can’t. Building authority won’t approve.”“This line can’t. The hoarding doesn’t fit.””This line can’t. There is no space for drainage pipes.””This line can’t. The planning department has objection.”
Oops, I cannot draw a line.

Back to the centipede, his dance is unconsciously brave at first. Due to the attack by logical questions he lost his belief. His innate ability was being taken away.

People said there is a destiny for architect. Maybe I am still too innocent to understand the destiny of an architect.

在Kelvin離開柏林的早上我倆到了柏林圍牆的East Side Gallery走走逛逛。沿著圍牆看了一公里多的Graffiti後我們走到Kreuzberg區,誤打誤撞的找到一家勁正的家庭小店。

East Side Gallery walk with Kelvin

12月26號的Kreuzberg依然十分清靜,沒太多選擇下我們到了這家叫Frühstück Cafe的小店,意即早餐茶室。茶室裝修精緻,咖啡吧後的黑板手寫著不同的咖啡名稱。店裡位置不多,只有幾張小桌,我們到的時候也只有兩位女生在內吃早餐。經營這小店的是一對老夫婦,我坐的位置剛好看得見廚房的一角,我看著老闆娘不急不忙的慢慢在切Kelvin的Panini,看著她做菜可是一種享受。

在玻璃櫥後的是老闆,他負責沖咖啡。我看著他沖咖啡看得入迷,他很慢很細心的把咖啡倒進玻璃杯,專注的眼神令我忍不住要叫Kelvin學習他的男人味。老闆把咖啡沖好慢慢地端上我們的枱面,他沖的咖啡沒有花巧的拉花,但那慢慢流出杯外的奶泡叫人驚喜。我倆像大細路般,看著流出杯外的咖啡雙眼發光,不捨得喝。

White Chocolate Mocha und Doub. Esp. Latte Macchiato

老闆見我倆看著咖啡看得入迷,便走過來向我們講解他的Coffee Concept,他造咖啡要造得很慢,先下奶,奶泡,然後讓咖啡由頂流到底。他不會說英文,我努力的聽他的講解並嘗試明白,字裡行間我感覺到他對工作的熱誠。Kelvin一見到他的白朱古力Mocha已經不停的在嘩嘩嘩,當他準備拿小茶匙攪拌白朱古力和奶泡時,老闆著緊的跟我們說了一大堆德文,在我們不太聽得懂底下說了一句”Wait one minute”。他拿出一杯剛沖好的蒸餾咖啡,慢慢的在我們面前倒進杯內,我們倆看著正在流動的咖啡已經失了控的在“嘩!”,“嘩!”和“嘩!”。

Ein Omelette mit Käse, und ein Brot bitte !

女侍應從廚房端出我的芝士Omelette和麵包,樣子漂亮得叫我和Kelvin都不捨得吃。話說我只是叫了一個麵包,Ein Brot! 老闆娘都把它切得漂亮,她的心機可叫我倆感動。我倆都十分喜歡這家庭小店,裡面賣的是簡單的食物,街坊價但同樣是街坊般的心機。不會有香港澳牛趕頭趕命的侍應,令人坐著不願走,間中老闆便來跟你談天,問一問你喜不喜歡他們的食物。

退休的話也要開家這樣的店! =)

Frühstück Cafe
Wrangelstr. 43, Kreuzberg, 10997 Berlin

Chinese Version 中文版

I met her in a friend’s gathering. Luna, who just graduated from an university in Hong Kong, is also a working holidayer in Berlin, Germany. Since she has a strong interest in organic cosmetic, she planned to find an internship in the related field in Germany. However after the long travel in Europe she was inspired by the people she met. She started to have an idea to develop something of her own, this comes the Luna Natural Cosmetic.

Experiment in progress

There are fewer people in the society who are willing to stand out and shout to people on their own believes. I were touched by Luna’s brave and I decided to help her. We started the discussion on having an original brand in the Xmas market in Berlin. It is to me very fresh to have start a mini business oversea, regardless the size. Every time I went to her place for discussion or gathering, she always invite a lot of different people to join the discussion and share the idea. She spoke to everyone she met about her ideas. For me, a layman on cosmetic, can only contribute to the design aspect. Every time I arrived her “laboratory”, it gave me inspirations.

Since I met her, her place has never been tidy. She has an open kitchen with different utensils, all of them were placed with different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Luna is a brave girl, she is dare to try everything. Sometimes she put burnt almond on skin, sometimes she put beetroot juice on lip. For every visitor who came to her place, Luna will give them different testers for her own products. She is always open and willing to accept different opinions.

