January 28th, 2014 | 1 Comment »

For the first time in quite a long time, I will be celebrating the Chinese New Year in my hometown Jakarta, with my parents and extended family!

Chinese New Year in Indonesia happens during the height of the rainy season, with the threat of flood never far away. This year is not so bad for us – unlike last year when the water rose up to 2 meter high and my parents had to evacuate for almost two months.

Jakarta was flooding pretty badly when I arrived last Sunday, 19 Jan. Within the next couple of day, we had to evacuate to my auntie’s home. We had to ride on a rubber dinghy to the nearest road where cars could pass by. It was quite difficult to get the dinghy as everyone wanted to evacuate by then. After waiting for almost four hours, we managed to rent one and things went smoothly from then on.

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We were lucky that the flood receded very soon and we were glad to be able to go home after just two days! It was nice to spend time with my auntie too. All in all, it wasn’t so bad :). We are very lucky indeed as some area were flooded very badly!

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Posted in Daily Bits, Travelogue
August 25th, 2009 | 1 Comment »

What a lucky girl I am: as part of my husband’s birthday gift for me, he ‘kidnapped’ me to a secret destination – beginning in the early morning of August 17th (which happened to be the Indonesian Independence Day!) until evening of August 20th, just a day after my actual birthday which was on the 19th. It’s not until we arrived at the airport that my husband told me that we’re going to Ho Chi Minh City! We’ve never been to Viet Nam so it was fun and interesting! Very economical too – even as we’re treating ourselves into the lap of luxury for this special occasion.

The flight was smooth and short (only 2 hours from Hong Kong). The apparently new airport was pleasant and bright. The weather in Ho Chi Minh City turned out to be slightly nicer than Hong Kong. While it was hot, it was quite breezy and wasn’t so humid. The weather forecast predicted a rain storm in the afternoon – but there was no sign of it!

Here we are sitting like a royal couple in the hotel’s limousine, picking us up from the airport. Such a rare luxury! After checking in to our hotel, the Park Hyatt Saigon – a real treat – we then had lunch in a very local, small restaurant not too far from the hotel which turned out to specialize in shark fins and bird nests that we don’t eat. We had an okay crabmeat soup with corn and asparagus and quite a tasty fried noodle with seafood. I also had a lotus seed drink which was nice. We’re surprised at how cheap our lunch was!
It begins... Day 1
It begins… Day 1

