Hello Y'all. Kevin here at Reel Asian Film Festival in 'Tranna' (Toronto).
Asian Heritage Month finishes with two more screenings. On Friday May 30th, join us at the CBC building in downtown Toronto for a screening of Ali Kazimi's Continuous Journey and on Saturday May 31st for In the Shadow of Gold Mountain by Karen Cho. Reel Asian is pleased to be a community partner for these screenings along with our fellow Asian Canadian organizations MyBindi, the Toronto Sikh Professionals, and the North American Association of Asian Professionals (Toronto Chapter).
Admission is FREE, but seating is very limited -- reservations are required. Events will include a pre-screening reception in the CBC Atrium where guests with reservations can register/check-in and relax with light refreshments before being escorted up to the third-floor screening room.* A Q&A panel discussion with filmmakers and invited guests follows each screening.Posted by Reel Asian (Toronto) | May 29, 2008 | Comments (0)
Chinese artist LI WEI makes the impossible seem...possible. Li's art, a mixture of performance art and photography, captures him dangling or stuck, as it were, in some shocking illusions -- whether he's crashing into a skyscraper windows or even the earth itself, like a magician on crack defying gravity.
The 37-year-old Beijing-based artist has travelled around the world for his art (one photograph retails up to $8,000) -- made possible with metal wires, mirrors, scaffolding, and acrobatics.
Although Li Wei's philosophy is to "show the independence of the spiritual values of Chinese artists and the internal peace of a culture," his photographic series called "Li Wei falls to..." has been recognized, he says, as "the perfect metaphor for the Chinese conquest of the world." Dun, dun, dun...Posted by Tamiko | May 28, 2008 | Comments (0)
Now this is a real food fight...the short film FOOD FIGHT by Portland-based Stefan Nadelman portrays an abridged history of American-centric war, from WWII to present day, told through the foods of the countries in conflict (ie. burgers=US, croissants=France, bratwurst & pretzels=Germany, sushi=Japan, etc).
You'll have to figure out what war is being reenacted, and what country each food represents, since there are no captions. However, after a once through, you can go to Food Fight's site (here) to get a lowdown on each food and what country they represent, and what wars were reenacted -- a spoiler cheatsheet, if you will.
If you speak videogamer or comicbook-ese, and are good with your hands *ahem*, then CUBE CRAFT is made for you. Papercraft designer Chris Beaumont's site features 3-D six-sided paper creations that you can download, print, cut and fold into a little mini art of your favorite characters (even real characters!), like...
Stormtroopers, Dr. Venture, Kirby, Usagi Yojimbo, Halo's Master Chief, Futurama's Dr.Zoidburg and Bender, Watchmen's Dr. Manhattan, Mario, Takashi Murakami's Kakai and Kiki (Ltd.Ed), 1960's Batman, NHL-er Peyton Manning, Ironman, Hellboy, Domo-kun, Indiana Jones, etc.
Each Cubecraft features interlocking tabs for construction, so you don't need to use tape or glue to stick things together. The 3-D papercrafts work best if you print on A4 card-stock paper...and most of the Cubecraft designs have interchangeable parts, so Chris suggests switching out parts with different characters and mix and match.
Be sure to check Cubecraft often...Chris promises a new character each week.
Calling all Carrie Bradshaws and Imelda Marcos wannabes! The Shoe Wheel by RAKKU is a clever little design that is extremely functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Created by designer Danilo Torro, founder of the Hong Kong-based brand with his wife Lori Quon, "Rakku" means "rack" in Japanese. The shoe wheel can hold up to 30 pairs of shoes and can be adjusted to hold shoes of any size.
With the success of the Shoe Wheel came the Shoe Pod and the Rakkiddo. Both are slight variations of the Shoe Wheel. The Shoe Pod suits men with larger feet or sneaker fiends, thanks to the roomier slots. The Rakkiddo is especially designed for kids' shoes and can store up to 20 pairs at a time.
For purchasing information or to check out all three versions yourself, check out the Rakku Designs website!Posted by Michelle D. | May 24, 2008 | Comments (1)
Safe sex is serious business. Period. Yet...it doesn't hurt to spread the message with a sense of humour, no? Enter Argentinian designer GUILLERMO VEGA, the creative director of Y&R advertising firm (one of the 10 most-awarded agencies in the world), whose brilliant mind has conjured up award-winning ads promoting safe sex.
