hong kong food (tbt)

Throwback Thursday! Back in December I went to Hong Kong for a two-day visa run. Here’s some of what I ate. Because when one travels, one eats. And since I’d been to Hong Kong previously, I had already seen the sights so I didn’t do much except wander around the art galleries and do some shopping while waiting for my expedited work visa to come through.

And you know what? There’s only one place on the list (Ebeneezer’s, which was really great) that I can’t get in Shanghai. The others (Café de Coral, Delifrance, Toast Box, and Starbucks) all have locations in Shanghai, and instant noodles are, well … everywhere.

In my defense of this rather depressing list, I was on a tight budget. I did have one good meal in a nice Cantonese restaurant … but there’s no photo of the delicious seafood stew I had because I was too starving to think about photos first. I’ve never been to any of the places’ Shanghai locations (other than Starbucks of course), but I will definitely have to visit Toast Box again. I’ll pass on Café de Coral though … there were eggshells in my eggs.

creepy freaky cool: metamorphosis – mirror

There are only a few weeks left for this exhibition! And I definitely recommend it … if you’re okay with the possibility of nightmares. I quite like OCAT Shanghai, a decently-sized museum specializing in contemporary multimedia art that’s located along the north side of Suzhou River. I’ve never been a big media/video art person, but I’ve liked every exhibition of theirs I’ve been to.

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I took some non-art friends to the opening of the Metamorphosis – Mirror exhibition and at the end of the exhibition, one friend turned to me and said, “I’m going to have nightmares tonight.” Ha. I found it pretty great. Creepy and freaky, but great. Both artists (Daniel Lee and Roger Ballen) work largely in photography, but there were some videos and it was very thought-provoking.

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Daniel Lee’s work (above) was creepy as hell, morphing animals and people. Very well done, but disturbing to see people transformed (or rather metamorphosed) like that. On the other side of the museum, Roger Ballen’s work (below) was even creepier. Square black and white photos of weird people and scenes. Oh, and the loud thumping video? That would be the music video for Die Antwoord’s “I Fink U Freeky” that Roger Ballen collaborated on. My friends and I watched it twice … in shocked silence.

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Metamorphosis – Mirror: A Double Solo Show by Daniel Lee and Roger Ballen
July 13 – September 14, 2014

OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT)
1016 North Suzhou Road
Zhabei District, Shanghai
Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday, 10 AM – 7 PM
Friday and Saturday, 11 AM – 9 PM

mumbai’s dhobi ghat (tbt)

Ah Mumbai, that was great fun. I was in Mumbai with some classmates last January and one of my classmates who had lived in Mumbai was showing us the sights. And probably one of the coolest things was Dhobi Ghat, a large open-air laundromat. All you could do was overlook and take some pictures, but it was still really neat because … where else do you find a giant open-air laundromat?


mexican-ish brunch

I love me a good brunch. Ever since I lived in New York, I adore weekend brunches. It’s like breakfast, but punchier. It’s just one of those things you do. Anyhow, the other day I went to Mayita with friends (my first time there), and it was a pretty nice brunch spot. A bit fancy for my personal preference, but the food was good and very well plated.

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Oh, and the churros? Fried dough with sugar? Definitely count me in! The funniest thing was that the churros were listed on the menu as 墨西哥油条 (Mexican youtiao). And for anyone who’s had youtiao, while those are also fried dough, they’re soooooo not the same thing.

6/F, 98 Shouning Road
Huangpu District, Shanghai
Daily, 5 PM – Late
Saturday and Sunday, 11 AM – 4 PM

the hypnotic power of strung-up rice

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Sayaka Ishizuka, Rice Deity, 2014

There’s some cool stuff from the Japanese artist Sayaka Ishizuka over at Pearl Lam Galleries in Shanghai. Unfortunately the exhibition is ending soon (August 15) … so I better post pictures now!

Her works use everyday things like grains of rice and chopsticks to create this supremely tranquil, almost spiritual feeling. The installation piece that is undoubtedly the focus of the exhibition, Rice Deity, is definitely worth noting, with strands of rice hanging from the ceiling. As you walk amidst these rice strings in the darkened space … it’s pretty darned hypnotic.

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Sayaka Ishizuka: Life Threads
May 12 – August 15, 2014

Pearl Lam Galleries
G/F, 181 Middle Jiangxi Road
Huangpu District, Shanghai
Monday to Sunday, 10:30 AM – 7 PM

remembering 5 pointz (tbt)

I was off on vacation for a while, but now I’m back in Shanghai and it’s Thursday! Which means that it’s time for a throwback. And my choice for today is … (drumroll, please) … 5 Pointz in LIC! This place was SO COOL. Unfortunately, emphasis is on the past tense.

5 Pointz as I knew it no longer exists, and soon it’ll be completely gone. Sad but true. So join me in remembrance of this truly amazing building.

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5 Pointz was one of the stops on my whirlwind “must see everything before I leave New York” tour back in July 2013. In November its awe-inspiring graffiti was whitewashed, and I just heard that the building itself will soon be demolished to make room for *gasp* condos (ah gentrification, that dirtiest of words).

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Basically the building was one giant canvas. It was an ever-changing art studio, an exhibition space, a piece of artwork in itself. It was amazing. I had heard of this building before, but never gave it much thought while I was living in Manhattan, because gosh darn LIC (Long Island City) in Queens is annoying to get to from upper Manhattan. But during my last two months in New York, I was subletting a place in Astoria … and wow. Breathtaking. The scale, the talent, the variety, the “holy crap, you can do that with spray paint?”

New York City has great public art, whether it’s ‘official’ or not, and there are a lot of darn talented New Yorkers. Much of the ‘graffiti’ seen around the city is more along the lines of street art than vandalism and 5 Pointz was by no means standard graffiti. 5 Pointz was graffiti in the best sense of the word. It wasn’t spiteful vandalism, it was public art in its truest form. It was out there for people to see, to wonder at. It was bold, it was unapologetic, it was part of the city, and it was oh so New York. And it will be sorely missed. Goodbye 5 Pointz, you were amazing.

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Oh, and 5 Pointz’s appearance in the film Now You See Me (2013) made me smile so hard.