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After lunch, we explored our surrounding a bit. I love the old colonial buildings in the Ho Chi Minh City. I found this one to be particularly charming.
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We browsed some silk shops and found one that we liked. We have a traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai made for me to wear on my birthday! It’s all silk and unbelievably cheap! It would be ready the next day too! Then we decided to enjoy ‘the lap of luxury’ that is our hotel:
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Dinner was at the famous Temple Club Restaurant – it actually reminded me of the Batavia Café in Jakarta a bit. We had a nice dinner but I didn’t take any photos of the food as we wanted to focus on the moment and just enjoying it all. We did take a couple of pics afterward though! Through it all I wasn’t aware at all about a (failed) surprise that’s supposed to greet me there!
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The delayed surprise finally happened later when we’re back in our hotel. My husband has ‘shipped’ a dear friend of mine that I met during an Artist Residency in Vermont last year who lives in Ha Noi to Viet Nam for my birthday!!! How so very thoughtful and sweet of him! So my friend Thu arrived very late because her flight was badly delayed. We had a blast catching up and she had her late meal in our room.
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The next day we explored the city together. If it wasn’t for the extreme heat, we could sometimes told ourselves that we were in Paris! Look at the buildings! My husband had to borrow my Muji hat to protect his sun-sensitive head and I think he looked adorable in it and the color happened to match his outfit perfectly too!
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This is the Ben Thanh Market, housed in one of the surviving oldest colonial buildings in the Ho Chi Minh City. It was so hot even inside – it took us a while to sort of get used to it. Most of the handicraft items there looked familiar to me, a cross between Indonesian and Chinese. But we did get something that I have never seen somewhere else before: a nice salad bowl made out of bamboo and it was quite cheap too. I also bought some ‘oleh-oleh’ for my folks. ‘Oleh-oleh’ is gifts you hand to people when you’re back from traveling, usually something typical of the place you visited. I’m most happy with my purchase of some spicy ‘juhi’ there! ‘Juhi’ (pronounced joo-hee) is my favoritest snack ever; it’s a dried, rolled then grilled cuttlefish. Very yummy!
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We had lunch in one of the food stalls in the market. It was yummy and very cheap!
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After dropping our shopping bags off at our hotel room, we continued on exploring the city. It reminded me a lot of the old Jakarta of my childhood. So, oddly, I felt somewhat nostalgic which was quite interesting. We sought to visit the Viet Nam Art Museum – which was not far from the Ben Thanh Market we visited earlier that day. It was such an impressive and charming old mansion.
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We’re not allowed to take photos of the displayed artwork but it was fine to take photos of the surrounding. We loved the open area surrounding the court yard. It was such a grand mansion! We later found out that it used to be an apartment building, each floor was occupied by a number of different members of what looked like a big, affluent Vietnamese family.
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From there we browsed some shops and got some more inexpensive silk things for the girls and myself. Thu got herself a very pretty pair of earrings. Then we dropped by the Silk Diva to get my Ao Dai. It was ready but needed some adjustments. I noticed that the craftsmanship is not so good, but I guess I get what I (my husband, to be exact) pay for since it’s unbelievably cheap. From a distance, you can’t really tell though and I really love the style: the combination of flowing tunic and flare pants makes the Ao Dai elegant and feminine without sacrificing freedom of movement and comfort. And it was entirely made with silk! Oh!

Here are some silly pics of me during the fitting which Thu has snapped with her camera:
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As Thu was leaving for Ha Noi that evening, we had dinner early. She’s been telling us about a specialty of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) called Banh Xeo. She have had some in Ha Noi but the best of Banh Xeo is to be had in Saigon. So we got her to ask the hotel concierge about the best Banh Xeo restaurant in town and we promptly went there! It was a curious dish, like a folded pizza eaten wrapped in various choices of leaves. We noticed how Vietnamese love to wrap everything in a leaf for their food! There were so many choices of Banh Xeo and we settled on a traditional seafood and a ‘fusion’ seaweed ones. It was quite tasty but our favorite was the toasted rice cake with prawns and veggies. The skin was crispy and the inside is melting soft and hot. Very yummy!
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After dinner, we said goodbye to Thu who went straight to the airport back to Ha Noi that night. We took a cab back to our hotel but decided to be dropped a bit way off and strolled a bit before finally sat down to have some drink in a charming outdoor bar called Q, by the Opera House. So Paris-like! Again, the pricing was very wallet-friendly! So ended our first two days in Ho Chi Minh City!

To Be Continued

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July 23rd, 2008 | 2 Comments »

So on Monday, 21 July 2008 we were working on the exhibition display. I got there to early – and the others were late so I ended up waiting for quite some time. Fortunately the gallery is situated near a lot of restaurants and supermarket so I could hang out somewhere munching some snack :).

Guess what! I met a fellow digiscrapper in person for the first time ever! Yup! Who is she then, you might ask. Well, it’s none other than my dear former Z!Girl, Matisha! She happened to be in Jakarta with her family for a vacation so we decided to meet up and she offered to document the process of me setting up my work for this exhibition. I happily accepted her offer and boy, look at the photos she took… they’re just amazing. I love her angles – she’s a great photographer! And she’s such a nice person too – I immediately felt familiar with her like we’ve met before. Well, we met online and been in touch for a few years of course – but still, meeting in person is different. I’m so glad we met :).

Here are some of the photos she took:

She had to leave before we finish setting up so unfortunately there’s no wonderful documentation for the rest of the works but I am very happy with what we have now. Thanks for your great photos, Matisha :). I really appreciate them!