Especially memorable are Vega's Rabbit ads for condom-maker Tulipan, where bunnies are joyfully playing volleyball, rowing and lounging by a lakeside, or picnic-ing in the fields. The tagline is especially arresting: "Fun now, kids later." Genius! This print series won an award at the 2007 Cannes Lions.
You'll raise your eyebrows at Vega's Tulipan Skeleton ads -- the arresting images show skeletons posed in various sexual positions...with the tagline: "Be Careful." Damn.
Sex and the City: The Movie is generating a buzz that's eliciting all sorts of gushes and sighs out of women everywhere who loved, loved, loved the show. Will it be fabulous? Let's hope so, even though, really, the series finale was sufficient and lovely. But...can Charlotte's daughter be any cuter (her pic under the cut)? Her solemn little face when Carrie tells her there's no such thing as happy endings can make any woman's womb rumble.
Sex and the City (SATC)'s fifth lady is, of course, the city of New York, yet it's Canadian artist JILLIAN TAMAKI who has captured the essence of SATC in her series of illustrations for Entertainment Weekly's 'Sex and the City': Six Ways of Looking at Carrie = Feminist icon? Role model? Manthrax? A half-dozen writers -- including ''Sex'' producer Cindy Chupack, social critic Camille Paglia, journalist Michael Musto (here).
Jillian Tamaki, originally from Calgary (and hapa Japanese), currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, and teaches in the Illustration Department of the New School. The graphic novel SKIM, made with her cousin Mariko Tamaki, was published in March 2008. Go buy it!
The name cuts to the chase: Jimmy Au's For Men 5'8" and Under --"designer fashion tailored for today's shorter man who doesn't want to look short."
And why not? Demographics show that there is an equal number of men who are shorter than 5'9" and taller than 5'9". In the extremes, there's twice as many men who are 5'6" and below, than there are men 6'2" and taller. And...unfortunately, let's face it, the shorter market includes the growing Asian and Latino populations who are looking for well-fitting clothes that look polished and confident.
Here's where Jimmy Au comes in. Only 5'3" himself, Jimmy designs clothes to increase the visual perception of height by using a unique range of measurements. With these predetermined measurements, a complete Jimmy Au suit can make a shorter man look taller.
And...Jimmy Au's boutique in Beverly Hills has mannequins custom-made to be eye-level with the shorter man. Nice touch.
Some pretentious art folks would tell you art galleries are for historical art pieces; that is, "high art." Yet there are others who don't really care about all that stuff and just like to read comic books and video games. But it's all art, right? Or would combining the two extremes be... crazy?
The Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) doesn't think so. From now until September 7th, the VAG has a dynamic new exhibit called KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Comics + Video Games + Art. It's the first exhibition of its kind, a groundbreaking project that offers unique and dynamic insight into the world of comics, animated cartoons, anime, manga, graphic novels, computer/video games and visual art.
Some of the most influential and inspiring artists from the past century have come from these "popular culture" genres, like Art Spiegelman (Maus), Lynda Barry (One! Hundred! Demons!), Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Mario, Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda), Nick Park (Wallace and Gromit), Iwatani Toru (Pac-Man) and Harvey Kurtz man (Mad).
An art gallery is celebrating these amazing artists? Maybe that's not so crazy, after all.
Anita Lo, the chef who also owns the Michelin-starred Annisa, decided to bring boba tea back to adults who grew up with it...and grew out of it..and hopefully return to it.
The Spiked Bubble Tea combines green tea-infused syrup with milk and a shot of vodka, with tapioca pearls coated with almond extract and amaretto.
The NY Times also featured the spiked bubble tea found at Kansas City's noodle and dumpling place Blue Koi. (Didn't expect it to come out of the Midwest...maybe California...but Kansas?!) Their bar features tea flavors like sweet green bean, taro, sesame and mango -- mixed with a choice of vodka, rum, bourbon or tequila. "People tend to lean toward the fruit flavors with rum," the owner said, "but the almond tea with bourbon is a big seller." Yum.
Bound for Paris? Italy? Rio? As they say, there's nothing better to get you in the mood for a destination than its music. Your journey starts online at National Geographic, where all things global await. Here, you'll be able to peruse through their growing library of world music playlists where National Geographic editors have compiled them by destination (on iTunes) @ www.nationalgeographic.com/traveler.
Where will the music lead you? So far, National Geographic playlists include: Brazil, Hawaii, Ireland, Italy, Miami, New Orleans, North Africa, Paris, South Africa, Southern California, and Spain.
