Week 39, a summary

September 26, 2014

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There we go, this week’s summary. Not much has happened in terms of online explorations but lots has happened in real life. It’s been a busy full week and the week end will be even busier as we have friends coming over to stay for the next three nights. We had playdates, had friends over and cooked together and celebrated Rosh Hashana which is the beginning of the Jewish New Year. As you might know I am not Jewish myself but my husband is, so as a mixed family we try our best to incorporate traditions and festivities from both our cultural heritage. It’s actually a lot of fun. I often get asked how do we deal with it and my answer is always the same, we double the party! We have 2 new years, 2 passover (easter), we have Hannukah around Christmas time, so basically we really kind of just double the celebrations. Because that’s the right thing to do. I think my children are quite lucky to be honest, coming from a mixed culture family means that they are enriched by two cultures’ heritage and living in a third country means they are gonna absorb somehow a third one. Which is kind of amazing and basically a dream come true for me that I have always been interested somehow in other cultures and oddly enough dreamed from an early age of living surrounded by people from all over the world. I hope that growing up it will be natural for them to know that it is possible to celebrate different holidays and still love each other. People tend to focus more on the exclusive aspect of it.Will they celebrate this OR this, will they believe this OR this? As a family we are not religious so faith is not really an issue, but when it comes to tradition and culture it’s important for me that they are well aware of their roots. Which is why we chose the inclusive approach that basically means to celebrate this AND this. It’s important for me to teach them that there is no culture that is better than the other but it’s possible for both to live under one roof and be respected equally.And I hope they will grow up just as respectful of other people and cultures as they are of their own parents’ ones.
On another note, I also gave a lot of thought to the direction I want to give to my blogging experience.I somehow feel a change is needed but I am not sure where or how. I found particularly inspiring this space transformation and I thought about the fact that many of the blogs I love have gone through some kind of change over the years being it their name or looks or whatever. Perhaps being willing to give the blog a new direction means more than I need a new direction that is so hard for me to take at this moment. Anyway…food for another post I guess.
I just know this is the moment I probably loved this space the most. Its looks, its content, I feel there is something missing but for the rest I feel like it’s finally a faithful representation of who I am right now and I don’t really wanna spoil that…

Internet wise, the only other notable thing of this week has been the studio tour of photographer Yuriko Takagi, over at the Selby. What a wonderful, inspiring space!

Have a great week end everybody x

Photography: The childhood diaries

September 18, 2014

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I had planned a post for today, and then another…but both of them required more time than I actually have right now, to articulate my often very complicated thoughts. So while I was trying to write, I got lost and gave up. Today not a good way for words, but thankfully a picture can come to the rescue. This is part of a project (one of my too many too ambitious ones) I called the childhood diaries, a series that intends to capture the spirit of childhood, in a fresh unassuming way. I find there are many pictures of kids around. Way too many, but sadly what I often see and what children are often asked to is to pose like a sort of replica of the grown ups. To dress up like them, to smile like them in that kind of self complacent way that should not be natural to a child. I’d like to capture children in their own element, when they are at the peak of their concentration during their play time, or when they are running wildly with their red cheeks , when they’re reaching to the sky from the top of a tree. Or when they’re are simply looking at the sea far and wide , lost in their thoughts. Childhood is a fascinating thing, I am telling you, and deserves to be celebrated , over and over again. I am not saying I will succeed , but I will do my best to try.

Art: Leon Yan- 师傅

September 16, 2014

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Heralding from Shanghai, China, Leon Yan is a multi-talented artist who writes, directs and edits films. Leon’s work is cinematic in nature, and each scene he captures seems to carry a story or reflection within.”-VSCO

China is a country that, for better and for worse , has meant and continues to mean a lot to me. So much of my life has been linked to this country and so many things have happened here that the only word that comes to my mind when I think about it it’s 缘分 which sort of the Mandarin equivalent to serendipity or fate.I have been through many phases in my relationship with China, the falling in love of the student years, the hardships and the excitement of the working years and finally the contradictions I witness constantly in the contemporary Chinese society. Some of them make me smile, some of them make me frustrated. One thing is for sure, China is a fascinating country.
I particularly enjoyed seeing the “Motherland” through the eyes of mix media artist Leon Yan, an artist and videographer whose works spans from writing and editing of videos to photography. I love his photographic work especially the Shanghai series and the Huangshan photo series.Some of these pictures remind me of the classic Chinese ink paintings and bring me back to that quiet and stillness of the countryside that it’s in such big contrast with the fast paced way of life you will find in any big Chinese cities nowadays.
Leon is part of the new creative way of underground Chinese artists based out in Shanghai and was one of the recipients of the
“Artist initiative” a scholariship funded by Vsco, awarded to 16 young creatives.