We finished setting up for the day by around 10:30 p.m. There were still some minor adjustments to be made. My new painting was yet to be stretched on a frame too.

The last photo here was taken by Hendro Wiyanto, the curator.

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July 20th, 2008 | 1 Comment »

So I’m back in my parents house in Jakarta, in my old room that keeps on changing here and there whenever I come back.

I left my home in Hong Kong at 7:15 a.m. to catch the 7:30 a.m. airport bus and I got to the airport on time. I checked-in online the day before, not sure what to expect. Got to the airport with my luggage and my rolled painting to find a very long queue under the sign “Self Check-In Drop Off Bags”. Hmmm… I thought it supposed to be shorter? Turned out that the queue moved pretty fast – faster than conventional check-in anyway. I was happy as my suitcase got checked-in without any fuss although it’s a bit over-weight and that they let me carry my painting to the cabin (it’s 54″ long, about 2.5″ in diameter).

The flight itself was pretty uneventful. I was hoping I could sleep all the way through the 4.5 hours flight as I only got less than 2 hours sleep the night before but there were too many interruptions so I arrived in Jakarta totally zonked. Had to wait forever to get my suitcase. I was beginning to get worried when it finally appeared. Pheeew!

The driver from the SIGIarts Gallery met me up and took me to the gallery in Jl. Mahakam in Kebayoran Baru straight way. It’s a brand new gallery with nice, spacious white space. Rachel, the owner of the gallery came out to welcome me and introduced me to the staff members whom I’ve been in contact with by emails. They’re all very friendly and some were acually from the same art institute I graduated from. Nice! To my great relief and joy, Rachel offered to take me for late lunch which I instantly agreed too enthusiastically.

Lunch was terrific! It’s at a Menado restaurant not for from the gallery. They had a live music playing Menado traditional numbers there – very unusual at 3:30 pm! The food was fantastic: spicy grilled seafood in traditional Menado manner – just what I like best! And it was very cheap too – especially compared to Hong Kong but even by Jakarta standard it was relatively cheap. I will definitely be back there. I should have gotten their name card – I forgot the name of the restaurant now, it’s in Menado language which is very different from the Indonesian. Next time I’ll make sure to get one!

We had a nice chat during lunch too, the topic ranged from art and exhibition matters to some hilarious personal anecdotes. The opening is on this Friday, July 25th – and I’m looking forward to it! Click the images below to see them larger:

Now that we’re both full, we went back to the gallery. Hendro the curator was already waiting for us and we proceed with discussion about the placement of my works. I am the only one showing three dimentional objects in this exhibition. The other artists are Ugo Untoro (paintings), Jose Legaspi (paintings) and Melati Suryodarmo (photographs of her performances). They are such amazing artists, it’s my honor to have my works shown alongside theirs.

So I unpacked some of the works I brought with me from Hong Kong and re-assembled them. It wasn’t easy to decide the placement of each but we managed to have some kind of preliminary arrangement which might work. Tomorrow we’ll start the real setting up! How exciting!

It was dark by the time I got to my childhood home by 8:30 p.m. It was good to see my parents again. Last time I saw them was in December last year. They’re both well enough and we enjoyed a nice chat catching up. They enjoyed the things I brought for them too :).

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May 14th, 2008 | 1 Comment »

Yeah… it feels sooo… good to be home after being away for 2.5 months! Sooo… nice to be with my man again :). It’s been a wonderful trip but I’m so glad to be home! I’m lucky that the weather has been nice too… coolish with low-ish humidity: a real treat for Hong Kong!