For free music and video downloads of world music, you can also head to National Geographic's Geo Music | Listen to the World page. World music artists are profiled, videos are streamed (currently Barcelona's Ley de Gravidad is featured), music genres are investigated (even fusion collaborations such as Cuban ska or Scottish salsa).
Swedish export ROBYN is not so much of a "fresh face" as she is "revived vintage." The 28-year-old blond from Stockholm burst out into the pop music scene in the mid '90s with her infectious hits "Do You Really Want Me (Show Respect)" and "Show Me Love." However, after the release of her debut album, Robyn Is Here, Robyn's powerhouse vocals seemed to disappear from radio airwaves, at least in North America.
In Sweden and the majority of Europe, Robyn continued to bring the hits with singles like "Keep This Fire Burning," "O Baby," and "Who's That Girl" on two records, My Truth and Don't Stop the Music. And when her label, Jive Records reacted badly to her more electronic-based sound, Robyn left and created her own label, Konichiwa Records.
Robyn released an eponymous album in 2005, which was re-released in the UK in 2007. She's supposedly planning a big international comeback, and with her catchy, original dance-pop, there's no doubt that you'll be hearing Robyn back on North American radio very soon.
Listen to Robyn (under the cut)!Posted by Michelle D. | May 17, 2008 | Comments (0)
Fusion cuisine is the norm in the food world these days, so it's not surprising to come across fusion brownies. Moist, chewy, decadent, chocolate-y brownies made from premium dark chocolate, Grade AA butter, and Madasgascar bourbon vanilla extract with no artificial flavours or preservatives -- with a fusion twist.
Mari's New York creates fusion brownie flavours such as: Thai Coffee (with swirls of condensed milk), Heat (smoky ancho and chipotle peppers give a little kick), Coconut (on top and throughout), and Caramel Sea Salt (sweet and savory with ribbons of caramel and sprinkles of gourmet Cyprian sea salt). For the tried and true, Mari's New York also features the classic brownie (with or without nuts); as well as truely original seasonal flavours such as Figgy (January-Feb only) featuring Black Mission fig jam mingled in with 10 year old tawny port, honey, orange zest and ginger. Oh, shut up already!
Each brownie is individually wrapped to preserve freshness and flavour. And they're daintily packaged in a pink box designed by owner Mari Tuttle, a product designer whose award-winning products are showcased at the MoMA in NYC.
The only shame? Unless you live in the U.S., you're out of luck. Mari's New York only ships within the U.S. *sigh* But on the flip side, B.C. has cornered the market for pot brownies, hands down!Posted by Tamiko | May 15, 2008 | Comments (0)
WTF? Major US publication People Magazine thinks all Asians look alike! Case in point: they profile popular Korean singer-actor RAIN (Bi; real name: Ji Hoon Jung) since he's making his States-side debut in the film Speed Racer (too bad it bombed)...and beside his interview People inserts a picture not of Rain but of model-actor Karl Yune (brother of actor Rick Yune) instead!
Rain is a superstar -- bigger than big -- not only in Korea but in the whole freaking continent of Asia...including the mass market of the expat Asian communities around the world...so People's faux pas (written by a writer with the name Alexis Chiu no less) is a slap in the face! Maybe they need to test themselves on All Look Same. Geez.
Can't decide if you should laugh because it's funny, or shake your fist because it's offensive...right?
And it comes straight out of Tokyo, Japan which, arguably, has one of the best house scenes in the world...trust. Hothouse Tokyo Radio comes on the heels of Japan's impressive roster of DJs...that's right, Japan has produced the best DJs the world over (think DJ Honda, DJ Krush, Kensuke Shiina, Yoji Biomehanika, Towa Tei, Captain Funk, and Satoshi Tomiie, et al).
DJ Shinroku Egi is behind Hothouse Tokyo, which began in December 2006, after Egi and friends began organizing parties in the underground house music scene in Tokyo...more specifically, the neon-flash of Shibuya where music and fashion collide. And while house music was initially born in Chicago and NYC, it's become universal...and Hothouse aims to share the pulse of house music blended with Japanese vibes.
Currently, HotHouse Tokyo is composed of DJs in Japan, who come together to promote underground house music through the radio stream, as well as through a promo internet radio stream once a week. Through the spirit of music, Hothouse also invites and supports DJs from the US (like DJ Fiasco and Miles Maeda), UK, Europe, and Asia to play on their radio. You might've even caught them performing at the Miami Winter Music Conference, or could see them in Belgium or Ibiza this summer.
