cafa art for the soul

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Life, it’s always getting in the way of things, eh? Here are more pictures from the CAFA show last month in Beijing! I gotta say, I was duly impressed. Not only were the students’ works amazing, but the museum itself was beautiful. White walls, good lighting, and high ceilings make my day any day!

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white and spiky

Oy. It’s been crazy busy lately. A few weeks back I was in Beijing for work and caught the exhibition of postgraduate work at the CAFA (Central Academy of Fine Arts) Museum. Not sure if it’s still up or not, but it was definitely a treat. CAFA’s probably the best art school in the nation, and the student work was pretty darn amazing.

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Yang Zhou (杨洲), Zha (扎), 2014

This installation consisted of ceramic spikes and ready-made furniture by Yang Zhou. I found it immensely appealing and eerily familiar since growing up, my room always had white walls and white furniture (in every single house). The use of understated furniture, the blank whiteness of it all, the spikes that almost look like grass and therefore somehow don’t seem that dangerous … it’s a quiet sort of terror that reminds me of The Virgin Suicides, that kind of whitewashed dread that lurks beneath every pretty facade.

Lots more to show, stay tuned!

snow snow snow

There’s been snow the past few days and some pretty big flakes too. On Tuesday, I basically turned into a snowman. My jacket is fleece, so the snow stuck to it pretty well. I finished my finals on Tuesday, so now I’m done! Yay, vacation! I was planning to do a bit of shopping this afternoon, but I think I’m going to stay at home instead. The below picture is from this morning, when it wasn’t snowing. The current view out my window is white haze.

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expo at night

On October 18, 2010, I braved the Shanghai Expo 2010 for the second (and last) time. I arrived at the park around 5 PM and left at 10 PM since the metro closes around 11 and I was a bit paranoid about missing it. Also because I was exhausted by the end.

Went to a total of five pavilions, two of which (Denmark and UK) because I really wanted to see them, two (Luxembourg and Argentina) because they had no line, and one (Shanghai Corporate) because I was already there. Since I went at night, lines were much shorter than they would have been during the day. Denmark had a 20-minute wait, UK around one hour, and Shanghai Corporate about 20 minutes as well. All in all, I’d have to agree with the majority of people in saying that Expo is overrated. Sure it’s fairly interesting … but not enough to warrant the hassle it requires. The pavilions themselves are the attraction, not what they house. I generally wandered around the Europe section before heading to the Puxi side. Even though I was curious about the Axis of Evil pavilions, I heard they weren’t actually that interesting and decided against trekking way over there.

The below picture is from inside the Denmark pavilion. It was a pretty cool pavilion, but I kept thinking: Wow, this would never fly in the US. It’s basically one giant circular ramp with the statue of the Little Mermaid at the center. I kept picturing a person in a wheelchair getting pushed down. Also, there were some of the most hazardous stairs in that pavilion that were of awkward depth-height ratio and there wasn’t always a railing! UK pavilion was fairly cool, but it was more of an object than a pavilion. Luxembourg and Argentina were pointless and Shanghai Corporate was a fascinating exterior with little thought given to interior. I’ve noticed that my camera has a lot of trouble focusing at night, so most of my pictures are blurry, which is sad. I need a new one … eventually. So that’s the recap for now. I’ll probably tell more later. Cheers.

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in love with purples

While blue is still my favorite color, purple is closing in ranks. I’ve always liked purple, but lately, it’s gained some additional significance over here.

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I have no idea what kind of flowers these are, but they’re blooming ALL OVER THE PLACE. It’s so pretty, there are petals all over the ground and it smells wonderful. Yep, it’s definitely spring here. Spring is probably my favorite season. I can finally break out the tank tops and flouncy skirts.

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Tassels! No, I haven’t graduated yet, but I’m well on my way. I finally plunked down the cash to buy my gown, so now I get to stare at it for the next two months. Excited, nervous, also a little in denial. Does this mean I have to grow up and act like an adult? Sheesh.