My Toronto trip went well too: I really enjoyed spending time with my niece Olivia (11) and my older brother and my sister in law. I helped Olivia made a very special Mother’s Birthday Gift – she’s so proud of it :). We went to Scenic Caves in Blue Mountain – it was fun and interesting. There were some snow still over there! My last day in Toronto was spent in Toronto Wonderland – we took some really scary rides, well, really scary at least for Olivia! She was scared but also really wanted to go on those rides so she really had to work her courage up while waiting in a looong… line. We all so proud of her! She did it and ended up really enjoying the rides too: The Thunder Run, The Time Warp (used ot be called Tomb Rider) – where you were lying down in a ‘cage’ and ‘turned’ into a roller coaster car, The Bat – where the roller coaster cars went backward on the second round and the Klockwerk – the least scary ride we took (except for the SpongeBob 3D Show!). It was a fine sunny day – the park was so full. I wanted to try out the Behemoth, the new huge roller coaster there but it wasn’t operational by the time we got there. It was running earlier in the morning though. Oh well. We did have a fun time regardless.

Blue Mountain

©2008 Lie Fhung

©2008 Lie Fhung

Olivia - Mother's Day Gift

The BAT

The flight back to Hong Kong was very long (a total of 18 hours: Toronto – Chicago O’Hare – Hong Kong) and full of delays. It was pretty boring and I was so excited when we finally landed in Hong Kong Airport. My dearest husband already waited for me there – we had a sweet reunion :).

Now tons of work are waiting. First, I will have to get re-organize, and then I have to start Ztampfing… yup, creating brand new kits! I can’t believe I haven’t created anything Ztampf! except for a small accent pack recently for the past 2.5 months! The problem now is to choose which one to make first… I have a long list of kits to make! I also can’t wait to get back to my studio to make more art – but this will have to wait until I got this month’s Ztampfever released on the 15th!

Thanks to everyone who has emailed/left me comments regarding my trip and my art making :). So heart-warming! Talk to you all again on the 15th! (have you subscribed yet?)

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Posted in Daily Bits, Travelogue
May 9th, 2008 | No Comments »

I just wanted to share with you all the thank you letter I wrote for the Freeman Foundation who has funded my Artist in Residency at Vermont Studio Center. I had such a wonderful time there – far beyond my expectations…

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May 4th, 2008 | No Comments »

Well… time sure does fly fast! Here I am in Toronto, last leg of my trip! New York was great – especially since my darlingest man came and met me there ;). We had a wonderful reunion after almost 2 months being apart! My first three days I was staying with an artist couple that I met during my first month at the Vermont Studio Center, Ken Jan Woo and his wife, Cheng Zhong Qi AKA Camille. They are painters – great ones too! They are so generous and kind to offer me to stay in their place in New Jersey – about 20 mins bus ride to Manhattan – before my husband arrive in New York. Ken is a very rare kind of artist. He paints icons for churches – it’s just amazing. One of his works can be seen in the Church Of Our Savior, New York – it was mind blowing and humbling to witness it with my own eyes when I attended the Sunday mass with them. Check out his website at http://www.kenjanwoo.com.

In New York, I got together with some fellow artist residents from both March and April – it was so fun and we missed each other already! Me and TEO we mostly walked the art museums: The Met, MOMA, Whitney Biennial and P.S. 1 – trust me, it is a hard work to be cultural tourists in NYC! We’re exhausted at the end of each day but we didn’t regret it, of course! TEO gave me a couple of surprises too! Wednesday evening we watched a play by an Irish theater company, Druid of Galway and it was very very good: “The Walworth Farce“. Thursday evening it was Philip Glass’s “Satyagraha” at the Metropolitan Opera with director Phelim McDermott and designer Julian Crouch (artistic directors of London’s provocative Improbable theater company). It was very impressive and I love the visual too… especially the ‘puppet’ made using newspaper held by several people in certain configurations. It was so clever! Very effective and artistic! Simply amazing! I only wished that we weren’t so tired already – I have to admit that we nodded off to sleep several times during the 3.5 hours performance. Philip Glass’s music was mesmerizing but sometimes the repetitive parts of it could work like a lullaby! Especially for people like us who were very tired already. But I’m so glad that we experienced it. I found it so inspiring!

