Archive for February, 2008

My architecture tour destination:Copenhagen

Posted in Architecture, Photography, Travels and Adventure on February 28, 2008 by shiying86

If I were to rate the most photogenic building it would be this:

Tietgenkollegiet,  Student accommodation at Universitetet

A circular building, with a centralised garden square in the centre and each storeys jutting in and out like LEGO boxes.

It’s beautiful to capture,

 

whether it’s closed up;

 

from far;

 

inside;

 

or out.

Architecture walks are made extremely convenient in copenhagen. With websites like http://www.cphx.dk and even the main tourist website, http://www.visitdenmark.com/uk/en-gb/menu/turist/inspiration/detkulturelledanmark/arkitektur/architecture.htm. Of course, it would be great help if one could understand Danish, with their more extensive books and sites in their language.

These websites provide convenient instructions and even architectural ‘podwalks’ around the city. SO all you have to do, is download, print a map and your good to go.

 

Information Boards

More convenient is the fact that new architecture are just lines a long the metro stations. And description of these buildings, architects etc. are even ‘advertised’ at the station itself. Talk about media coverage.

Kongens Nytorv (pronounced as Kon’s Nov-something to that effect)Metro Station, it means King’s New Square

Not to forget, The Scandinavians are extremely proud of their designs with architects like Jørn Utzon(The Sydney Opera), von Sprechelsen, La Grande Arche at La Defence in Paris and the very popular Henning Larsen all hailing from Denmark(The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh).

I do not intend anyway to describe the buildings that I have saw. Maybe I lack the guts to, or maybe I’m just too lazy. Guess mostly it’s because I forgot even how to pronounce their names and my architecture books from Denmark are still somewhere in the Pacific Ocean making its way to me. But it certainsly has made a big impact top me and I wish to document them before I I forget how they even look like.

This is the ‘Walk along Metro’ or rather for me: the ride on Metro, weather was so cold+rain prevents me from going up close to the building.

The very cool VM Husen (VM housing) by Plot. Photos from: http://www.pbase.com/traianc/vm, for more please visit the website.

 

Bella Centre

Field’s Shopping mall; Will you just look at those glass columns?

Description on Fields

An apartment right next to Tietgenkollegiet

Of course I must not leave out the architecture icons of Copenhagen:

Operaen (The Royal Opera House) by Henning Larsen Architects

The Operaen from oposite the Canal

The Playhouse/Royal Theatre by Lundgaard & Tranberg

Royal Library, more commonly known as the Black Diamond: The older building is encased inside the black granites, thus giving its name. The interior was cery dynamic as old and new coexist inside the ‘diamond’.

Directly opposite is the Nordea Bank by Henning Larsens Architects. More would be described in other post ;), as I’m getting lazy.

The Dansk Jødisk Museum(The Danish Jewish Museum) exterior

The interior of the museum was redeisgn to reflect the dynamism of the Jewish life for 400 years in Denmark. Interestingly, the way the modern interior, with strips of lights, juxtaposed against the arched ceilings and walls was fascinating to the amatuer eyes of mine. I think I spent more time examining how the new installations were constructed without causing damage to the old walls and trying hard to figure out the complicated planning of the exhibition, rather than appreciating the Jewish inheritence.

Interior view of exhibition space. Photo from:http://www.jewmus.dk/index.asp

Exhibition design: Kvorning design & communication

The Danish Architecture Centre

This building sits right next to it, which I can’s remember its name as I just happen to chance upon it. It was a timber structure ‘inner box’ enveloped by a glass exterior, connected between two existing buildings. I remember entering it asking to go in and have a look, and found out that many architects’ offices are located in it but I was declined. I thought of begging them, claiming that I’m a poor archi student flew all the way from Aus to have a glimpse of it(trust me, sometimes it works); but the high-powered, very busy architects scared me away.Ha! Reminder to oneself: Never be mean to archi students when working. You were once one of them.  

But it figures, since we’re considered to be the know-nothing-in-the-industry-at-all brats, inspiring to be them-the great-O-Ones. Oh, well.

I had absolute fun just stumbling upon new, old, ancient architecture. Being one part of their urban fabric and trying to figure my way around their maps, my very broken Danish and awful winter weather… Guess that’s one of the greatest advantage being an archi student: the ability to appreciate the built environment and what makes up of it, be it the past, current or future trends, culture and social state.

