What reminds you of new school years?
So this is a tad bit late at four weeks in as a student again. I painted this earlier in the month for my Collecting Childhood project to coincide with the new school year but lost track of things with the the art residency at Kadoorie happening and adjusting to student life. It’s been interestingly full.
In elementary school, I used to get a new Crayola watercolour set at the start of the school year. This time round, blue highlighter and Post-it flags. I do miss those watercolour days and the thrill and excitement it held.
Here are the amazing marine wildlife sculptures I managed to catch in the Washed Ashore exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo before it ended.
Octavia the Octopus
Lidia the Seal
Sebastian James the Puffin
Flash the Marlin
See More the Sea Lion Pup
the accompanying signage was well done
“American” Sea Star—made from plastic resulting from July 4th celebrations
Chompers the Shark
Zorabelle the Rockhopper
Priscilla the Parrot Fish
Did anyone else watch Art Attack in the early 90s? Neil Buchanan’s Big Art Attacks were the best…as was The Head. Vik Muniz’s Waste Land also came to mind whilst looking at these. I only managed to find ten of the seventeen sculptures and missed meeting Herman the Sea Turtle, one of the five ocean ambassadors. Perhaps this was due to the many chipmunk encounters and some stalking of said critters on my part. They’re just so fascinating to watch.
I did of course pop in to check on the pandas…they’ve doubled in number since my last visit :).
snack time all the time
Have a look at what other exhibits are on view at the Smithsonian museums. It’s how I found out about this one.
Great start to the week having a workshop run through with some of the Kadoorie Education Department. It was a condensed version but gave me a better sense of logistics and flow, areas to focus on with students, and sections to refine. As usual, we definitely could’ve spent more time outdoors exploring in the recently cooler and drier weather! :)
observing and documenting
looking for examples of radial (or rotational) symmetry
creating our dishes whilst
thinking about colour, pattern, symmetry…
Which dish do you fancy?
I’ve also been observing and noting how different types of plant matter dry and decay
and exploring working with pressed leaves.
Just found this sitting in drafts from a few years ago, a time before I bothered to figure — out. There’s actually a fair bit sitting in drafts.
I like lists. And comparing lists. Which means I should start putting together another one for this year.
march is upon us and the past year on a mixtape would be this…
afro blue–robert glasper feat. erykah badu
safe and sound–capital cities (carlos serrano remix)
san francisco–the mowgli’s
alive–empire of the sun
dust to dust–the civil wars
lost and found–lianne la havas
transatlanticism–death cab for cutie
the way–jill scott
thinkin bout you–frank ocean
here with me–susie suh x robot koch
at last–etta james
I officially began my art residency at Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden earlier this month. These past few weeks have been spent exploring, prepping materials and planning workshops for October and November.
The area I decided to focus on is around the Art House and since it’s quite small on the existing map, I walked the space and drew out my own. This includes the fruit forest on the left and the area behind the Art House—the hills, waterfall, stream, Walter Kerr Gardens and Wildlife Walkthrough.
This is one of the enlarged maps, similar to the smaller ones participants will be using on their exploration and collecting walks. The waterfall pictured on the right is so far, my favourite place at KFBG. Can you find it on my map ; )?
Always delighted at discovering new things each time I go walking in the same places. This was the most interesting find of the day.
Some other visitors came by and said they were mushrooms but I showed them the stalk I think they fell from and convinced them it was a fruit of some sort. I made a quick naturepile of course—too good to pass by.
Here are some other items I came across and brought back to the art house. The shell is unexpectedly thin.
Before heading off to class, I met three of my four rescued neighbours. They live in the reptile garden next door. They’ve got much personality I feel inclined to make some art about them in the near future.
To the left is Pineapple Bun! He’s a radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata). Actually his name is Por-law-bao, which does mean pineapple bun in Cantonese. I totally see it in the shape of his shell. There are also two elongated tortoises—Kay and Sam, of which I only saw one. I have to study their markings a bit more to distinguish them apart. Lastly is Oak Ye, a bengal monitor (Varanus bengalensis) who was digging at that spot for quite a while.
That’s all for this week from Kadoorie as I won’t be going in again because of mid-autumn festival. Have a good one, eat a mooncake or two and take some time to look upon the moon.
This exhibit opened last week at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC). I meant to go on opening day but typhoon Nida also made an appearance so I ended up checking it out on Friday after teaching in the neighbourhood. There are activities and demonstrations scheduled throughout the day which you can register for in advance at the front entrance table. It wasn’t very busy when I arrived at 1:40pm so I took a look around at the exhibits and had a go at the tree-ring printing at two. One of the displays talked about the connected network of trees and I just came upon this piece in the New Yorker which is a fascinating read: The Secrets of the Wood Wide Web.
Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden
Twig installation above an autumn forest floor you can experience barefoot. The walls are calling out to you to draw leaves on.
Pangolin! I recently read about pangolins in a National Geographic magazine. I didn’t realize you can still find them in some protected areas of HK.
Add your fingerprint between the tree rings and choose an action card to make a change in your daily life for the betterment of the environment.
Wood carving demonstration by an artist but I didn’t stay for it.
Creating a frame for my tree ring print with twig shadows.
tree trunk sections
Learn about biochar being made at KFBG. These were my favourite ones.
Make nature pictures in the outdoor atrium space.
If you have elementary aged kids, they’d enjoy the space and activities so go see it before school starts up again this month.
Also in the neighbourhood…
Down the road from JCCAC are two other places you should check out:
- Shek Kip Mei Estate—there’s an outdoor covered exhibition area about changes in the housing estate over the years. It’s a fascinating look into Hong Kong History and the Housing Authority.
Exhibition area map
They’ve all got cool names ; )
Some original brickwork… go find out when/what it’s from.
What games did your parents/grandparents play when they were kids?
- Heritage of Mei Ho House
Mei Ho House resulted from the 1953 Shek Kip Mei fire. It is now part hostel part musuem. Walk through the building to experience the history of the community and learn how public housing in Hong Kong came about. Closed Mondays.
or so it’s called.
Finished teaching for the day to find these two news gems in my inbox.
Thank you friends for sending my way. Glad these make you think of me. Curious as to what the manhole summit will entail ; ).
Personally prefer the stumble upon delight of crossing paths with a stunning sewer cover. This was my fave in Kobe…spotted in a raised sidewalk planter of sorts.
Latest Japan additions can be found here.
carmel . chiang mai . vancouver
kenting . ymerbukta . taipei
singapore . san francisco . oslo
Apart from Chiang Mai where I lived for the month of October in 2014, these are a few of the places I was lucky enough to spend time in this past year—being in nature, catching up with old friends, encountering new ones.
2015 concluded in Hong Kong with #naturepile 127
It was strangely a year of equal high highs and low lows. Came across these words recently in The Grand Paradox. Continuing to work on the latter.
This year holds more additions of north american gems to the naturepile collection. East coast (and unexpectedly west again) I’m coming for ya! Midwest, fingers crossed, but I do need to finish up my school photo series. Squeezing in some koala spotting time as well as other projects in the works.
It’ll be an interesting one.
Where will 2016 lead you?
Stop from time to time to reflect, make a naturepile or two, and send some love. Have a creative and adventureful year.
These watercolours are based on my sketchbook and photographs from a trip to the Arctic in June. Each double month is painted A5 size and the photos below show the process from sketching to the assembled calendars.
Sales from the calendar are going to the Students On Ice scholarship fund and you can still support them here by purchasing one.
Have a wonderful Christmas!