SingaporeBrides: 1000 Roses

For fashion.singaporebrides.com

Art Direction & Photography: Zhang Jingna
Editor: Fazillah Abdul Gaffa
Hair: Andrea Claire
Makeup: Dewi Mahoney
Photography assistants: Karin Xiao, Jacob Tan Yin Qi & Z Han
Hair styling assistant: Blaire Walmsley
Models: Julia Valimaki, Sasha Luss & Zivile Cibaite/Ave

My deepest thanks to SingaporeBrides.com for being supportive of me doing the creative and direction, and my lovely assistants for arranging and re-arranging those very thorny roses that filled up all 18-foot wide of our backdrop.

Exhibition: Spectacular Sights

Location: ION Orchard, Level 1 Atrium, Singapore
Date: 16 Jul - 7 Aug 2010

Spectacular Sights is a photography exhibition is curated by Harper’s BAZAAR editor Giselle Go and fashion director Kenneth Goh, showcasing a snapshot of the high impact images from the pages of BAZAAR.

The exhibition features the work of internationally renowned photographers including Georges Antoni, Simon Upton, Jean-Paul Goude, Gan, Zhang Jingna, Aaron Lee, Gyslain Yarhi and Camilla Akrans.

Just look at that list. You don't have to care about my work at all because there are so many epically awesome photographers that will rock your socks off, so do check it out~! (I can hardly believe I'm included in this show, when I found out I was like, what? no way!? srsly?!! a;lsdkjgs;lakdf!!!! Thank you BAZAAR <3)

On a side note, if you have a moment, please sign this petition~!

Angel Dreams Wrap-up

The experience of putting this exhibition together was no less painful than doing the first. If anything, only more.

I stayed up till 7am for some 4 weeks. Retouching, organizing, planning. Some days I felt so sick I threw up, I hated it.

So despite having assistant Valerie help run errands, printer pal James check print proofs and installations, I still, on numerous occasions, asked them if I could just not do the show anymore. I felt I lacked so so much, that all I wanted to do was dig a hole somewhere and die.

Then James told me I'd said the same thing while preparing for Something Beautiful two years back, and so all I could really do was suck it up and try live through the process. 

Sure enough, when it was all done, it felt wonderful. I was happy and proud of what was accomplished, like I had overcome a great obstacle (corny as it may sound).

I'd like to thank the Embassy of Japan for their support, the Japan Creative Centre for the absolutely stunning location, and Canon for the epic and beautiful canvas prints.

The exhibition also wouldn't have been possible without the help and support of all my dear friends and loved ones, you have my utmost gratitude:

- Mum, this goes without saying, I love you.

- Valerie, for coordinating everything, like, everything

- Toby, for beta-ing all my flawed writings, putting up with my worst days, drawing my journey story, and staying up with me till 6am, many many mornings... 

- Yip & Asuka -- my dedicated art department advisors, for being there every 3am, helping me decide between images and layouts, when my eyes couldn't see a straight line to be straight any longer.

- James, for helping out with print preparations, proofs, installations and curating. 

- Sugizo, for being supportive and kind. For being the muse since before I even picked up photography. Our shoot meant so much to me, more than what I can express in words, ever. 

- The Moomba Restaurant, for providing awesome catering for my very small and private preview night. (The food was so loved I barely had anything left to bring home after. Blahh.)

And to everyone who took time out to visit the exhibition, thank you. It truly means a lot to me.

The rest is for those who were too far away to make it for the show, please know that I'm thankful for your support too~ <3

A little about the exhibition:

As many of you know, I grew up to Gundam Wing and X Japan.

Gundam Wing taught me to dream, and X Japan inspired my photography.

I worked a lot in the last two years, I've a list of wonderful clients that I'd never even dreamt about being able to work for. But no matter how far I go, it's always been important for me to not forget my past.

Personal work is like an anchor which reminds me of who I am and what I went through.

And this exhibition is a tribute and summary of the Japanese influence that has rooted itself deeply in me since my childhood days.

A special section in the exhibition was the journey room. There was a story of Japanese influence on my life, a wall of outtakes and behind the scene photos, and a display of personal items and things that have made a difference to my work, as well as some drawings of layouts for my Gothic & Lolita Bible photoshoots.

Here you can tell just how much I love Hiroaki Samura, Sugizo, X Japan and Gundam Wing:

And some setup pictures --

And that is all. Sorry for the huge post. Once again, thank you everyone for making this possible~ <3

Canon Be Empowered Seminar

In conjunction with International Women's Day, I was invited to speak at Canon's Be Empowered photography seminar for women on the 7th of March at Raffles Hotel.