 

Sometimes, it’s just good enough to know that the world out there is so big, that our worries are hardly significant at all. We try to make something big, beautiful, memorable and of course, important: to us and we hope others as well. But it will soon become just part of the place, part of the culture, or just part of everyday things. So, try not to worry as much, and enjoy that every present moment we are blessed with. Good, Bad, Ups and Downs, it’s all about the journey and, hardly the destination. Because if your not careful, that very precious monumental, iconic moment of life, might just slip and go by.

In between

Posted in Art/Inspiration/Creativity, Reflections, Thoughts and Musings on February 26, 2008 by shiying86

Not Black,

Not white,

Where to draw the line?

A grey area blurred,

confused, by this gaping distance between two ends.

A place in time,

People having good times;

It was all so familiar,

yet I don’t belong here.

It’s like running on a scale,

Which ever edge I stop,

I tip the ends and fall.

But when I get back to the centre,

I realise it’s no longer linear,

I was running in circles,

in this never ending cycles.

3A residence

Posted in It's my life, Life's simple pleasures on February 26, 2008 by shiying86

I went from mingling with brothers, back my bunch of sistas in my Sydney residence. 

From left(clockwise): me, Susan, Rosie and Linus in Sunnataram 2007

Sadly, Susan is now in Melbourne working, I’m wishing her all the best here and that I miss her.

So, it’s back to gossipy nights and Gal’s PJs. Or just me, bugging everyone, like good old days.

Back in Sydney

Posted in Art/Inspiration/Creativity, Grunt,groan,sigh, Photography on February 23, 2008 by shiying86

“Home is where the heart is”

So is Sydney home? maybe

Photos coutesy of Cheng Tuck

Is Malaysia the REAL home? I guess. Maybe. I don’t know.

Do u think Europe can be ur home? I think so.

So really, where’s your home? Wherever life takes me.

Happy Birthday God Brother!

Posted in It's my life, Thoughts and Musings on February 23, 2008 by shiying86

It’s 1:52am in Sydney now. so technically it’s 11pm in Malaysia.

This post is a 22nd birthday dedication to Yinn Khurn, my dear god brother. Here’s our early birthday party at his place right before I left for Sydney.

Honestly, I am too lazy and busy for a new post as I just got back to Sydney yesterday. However, I think you deserve a birthday shout out.

Yup, that’s the birthday boy

His two favorite woman in the world: Mum and girlfriend

Family cat fights

 

Ain’t he lucky?

 

Yinn Khurn,

Happy 22nd Birthday,

Good luck on your exams,

and have the time of your life in Jefferson University.

Come whatever may, I’m sure you’ll handle it with confidence and care.

May you be blessed with wisdom and courage to accompany ur journey.

Wishing you all the best, and it was great having a chance to catch up again. I’m proud to be your god-sister, and certainly cherish our ‘family bond’.

From Left:(Top)Sook Yee, Chai Ying, Zee Hui, Sin Li, me;(bottom)Chiau Huei, Yinn Khurn and Peng

 

Certainly could not forget Ee Ling as well, who had to leave early!(Go girl! ur working class now!)

Always remember this group of friends, for better or worse, for laughters and tears or just for nothing.

Take care, and probably the next time we meet, U’ll be Dr. Ooi =P

Oh! and as I had emphasized: U better invite me to ur wedding dinner!!! I am just waiting for it to happen. 

Lotsa Love,

Your god-sis

CNY gathering

Posted in It's my life on February 12, 2008 by shiying86

It’s a tradition for this CHS group of friends to meet up during CNY for a little gathering. We have all changed, choice of studies, country we’re in, relationships, new friends.

But as I told my ‘god brother’ (cos’ we’re the rare ones with the surname Ooi), no matter, how we change, it’s the old comfortability factor that will bind us all together. We don’t judge, we don’t care what you do now; what we do is we care for one another, and hope the best for one another. If we were to meet each other at this day and age as new friends, we won’t necessarily get along, but because we got together during those youthful times, there are no walls of barier, just sweet memories of the times spent laughing, crying and teasing each other. When we meet again, we try to relive those dreams and simple happiness. Some things change, but as for now, ours won’t.

The whole Gang-bang having a CNY lunch

Lou Yee Sang: I remembered Chai Yong had many wishes for us, well, hopefully they’ll all come true =)

From left: me, Sook Yee, Sisters, Chai Yee and Chai Yong

Cheers to our friendship and future

b

Posing in Pavillion. I think we became crowd attraction. Next time, probably we should carry some lion heads and we’ll be collecting some Ang Paos.

From left:Chiau Hui, Wait Theng, Zhi Yoong, Xiang Hao and Boon Beng.

