Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Dress-up

Today is Halloween, and believe it or not, this is the first time I dress up to the occasion. Previously I have only heard or seen in magazines of people dressing up in different characters for this festival, but as I'm not so much of a party animal, I have no reason to do so. This year, however, I decided to do it for the first time, after fellow classmates decided to dress up to school.
My makeup for today; this is actually my usual Chinese opera makeup, with the absence of red blusher for the cheeks, and the trading of red eyeshadow and lipstick with their black equivalent.

Actually my decision to dress up was rather last minute, although I had already started thinking what to wear since last week. Years back while I was in polytechnic during the National Day period, the school management encouraged us to turn up in costumes belonging to us ethnic race. Like my current classmates, my classmates then were very excited over it and started talking about it. I even specially went to buy a traditional Chinese top for that event, but it turned out that I was the only one to dress up, and hence I didn't want this ordeal to repeat again this time round. It was only yesterday when some of my classmates confirmed with me that they'd be dressing up that I finally decided to follow suit.
This style of mine, is actually modelled after a Pili Puppetery character named Su Huanzhen (素还真), but due to unavailability of a white wig, I decided to make do with my personal black wig, and changed my makeup slightly to make it resemble less of the original. If you think this costume looked familiar, it's actually what Amai wore for her Carp General in "Romance of the Dragon Princess", but the inner garment is actually my own zipped-up turtleneck top.

I guess if there's ever an OTT (over-the-top) award for Halloween Lasalle 2007, I can easily clinch it, for I believe I'm the only male in school to be completely dressed up with wig, makeup, costume and boots. Just imagine this: the moment I step into our workshop area, I immediately got the attention of almost everyone (some positive, some negative), and there're even people giving applause. Well, though I'm used to such attention (since I'm a performer), I don't know how to react to them, and just walked on as if nothing happened. Anyway, throughout the day, I've had people coming up to me to ask to take picture with me; I have never been that "popular" before!
An unknown fellow coursemate posing with me (if you're reading this, sorry; I don't know your name!). Who's that black blurry figure behind us? She's actually proud; she wanted to take a picture with me too, but not knowing who I am until I hinted her a bit in Thai!

Now I'm sitting comfortably in my room with my makeup and costume totally off. It's a relieve for me at last, but I'm suffering from a bit of headache and dryness of the lips. Actually I always feel like this after every performance, and I don't know why. Anyway, there's supposed to be a Halloween party tonight as well, but as I wasn't informed until only this afternoon. I didn't have time to prepare for it, and therefore I decided to just skip it.
My classmate Kel Win posing with my wig after I removed them. He was actually dressed up to, but without makeup that is.

Halloween 2007 has come to an end, and I'm looking forward to the one next year. I can't confirm if I'll still dress up or not, I think I'll have to come up with something new and different from this year's. Time to start planning!

PS: I love walking out of campus without my costume and makeup and wig; nobody seemed to recognise me at all!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Colour Pencil Once Again

Today I did a colour pencil drawing for my drawing homework. It took me 3 hours to complete, and yet the results are still not quite satisfactory. I just don't understand how some people can have such saturated colours with mere colour pencils (yes I'm using chromatic greys only); maybe simply because I'm not pro enough, or that the paper they used is more suited for colour pencils. But I think I'll just leave this work as it is, for I still have another piece to draw. If I were to spend more time on this piece, I don't think I can finish my other one, and certainly no time to finish up all my other homework!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Irritating Colour Pencils

I used to think that colour pencils are my best friends in drawing, for I thought I could they were easier to handle than compared to brush and ink. Well, I was wrong. Not long ago after dabbling with acrylic, I felt that my acrylic painting skills isn't that bad as I initially thought (o should I say I'd improved), but my colour pencil rendering is still as horrible; no matter how I sharpen my pencils, or how much strength I exert onto the paper, the colour just won't fill up the holes in the paper smoothly. Therefore, the colour pencil has now overtaken brush and ink as my number 1 enemy in drawing!

My acrylic rendering done a few weeks ago

My colour pencil rendering (incomplete) done on Thursday of a portion of my school campus; the sky is getting dark (around 7pm), and I can't see clearly, hence got no choice but to stop

My 3 others classmates (from far to near: Michelle, Veronica & Stefie) were still happily colouring away; perhaps they can see in the dark?

This fellow here, Glenn, can draw until the ecllipse comes and not stop!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More Thai TVCs!

Here are more TVCs from Thailand! Now don't get me wrong; I'm not ultra-positiely-biased towards anything Thai, but I just feel that Thai commercials are really nice. Some of them are very funny, while some really makes you think and ponder.

Another Interesting TVC from Bangkok

This is yet another interesting TVC from Bangkok, by Sky Exits again, the company which did the CutePress powder shown in my previous post.

Once again, one do not need to understand Thai to know what the ad is trying to say, but the portrayal of the "villain" is again too stereotypical.

CutePress Powder Commercial from Bangkok

I've found this interesting TV commercial from Bangkok for CutePress cosmetic powder. It doesn't matter if you don't understand Thai, for the visuals explains all.

Personally I felt that the ad was funny enough, but at the same time, the stereotypical portrayal of Chinese opera actors as people who wore thick horrible-looking makeup is a bit hard for me to accept.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hari Raya Puasa Gathering

I went for a Hari Raya Puasa gathering organised by one of my Muslim classmates last Saturday. It was like more than a decade since the last time I was invited to such gatherings. I remembered when I was still a young child, I used to have a Muslim next-door neighbour, and every year for Hari Raya Puasa, they'd never fail to bring trays of festive goodies for us.