Well, that’s it for now… Here are some pictures taken in New York and Brooklyn:

Spring in NYC

Central Park

Central Park

NYC

PS 1 - MOMA

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Posted in Daily Bits, Travelogue
April 25th, 2008 | 2 Comments »

So I’m back at VSC from the laundromat now. I have less than 15 mins before lunch so I’m just gonna post some photos for now…


Gihon River
Sparkling Gihon River under the afternoon sun – last month is was frozen!

Crocusses
The first sign on Spring… in Louise’s garden…

Schultz Back Yard
My favorite spot just behind the Schultz Sculpture Studio. Great for thinking and sketching.

sunset
Beautiful sunset over Johnson

the river
The Gihon River is now rushing with very strong currents…

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Posted in Daily Bits, Travelogue
April 24th, 2008 | No Comments »

Oh boy… the last few weeks flew by so fast! Lo and behold… today is my last day at VSC! All the residents are leaving tomorrow morning! It feels so weird… especially for those of us who have been here for almost 2 months. We’ve made wonderful friendship with many and we’ll miss each other’s company. It’s all good though – we are ready to get back to the ‘real world’ out there. VSC is an ‘alternate world’, an ‘all-positive bubble’ where everything and everyone is good – a truly great place to be, but we can’t stay here forever.

So I have posted all my art supplies and tools in 2 heavy boxes back to Hong Kong by post yesterday. 1 box filled with my canvas and small copper wings was also posted to Hong Kong. I won’t need them for the rest of my trip. My paintings and the big copper wings will be shipped by UPS to Jakarta – for a group show I’ll be in in late June there. Right now, I’m in the laundromat – doing my last laundry here. Later today, I will have to pack the rest and the clean up my studio…

There are so many things I would like to share with you all! Where to begin…
Last previous Saturday, April 12th was a very special day! First, me and Thu, another Freeman Fellow artist are having a work-in-progress show and the opening was on the evening of April 12th, right after dinner. It was exciting! We both dressed up a bit to appear a bit different than our daily shabby-artist-look. Dessert and wine along with some fruity snacks were provided and everyone seemed to enjoy both the show and the food :).

Here are some photos from the opening – there are more in my Facebook Photo Albums:

Red Mill Show
Red Mill Show

Red Mill Show

Oh, my laundry is done now… I gotta run – will try to post more later today!

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April 8th, 2008 | No Comments »

It’s been two weeks ago but the heart-warming memories remain. Coming down to the Dining Hall, we’re greeted with a wonderful view; the place was transformed over night: the VSC staff laid out a beautiful Easter Sunday Dinner for us. There were wine and cheese with olives, various desserts and all. There were guests visiting too! Among others, there was a group of musician from Rajashtani, India: the MERASI, brought by a New York NGO, http://folkartsrajasthan.org/. They were going to perform at the Lowe Lecture Hall later that afternoon and we were all so excited about it. Their bright colored costumes were very eye-catching!

But for the moment, we were enjoying the sumptuous Easter Dinner! Lots of people were dressed up too – adding to the beauty of the whole setting. I particularly loved the many little flower arrangements that Louise (one of the VSC founders) has tastefully placed on each table – she put several small, obviously handmade objects with them. They’re very charming and cute!

And then in the afternoon we went to see the MERASI performed. It was a wonderful experience! They exudes so much joy and warmth with their music and in the soulful way they performed it. The music was so dynamic I thought everyone should just get up and dance!

Here are some clips that I took with my pocket camera to give you a glimpse of their soulful music. Visit their website, http://www.merasi.org to learn more about them, purchase tickets for their shows, buy their CD, etc.:

Enjoy :). And now I have to get back to work in my studio. I will post more soon enough – hopefully tonight!

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Posted in Travelogue
April 7th, 2008 | 1 Comment »

Wow, it’s been quite a while since my last post eh! There are too many things to do with so little time! The unsteady internet connection here is not helping either. But here I am! There are many things I’d like to share with you. I will divide them into several posts – so watch out for a stream of posts soon (that is, if things go according to plan!).

