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around town

Little adventures

mash up: the birth of modern culture at VAG

mashup
billed as a ground-breaking exhibit, mash up: the birth of modern culture at the vancouver art gallery would feature mash up strategies employed by 20th century artists such as picasso, marcel duchamp, jean-luc godard, andy warhol, keith haring and more. it would also be the first time an exhibit would take over the gallery. 371 works by 156 artists, filmmakers, musicians, architects and designers spread out over all four floors. 3 years in the making by 30 curators. that’s what hooked me.

i know i can be hard on our cultural institutions in vancouver, because of the much more amazing things i’ve seen and experienced in cities like new york, san francisco, LA, london and paris. i still view vancouver as a “big small city.” whenever i hear someone rave about our culture offerings, i can’t help but to think that they need to travel more.

so i was très intéressant when i read about the set up and the works to be featured at mash up: the birth of modern culture.

the floors were organized by themes:

floor 1 – the digital age: hacking, remix and the archive in the age of post-production

floor 2 – late 20th century: splicing, sampling and the street in the age of appropriation

floor 3 – the post-war: cut, copy and quotation in the age of mass media

floor 4 – early 20th century: collage, montage and readymade at the birth of modern culture

it was a mix bag. there were a few neat things, a few ok things and lots of meh things. i felt a little duped when the sign outside loudly advertise a work by quentin tarantino, and then it turned out to be just a reel on repeat with a couple scenes from kill bill. same with william burrough with one of his book being displayed, plus 3 recordings. or jean-luc godard’s pierrot le fou and 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d’elle being screened, as well as, one U2 video and one brian eno recording. but the VAG did include works by jean-michel basquiat, jeff koons, andy warhol, marcel duchamp and keith haring, which was good.

here are the things i really liked:

arcangel
cory arcangel’s recreation of arnold schoenberg’s opus 11 entitled drei klavierstücke (aka three piano pieces). this multi-screen installation featured kitty youtube videos. so fun.

redwhiteblue
redwhiteblue2
another mountain man aka stanley wong’s exhibition featuring those ubiquitous red, blue and white striped plastic bags commonly used by asian people to store items that they’re hoarding. using these multipurpose striped bags, wong creates large scale and immersive installations.

tobias wong
tobias wong’s stark lamp chair. i only wish there were more tobias wong pieces. museum of vancouver’s object(ing) exhibition of 2012 was a really comprehensive retrospective.

intonarumori
a recreation of futurist painter and musical composer luigi russolo’s intonarumori, italian for “noise intoners.” russolo developed 27  types of intonarumori with different names according to the sounds they produced: howling, crackling, thunder, crumpling, gurgling, exploding, buzzing and so on.

working
i absolutely loved the wall sized print of jacque villegle working.  i want this on my wall!

but my favourite thing, as i’m sure are many people’s, is barbara kruger work on the walls and floor in the VAG’s rotunda. when you’re on the higher floors, looking down at the philosophical quotes, done in all caps black and white, it’s quite the impressive sight – winding around walls, crawling up staircases and inhabiting niches.

bkruger1
bkruger2
bkruger3
bkruger4
overall, i found mash up: the birth of modern culture to be ambitious and interesting. i’m glad that the VAG decided to shake it up and exhibiting something different and modern (enough with the emily carr’s already). they still have a long way to go to catch up to london, new york, paris and such – but it’s a good start.

mashupus
mashupsean
for the complete list of works, click here. press play for the slideshow or click here for my flickr.

Life + Love

a safari of animals inside out at science world

heart
animals inside out. at first, i wasn’t sure if it could handle it. i thought that i might just walk out after a few steps, a few minutes. i even asked the staff member if anyone’s ever walked out or felt ill by what they saw. and not that it alleviated my concerns, she simply said “yes, lots.”

i’m talking about the animal inside out exhibition at science world.

i’ve been to gunther von hagen’s body worlds exhibit in new york, as well as, in vancouver. although it’s disconcerting to see plastinated humans, i was able to stomach it. for the most part. but animals…. i love animals. i had to give a disclaimer to sean and for him to prepare for me to walk out at any moment.

but i stayed. and i went through the whole exhibit. although it was a bit sad, i felt the exhibit was respectful and educational, bordering on captivating and disturbing.