It was a beautiful venue filled with wonderful people, the experience itself was something so exquisite, I feel I'm not entirely capable of putting it down in words.

Maye-e from The Associated Press did an amazing session with her super storytelling skills and epic photographs. We later found out that we were both Singapore Sports Award winners -- she was Sports Girl of the Year in 1995, and I '06. We also found out that her father knew my mother when I was in RGS, who he knew about me too and my air rifle shooting as well. And then we found out that my new assistant Valerie used to be under her care in the buddy-system they had in primary school, and they were thus suddenly reunited two decades later. Fate can be such a curious thing sometimes.

There was a break after Maye-e's talk. I was nervous when my turn came around, it was the first time I was speaking to almost 400 people.

Shaky voice and all, it still felt like I did alright thou. But when I was done and ready for my Q&A, when the emcee asked if anyone had any questions, there hung a deathly silence in the hall -- deathly.

I thought, well, I didn't think it was that bad, but maybe I really made a mistake with my contents for the wrong audience. At least I tried my best.

When the event was over, I got down the stage. Started having pictures taken with attendees and was eventually stuck there and never made it to the reception area outside for mingling around.

During the picture-taking I was told that my talk was good and touching, although still doubtful, I started to feel somewhat a little better.

Two girls then came up to me, one shook my hand as her friend was readying the camera for a picture. She told me she was actually just accompanying her sister to the seminar, but she found my talk touching, and inspirational.

Barely finishing that, she all but broke into tears whilst attempting to continue her sentences.

My mind pretty much went blank at that point.

I hugged her. Stunned that what I said could cause somebody to react so vehemently. It was something I'd never expected. It was a beautiful moment, one that I'll never forget.

That night I received emails from other women each with their own stories. Words can't convey how much they mean to me.

I really hope everyone who attended the seminar managed to gain a little something to bring home with them.

Thank you Canon for making such an event possible, and also your sincerity and efforts in supporting the arts for our society.

STGCC Wrapup

Just a quick post w/ the only few images I have from Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention.

I totally forgot to go around!! D:

With renr

With kagetsuki.

Noah doing demo.

Me, supposedly signing, and looking evil.

This pic is posted for the sole purpose of showing off my awesome Alice Auaa top (which you can't see much of, except for the sleeves).

Noah insisted that my signature's so simple his book should cost $5 more just for his efforts in producing a complex one. =_=

Random camwhoring pic~

Had dinners with Asuka111, vic-mon, manda, sandara, kidchan and many more, who're all super awesome in their own ways and styles, I'm so so happy to see you guys again~

And I absolutely cannot thank enough the ones who came over to our booth, I'm so sincerely, utterly grateful for your support. I have no words, only thank you, thank you, and thank you. <3

Summer

Fashion story done for SingaporeBrides.com a while back.

Photography: Zhang Jingna
Styling: Furqan Saini
Hair: Yvonne Lee
Makeup: Joanna Koh
Model: Nathaline/Ave, Diana/Looque
Photography assistants: Octavia S, Tan Yong Kuan, Hoong Wei Long

Kinda in the mood for summer~ so just posting some brighter photos, just for a while. :D

I'm gonna blog about go for the rest of the entry, so feel free to skip. XD

Recent news about Lee Sedol's intended 1.5-year-long break had been spreading like wild fire (well, for the go-lovers, anyway).

I read up a bit on Sina here and here (both Chinese, sorry), so I'm just gonna sum it up a bit in English for those who want to know.

Story began with his refusal to join the Korean league.

Because 4 teams withdrew from the league this year. 3 joined only after much efforts from the Hanguk Kiwon (Korean Baduk Association), one of which was a team from Lee Sedol's hometown. His withdrawal probably meant the withdrawal of major sponsors from the competitions and directly affects other professionals whose main income may come from playing in the league's games.

Hanguk Kiwon then called for a major meeting to discuss his actions, voting was conducted for whether he should be penalized.

86 voted for yes, 37 opposed and 2 forfeited. Online voting conducted by a major Chinese weiqi news websites for the public came up with totally opposite results though.

Lee Sedol's reasons for withdrawal were due to personal timing issues as well as concerns for the rating system.

(Wow, I'd make a horrible news reporter, so heck, I give up my attempt to sound formal because I can't put in my personal opinion~~!)

For someone of Lee Sedol's level, currently Korean #1, he has to win 10 out of 12 games in order to maintain his scores (which is, btw, pretty freaking damn difficult considering the frequency of these games, not counting the ones he has to play for all other major tournaments.).

