Opening this tiny and lovely bathroom window in the morning was quite magical. Although it didn’t open to a view, the proximity of the tropical plants, the feeling of warm air slowly easing into the space, the sounds of birds and insects became an unforgettable experience. It made me envious of those who have the daily privilege of waking to this green and naturally wonderful environment. Location: Tamarind Village
I was recently invited to contribute a piece to an HIV/AIDS awareness project for the Centre for the Study of AIDS. The initiative is carried out by my designer friend Jacques Lange and consists of a boxed set of six A6 sized notebooks/mini diaries intended to be a versatile tool for whomever uses and how it is used – either for documenting thoughts, visual diaries, planning, scheduling, noting, recording, etc. The six notebooks/mini diaries will be contained in a black slip cover which will carry the CSA branding and the title “Leading edge” which is the overall theme of the project.
My contribution (pictured above): Cabbages and Condoms is a restaurant in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok that works toward AIDS awareness and prevention. It was set up by the Population and Community Development Association (PDA), one of Thailand’s most established NGOs.
From my purse appear a disorganized bundle of bills (from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam), multiple boarding passes from Air Asia, miscellaneous taxi receipts, and the occasional odd souvenir, such as the green bean cake from Hanoi (pictured above). It’s been 18 days of fun adventure including mishaps (lost taxi drivers, conversational misunderstandings, small injuries), and astonishing sights and experiences (Jakarta traffic jams, over the top ceremonial dinners, governmental meetings, creative encounters, smiles and laughs). Now back in Bangkok, thinking about my 65 interviews, while reflecting on the role of art, culture, and creativity. I am growing very fond of the region, its creative people in particular who are so invested and passionate about what they do (thank you for sharing your stories). I am inspired by the potential though much aware of the many challenges and hurdles that can get in the way. Next stops are Phnom Penh and Chiang Mai…
Beautiful drawings of Penang, Malaysia, by Ch’ng Kiah Kiean, a local artist, architect and designer born in 1974. Published in 2009 and edited by Lee Khai. (Thank you Joe Sidek)
These are “tenugui” (Japanese facecloth used during the hot summer months) designed by RAAK aka Eirakuya established in 1615 in Kyoto. The patterns are dyed using the Kyo-Yuzen traditional method that is known to be highly resistant to fading.