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.

Lunar Chinese New Year 2017

First day of Year of Rooster in Melbourne, a summery day spent with blue sky, sunscreen and ice teas. To join the celebration, I went to Crown by the side of Yarra River, an alternative Asian Chinese gathering precinct in the CBD other than laneways of Chinatown.

On the big screen outside of Crown, Serena Williams won Australian Open Women’s Single over her sister Venus Williams — A happy day for the Williams sisters, so does it seem for most of the Asian-looking people who spent endless time and money at the Casino tables inside Crown on that day, or at least at face value.

I got corrected at work a few days ago, for calling the New Year “Chinese New Year” rather than “Lunar New Year”, because apparently for Asian Chinese who do not come from China but also celebrate the New Year, they would prefer to use the word “Lunar”… It’s interesting to think about the connotation behind that — to downplay the “Chineseness” side of New Year.

The hustle and bustle of people at Crown’s riverside night market has a good resemblance of the New Year shopping crowd in China. Other celebration features include lion-dancing, fireworks, and display of the Zodiac Lanterns, which all attract a great deal of crowds and cameras.

Lunar Chinese New Year in Melbourne, a quick dose of Chinese culture accompanied by  the colour of red, sound of drum from lion-dancing, and an influx of foreign wealth, largely fulfills people’s curiosity towards this traditional festival and brings deeper understanding or misunderstanding of the culture.

img_7791
First dinner for Year of Rooster, at a Thai restaurant, due to not being able to get a booking at preferred Chinese restaurant.

 

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:

Leave to Parliament everything about my future..

It’s been a couple of tough months for Park Geun-hye’s political career ever since the corruption scandal involving her close confidant Choi Soon-sil has emerged into the public’s eyes. Furious protestors on the streets of Seoul have constantly questioned Park’s administration and request her resignation.

Park-speech.png

There has often been a mysterious aura over Park Geun-hye, who came from a family where both of her parents were assassinated due to political reasons. Her life seems be vastly shadowed by her father Park Chung-hee, and the tragic childhood. Her tight relationship with Choi soon-sil,  the daughter of a shaman-esque cult leader has revealed her dependence of spiritual advice in making presidential decisions, which is something extremely disastrous from a political perspective.

When looking at another example of female Prime Minister in Asia- ex-Prime Minister of Thailand –Yingluck Shinawatra, Park’s current situation looks not that unfamiliar. Yingluck, whose brother Thaksin Shinawatra was once the Thai Prime Minister, stepped down from her PM position after a military coup in 2014, and is now also facing charges over the rice-pledging scheme from Thailand’s Attorney General. Both Park and Yingluck came from families with inherited tradition of being in the centre of their countries’ political scenes, and came into power as the first female Prime Minister of their counties, while they are both currently under close legal scrutiny and criticism by their governments.

The struggles that Yingluck and Park are facing are probably just a moment in their destinies. For them, entering the political stage seem to have been closely tied to their family tradition, from which holds a deep sense of connection to the generations of supporters and also commitment to the country. They dedicate their lives to what they believe, and more importantly to fulfill what the family group have been trying to achieve. And now when they are struggling to continue holding the power, the merciless side behind a political scene has replayed on them, just as how it played out on their family members previously. For Park, the scandal has obviously infuriated the country, she doesn’t have much choice but to leave her fate to the judgement of the country for now. And in Yingluck’s case, she has determined to fight back with the best possible dignity.

Yingluck.png

I stand firm to fight my case, I had duties and responsibilities to fight on. All eyes are on me. I assure you,  I never thought of fleeing.“–Yingluck Shinawatra

Delicacy or Bizarre Food

I spotted many Asian delicacies in James Corden’s “Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts”. Not sure if the production team was inspired by internet posts like this or Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. Bird’s saliva seems to have appeared in a few episodes, but I wonder how much actual bird’s saliva is in that cocktail glass, as a small quantity of decent quality bird’s saliva can sometimes cost a fortune.

spill-1

When some of the food above were presented as “gross”“disgusting” and “horrific”during the show, it does trigger some amusing effect to see celebrities literally “spill their guts” in front of these food – whether it’s a true reaction or just a form of act.

Food is probably another strong aspect of everyday life that defines a type of culture other than language. I could just imagine that food like meat Pâté, blue cheese and jellied eel (or maybe a vegemite/marmite juice? ) would receive the same reaction if there was ever a similar show in China.

Besides, I noticed that SPAM is also categorised as “bizarre food” in this episode, maybe that’s prepared for some female celebrities who only eat kale, which certainly represents a very trendy subcultural group.

spill-spam

Sheng Nv (Leftover Women)

“Leftover Women” is more a fact, an issue, a phenomenon that happens on a personal and social level, rather than propelled by the government through propaganda .

“To marry or not to marry”should be a personal choice rather than something pushed by other people, especially from a western-world point of view. However, this is an idea that doesn’t fit in the traditional family value of most Chinese parents, who believe that young woman, due to biological reasons, should get married  before a certain age to fulfil the role and expectation of  a wife and a mother. Therefore “leftover women”, most of whom grown up in urban settings different from their parents’ age, have to bear the burden of being called “selfish”, “unattractive”, “career-oriented”, or even feeling discriminated among the public.

Leta Hong Fincher (@LetaHong) attributed “Leftover Women” to the result of a big propaganda campaign focusing on urban educated women orchestrated by the Chinese government.

However, to my view, the existence of this label of “leftover women” is more a fact, an issue, a phenomenon that happens on a personal and social level, rather than propelled by the government through propaganda . The pressure faced by “leftover women” would mostly be from their parents and friends, while being a problem for “China’s population planning strategy” would probably be their least concern. With the loosen-up of China’s One-child Policy, the pressure of “having kids”might be felt even more by “leftover women”, as the idea of having more grandchildren are favoured by many Chinese parents. The feeling of “being left” is already there once these women reach their “age of starting a family” perceived by their family and peers, no matter whether the government decides to spread the idea on the state media or not.