Archive for the Art/Inspiration/Creativity Category

Portfolio in the making

Posted in Architecture, Art/Inspiration/Creativity on October 13, 2008 by shiying86

FLOW+er=LiFE

Posted in Art/Inspiration/Creativity, nonsense, Photography on October 3, 2008 by shiying86


Photography by Cheng Hiang LEE; Photoshopped by me.


Design Studio

Posted in Grunt,groan,sigh, Photography, Travels and Adventure on October 3, 2008 by shiying86

One of the exciting highlights of my semester is doing a design studio with Glenn Murcutt, arguably THE most famous architect in Australia. The course entails a trip up North to Goolawah Reserve, part of a national park. The site is 3km down south from the famous surfing site, Crescent Head Beach.

As a testament to his influence, Murcutt was awarded the Pritzker Prize. In the words of the Pritzker Jury: “In an age obsessed with celebrity, the glitz of our ‘starchitects’, backed by large staffs and copious public relations support, dominate the headlines. As a total contrast, [Murcutt] works in a one-person office on the other side of the world … yet has a waiting list of clients, so intent is he to give each project his personal best. He is an innovative architectural technician who is capable of turning his sensitivity to the environment and to locality into forthright, totally honest, non-showy works of art.”

Pritzker Prize is like an architecture nobel prize if I’m to describe it. Murcutt is the only Australian architect to have ever won it. But he is also awfully down-to-earth and genuine compared to the stereotypical snobbish architects in the industry.

We’re designing a research lab on swamp. We went on a 3 day camp for a site visit, it was tiring but a great chance to bond with my course mates. Another first this sem, is that I actually get to know them better. I realized that no one ever puts a barrier between you and another person, only yourself. As a friend said, I always looked like an ice queen and so others are afraid to approach. While I on the other hand, thought they never ever want to make friend with someone like me. 

 

 

There is so much good memories to it. Working in the swamp by day; poker by night. Some of the highlights was watching the Olympics with a whole crowd and waking up early to watch sunrise with 3 boys. It was fun, exciting and inspirational. 

I’m more than half-way through the course, so the initial inspiring excitement has given way to a whole lot of stress and tears. Learning from the best comes at high price, believe me. Having the best tutors, long studio ours (read:8 hours), and yet I am afraid, a lot of fear between me and my work. High expectation which I feel suffocated by. From who? Myself, and I know that. Complicated is not easy, but its easy complicating things. Learning to let go and simplifying things, and yet retaining that singular concept consistently and masterfully is something I have yet able to comprehend and perform.

Intention

Posted in Architecture, Art/Inspiration/Creativity, Reflections, Travels and Adventure on June 27, 2008 by shiying86

Sunnataram Pagoda

Photograph by Cheng Tuck Lim

I have always been awed that it took inexperience monks a total of 5 years to built this monument from scratch. It is indeed a building thats stands for greatness, time and strength. Like an architect I met there said, “Even if you laid one bloody stone up there, you will still feel proud to be able to say that ‘I helped built that.'” To be able to built an ancient pagoda with today technological advances gives no suprise to anyone. But to understand that this came by with limited funds, inexperienced designers and monks as builders, is enough to make any person swoon. Not to forget this pagoda is not a off-the-shelf copy. In order words, its is unique.

However, my recent trip there, I learned from a monk with no prior design experience that architectural design like everything else, begins with a pure and good intention.

 

Photograph by Cheng Tuck Lim

 

The intention of wanting to do good.

Sounds too simple to be true, but every single detail, idea concepts is about the intention you have and the action you make, the steps you take and the end results produced.

All determined simply by that sheer power of intention. Certainly, I have no intention to say that, once the intention to built something great is there, hocus-pocus it happens- but rather, the importance of this intention. I have often complain how hard architecture is, and sometimes its not about the amount of work involved, but rather how it messes up your head.

All the intentions that one may have, not necessarily, it can be realized. Adjustments to be made, expectations to be crushed. It drives me crazy when I start pondering the purpose of me doing this, changing that, altering this, and designing that. Why? How? What? There are so many paths to reach the same goal, which one am I choosing? but before that, how do I even determine my goal?