being sensitive of viewers, i’m not going to post pictures right on my blog. i don’t like being visually assaulted when i’m not expecting it, as i’m sure others don’t either. nothing chaps me more than content that might be disturbing popping up in all its glory, without so much as a warning on my twitter feed.

to view the pictures, click here for my flickr.

another reason i wanted to go to science world was for the red bull stratos exhibit, featuring felix baumgartner’s space suit and capsule he rode up to the edge of space, before free fall jumping 128,000 feet back to earth.

felix helmet
felix suit
capsule

i remembered watching the world record jump online in 2012. what a nail-biter of a moment! and now i get to see the suit and capsule with my very eyes.

final mission records include:

  • first person to break the speed of sound in freefall, without the protection or propulsion of a vehicle
  • fastest freefall: 843.6 miles per hour
  • highest exit (jump) altitude: 127,852 feet
  • longest freefall distance: 119,431.1 feet
  • highest manned balloon ascent: 128,177.5 feet
  • largest balloon ever flown with a human aboard: 30 million cubic feet
  • fastest overland speed of a manned balloon: 135.7 miles per our
  • highest untethered altitude outside a vehicle

what an incredible feat for a human! how could one possibly top that in their career slash life? so inspirational just to be in the presence of what made it all possible.

for more pictures of my day at science world, click here for my flickr.

*some content may not be suitable for some readers. viewers discretion is advised*

Life + Love

happy 2016!

NYEpan
70mm roadshow edition of quentin tarantino’s hateful 8 and a 15th floor harbourview room stay at the pan pacific. a pretty good way to spend new years eve.

panpacroom
nyenight
five sails
fireworks
happy new year, everyone! wishing you all a fantastic 2016!

Life + Love

locked out of locked

locked
for our friend’s birthday, we went to locked canada, an escape room on kingsway. escape rooms are somewhat all the rage in vancouver right now, with one popping up every few months. i thought with three hardcore and lifelong gamers on our team, we would for sure have the z apocalypse room beat.

erm, not so much.  using up our three clues in the 45 minutes allotted, we were still around 20+ minutes to completing our room. course, we may have been too ambitious, as the success rate is currently holding at 5%.

so, here we are in all our fail glory. if anyone has completed this room, do let me know – i’m not precious about spoilers when it comes to games.

Life + Love

busking at the VAG

vagbusker

i was headed to the train station when i came upon this young man playing a french song on his accordion. normally, i try to get the hell out of dodge as soon as i can, but this scene stopped me in my tracks. the scene is so french. and it reminds me of when i went to paris.

he brought all his props with him. (the suitcases and portable record player were a nice touch, don’t you think?) and he was dressed like a street urchin. white shirt half tucked into his flood water pants and the no socks look. lace-up shoes, suspenders and that floppy hair. and he played piaf in front of the art gallery. because, of course.

this is how you’d get me to stick around after work.

Little adventures

hanging with birds of prey at raptors ridge

raptor hawk
on what was without a doubt, the hottest day of the year (so far), sean and i made our way out to maple ridge to hang out with some hawks at raptors ridge, a conservation for birds of prey.

for the hour and half that we were there, we got a tour of the facility, got some basic instructions on how to handle a harris hawk and a red tail hawk, went for a forest walk with the hawks on our fist and then free fly the raptors in their flying field.

some photos of our day:

forestwalk
raptors forest
raptors 2
feeding
raptor 3
hawk
claws
i did have to overlook the fact that the handler was feeding them little pieces of chick chicks for food and to incentivize them to fly to us from across the field. insert sad, teary, frowny face emoji here. it was a little bit upsetting but i had to compartmentalize my personal feelings because raptors need food too. still, i couldn’t help but feel alittle sad.

that aside, the whole experience was pretty cool and it was such a great way to learn about raptors and get close up to them.