But first, I want to show you this:

The snow has started to melt away! I took this picture yesterday afternoon – it was such a beautiful sunny Sunday!

And now, in my last post I told you about the Bread and Puppet Theater who came to town and that I was volunteering to help with their show here. So here’s the story:

Me and my two friends were among the first VSC volunteers who arrived at the Lowe Lecture Hall. They were unloading – so we helped them a bit. There were a few old leather suitcases, musical instruments, a sewing machine, a few head masks, etc. Peter Schumann himself is a very unique, interesting old man in his 70’s. He’s so full of energy and ideas. His warmth and unpretentious manners are wonderfully embracing. There were only a handful of his crew there and you can tell from their appearance that they’re some sort of artists – they’re beautiful in unusual ways and they dressed in their very own unique way. Interesting people.

So, after all the volunteers have arrived – there were 12 of us – Peter gave a short introduction about his troupe and what we were there for. Turned out they were there not as Bread & Puppet Theatre, but as Lubberland National Dance Company! And guess who were to be the dancers? Peter himself with his 6 people and … the rest of us: the VSC volunteers!

It was extraordinarily fun and inspiring! The show consisted of 6 dances; and Peter explained the theme/meaning of each. The overall theme is basically political critic on the election… although it’s not always obvious. Then we started rehearsal right away… he gave instructions and showed examples of the kind of movements we expected to do, and we followed. It sounds impossible but we did rehearse for about 2 hours only and that’s it! There were a lot of freedom for us in term of how we ‘dance’ – although of course there were some directions that we had to follow, i.e. point your finger and move around, move your body gently as the followers of the Goddess of Sleep, prance about – run as if you were being chased, roll on the ground, freeze the moment the cymbals bang, etc. etc. I really enjoyed it! The atmosphere was so relaxed and playful and fun. It’s so liberating to move and dance like that! I loved it!

The first dance depicted the battle between the Money People and us, the people. We’re riding ‘horses’ – which were brooms held upside down. The brooms were made from sticks and branches like witches brooms. This first dance was really hard on my left injured knee and on my breath. I was relieved that the rest of the 5 dances weren’t that vigorous although still involved a lot of movements. There were very little props and there weren’t any costumes except for a few puppet masks.

After the 2 hours rehearsal, we all went to have dinner at the VSC’s Red Mill – this includes the whole Lubberland National Dance Company crew! Afterwards we went straight back to the venue to do a brief overview… refreshing our memories about which dance follows which. So exciting! By 8 p.m. the Lowe Lecture Hall has filled up and it’s show time! It’s opened with a unique performance by Claire of the Bread & Puppet Theater; she’s telling a story with a kind of sing song way – with a help of a hand-painted story board. It was hilarious! And of course political. Then it was the dance show: ours. I had a marvelous time! I surprised myself that I was not nervous at all! I enjoyed every moment of it! It was a success too!




(yes, the photos are blurry – I’m still waiting for the official documentation…)

I felt so happy! And I received unexpected high praises on my dance… For the next few days afterwards people kept on telling me how beautiful and graceful my movements were; how their eyes were just drawn to watch me amongst the rest. How I was so into it, how my face and eyes were so expressive. Many even asked me if I was a professional dancer! One of the newer writer residents who is a trained, professional dancer even asked me that. When I told him that I’m not, he said that my movements looked like a pro and that I definitely have it in me – that I should perhaps consider developing that, adding that to my work or something. I wasn’t expecting such responses… of course I was pleased but also a bit embarrassed at the same time. I’m especially pleased because the movements are mostly my own too! My mother would be very happy and proud when I tell her – she, the real dancer!

After the show they served warm home-made bread with garlic spread. So yummy! It warmed both our belly and our heart! At the foyer, they had postcards, posters and mini publications of the Bread & Puppet Theater and I got a couple of booklets for my step-daughters: How to Make Junk Instruments and How to Make Puppets – I hope they’ll like it!