Bachelors on the market(the 3 to the right): Any interested parties please contact me, and I’ll gladly be ‘Mei ren’. Remember to prepare Ang pao ya? If you need more information than my photos, I’ll gladly provide them. Let me reassure you, they are decent, gentlemanly and of course a bit shy 😉 That’s why they need a bit of my advertisement.

Chai Yong and Chiau Hui: Gosh, ain’t they lovely? they need to frame up this picture

My Sista’: my partner in crime in form 3-skipping class, making so much noise and she was the class monitor. tsk!tsk!

Boon Peng and me. I got very bored of mediocre posings.

Chums for life: me, Sook Yee and Chai Yong

One thing that never change and I absolutely dread? GUYS! Can we NOT lepak(lounge) at every corner, in front of every shop?

Not only do we create human traffic, some people/store might soon sue us for stalking. *rolls eyes*

“What are you still looking at??? Move along!!! JEEZ!” Me trodding along, defeated…

Scandinavian trip-Copenhagen

Posted in Grunt,groan,sigh, Photography, Reflections, Thoughts and Musings on February 12, 2008 by shiying86

My trip to Denmark was unforgettable in just many, many ways. It is where I shed tears, felt terribly homesick, nearly lost a finger but also saw the best contemporary architecture and lead quite a luxurious ‘design’ lifestyle. oh! not to forget, I was offered drugs in Christiania. Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark is a small and quaint city, with a fabulous old city charm. Famous for its beers (think Carlsberg), minimalist design and former power symbol of the Vikings era.

Nyhavn, Copenhagen’s famous cafe street by the canal. Sadly, winter time does not exude the bustling cafe atmosphere. Nonetheless, the colourful and flat facades are delightful to watch.

It was just like the movies as whole flock of pigeons flew past my head. Birds here are obese. They are the size of chickens in Malaysia.

Rådhusplasden, the square in front of Copenhagen city hall with Tivoli Gardens on the back drop. Unfortunately, the historic amusement park was close as it was winter time.

I was going to quote from travel books, but I figured the best way that I could ever described it is that the place feels almost too perfect.

Some nooks and cranies off Støget, the world’s longest pedestrain road

What I mean is that-they are extremely eco-friendly, trains super-efficient(wish London tube could learn a thing or two), everything is high-tech, people are extremely polite, city is clean and the standard of living is very very high. Danish pay extremely high taxes, as such, the city is well planned, heritage are well preserved and people are generally very well-off with high-quality public amenities. Now I understand why it was rated as one of the top few countries on the Human Development Index (HDI).

 

Outside Kongens Have, meaning the King’s Gardens

Outdoor skating at Kongens Nytorv

All that amounts to= GREAT designs and architecture everywhere.

The famed ‘Little Mermaid’ of the great story-teller Christian Anderson, and yes, it’s little.

I love seeing vines growing on the old buildings. It breathes a scent of historical past, mysterious and engaging. 

Amelianborg Palace or known as Marmorkin

Amelianborg Palace central square with sentry guards that MOVE

I swear- these people, live, breath and speak design. Design is so well integrated into their lives that they understand the artistic language. Not only do they appreciate design, but to them, design are solutions to living problems. From musuems, design centres, shopping malls to the cutleries I used at home- are all designer’s. Yes, a lot of times, designer’s stuff=expensive, but the difference with them, is that they appreciate design intent, and most importantly, those archi bullshit that we crao about during presentation, they realise it here. It always sounds like bull shit to me because it’s too impractical to built them, but here, they make it work and they all look amazing.

Despite their very moody, rainy and extremely cold scadinavian weather, I enjoyed walking few kilometres a days, basking in what I call design heaven. I mean c’mon, when i enter shopping malls, I see furnitures sold AND discounted that are exhibited in Sydney’s Power House Museum; I got to see buildings that I saw in books; I nearly died in their bookshops as they have so much archi books and design literature that are SO hard to get here. Sigh.. too bad i couldn’t carry them back and they were mostly in Danish.

I encountered many misfortuntes in Copenhagen, but it was also where I learned the most. Learning how to cope with living in a country you can’t speak their language. Learning how to stay calm in a dire situation. Learning that there are many types of people in the world. Seeing the contrast of a poor country like Cambodia to a rich developed country like this, and feeling lucky that I am in between. Learning that being rich is not exactly as happy as I think it is. Learning that when everything is so perfect, you don’t know what imperfection is like. What I learned best, is why people born here are more profecient in design and art. Ah.. and now I know how to differentiate this season’s Gucci from the last, branded goods shopping trips with my aunt were simply enlightening.