Life + Love

pumpkin + honey bunny

after years of saying we would, we finally went to the pumpkin patch. ironic that we didn’t have any money on us to buy said pumpkins. who knew that laity’s pumpkin patch was only a seasonal set up and that they do not accept debit or credit card payments of any kind? oh, really? in this day and age?

however, the woman at the front was so nice, understanding our plight of having driven all the way to maple ridge, that she let us go in anyways. not that we could buy any pumpkins but we could at least romp around the grounds and see the teepees, barnyard animals and petting zoo, corn maze and hay wagon rides.
note to self: lesson learned! carry cash next time we go to pumpkin patch.
Life + Love

whatever floats your boat

feelings all sorts of zen. that’s what happens after floating in 900lbs of epsom salt in a sensory deprivation tank for an hour.
i’ve always wanted to try this, ever since watching olivia dunham do it on fringe. and since this is cheaper than floating in the dead sea…
we took advantage of a social shopper special for $37pp. (regular price $75) at float house in kitsilano. it’s super relaxing – kinda neat how bouyant your body is with all that salt. there’s no fear that your head is going to go under water.
i did not, however, close the door shut. i used a noodle to hold the door for a sliver of light and air. i wasn’t sure how i’d react to the complete absence of external stimuli or being weightless in total darkness for over an hour. my mind runs a hundred miles an hour and i’ve never slowed it down by any other methods, other than yoga. i can’t even sit still long enough to meditate.
however, float tanks can be used to help achieve a deep meditative state. apparently after 45 minutes, your mind starts producing theta brainwaves, which occurs during the period between sleeping and waking. not only does floating relaxes the body, calms the mind and promotes healing, but it helps with creativity and visualization too.
for the first time out, even though i was relaxed, there was a part of me that was very aware that i was in this big, black, watery coffin-like contraption, experiencing “nothingness.”
now that i tried it, i would definitely do it again and explore innerspace more deeply. but maybe not to the point of sharing dream states and meeting walternate on the other side.
Life + Love

goats and a horse!

one is almost always guaranteed a good time at maplewood farms and we always try to go whenever we’re in need of an animal pick-me-up. last month, maplewood farms held their annual sheep shearing and although we missed the sheeps being shaved, there was still lots of fun to be had.

like getting on a horse!

a pleasant surprise, as i thought that was reserved for kids only, but the farmhand asked if i wanted to get on top of the horse and have him take our picture. erm, yea! giddyup.

but of course, my favourite thing about maplewood are the goats. every single time we’re there, we have to say hello. i love goats – they’re so friendly and sociable. i already warned sean that if ever we bought a farm, we’re going to get ourselves some goats.

i don’t think i would even mind the gumball poops in the yard.
Life + Love

our swanky anniversary

this morning i woke up in a five star hotel. and let me tell you, i did not want to leave.

it’s the gorgeous super soaker tub. and the walk-in rainforest shower, big enough to hold 5 adults comfortably. the heated marble bathroom floors. the his and hers dual sink vanities! it’s the art-deco style salt-water pool with uplights and retro architectural ceiling. it’s the dark mahogany wood styling, a throwback to 1920s hollywood. it’s the white glove treatment. it’s the rosewood hotel georgia.

sean and i had decided to forgo gifts this year and instead spoiled ourselves with a stay at this luxury property. we couldn’t have picked a better choice for our milestone occasion. we were greeted with a handwritten welcome note, fruit plate and complimentary bottle of wine when we checked into our deluxe room. just to help commemorate our special day.

the staff all called us by name, whether on the phone or in the lobby and were ready to assist us at the drop of a hat. not only that – a line of staff, including the managing director, were on hand to bid us farewell upon check-out. such star treatment.

it’s no wonder we did not leave the hotel except to go for an anniversary dinner at one of our special occasion places, hapa izakaya in yaletown. aside from that, we wanted to take advantage and luxuriate as long as possible in our room. we ordered dessert from room service: a trio of homemade strawberry and vanilla ice cream for sean and homemade cassis and pear gelato for me.

the king bed had the plushest, most comfortable pillowtop. it was like being enveloped in a cloud. dangerous for me because i LOVE to sleep. seriously, given the choice, i’d spend all my time in this bed, the exception being when you’d find me in the soaker tub. (and i’m not a bath person!)

i even got sean to promise that should we ever have the means to design our master bathroom, it would look exactly like this.

the rosewood exceeded all our expectations. everything was just purr-fect. should there be another special occasion and an opportunity to spoil ourselves, we would definitely go back. i recommend it to anyone. start saving up those pennies.

celebrities live in hotels all the time, why can’t we?