I hurt my arm and I’m sort of sick … again. So hopefully staying home, acting like a bum, and catching up on little errands (organizing that stack of papers, mending that hole, et cetera) will do me good. My chocolate stash will surely aid in that.

Happy Easter!

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

apt xmas

An apartment next to a college campus is not an ideal place for Christmas. Thankfully I will be spending Christmas at home with my family, but I’ll only be able to spend a few days at home. The rest of the time will be at my fabulously over-priced, run-down apartment. Therefore, while procrastinating one fine evening, I decided to decorate. Here, ladies and gentlemen, is how a college student decorates her apartment for Christmas (on a very limited budget).

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1. White Lights

I dug up some white Christmas lights that I bought two years ago for studio. I actually bought them because when you can’t find an extension cord, Christmas lights will work just as well. I had originally strung them around my desk to keep people from walking by my work area where I had models on the floor. Last year I was in the middle of a large studio space, so the Christmas lights were strung from the wall to my desk in the middle of the room, and the guy sitting next to me had Christmas lights strung from the other wall to his desk. All in all it was fabulous. Here in our lowly apartment, however, I just grabbed some drafting tape and taped these much loved white lights around our front doorway. The texture of the wall is kind of weird though.

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2. Silver and Red Bow

I’ve always been a big fan of bows. Snowflakes are pretty. Christmas trees and stockings are too obvious. Bows are universal. And I happen to really like ribbon. So I grabbed some thick silver wired ribbon and created a big bow on our cheap Wal-Mart shelving unit. I thought it looked a bit drab so I grabbed some red satin ribbon and incorporated another bow into the mix. I think it’s rather nice … really classes up that cheap white plastic, eh?

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3. Santa Hat

I’ve had this Santa hat for years … can’t even remember where/when I got it. Anyway, though I like the color green, I’ve never been a big fan of the red-green color combination because I just find it too cliché. It screams “Christmas!” in that overly commercial way. Therefore, our apartment’s just going to stick with red and white/silver, which the Santa hat fits into perfectly. How is the hat standing so erect on our counter? Because it’s hiding our very college-student bottle of tequila next to an empty bottle of wine. Yeah … don’t judge me. Oh, and the wallpaper was there when we moved in.

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love giving gifts, wrapping gifts, decorating gifts, hanging out with friends, having that hot mocha latté at Spider House while exchanging gifts … you get the idea. Though decorating was rather light this year, I think in conjunction with the nippy weather and the scarves around my neck, it’s winter enough. Happy holidays.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

crocheted trivets

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Ain’t they purty? Hey now, remember I’m new to this crocheting thing. Anyway, as a college student, I get a lot of t-shirts and the thing is … I’m not a big fan of wearing t-shirts. So, I found this website about crocheting with t-shirts and I thought I’d give it a try. But I didn’t have nearly enough for a rug, nor do I have need for a rug, so I decided to make hot plates (trivets) instead.

This one was made using the white material that was in a pouch I had made earlier. Using my 10 millimeter crochet hook, I sort of followed these directions to crochet a circle, but I apparently am no good at counting, so it’s a little wonky. If you’re wondering, those bits of purple in the white were from the image on the t-shirt. I found another t-shirt and decided to try making a simple rectangular one. But unfortunately that t-shirt was smaller so there was less fabric to work with, and thus it’s kind of small. I also had to add extra fabric in order to complete the row (I was double-stitching), so there are some not-so-pretty moments. Actually, there were quite a few wonky moments.It’s actually a really pretty purple that matches the bits of purple in the white one. I think it looks blue in the first picture because of the fluorescent lights in our kitchen.

Now if only I can scavenge up more t-shirts, I can have a whole collection of different shapes! Wouldn’t that be neat? My new roommate will probably think I’m crazy … but whatever, I’m a college student who can be found embroidering or crocheting at 4 AM. I think I’m already crazy.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]