If you’re in Toronto, you can check out one of my prints at the University of Toronto Photographic Art Show. Rita Bauer, to whom I owe so much in support, asked me if she could submit the print she bought from me. Also featuring the work of some of the amazing people I met the last time I was down there, such as Jeff Comber, who does awesome work with skateboarders, and Kate Tarini, whose work with panoramas won her best in show at Maximum Exposure last year.
Attention Ottawa people! I’m having an indie music concert at my house this summer. That’s right, it’ll be an intimate night of folk and rap songs with Shane Watt and Jesse Dangerously. Remember these two from the concert I went to earlier this year, where this awesome and impromptu collaboration happened:
You also may have read about Jesse in an Ottawa Citizen article last month, or seen Shane performing with Krista Muir over the last few years. Well, I wanted to see both these artists perform again, so I invited them to my house. Not only will it be a night of authentic music (with another collaboration, I’ve been told!), but there will be free ice cream, and you’ll get to meet my cat, with whom you’ll fall in love. Shane has also hinted that he might bring a special guest for the night. So come and meet the musicians, support local Canadian talent, and have a fantastic time.
I finally got a large print made for myself, of the frozen lake from my trip to New Hampshire. You really need to see the original from the entry (on black) to get an idea of what the picture looks like, because the shot I took above doesn’t do it justice as I was exposing for the general area in my living room, losing much of the detail of the picture. At over 48″ wide and 32″ tall, it cost me a pretty penny, but it was oh so worth it.
After some extra tweaking on my end to bring out the contrast, my awesome printer brought out the trunks of the white birch trees in the left forest using Photoshop, adding a touch of contrast and detail. The picture was laminated with a matte finish, so there’s no glass to reflect (and hence distract), from he windows. Then my framer used one of her new framing techniques where she takes textured fabric and stretches it over an inside border (instead of a mat board), then adds a frame that’s smooth but not flat. The colours fit right in with the walls, while the border and frame matches the couch.
It’s the first picture I’ve used to decorate the main floor of my house, because I’m really picky about the stuff I put up on my walls. This one was chosen because the sky, the sunset, the ice and the patterns in it, all speak emotion to me, which is what I try to achieve in my pictures, and something I enjoy looking at.
Joel and Charlotte agreed to take care of Dolly while I was in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, the combination of another cat, a dog, a new environment, and my absence, stressed her out. She started marking her territory (on their couch), even with her own litter box in a secluded area, so they decided to bring her back to my house, and let Julie take care of her from then on.
I found this drawing on my white board when I got back. Along with an especially affectionate cat, it was a nice little thing to come home to.
Few people in my family seem to understand my art.
When they look at my pictures, they make comments about the quality, or whether or not they’re smiling, or ask how much money I make. It’s never about the meaning, or my intent, or what I’m trying to express. Only one of them saw what I was going for in composing this photo of my grandma and aunt with the poster in the background.
They also talk through my videos when watching them, when every bit of pacing is important, missing significant establishing shots.
Maybe it’s the culture. Very few Chinese kids are allowed to be artists, as it’s seen as too risky or impractical. My generation of family seems to be full of accountants, and engineers, programmers, or anything else with security. Even though piano or violin lessons are common (I can’t think of a single Chinese friend who didn’t take piano lessons at one point), it’s more of a status symbol to be able say that you can afford the private lessons and instrument.
This is probably why I feel like I don’t relate or can’t speak to most of my family. When they don’t understand my art, they don’t understand me.