Find Leon’s work on Vsco and Tumblr, Instagram

All photographs above are ©Leon Yan

At home: autumn decluttering

September 15, 2014

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They call it spring cleaning, but never mind the season, I came back from summer holidays in serious de-cluttering mode.I have a notorious difficulty in part my ways from things as I have the tendency to have feelings and irrational attachment to anything belonging to the past. Their first socks, the mobile on the cot, toys they have played with , a dress I wore in a particular important day…consequently I have a nasty tendency to accumulate. I don’t do it for selfish or greedy reasons, only for purely sentimental ones. As the family grows and houses becomes smaller and smaller I am afraid I can’t carry on this way so I took the very hard decision to give away lots of things especially in babies and children department in the hope to give our humble abode a bit of fresh air to breath in.When I am in my house all I see is stuff. wherever I turn my eyes there are copious amounts of papers (magazines, bills leaflet, business cards, piles of clothes and such) that are the ban of my existence and honestly lately I feel like I can’t breathe.I am not an advocate of minimalism because , although a fascinating concept , realistically I know it just doesn’t fit with my lifestyle and to be honest I love homes that are “lived in” and give that feeling of harmonious chaos. But …clutter is different. Especially in bedrooms it is proved to seriously interfere with a good night’s sleep which is why I am even more determined to start this fierce battle. It seems ever since we moved I didn’t have the chance to change things around I just left them as they were because lack of time and very busy days didn’t allow me to properly think about it . Inspired by this serious of posts on Jodi’s blog, I decided to start my very own step by step de-cluttering and cleaning process, starting from our balcony/entrance , and going through every single room of the house. Small problem war to clutter has been declared since we are back but I yet have to find the right time to start.
Now one questions: mothers with children, how do you organize your homes? What are the best tricks to keep a home if not tidy at least pleasant? I’d love to hear!

Resources for a cleaner home: THE OVERACHIEVER’S GUIDE TO SPRING CLEANING, SPRING CLEANING SHORTCUTS FROM THE EVER RELIABLE REAL SIMPLE, already mentioned: Jodi’s guide to spring cleaning. Plus, do you know beeswax candles are the best to purify air together with these indoor plants?

Spring or Autumn, if you’re in the middle of a home de-cluttering I wish you good luck. I know I’ll need it.

Week 37, a summary

September 12, 2014

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This week has been full of ups and downs just like this last chunk of time since we came back.Lots of mood changing, lots of weird thoughts , it seems to me like I have just been through a super sensitive phase, in which everything that happened around me including other people’s mood or behaviours just stuck on my skin and lingered around for a while. I don’t know if you are familiar with that feeling but it’s not necessarily a pleasant one. Anyway being the source master that I am I still managed to find some interesting bits and bobs.

I loved the vibe of this Sidney house the fact that is in front of the beach is only a plus if you ask me

I read about the purpose paradigm for the first time and suddenly it all made sense. I also read this article about screen time for kids and found it was particularly in line with my new screen (better no screen) policy.

I lately watched both Grand Budapest hotel and Moonrise kingdom and fell again deeply , madly in love with Wes Anderson way of telling stories.

Discovered: the beach, in all its glory. Now that I am more and more confident at driving no Saikung beach will be a secret for me anymore.

Learned: things might stick to your skin, but being able to shake them off it’s easier than I thought and that’s all part of that amazing process we call growing up.

Have a great week end!