Then… we rushed back to the Dance Party! Yes, the residents were hosting a Dance Party at the Kahn Barn Drawing Studio that night! It was so fun and exciting! The girls were all dressed up and made up their face – we felt so preeety :). I felt like I’m back in college years – with my art school friends preparing for the Fancy Nights… Oh good ole’ wild days! Jason who brought his iMac to the residency use it for the sound system – playing a dance mix from his iTunes. Such eclectic music to dance to… it was great fun! What a super wonderful Saturday it was!

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Posted in Artisting, Travelogue
March 20th, 2008 | 2 Comments »

“What sort of idyll have you wandered into?” my husband wrote in his email to me recently…

My 3rd Week in VSC is reaching its end soon! How time flies! I’ve been having so much fun here: making new friends, meeting fellow artists and writers – enjoying their company, making art, attending Resident Slide Show, Resident Reading Night and Visiting Artists Slide Show, enjoying good meals, relishing bon fire night – tasting my first ever S’More (it’s yummy!), visiting Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory to see how they’re made and get a taste, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day drinking Guinness while listening to Irish folk music played by a very talented young boy with his fiddle and dancing to a live band playing James Brown music afterwards… I’ve been much more sociable than I’ve ever been in the past few years! Oh boy!




(More pictures at my flickr site: http://flickr.com/photos/fhung/)

And this weekend, more fun is a-brewing! We’ll have a dance party at the Life Drawing Studio at the Kahn Building this Saturday! Yay! And before that… there’ll be a puppet show by the famous Peter Schumann’s Bread & Puppet Company. I have never seen their performance before, but from what I heard from people here and seen from books – they sound like a fantastic visual feast! Their puppets are huge and extremely artistic they could be sculptures belong to museums of art or something. And guess what! They need 10 volunteers and I have signed up! I was hesitant at first since I didn’t want to miss the show… However, I figured that I probably will get another chance to see their show. But an opportunity to take part behind the scene of such great puppet theater? It will be an interesting experience. I heard that we’d get to help with the puppet’s strings and singing etc. We’ll see! The show will be at 8 p.m. this Saturday and all the volunteers have to arrive at 4 p.m. How exciting!

Oh and did I tell you that I’m volunteering to assist teaching art class for 1st graders in Johnson Elementary School every Friday morning? Well, I don’t really do any teaching, I just give attention and help whenever needed. Last week was my first time ever and it was quite overwhelming in the beginning. There were about 20++ children aged between 5 and 6 y.o. and there were only 1 real teacher plus me. It was very interesting and fun though!

So no wonder that I’m exhausted! Now I’ve gotten back to my ‘normal’ schedule which is staying up all night working in the studio and sleep in in the morning. It’s fantastic; I could bang my hammer at 2 a.m. and sing along loudly while working in my studio and no one will be bothered! Cool eh! Here are some pictures of my work-in-progress that I’ve been working on since I got here:


All this doesn’t leave me any time to do any Ztampf! things except for some customer service emailing – unfortunately! But I’ve been collecting ideas and inspirations to work on once I manage to get the time to do them so worry not :).

It’s snowing heavily today… since last night, actually. I love watching the snow flakes falling from the sky, I love walking on soft fresh snow alternating with crunchy ice beneath. I feel so very fortunate and privileged to be here; so very grateful. The VSC people is doing an excellent work running this place. Positive vibes resonate so warmly – life is good. I am happy.

And thanks to each of you who has sent me emails or left messages here :). Thank You for all your kind words and well wishes! And to Tracy (http://worksbytracy.blogspot.com), I’m staying at the upper floor of the Red Mill itself so it’s super convenient! Downstairs for meals and slideshows, a short walk across to the Schultz Sculpture Building for my studio! Awesome! Re the Laundromat, some people told me the one with the card is cheaper so I went there but later on I heard some other people said the one with coins is cheaper! Oh well! I’ll email you more about VSC later! How cool is that you found my blog entry and you’ve just been to VSC!