Heck, he's contracted to play for a Chinese team in the Chinese league and each game he wins in that is equivalent to 10 games he wins in the Korean league, go figure.

Anyway what I'm basically trying to say is that games played in the leagues are just not what the very top pros put their most attention to, ranking drop is definitely a major no-no, so I think his decision to withdraw is pretty valid as a competitor.

This issue about how he should be penalized (I can't be bothered to find the article on what Hanguk Kiwon actually said) eventually ended up pretty unpleasant (come on, voting by all the pros, that's like, public shaming), and I'm sure eventually upset him deeply, so he decided that he'll stop playing go for 1.5 years and will only return in January 2011.

I usually never find myself in much of a position to comment on anything at all, the same goes for this, but I must honestly say that I think this is what makes Lee Sedol Lee Sedol.

Perhaps I'm biased because he is one of the top players, perhaps I'm biased because I didn't leave the national team back in my days when similar situations arose, but I know for sure that I'm biased because of just how rebellious he is.

His character that is piercing and ruthless like his go, that has so much pride, so much fearlessness and bravado, all that he's not afraid of being, that sets him apart from all the other top players of our time, Lee Sedol is someone whose name will be long remembered in the history of go.

And um, wow, that was so so much longer than I intended. I actually just wanted to say that Lee Sedol's my hero. But oh well, hahaha.

Haven't really been blogging much because there'd been too much going on.

Partially also because the internet at home is down.

Well, we called SingNet to get it looked at, dude said the modem probably died, so we could either buy a new one from him or recontract and get a new one for free. Since newer plans are generally cheaper and better for these things, I told mum to get it recontracted.

Could have done it over the web or phone, but the modem would only get delivered a couple days later. Wanting to have it asap, we went down to Singtel Comcenter... and after everything's done, they told us they didn't have one in stock. They'd deliver it only on the 29th. Like, what!??!?!!

It was pretty annoying having to drag myself out of the house early every morning since then just for Wireless@SG to settle all the emails. What horrible timing for the net to be down. Booo.

So I whipped out the PS2 that'd been collecting dust for the past 8 months and played Taiko no Tatsujin to pass time.

And eventually I finished the last 2 chapters of Dirge of Cerberus too. (Wow, like, after 1.5yrs haha) I really wanted to play Sengoku Basara, but everytime I have this urge, the disc just disappears from sight. EVERY TIME.

Anyway, I later found out we actually have a Mobile Broadband so I can get online with that now. Yay.

Last couple weeks had been packed with work, work and more work. Someone above probably figured that I'd been slacking too much in the beginning of the year and it's time to pick up my pace again.

And oh oh. I got to shoot an Ariel Atom.

Isn't it soooo cool. I'm like one step closer to becoming a racer in Cyber Formula. Hahaha. It was really my childhood aspiration (though short-lived) before Gundam Wing overtook it all~

But really, I do wish I'd get the full experience of it on the tracks one day. :3

Last week saw the biggest devMeet in Singapore in a very long time. Spyed and Heidi from the HQ both came down to Singapore. I think we had some 160 people for the turnout.

from =rh89

from =Timothy-Sim (Pardon the distortion on my face? Haha)

Got to talk with passionate students, aspiring illustrators, photographers, and even some who were my juniors from RGS. It was really pretty awesome, people were a lot more enthusiastic than I expected. And much kinder than people I see at most events.

I may be able to make it for one or two of the devMeets in Europe if they don't clash with my schedules. Well, I can be hopeful.

As for myself I am definitely holding one in Paris on the 6th of June, Saturday late morning (11am). Just in the process of deciding on a location now~ Most probably at Six-Huit. Will update with more details later. :D

Hmmm and looking back I realize I have a chunkload of photos I forgot to upload from Tokyo. I'm looking at them because I may be heading back there. (Again~!)

Please allow me to make a quick entry of the trip later on. :P

I bought too many books during the recent 20% sale at Kinokuniya.

I finished Demian by Hermann Hesse somewhere along the way. Enjoyed it.

This whole exploration about Gnosticism recently really shed new light to the mangas I'd adored so much over these years. Aside from Hagio Moto's (which I just discovered recently, but can't seem to find more of), the story of the demiurge really was what I think Omae ga Sekai o Kowashitai Nara (by Fujiwara Kaoru) was based upon.

I'd re-read the title 4 times, it's only now I have a new understanding of the final chapters... that which I once felt were sort of disappointing -- the child that was created by higher beings, who had the power to create by himself, made the imperfect destiny that ran in a never-ending loop for our protagonists. Why? What's this about?

Every single review I'd read practically said the same thing and shared the same sentiments about the ending. But now, I finally understand...~