Motherland Chronicles #17 - Calypso

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Motherland Chronicles #17 - Calypso

Photography/Art: Zhang Jingna
Hair & Makeup: Anna Nenoiu @ Page One Management
Model: Kenley @ Elmer Olsen Model Management
Photo Assistant: Ben Wong
Choker and body chain from Harlequin Romantique

I'm in Toronto!

So originally I wasn't really sure what I was going to do for this week, but the morning of this shoot Jeff Simpson randomly messaged me to say someone commented on one of his paintings and noted how the character resembled me a little. It was something done after we hung out in Montreal a couple years back, it got me thinking about his work (which I love!) so I decided to attempt this week's picture in his style and even got some advice too. :D

And I finally got to use this majestic choker/body chain piece from Harlequin Romantique! I approached Julee at the beginning of Motherland Chronicles and invited her to collaborate. This was one of the few pieces designed specifically for the project and honestly, words cannot express how perfect this is. (You might remember week 2's Winterland Fairytales self portrait, the headpiece was by her too!)

And of course there's also my awesome Toronto team, the beautiful Kenley who agreed to stay and model for my personal work after a long day of location fashion shoot, and Anna Nenoiu's brilliant makeup, pure magic. And my agency pal Ben Wong for assisting!! Flying hair was all him.

And and! Boobies! I haven't done anything that shows nipples since Celosia (4 years), expect more nudity coming up for Motherland Chronicles to make up for all these years lost! :D

Shades of Midnight

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Shades of Midnight
Fashion Gone Rogue Exclusive, May 2013

Photography: Zhang Jingna
Stylist: Michael Tucker
Hair: Shinya Nakagawa
Makeup: Fumiaki Nakagawa
Model: Li Wei @ Fusion
Retouching: Pixo Imaging
Layout designer: Kate Wang
Photo assistants: Bitna Kim, Evelyn Liu, Flora Li

Gorgeous gorgeous girl, love her look so much I shot with her again twice after (so far)! :D

Motherland Chronicles #16 - Memento Mori

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Motherland Chronicles #16 - Memento Mori, remember that you will die.
Photography: Zhang Jingna

Toby and I were inspirationless until the very last minute of this week, until randomly we started talking about Goethe's color theory and then The Sorrows of Young Werther, and then somehow, somehow, memento mori just popped into my head and I finally found reason and theme to photograph this skull I've been meaning to shoot for the last 3 years.

Motherland Chronicles #15 - Ghost

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Motherland Chronicles #15 - Ghost

Photography/Model: Zhang Jingna

Meant to do a Mother's Day picture wanting to cocoon myself but... it's actually pretty hard to wrap yourself up without assistance. Had to do this at 10pm on Monday after 2 days of almost no sleep because other deadlines, I think of it as an accomplishment to have even managed to set up a shoot.

Also Toby forbade me from doing black background pictures for Motherland Chronicles and here I am on the other extreme.

I'm taking so long to adjust from my jetlag it's actually painful. But, Toronto next week! Yay!

Motherland Chronicles #14 - Self Portrait in Water II

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Motherland Chronicles #14 - Self Portrait in Water II

Photography: Zhang Jingna
Photo Assistant: Ngoc Vu

I will miss my blue hair.


Saturday, May 4, 2013

This post is marginally bipolar, my emo and epic nerdy fangirling all rolled into one. You have been warned.



Where do I even start? I am glad to be alive.

It takes a lot of courage to put certain thoughts and feelings into words, too easy to be hurt for who we are, our heart's fragility can only withstand so much when it comes to our weaknesses, I think.

And so, I hadn't known how to write this, and I still don't, not really. But last year—getting over depression—was surely the grandest achievement of me being 24 (and of course my doctor, who didn't even have to put me on antidepressants, thank you).

In many ways, I had been afraid to write about it because I didn't want to jinx my recovery, it wasn't often that I had something good like that. (Because you know, more than once, I'd thought that I was fine, just to find myself living in the very opposite of that the next months.)

It was a lot to take in, becoming… un-unhappy.

From my first memory of acute loneliness, to the first time I thought about death when I was four, a lifetime of problems to fix, all the normalcy I never knew and wondered about, that made me different, that nearly…

I hadn't known I suffered from traumatic stress, it went on for so long I'd accepted my feelings and nightmares as normalcy. So when I could see in my head, during my final session with my doctor, the foundation blocks of my life and thoughts reslotting and rearranging, completely changing, I couldn't understand how it was possible. It was overwhelming, awe-inspiring, terrifying.

It was as if I had become someone else, and held in my hands the memories of someone I might have been, trying to understand it, feeling like an outsider; as if I were separated from that person's past by a wall of glass, I could look but not reach, nor feel.

It left me lost, like I'd finally emerged from the shadows into the sun, yet all that lay around me was vast indistinct land and it didn't matter where I went. Until finally, and only because I was trying so hard to find something, anything at all, I felt the moment I left that dream place and came surface to air, and I realized with wonder, that I had healed.

If I could liken it to something, maybe, it's what a human being's metamorphosis is like.


That was the most important thing that happened to me at 24. But of course, my move to New York was a big deal too. And the recent news that I was selected by Vogue Italia to be part of Photo Vogue's exhibition in Milan this June makes me speechless. And I saw Gundam Unicorn!!! Finally! I haven't been able to lock away my closet nerdiness after that, because oh my god, sick cockpit design is sick. I've been daydreaming about how to spend my first billion dollars (simulation room in my house), I even re-watched the series to take screenshots just so I can write a blog post about it. NERDY.

I also just finished Lymond Chronicles' book 4, it was SO emotionally brutal I nearly had a heart attack. Phillipa, my sixteen year old heroine. SO BRAVE. HOW?! She journeyed alone to find her friend's baby son in a foreign land, surrounded by dangers and traps and possible assassinations all the bloody way, then gave up her life to the seraglio just so she could protect the child's safety after she had found him. So freaking badass and so much courage! Why aren't there more people reading this together with me so we can fangirl and fanboy together!?!!

Don't judge me on the fangirling. Because you know, the secret to great personal work is being a fangirl. Only when I feel passionate can I create works passionately! True story.

So 24 was an experience alright, here's hoping 25 will be even grander.

Thank you everyone for your encouragements and support and love, I hope I can continue to be a person you can be happy with and proud of. Happy birthday to me! :D

May 4th, 2013

Exhibition: A Glimpse at Photo Vogue

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I'm thrilled to share that Vogue Italia has selected me as one of the 25 photographers for this year's Photo Vogue exhibition. I can't quite believe it, it's such an honor. 

The show will be in Milan, at Galleria Carla Sozzani, from June 13th to August 10th.