Sugizo GIG 2009 ~Next Phase of Cosmic Dance~

Friday, January 22, 2010

Just wanted to post these before they collect too much dust. The experience and memories along with the event was just entirely too amazing.

And one of my favs from rehearsal:


His stage presence is just so incredible, one really has to see him live for the experience.

I've still yet to go through the images from our collaboration, the current project is eating up my nights and days like a monster. We're almost 70% done with the dresses for the shoot now, I hope they can be finished tomorrow so I can have Sunday to work on the story.

Honestly I didn't expect January to start out in such an explosively busy manner, I'd said more noes for this month alone than I did the entire of last year. Hopefully I can stick with the resolutions of spending time primarily on personal work, and present the new book and exhibitions as planned.

Just want to say a proper thank you to everyone for your support the past years. I'll be trying my best, so let's work hard together for this new year.

Chase your dreams with ardent passion and never give up.

Be brave, be strong.

Crunch Time

Monday, January 18, 2010

Was confirmed for an awesome project today which I'm really excited about~! It's going to be madness for the next three weeks with my exhibition proposal due soon around the same time, will tell you guys more about what's going on when I can. Hurr. :D

When those are over, I'm gonna freaking catch up with all these backlogs that are at war with me. Somehow I'm having troubles bringing myself to look at these things. Gah.

Been focusing a lot on CGHUB the last couple months. We have some great activities going on for both 2D and 3D, as well as a super delicious sketchbooks section. Dave Rapoza (Wizards of the Coast, Dungeons & Dragons) is leading a daily study group for free, it's pretty cool and Dave answers a lot of questions that students have about the industry. ImagineFX is going to cover the Story Tellers activities a bit, so you'd never know if your stuff get picked up from there ya? ;D

I'll find time to upload some inspirational images from the site later. Some of them are so awesome I want to cry, like seriously.

Heading to L.A. again in Feb! I promise I'll do a meetup this time. Have yet to confirm the dates though, I'll probably open up slots for some portfolio shoots as well. Will update with more information when the dates are closer. That's it for now~

Fallen in Tandem

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dolls: 恋月姫 Koitsukihime
Outfit: Alice Auaa
Photography: Zhang Jingna

Was going through the archives yesterday. So so many pictures. This was memorable shoot that I thought I should have posted about but didn't, so here are a few images, also included some outtakes.

It is among one of the photoshoots done in Tokyo last year for Gothic & Lolita Bible. The outfits (there was a black set as well) were made especially for these 90cm-tall Siamese twins dolls for this photo story. I thought that was pretty epic considering Alice Auaa's brand name and all. And of course the opportunity I was presented with for this special collaboration.

The set-up, handling and atmosphere of the whole shoot was kinda tense and stressful. The porcelain dolls cost more than three times my Canon 1Ds MarkIII, and outfit and set changing took more than hours with four people at it. I was also incredibly worried that Koitsukihime would have problems with the images, so in the end it was really a great relief to find everyone involved liking the photographs.

Koitsukihime's dolls are really one of a kind, so so extremely beautiful. It was said that Tim Burton really liked Koitsukihime's dolls too. Alas, I would love to own one myself one day too.

Hello again, black hair.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Over the birthday dinner of four friends the night before, the gang debated whether black or ginger blonde hair suited me better. I couldn't really say much, coloured hair probably photograph better, however I think black is kinda cooler. =\

I feel pretty productive today. Finally got around to watching Seven Samurai. Aiii Kurosawa had so much humour. It was really funny at parts and despite being such a long movie it didn't feel that way at all.

Thinking back on the anime, I really appreciate how the characters retained their personalities and had in-depth developments, with its own new twists and all. I'm looking forward to the remake of the movie next year.

Zink magazine wrote to me a while back, I feel bad, like I really haven't done enough personal works at all the last few months. D: My backlog is so long I don't even feel like opening photoshop anymore, I'm trying to figure out how to make that feeling go away. Looking at all the get better and sketchbook threads on CGHUB does make me wanna work though. Yosh, time to get busy with it!

Zaobao Now Frontpage

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I accepted an interview for Lianhe Zaobao just before I left for the recent flurry of trips early last month. I actually missed out on the first appointment due to work, so it was amazing that we managed to squeeze it in just a few days before the flight to Lijiang. They were so patient with me. T_T

With it being the largest circulating Chinese daily newspaper here in Singapore, imagine my shock/surprise when people told me I had a feature on the main paper's frontpage header, fashion supplement's frontpage top half page, and another half page inside the papers itself. I was told it was gonna be half a page of article, probably. So that's what I expected, not this. /is not worthy ._.

And then my utter horror upon finding out that my tweet about having had dinner with Sugizo was quoted.