You may be one of the lucky ones who have a heroic mother. For many who negotiate their ethnic or racial identity on a daily basis, especially those of mixed-ethnicity, mothers play a key role. In fact, it's pregnant mothers who often face the abrasion for having a child of mixed-ethnicity or "mixed-race".
Before anyone is even old enough to understand what it means to be of mixed-ethnicity or "mixed race" (or any visible diversity), it is our mother who defends our identity to the world. It requires courage to challenge homogeneity, from her pregnancy to her child's adolescence. Writer Vivian Toy's recent experience of taking her children of "mixed-race" to China is case in point:
We were visiting the Forbidden City in Beijing, part of a two-week family vacation to China, when a young woman pulled down her antipollution mask and stared, open-mouthed, at my 7-year-old son, Patrick. She didn't seem dangerous, just amazed, so I let the moment pass and we moved along to the next stop on our tour.
But the next day, during a visit to the Great Wall, my maternal defenses kicked in when another woman approached us. Without asking permission, she sidled up to my 11-year-old son, Aidan, and draped her arm around him. Her husband was about to snap a quick photograph when I shouted furiously at her in halting Mandarin to get away from my son.
Photo credit: Lisa Khoo, centre, now a senior producer with The Current, with her parents. Khoo describes her ancestry as Chinese, Malay, English, and Scottish. (Photo courtesy Lisa Khoo)
The khol-rimmed doe eyes of Sarah Assbring are attached to the mouth of the sole member of Swedish export EL PERRO DEL MAR. Meaning "The dog of the sea" in Spanish, El Perro del Mar came to be in December 2003 in the town of Gothenburg.
Assbring began recording her lo-fi folk pop on Swedish label, Hybris, releasing Look! It's El Perro del Mar in 2005 and then a self-titled follow-up in 2006. The twilight, gentle ballads of El Perro del Mar caught the attention of another Swedish label, Licking Fingers, of which The Concretes are signed to. Assbring then recorded 2008's From the Valley to the Stars.
El Perro del Mar will be stopping in major cities across Canada this spring. Check out her sad, lo-fi pop (below the cut)!Posted by Michelle D. | May 12, 2008 | Comments (0)
If you're Asian, you've probably been there...where you try on an awesome pair of sunglasses, only to be annoyed that the frames sit on your cheeks rather than on the bridge of your nose?
If this is you, then look to the surf & snowboarding outfitter OAKLEY, which has a collection of ASIAN FIT MEN and ASIAN FIT WOMEN sunglasses and snowboarding goggles made to fit Asian features for comfort, protection and optical performance. Of course, you don't have to be Asian to wear them...if you find sunglasses tend to sit too low on your face or slide down your nose, touch at your temples or cheeks, or feel narrow at the sides of your head, Oakley suggests you try their Asian Fit.
Oakley Asian Fit eyewear for men and women are created to take advantage of specially sized nose pads to help the frame sit higher on the face, and the bridge is made more narrow and deep to give you more room for adjustment. Genius.
All hail, ethnic marketing...sometimes it's a good thing.
Ever have that feeling after a film festival like the world has changed? That the stories of the world made the farthest corners seem closer together? Now imagine a film festival, that happens all over the world, on one day, where 51 films, made to inspire social change are being shown in over 1000 events. Sounds like a mammoth undertaking, but this is the vision of Pangea Day:
Starting at 18:00 GMT on May 10, 2008, locations in Cairo, Kigali, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro will be linked for a live program of powerful films, live music, and visionary speakers. The entire program will be broadcast - in seven languages - to millions of people worldwide through the internet, television, and mobile phones. (from www.pangeaday.org)
There's so much online media (and hype), it's almost a little overwhelming. There are over 2 million search results for "Pangea" in google: Watch celebrities Cameron Diaz, Robin Williams, and Forest Whitaker comment on Pangea Day on YouTube.
The concept of inspiring tolerance and compassion by affecting one's global-consciousness might not strike Canadians as anything novel. Still, one can marvel at the global (and virtual) scope:
Pangea Day, created by filmmaker and Ted prize winner Jehane Noujaim, will be transmitted to more than 150 countries with a potential audience of 500 million people. (from wired.com)
Ah, MoMA -- the museum's style has a sleek tone to it, no? As such, the MoMA store is a guaranteed one-stop shop for lux and interesting trinkets and whatnots. Currently, MoMA is featuring DESTINATION JAPAN, a MoMA-exclusive product collection highlighting lifestyle products from the land of gadgets galore.
