Game of Reality

Waving mobile phone in front of the artworks of “Prosthetic Reality” exhibition displayed at the No Vacancy project space of Federation Square is an amazing and entertaining experience thanks to the augmented reality work created by EyeJack .

The invasion of augmented reality to everyday life seems have taken up its speed ever since Pokemon Go. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine that in the near future, where there is a real world there could also be a digital world parallel to it. The interaction of the physical space and digital creation will be taken onto more active, diverse, and precise forms. In conjunction with new technology, the new digital world play with our visions by blurring the boundaries between what is real and what is artificial, and challenging our perception of the so-called reality.

In “Prosthetic Reality”, what the digital “add-on” offers is more than a visual feast full of animated movements, sound effects, and unknown elements, it’s a new space filled with creativity and surprises, encouraging people to actively explore what is beyond the visual object itself. The scope of expression for artworks has been largely expanded by allowing interpretation on many different levels. It’d be interesting to see if one day such “augmented” effect can be applied to larger scale visual projections or multi-dimension objects like sculptures.

The Big Lebowski

I watched The Big Labowski as part of the Shimmerlands outdoor cinema at University of Melbourne, with the expectation that this would be a black and white Russian film.

After the movie I learned the following:

-The White Russian/ (as called”Caucasian” in the film) looks like a fun and easy-to-make drink.
-The way Julianne Moore makes her appearance is brilliant (painting while flying down from the ceiling)
-Walter Sobchak seems always angry.
-This Kaoru Betto shirt worn by the Dude added some more fun sparks when I am lost in the dialogues.

Overall I found it a free-spirited movie with loose plots, a playful attitude, many great music pieces and memorable scenes, both aesthetically and characteristically.

My favorite scene:

To me these scenes actually have some resemblance to a Lady Gaga music video or American Horror Story trailers, however it should be noted that this was all made pre-1998 when the computer-based CG animation technology probably only just started in film production.While in the film, these expressions just come out smoothly and all details are well-embedded as part of the dreamworld. Perhaps that’s one of the reason why it’s such a classic film that is still worshipped by people nowadays.

Unreachable love from past past past life

Your Name [君の名は] has now generated over $1 Million at the Australian box office according to Madman Entertainment.

I am not a big Japanese anime fan, and sometimes would prefer to keep a distance from watching them, mostly because I see animation as something that happens in a world parallel to the reality.

To me I’m not really sure which one I like better — The theme song  “Zen Zen Zense” or the film itself. The film is a love story involving the switching of destiny and identity between a boy and a girl who met in the alternation of space and time. Complicated as it may sound, everything becomes crystal clear once “Zen Zen Zense” starts to play, as it nicely fills the gaps of the bitter sweetness of unreachable love depicted in the film.

The lyric line of Zen Zen Zense [前前前世] – even though it is just a simple phrase describing “past past past lives (many many many lives before… )”,the perfect rhythm gives the line an extra layer of power and firmness that echos in my mind. The dreamworld in the film has been brought even closer to me by this song, to an extend that it crossovers with the reality and sparks endless emotions and pictures about love, destiny and the boundaries that make them even more cherishable.

Zen Zen Zense in a nice female voice:

100 Years of Beauty – Episode 4: Korea (Tiffany)

 This video has picked a good country to do 100 Years of Beauty, as the dramatic contrast between North and South Korea after the split in 1950s adds more fun to it. It’s very fascinating to see how fashion trends evolve in either country, while some cultural symbols in the video have constantly reminded audience how different things have become for the two. I’m particularly impressed by the “Gangnam Style” dance in 2010s South Korea.

Go Out by Blur

This video by Blur is quite brilliant. Initially I thought I have clicked on the wrong link, so I kept going back to search for the “real version” of this music video again and again. This “fake” video looks like an amateur DIY ice-cream cooking video made by a Chinese girl, just like many other DIY cooking videos out there — the uploader wanted to trick audience to click on the video by titling it after Blur’s new song. However, after my few attempts to find the “real” version..I  realised that that is it, even though I couldn’t believe my eyes for a few seconds.