It was a complete I-want-to-dig-a-hole-and-bury-myself-ten-thousand-feet-under moment, except, well, at least the chances of him ever chancing upon the article is pretty much close to zero.

But man the rifle photo is so nostalgic. It must have been some 5-6 years ago now, how did time ever pass by so fast? D:

Edit: For those who're curious, here's the article.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

This is like a personal meme for myself every year.

I didn't particularly feel like doing it, but it helps give marking to a period of time and encourages me to work harder as time goes by.

So here we go.

The notable events of '09, in a somewhat chronological order:
- Covered the Ing Cup Finals round 1-3 in Singapore and met Go Seigen
- Selected as Featured Artist for Wacom Intuos 4's global campaign
- Broke up
- Visited hide's grave in Miurakaigen
- Attended X Japan's concert's after party in Tokyo
- Celebrated birthday in Tokyo too, the day after
- Attended 3 out of 12 of the deviantART WorldTour meetups (Singapore, Paris, London)
- Shot for in Paris & New York
- Shot editorials for Gothic & Lolita Bible
- Shot campaigns for Pond's in Jakarta for Indonesia, Montblanc in Singapore for Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, and Sony Vaio in Shanghai for China
- Saw the 1:1 life-size Gundam in Japan
- Went on a fruit diet for a month (which was kinda awesome)
- Attended a week of classes at Yale
- Won Overseas Master Photographer of the Year title at the Master Photography Awards 09 (UK)
- Placed 3rds in International Photography Awards' Advertising Catalogue and Fine Art Nudes
- Visited Mark Seliger's studio
- Visited deviantART HQ
- Launched my Postcard Collection (together with Noah)
- Covered Sugizo's concert
- Photographed Sugizo for personal work
- Grandma passed away

Notable shoots:
- Personal: Sugizo, Margaret (Celosia), Ivory Flame (Lilith), Yuta, Abby (The Coldest Day), Chiaki, Lara, Alodia
- Ads/Campaigns: Montblanc (Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand), Pond's (Indonesia), Sony (China), Lancome (Singapore)
- Editorials/Advertorials: Harper's Bazaar Singapore x6, Gothic Lolita Bible x4, x3, Elle Singapore

Resolutions (i.e. things I wanna but will most likely end up not doing) for '10:
- Read More
- Learn driving (gah)
- Play go

Plans (i.e. things I wanna but do actually want to properly seen done) for '10:
- Release new photobook
- Solo exhibition in June
- Publications for CGHUB
- Do more personal work

Sometimes it feels like I hardly did anything for the year. Sometimes it feels like what I do is never enough. Sometimes I question my existence, but sometimes, I guess moments like these, when a year ends and I am summing all these stuff up... it seems that it's actually not that bad at all.

Before L died, he'd once said to me, 'People forget eventually. You too will, one day.'

And in my vehement defence of saying I'll always remember, I carved that into my heart.

Perhaps unbeknownst to me, maybe to prove it to him, that was when I decided that I want to be remembered somehow after my death, and leaving my art behind was a way of doing it. Even if it may all be gone one day, at least, there was the illusion.

But something changed within me this year. It suddenly dawned on me that it's alright to be forgotten. That it's fine if no one remembers me when I'm gone. That if I died tomorrow and none of you knew it, it's okay.

This realization made the purpose of my photography contradicted. If I didn't need this, why do I still create?

I was lost and almost a little depressed.

It lasted for a while, a long while or a short while, I can't be sure anymore.

And then the news came that my paternal grandmother passed away.

I visited her a year ago in Huainan. I remember her joy upon seeing me, her happiness and excitement when I showed her my book and the pride in her eyes when I told her about my work.

When I received word of her passing, every important, impacting memory from my childhood flashed before me.

The morning I refused to eat breakfast because there wasn't any eggs.

The lonely months when I was hospitalized and her being the only one who ever visited.

The days when we talked about money, and the people who could afford to have meat on the table for every meal.

And bringing me to piano lessons, my teacher telling me how it wasn't easy for such an old lady to travel back and forth all the time.

They said it wasn't easier for anyone, my mum was working hard somewhere, she was lonely too. But she was strong, she was strong for me. So even if it was difficult, even if it was painful, even if I was lonely and lost and hurting, I needed to work hard, I had to become a strong girl.

I cried that day.

And then I remembered.

I remembered the happiness and joy I had in my heart when viewing beautiful things. It took the pain away, even if only for a moment.

I remembered the love and passion and devotion that bled from artists through their art; the awe I had at how things could ever be so breathtaking and beautiful that they soothed the heart.

I remembered -- it was a place I found solace in, and loved.

And that is enough for me for now, to keep creating.

Rainy days have a way of getting to me sometimes, sorry for the angst.

Friday, January 1, 2010