It was an interesting year.
There wasn't anything earth-shattering in terms of academic or commercial success, but starting Motherland Chronicles and the journey it brought me on had definitely affected me in a big way. That, and moving to New York.
So usually, I do a retrospective of some sort here, but with the book for Motherland Chronicles still underway, I can't bring myself to write about the experiences in all that incompleteness. Instead, I'm going to do a recap on the other major events that happened besides Motherland Chronicles! And thank my teams and you guys profusely for being supportive and awesome.
Top 8 things that mattered:
1) Started reading because of subways and second-hand books. Discovered Lymond Chronicles and to my surprise, improved my English.
2) Exhibited in Milan with Photo Vogue photographers, curated by Vogue Italia. Found out my alcohol allergy had worsened by fainting at the opening. Glorious.
|"A Glimpse at Photo Vogue" by Vogue Italia|
3) In memory of a friend, I created the first piece of personal work for someone else for the first time. It's been ten years.
|Motherland Chronicles #21 - Her Resting Place|
4) Had many firsts for photography — cosplay, fire, underwater. It was all very new and exciting.
|Reunited with Alodia to shoot my first cosplay picture: Motherland Chronicles #30 - Untitled Amano Girl|
|Motherland Chronicles #23 - Dive (behind the scenes)|
5) Disbanded Infinity Seven, and wrote about my time in SC2. Read my superbly angsty blog post over on TeamLiquid.
|Infinity Seven, Anaheim, 2013|
6) Exhibited with Marc by Marc Jacobs and Vulture Magazine in Singapore. One of the most beautiful installations of my work, wish I could have been there.
7) Featured on Kotaku, a place I looked at often throughout the years, it meant a lot to me.
|Kotaku: Where Fashion Meets Japanese Fantasy and StarCraft II|
8) Finally saw Gundam Unicorn. I loved it so much that I rewatched the show four times. Gundam has always inspired feelings about humanity and strength in me. Things like: you have to find the strength within yourself. Believe! And even if it hurts, keep on saying even so, even so, and go on! So, yeah. Feelings.
Aside from the above, some other highlights include signing my first apartment lease, winning Beauty/Glamour Photographer of the Year at [FRAMED] Awards and meeting up with e-pals Kirsty Mitchell and Von Wong in Las Vegas.
I was fortunate to landed a number of covers, thanks to my great teams for their wonderful work and the editors for putting us up there, notably Elle Vietnam's June and September beauty issue, Factice Magazine #19, and British Journal of Photography's September issue.
Thank you Savage Universal for the sponsorship, who gave me a lot of options to play around with for my studio work. And Casin dei Nobili, Harlequin Romantique and Xiaolin for contributing some incredibly beautiful hand-crafted masks, jewelry, and clothing for Motherland Chronicles.
And the wonderful guys at ArmStreet for hosting me at Pennsic War 42 in Pittsburgh, which was my first camping experience ever. I tried on some armour, wore a dress for 2 days (!!), braided my hair, took classes on 10-13th century Russian fashion, and watched a medieval battle. I've never experienced anything else like it. It was awesome.
Of course, I would also randomly discovered that I've had lifetime of anime/manga hair in the mean time.
In September I met up with Sugizo in LA! I can't wait for my new book to be ready so I can gift it in return when he gives me Luna Sea goodies.
At the end of the year I went to Cancun with mum, sis and relatives. It was the first time I'd been with my mum and sis together overseas, so it was very unexpected, new, and exciting.
And that's really it for the year! To wrap it up, here's an Instagram video recap. I want to say thank you all for the support, especially for Motherland Chronicles. I can't wait for the project to be ready for Kickstarter, and for you guys to finally have the book. Thank you so much for following my journey so far, I hope 2014 will be even more exciting and inspiring. ♥