This is where I learn how important intention is. The strength of a good intention lies in how bloody badly u want that intention to be good. Sounds wrong? Case in point is the Gratitude Pagoda. There could have been many ways to built it-they could have raise enough money to get builders to do it, they could have just copied off some pagoda in Thailand (Who would care anyway?) or simply, build an easier, simpler one-like the usual concrete cement ones coated in brilliant gold paint. BUT it is a self-designed sandstone pagoda. Something you can only find in NSW with its abundance of sandstone, a signature that this monument will stand against time and tide. 

Photograph by Cheng Tuck Lim

The intention to give something back to the Buddhist community produced a masterpiece. The greatness does not merely lie in the aesthetically pleasing monument, as the outcome of wanting to built a pagoda to house the Buddha Relics; but it is also to bring people together to help built this monument. When a visitor approaches it, His ears pleased by the chiming of the bells when blown by wind; His eyes marvel the timeless stone structure; His heart feels peace with it sitting among nature, both palms just naturally come together as he breathes in the essence of spirituality. This is the effect that how architecture can effect one person. But to deepen on that concept, to understand that the number of bells were used not only for that reason but it is also etched with blessings on it. Every single one of them, so when the wind blows, may the blessings fall upon everyone. The eight turning corners to represent the noble eight fold path. And much much more. This is one building that people want to study, to admire, not just for its beauty, the multiple meaning it embodies.

Not one to appreciate architecture? Well, that intention to spread goodness is in every stone, sweat, and time invested in the building. What proves to be great, is not the greatness itself, but the ability to inspire others to do great things. 

“When others look at the building, they see how beautiful it is. But I see the beauty in it because of the Metta (love and kindness) and willingness of many different people coming together to help built it.” 

This strikes me that-it is for the simple intention of spreading goodness to building a pagoda that one realizes that it all clicks. The determination of staying true to the right intention, allows the building to inspire others to actually help realize the goal and also inspire them to have similar intentions. The intention slowly unfolds into inspiration and has a domino effect and many different people-to when it is being built extending to the future to when it becomes a ruin. If you are able to see and understand the underlying workings of buildings as such, or create that inspiration in others, the satisfaction is indescribable.

Architect’s Perspective Drawing

Getting good marks on a project I work my ass off one whole semester definitely did not give me as much satisfaction as help throwing gravels down to form the foundation/mixing cement knowing that my efforts would actually make a difference in someone else’s life.

 

Lazy

Posted in 1, Art/Inspiration/Creativity on June 15, 2008 by shiying86

For the above word, i’ll only put up pretty pictures. 😉

The Last Lecture

Posted in Art/Inspiration/Creativity on May 5, 2008 by shiying86

This is truly inspiring.

If you want more of the story, go check out the interview he did with Diane Sawyer on ABC.

Do you see what I see?

Posted in Art/Inspiration/Creativity, Grunt,groan,sigh on April 13, 2008 by shiying86

This town is colder now, I think it’s sick of us 
It’s time to make our move, I’m shakin off the rust 
I’ve got my heart set on anywhere but here 
I’m staring down myself, counting up the years 
Steady hands, just take the wheel… 
And every glance is killing me 
Time to make one last appeal… for the life I lead 

Stop and stare 
I think I’m moving but I go nowhere 
Yeah I know that everyone gets scared 
But I’ve become what I can’t be, oh 
Stop and stare 
You start to wonder why you’re ‘here’ not there 
And you’d give anything to get what’s fair 
But fair ain’t what you really need 
Oh, can u see what I see 

They’re tryin to come back, all my senses push 
Un-tie the weight bags, I never thought I could… 
Steady feet, don’t fail me now 
Gonna run till you can’t walk 
But something pulls my focus out 
And I’m standing down… 

Stop and stare 
I think I’m moving but I go nowhere 
Yeah I know that everyone gets scared 
But I’ve become what I can’t be, oh 
Stop and stare 
You start to wonder why you’re here not there 
And you’d give anything to get what’s fair 
But fair ain’t what you really need 
Oh, you don’t need 

What u need, what u need… 

Stop and stare 
I think I’m moving but I go nowhere 
Yeah I know that everyone gets scared 
But I’ve become what I can’t be 
Oh, do u see what I see…

-One Republic’s Stop and Stare

 

The lyrics of the song is so beautifully written. A little melancholic but, nevertheless, poetic.

I wonder too, when I stopped and look back, if I’m moving towards where I want to be, becoming who I think I want to be. It’s all what I think anyway, all relative, and so do I even see what I’m seeing?