I am quite surprised by the Chinese elements they brought into this song…the subtitles are basically the cooking recipe in traditional Chinese and have nothing to do with the song… except for a few random appearance of the lyrics. but apparently it is an album that has deep link with Hong Kong. The songs were made in Hong Kong while the band were stranded there between two concert tours. They seemed to have nothing else to do there but to make some songs to entertain themselves.  To me, Hong Kong brings some degree of culture shock to them….food, crowds, protests, so shocking that it actually inspired them to look for a way to attack and cure by creating something more shocking and hard to understand.

So far this is the first track released for this album- The Magic Whip. The cover is an ice-cream-shaped Neon light…a pretty straight forward symbol of urban night life… This whole idea would fit well into one of Wong Kar-wai’s movies…stranded city dwellers trying to break out of the suffocation of urban life with their imaginary magic whips….shocking it might seem, but it is probably also one of the fascinating things about urban life.

Brain Failure

 

“Don’t addict me, I know it’s heaven.

Don’t talk about political, I know it’s hell…”

———-New York City by Brain Failure

I went to the gig of Brain Failure with my friend the other night (22th Oct). Brain Failure is one of the best known Chinese rock bands and has been around for almost ten years. The gig was part of 2009 Melbourne International Arts Festival, and the Beijing-based band was also backed by one Australian band The Go Set and rock singer Goldie Lux. Strong political orientation, expression of frustration within the changing urban landscape, plus a bit of innovation or a sense of black humour would be a summary of the spirit of Rock and Roll in China, while Brain Failure happens to be a representative of that spirit.

I was actually a bit surprised by the venue and its atmosphere when I first got to the gig place. I expected the gig to be held in a sort of “underground” places like a pub or even a renovated garage, with people crowding around the stage and concentrating on the performance at anytime, as that’s what a gig is like in China. While this venue, the Forum Theatre on Flinders Street, is a huge place with sofas, bars and plenty of room for people to walk around with drinks and socialise with each other. I feel that while rock music might be a form of collective expression under the social context of China, it seems to be more about a way of lifestyle here in Melbourne.

Brain Failure’s show started with the vocal Xiao Rong repeatedly murmured “Come… come…. to see the city of Beijing” in Mandarin in the total darkness with strong bass in the background. Then the spotlight moved slowly to capture a Chinese girl playing pipa– a Chinese musical instrument in the middle of the stage. The audience was all attracted by this kind of arrangement and came to gather around the stage, when suddenly all the lights went on and Brain Failure began to rock people with their song “Living in the City”. The inclusion of pipa seemed to be a new experiment they band wanted to try in this performance and was actually impressive.

Language was not a big problem for Brain Failure’s performance as a good number of their songs are written in a mix of Chinese and English, and the band tour internationally quite often. The three-hour performance included some of the band’s classic songs, such as “One Coward”, “Stay Free”, as well as some new ones. During an English rap Xiao Rong improvised some lyrics by incorporating their experience of this trip to Melbourne, like “we come from the east but this is “the place to be”’, “We were nearly ‘paralyzed’ got off the plane, but feel bloody alive seeing you”, which all generated a wave of screaming among the crowd down the stage. The climax was reached at the song “Anarchy in the P.R.C”, when everybody waved their hands and shouted “An-ar-chy” with the band together. In the final song, the guitarist Gao thanked the audience with an awesome 30-second guitar solo.

After three-hour of shouting and rocking, we left the theatre all half-deaf and half-mute. It is a really cool thing to experience the spirit of Beijing rock in a place far from China.

Some Photos taken at the gig:

Pipa + Rock Crossover:

SL700425

Vocal Xiao Rong:

Vocal Xiao Rong

Xiao Rong + Gao:

Xiao Rong + Gao

And also, check out this Interview with the vocal Xiao Rong before the Melbourne performance.