Let’s get it started. For us, Hong Kong girls who are unfamiliar with Germany, were super lucky to have the helps from friends in Germany to figure out all the administrative stuffs of organizing a Xmas market. This night we were working in Luna’s place again, I am responsible for all design and advertisement, another two friends from Romania were helping to make those products. (Yes, all the products of Luna Natural Cosmetic were self-made) Those friends from Romania are programmers who wrote apps for iPhone and iPad. we are always discussing to have an online store after the Xmas market. Every time they looked at me and said, “Yes, we can write a website, but we need a designer to draw everything.” Working in this “company” is an experiment, we always have new ideas, we have to try and test out everything.

Fluttering Butterfly Wing Mascara

There is one attitude I found on Luna : “To live what you think you are”. Her place is always fulled of organic stuffs, her flatmate told me Luna would throw away the non-organic stuffs at home. It is a little bit crazy but it is Luna. One time when we were discussing on the packaging, (Yes, our “company” even has to make the packaging) Luna insisted not to use spray glue for the labels. She thought it is not environmentally friendly and it is harmful to the people who make the packaging. I am an amateur in natural organic cosmetic, but I am always impressed by her attitude.

Her attitude inspired me a lot on the design.Therefore I also try to design in a way of natural and organic by using more natural material and reducing wastage. I also tried to apply her ingredients like beetroot juice into the design.

Beetroot juice bag

There are only two days left for the Xmas Market, go and support Luna on Dec 11 and Dec 18. See you!

This is the apps made by our teammate : Chirp Chirp, a super fun game of iPhone and iPad!

20111211 WordPress Blogs of the Day  – Top Post

English Version : Be original! Be organic!

在一次朋友聚會中認識了另一位香港的工作假期朋友Luna,剛畢業的她對有機自然美容有濃厚興趣。她原打算來德國找相關的實習,但讀語言系的她沒有相關經驗,幾經嘗試都無人問津;一邊四處旅遊時她被新認識的朋友啟發,開始有建立自己品牌的主意。

Experiment in progress

我感覺今天社會上能為自己喜歡或認為是對的事勇敢地站出來並嘗試的人少了。十分欣賞她底下我們倆開始討論,設計並創立Luna Natural Cosmetic的品牌,在今個聖誕的Xmas Market賣。雖然只是很小型的一個檔口,但在海外創一番事業的感覺很新鮮。我每次到她家她也會請來一大班有相關興趣的朋友,務求令更多人認識這個自創品牌。從不化妝並不懂美容的我只能在設計上給意見,不過每次到她哪像實驗室的家中也生了不少靈感。
自我認識她以來她家從沒有整齊過的一刻。她家是開放式廚房,上面放著大大小小的量杯,有不同的水果蔬菜。感覺她是一個大膽的女孩,甚麼也敢嘗試,把紅菜頭磨呀磨,就放上面上作嘗試。整個過程像實驗,每一次有客人到她家時她都會派一樽二樽試用裝給他們試,收集不同意見。

真正的開工了,對德國完全不熟悉的我們幸得熱心德國朋友的幫助,解決了很多籌備Xmas Market行政上的事。有天晚上,我們幾位幫忙籌備的人在Luna家討論Xmas Market的事宜。有我們兩位香港女孩,我負責大大小小的美術設計和宣傳,還有兩位羅馬尼亞的朋友,是程式編寫員,專寫I Phone和I Pad的程式,今次他們幫忙造化妝品。Luna Natural Cosmetic所有的產品都是我看著他們親手一滴一滴的造出來的。由於有兩位IT人的關係,我們常討論著要在X mas Market完後成立網店,每次他們都看著我回應:“Yes, we can write a website, but we need a designer to draw everything.”在這“工司”,大家都有很多新鮮意見,大家都在嘗試。

Fluttering Butterfly Wing Mascara

在Luna身上我見到一種態度,是由她信念而影響日常生活的態度。她一屋子都是不同的有機食品,她的同屋朋友跟我就她會強制扔出家中不是有機的食品,有點瘋狂但Luna就是這樣可愛。有一次我們在討論產品包裝(我們“公司”連入樽到包裝都要一手包辦),Luna堅決不用噴霧膠水,因為她認為這破壞環境,並且對幫忙包裝的人的身體也不好。自問對有機自然產品認識不多,但都被她的態度打動。

她這種執著的感度也為我帶來了設計的啟發,所以我設計所有的裝飾和包裝時務求用的天然材料,減少浪費。更用上不少她造化妝品的原材料,例如有紅菜頭汁袋子,紅菜頭汁燈籠等等。

Beetroot juice bag

四天的X mas Market已去了兩天,每一次週日完後Luna都繼續改進產品。如果大家12月11或18日有時間的話就到Kollwitzplatz探望她吧!

This is the apps made by our teammate : Chirp Chirp, a super fun game of iPhone and iPad!

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