Afternoon light

September 11, 2014

I had planned a photo essay for today or at least to share some of the deep thoughts that are running through my head at times (and if you have followed for a while, you know what I mean). Truth is I have yet to finish arranging the pictures from Italy and anyway there are always the archives to delve into. So much life there that hasn’t seen the light of the day…slowly slowly on days like this…

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Food: Kraut-kopf

September 10, 2014

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So there is this new blog I discovered a few months back whose link I shared already on twitter, called Kraut Kopf , and authored by a Berlin based couple, Yannic Schon & Susann Probst.At first I was mostly drawn by the beautiful photography since the words were only in German, but I see they now also have an english version of the website which is brilliant because I can finally understand the content and even book mark some recipes.Vegeterian based,with some dairy free , gluten free options included, this looks exactly like the kind of food you would like to cook on a day to day basis. I particularly enjoyed their post about the first private dinner they held back in July. What a beautiful setting, and gorgeous photos! Find out more here

Images © Kraut-Kopf

Photography: Salva Lopez

September 9, 2014

There is so many young photographers out there that I guess you could find a new one every day and a lifetime would not be enough to know all of them. This doesn’t necessarily mean they all do excellent work, or worse this doesn’t necessarily mean a very talented photographer will ever actually reach notoriety. Which is why it is most definitely an asset if beside the artistic and technical skills required to be a photographer these days you could pair that with an active online presence and good social media connections. Most of the photographers I know they do it anyway. One of them, whose work I have been most impressed by lately is Salva Lopez a photographer from Barcelona whom I came across through mainly his editorial work for Monocle and FvF although his works spans from personal project to commercial and editorial work. I love the clean style of his pictures , the softness of the colours and the crispiness of the images. You can enjoy more of his work on his website, instagram, facebook , pinterest or tumblr page.

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all photographs © Salva Lopez

At Home: a designer home in Bangkok

September 8, 2014

I just started a course (sadly only online since there is a surprising lack of interesting photography workshop in Hong Kong) on photography for Interiors with British photographer Joanna Maclennan.As you can see from my Pinterest accont I am a bit of an Interiors junkie and definitely interested in this field of photography and in that point where photography and design intesrect.

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Recently when reading articles on Interior design I very often come across the concept of the social role of the designer and their contribution to their community. I live in a city Hong Kong who appreciates design but I think this is more put into an optic of money making instead of really contribute to the social life of the community or to the environment for example. But that might change over the years or at least I hope so. The concept of simple good design that, instead showing off money, is more intended to complement our daily lives in a mindful way is something that I find fascinating which is why I enjoyed this spread on habitus living about the Bangkok home of designer Varakan Tiprapp.

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I think this might be one of my favorite houses to date. there is a calm and peacefulness to it that makes it special. It perfectly suits the kind of esthetic I am mostly drawn to these days which is clean without being minimalistic. Art filled, down to earth, modern with colors and textures that remind us of the lively abundance of nature.

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Beautiful photography by Owen Raggett

Week 36, a summary

September 5, 2014

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While it might seem totally random to restart a column out of the blue, I have just found a couple of things that I would love to share.First, is an amazing photographic project, the Nu project, started in 2005 whose intent is to picture in the most candid unedited way naked women around the world. Now as women we all know how easy it is to feel self conscious about our appearance and I guess most of the women at least in relatively wealthy societies have felt like that at some point in their life.This project is amazing not only for the beauty of the pictures, but because it draws the attention from the flaws that we all inevitably have on our bodies to the spirit that emerges from these women’s faces. We finally are pictured for what we are. Not as a unachievable unrealistic models that instead of inspiring women around the world drowns them in frustration and unhappiness, but for what we are.Just human being, just women. And it shows that it’s possible to find beauty in normality, in the flawed, real normality of our bodies.

I read about the Nu project on the Ma books, a blog I hadn’t come across in the past and that is basically a collection of posts and essays on motherhood. Warning: mainly words, very few pictures but still a very much worthwhile reading.

I also loved an article I read on the July/August issue of Monocle about the hotel Okura in Tokyo (pictured above), a wonderful example of Japanese mid-century design that now is under threat of being closed to make space for new developments. You can read about it here and sign a petition if you’re interested.

I am also loving my new yellow Moleskine planner. Brings a ray of sunshine on my desk that helps me navigate the daunting task of planning my weeks.

I am sure there is more, there must be more (look at my pinterest account and you’ll know it), but for now that’s enough.

Happy week end!Looks like ours is going to be a wet one. We are going to a lantern parade tonight, with the kids’ kindergarten, we will light up lanterns on the beach for Mid Autumn festival,let’s hope weather will be nice!

photographs above by Martin Adolfsson for Monocle, seen on Save the Okura