Anyway, this gathering was sort of "unusual" for our class, as about half the class turned up, a figure which is hard to achieve for some of our lessons! So we ate and watched TV for the evening, while some of us went into my classmate's room to jam on their guitars. One thing I have to say is our class has got many talented musicians! I wished I could join in, but as my genre of guitar playing (classical) don't quite fit in, so I could just stay within the room and just be a spectator!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Unintentional Blunder or Deliberate Marketing Tactic?

I was passing by Chinatown area when this advertisement caught my attention.

Being a rather visual person I am, this kind of advertisement usually won't appeal to me, especially when it's sandwiched between more aesthetically pleasing ads. However, this ad just stood out, because of the wording used: "Shou Gou Hao Huai Shou Ji" (Buying good and faulty mobile phones). I'm not too sure if the characters "Shou Ji" (mobile phone) was intentionally written wrongly into "手鸡" (hand chicken?), or was it an unintentional blunder. If it's the former, I guess the designer had succeeded in making people take notice of this otherwise plain and boring ad, but if it's the latter, I feel it's too big a blunder for a commercial advertisement! What do you think?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

English Drama Adapted From Chinese Opera

I was flipping some books on stage scenery in Lasalle's library this afternoon when I came across one design for this particular English drama that was adapted from Chinese opera. I had actually read the original script when I was in Primary school, but curious at how the English adaptation would be like, I did a search on the net, and found a relevant picture, taken in around the 50s.

The title of this show is called "Lady Precious Stream". Can anyone make a guess what is the Chinese opera equivalent to this show? One clue: this show is very popular in Gezi opera, and one of the songs in the show is even like the "anthem" of the genre!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Finale for Hikmah Season 2 - Finally!

Today was the finale of Hikmah season 2, a Indonesia-produced drama serial showing on Suria channel, and I was very excited. You must be wondering how come I'm interested in a Indonesian language serial like this, especially since I don't even understand Behasa Indonesia. Actually I don't know either, but I supposed it's the complicated plot and roller-coaster-like climax that appealed to me. The only thing which I don't exactly like, though, is that it's a bit too weepy; it doesn't look very "Hikmah" without at least 1 of the characters crying in every episode!

To be honest, though I am sort of a fan of this serial, I've watched less than 10% of the total number of episodes for both season 1 and 2. When I first started watching season 1 over Suria, it was already being broadcast halfway through, and not long after, my job in my previous company (permanent afternoon-night shift) forbid me to follow up with the show. ,It was only recently that I manage to carry on with it, but by then, season 2 was almost near to its end already, and I have missed out so many episodes that I almost couldn't catch up, like how come the mother of the leading male, who used to hate her daughter-in-law like poison in season 1 suddenly treasured her like the sun of her life by season 2. Of course, I managed to catch up a bit on what I've missed from the synopsis provided by Suria's website.
Now season 2 has finally come to an end, I'm now considering whether to get the VCDs to the show. I know season 1 is already out in the market, but not too sure about season 2. Anyway, there is a season 3 to the show as well, but I hope it will not be shown so soon; at least let me catch up with the past 120 episodes first before setting my eyes on season 3 and make me all the more confused!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My Unlikely Idol: Jason Donovan

I have another idol whom I rarely (well, almost never) talked about before to anyone, and he is Aussie-singer Jason Donovan. He's a bit of an "unlikely idol" for me for two reasons: first, his relatively short-spanned pop career was between the late 80s and early 90s, a period where I wasn't at all interested in English pop music; second, by the time I really got interested in his music (mid/ late 90s), the "retro" era was way long over!

How I started to know of his existence was by chance. In the mid/ late 90s, I started to like musicals, and on one occasion, I bought a Laserdisc album which contained one track by him (you might have guessed it; it's "Any Dream Will Do" from "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"). Well, to be honest, his singing may not be as good as the other big names in the West End scene, but I thought that song was rather nice, and that made me took notice of him anyway. Subsequently I bought some of his old albums (by then he no longer release any new albums, and his old albums were already hard to get) too.

Jason is residing in UK currently, I supposed (on a side note: I am pro-British and pro-Aussie, if you guys remember!), and t was reported that he's intending to come back as a folk rock singer. I certainly hope to hear from him again real soon, although I know very well his musical style will be very much different from what he did in the past.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Clash of Styles!

I've finished making a poster for our opera troupe's year end performance titled "The Birthday Banquet". This is the first poster in the past few months, and I supposed I've been somehow influenced by my studies in Lasalle, as I've abandoned the "traditionalism" style I've employed previously in my poster work, and had used slightly more modern approach for the design, like the usage of pseudo-Chinese photo frames. Well, not totally very modern, for I'm not sure if the troupe or our audience will be able to take it or not. Anyway, after doing the poster, I realised something interesting: the dans are very Taiwanese in feel (using Taiwanese wigs and hair accessories), the shengs are very Yueju in style (Yueju-styled headgears and costumes), while I looked very Teochew!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My Loonie Classmates

Grrraaaaaa!! This is a photograph of my current class, well, almost all were present. What were we doing here? We were supposed to be having a IS (Integrated Studies) lesson where we were tasked to take pictures of the clothings on everyone we saw who was taking part in the same exercise as us, and then choose 20 of the lot to form a greyscale chart. Well, instead of just sticking to our task, we took a informal class photograph anyway! My classmates are a rowdy loonie bunch, and though I have a bit of an age gap with them, but I can still mingle among them as I'm equal loonie, though I may not share the same interests and hobbies with them.

This photograph was actually on our institute's learning portal for quite a while already, but I was too busy to log in to check for updates, and hence only saw it now!