More than 100 products from established and emerging Japanese designers have been selected by MoMA across many categories including home accessories, jewelry and personal accessories, and children's products.
Now shop the complete collection online @ www.momastore.org
More: Schema favs under the cut | Muji @ MoMAPosted by Tamiko | May 10, 2008 | Comments (0)
Penticton Art Gallery
May 9 - July 6, 2008
Opening Reception: Friday, May 9, 7 - 10 p.m.
Artist's Talk: Saturday, May 10, 1 p.m.
Penticton Art Gallery (PAG)
Tuesday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 12 - 5 p.m.
199 Marina Way
Penticton, BC V2A 1H3
This exhibition creates a large overview of work from Norris's antler, nest, braided, root and Between the Lines series. These series incorporate some common themes, devices, and approaches reflective of her experience as a multi-media indigenous artist.From cbc.ca/aboriginal
Posted by Jason K. | May 7, 2008
| Comments (0)
If you like M.I.A., you'll love SANTOGOLD. This Brooklyn, New York firecracker is throwing down no-nonsense rhymes to killer beats.
Born Santi White, Santogold studies Caribbean and West African drumming at Wesleyan University followed by a brief stint as the frontwoman for a Philadelphia-based rock/ska band called Stiffed, which released an EP in 2003 called Sex Sells.
After working with producer Johnny Rodeo Santogold released her self-titled debut at the end of April on Downtown Records and recently performed at the Coachella Music Fest.
Check out hot tunes "LES Artistes" and "Creator vs. FreQNasty and Switch" and tell me that you're not dancing.
Listen to Santogold (under the cut)!Posted by Michelle D. | May 4, 2008 | Comments (0)
Did you know that the character of Han (played by Sung Kang) wasn't written in the original script of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006). Once director, Justin Lin won over the producers, they tried to replace the character with a black role because they felt Han's character was too sexy for an Asian man? What a load of crap!
To date, no documentary has addressed the history of racism and stereotypes that have challenged Asian men in American television and film as comprehensively as The Slanted Screen (Jeff Adachi, 2006). Featuring interviews with America's top Asian American filmmakers, actors and directors, and incredible archival footage of cinema classics, "The Slanted Screen explores the portrayals of Asian men in American cinema, chronicling the experiences of actors who have had to struggle against ethnic stereotyping and limiting roles." (from tvschedule.knowledgenetwork.ca).
The Slanted Screen also plays at the Japanese Film Festival at the Crest Theater in Sacramento on May 16, 2008. Please check listings for times: www.thecrest.com.Posted by Alden | May 2, 2008 | Comments (1)
Now on at the Belkin Satellite Gallery in Vancouver, Everything Is Not Lost.
Everything Is Not Lost features the work of Christian Nguyen, Nhan Duc Nguyen, Pipo Nguyen-duy, and Khanh Vo, four contemporary artists who address themes of family, loss, and the intricacies of memory. These artists interpret the thirty-year influence of the Vietnam War through autobiographical experiences, narratives, and postmemories. Working in a variety of mediums, the four artists confront the socio-political and emotional complexities of warfare and the events that consequently define who they are today.
(courtesy Belkin Satellite Gallery)
The show runs until May 18th.
The Belkin Satellite is at 555 Hamilton Street, Vancouver and is open Wednesday to Sunday 12 to 5 p.m.Posted by Anu | May 2, 2008 | Comments (0)
Looking to use Asian Heritage Month to justify splurging on a new set of earrings?
Every once in a while we stumble across something that so clearly defines ethnic cool. The innovative blend of Filipino influence on Melissa Clemente's ultra-contemporary jewelry designs are case in point. More than just eye-candy, each piece is a visual conversation about material and form. View the beautiful photography on her website, www.melissaclementedesigns.com.
Launched in November, Melissa Clemente's Fall Winter 2007 collection Anihan [a-nee-han] (Tagalog for harvest), is inspired by the materials that are indigenous to the mountain regions of the northern Philippines. Most recently, her pieces were showcased at NAAAP Toronto's Dress for Success Fund Raiser and the 2008 L'Oréal Fashion Week in Toronto.
Find her online, selling via her busy etsy shop, or find her at her studio and gallery in the Kapisanan Phillipine Centre, 167 Augusta Ave, Toronto. Melissa Clemente Designs will be showcased in the Ottawa Fashion Week from May 22 to May 24, 2008.Posted by Alden | May 2, 2008 | Comments (2)