As Las told me,” In Denmark, if a child tells the parents they want to be an artist, the parents would be so happy. But if a kid told the same thing to an Asian parents…”

“They will commit suicide…” I replied without an eye blink. I know I’m drama-ing, but honestly, most of our parents would flip. I remembered my Asian uncle scolding me: I will be poor selling pictures on roadsides, when I claimed I wanna trod down the designer’s path.

All in all, it’s the experience that counts. A warm smile a freindly gestures goes far. Even far up North, and definitely down South. Every human being can be so different, and yet they can be so similiar. Culture, lifestyle, appearence, language, scenery and even weather makes us all a different person. Travelling helped me open my eyes to the phrase of people from all walks of life. But really, what everyone wants is just genuine love, kindness and happiness in their lives. And all those things mentioned above characterise and mould a person’s lifestyle. You can be rich and you still suffer; you can be poor and still be happy. Nothing defines anything, and nothing is always as what it seems. An open heart, open mind and big smiles goes a long, long, long way, even on the rainy days and painful moments. To see through darkness, and believing that like everything, it passes and light is at the end. This whole travel made me understand myself a bit better, made me grateful for the good people I am often surrounded with, showering me with love, kindness and support. Really, things are taken for granted till you lose it /away from it. Believe me, even a 2 mins familiar voice can be a huge moral support to 2 days of depressing weather and a series of SERIOUSLY unfortunate events and a lot of stupidity on my part. Honestly, I got through those bad times, just by ranting in my head, knowing that my freinds will empathise me when I recap to them-that kept me sane enough to think, plan and move further along the way. 

On a rare day that I saw sun: Scandinavian sunset

Shades of deeps set purple paints the scadinavian sky

Post addition:Honestly, my photos  do not do justice of the place at all. I hardly took pictures/most pictures turned out shitty, of many more places I visited. One thing that seems to show in the pictures is how harsh the scandinavian weather is, and it affects my photography mood. Plus, my camera lense keeps smoking up due to condensation. I don’t have a lense protector, which means that taking pictures in the rain was dreadful.

There are a few pictures that my photos failed to mention:

Slotsholmen. Christianborg Palace under construction

Slotsholmen: an island seperated by the city sentre by a moatlike canal and is the site of Christianborg Palace, Home to Denmark’s parliament, Teatermuseet(Theatre Museum) and the Royal Reception Chambers. I visited the ruins of Absalon’s Fotress, the underground excavation of what’s left from the previously burned down castle in the 1167 as well as Copenhagen’s slot.

Christianshavn: A place where photography was prohibited but fascinatingly alternative community to the rest of Copenhagen. It’s known as a ‘Freetown’ where hippies and groupies live in. Pusher Street used to be famous for drugs with former army barracks and more run down housing circling the area. There were grafittis painted everywhere-walls, buildings colourfully transporting me to the 80s hippie culture. People were dressed gruffy and very hip-hop. Despite the government crackdown, it is known to all that drugs were still sold here and I was offered some as well.  It was a cold day when I visited the place, many gathered around tanks of fire smoking cigars and manacing dogs roaming freely. A far cry from the sophistication of most parts of Copenhagen city.

Lousiana Modern Art Gallery: The landscape and building worked together beautifully to complement the experience of appreciating art

Lousiana: Sculpture becomes part of the landscape

Other musuems and galleries: Statens Musuem for Kunst(Denmakr’s national gallery), Nationalmuseet(The National Museum), the Danish design Centre, The Jewish Musuem, Lousiana Museum of Modern Art (My fav)-Loads of Picassos and Giocomettis and Ny Carlsberg Glptotek-a vast collection of Gaugin’s paintings and Rodin’s sculptures.  

Denmark is a very expensive country to visit and live in. Proper planning have to be made to save cost and pray for the weather’s cooperation if you’re visiting during the winter months. I will always remember that, planning and execution, are never as expected but prior planning is always a must for the latter to happen.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
and sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
and looked down one as far as I could
to where it bent in the undergrowth

Then took the other, as just as fair,
and having perhaps the better claim
because it was grassy and wanted wear;
though as for that, the passing there
had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
in leaves no feet had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference

-First Verse by Robert Frost in The Road Not taken

This poem sums up my first travel to Europe and the guts of doing it alone. Would I ever do it again? I don’t know, what I know was that, it ain’t easy as it seems but “I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference”.