Well, that’s it for now, folks :). Have a wonderful weekend!

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Posted in Artisting, Travelogue
March 8th, 2008 | 11 Comments »

Yes, I am in Vermont Studio Center now! My flight went smoothly enough: from Hong Kong non-stop to O’Hare Chicago then continued on to Burlington, the closest airport from Johnson, where Vermont Studio Center (VSC) is located. I stayed overnight at Anchorage Inn in Burlington and the VSC people picked me up the following morning.

I was lucky to get a window seat which enabled me to take aerial photos as the plane was lowering down for landing in Burlington. The view was just so pretty… so much snow I almost couldn’t believe it! The lower our plane was going, the cuter it all looked. Just like a giant maquette – only much more detailed and cuter!

Today is my 7th day here and I love it so far! It’s such an amazing place… They really do a great job running this place. There are about 40 artists and 12 writers at a time – they came here on various different programs/fellowships/durations so there are always people coming and going all the time. It’s so exciting!

For those who wasn’t sure what VSC is all about, basically they are a non-profit organization: from artists for artists. They are funding artists and writers from the US and all over the world to come here to create in a non-competitive community-based environment. They house us in simple and yet cozy rooms, feed us three times a day with excellent meals (the desserts are killers!) and provide us with private studios to create in. Some of us are here on full fellowship (like me – funded by the Freeman Foundation) which means we don’t pay for anything – we’re even given some stipends. While others are here on partial fellowship in which they have to pay a small amount and do some community work i.e. helping with washing the dishes, etc. VSC does not offer training programs nor courses although from time to time there are some lectures or presentations from Visiting Artists and Visiting Writers. To learn more about VSC, you can visit their website at http://www.vermontstudiocenter.org. If you are an artist or a writer, I encourage you to apply for their various grants/fellowships.

It’s so nice here – everyone is so friendly and eager to help each other. I’m a hermit but I must say I do enjoy socializing with others here. Meal time is the time to meet others and chat; it’s very interesting learning about what they do, where they come from, etc.. These are a bunch of very creative and talented people of all ages. Some of them are so young and yet so accomplished! This is such a wholesome community – I am very impressed!

It’s no wonder then that I’m settling down well. I love my studio too – it’s so spacious with plenty of natural light coming through the three windows. It took me a few days to set everything up; and I have started working in it now. I’m not sure what I’m going to make yet. Got some ideas but they keep on changing. Originally I wanted to continue working on my To Breed Or Not To Breed project currently in progress, in Hong Kong. But later on I decided to do something entirely different. Or, it could be exploring the same theme, but with a new approach or something. So I’ve been experimenting. My challenge is to create with what I got here – which is quite limited as naturally I couldn’t bring everything from my studio in Hong Kong! So far there is nothing I’m really pleased with, but I am hopeful. Maybe within the next week I’ll be able to come up with something more definite.

The other day, for the first time ever in my life I got to do a ‘Laundromat’ thingie! It was interesting! haha! Walking on the snow is also interesting – I actually like it! What is tough is walking on melting snow or sheeting icy ground – so slippery! Oh and I also got the see snow falling for the first time too! And I’m turning into a morning person here! Got up very early without any difficulties. It could be just jetlag though… but I’m enjoying it – the ‘morning person’ bit, not the jet lag! :)

And there was a Resident Slide Show – it was very interesting to see others’ work. This is done every Wednesday – my turn will be on the 19th.

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day and some of us went to the nearby town, Morrisville to get some materials at the big hardware store there. It was fun!

Last night, I attended the Writer Reading, there were about 5 writers reading their work: some are poems, some are short stories, some are excerpts from the book or article they are working on. It was very interesting and enjoyable!

This weekend, there is a snow storm warning – and I’m excited as I’ve never been in a snow storm before! Silly eh!

Well, that’s it from me for now :). Have a wonderful weekend!

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Posted in Travelogue