With age, I’ve been more reluctant to engage in the cyclical social gymnastics of a high-octane evening. Just give me a pint and a pinball machine and I’ll be a content little monk, cussing at gravity and the wiles of analog engineering. Aside from triggering rebellious teenage memories, the Orange Monkey pool hall is also situated in one of the rare industrial complexes in the city.
As a child in Hong Kong, I was always mesmerized by all the glass and mirrors and the way they created this illusion of space. My favourite were aquariums with seahorses in them. Kowloon Market in Chinatown satiates my aquaphilia with their fish tanks, while also satiating my appetite for freshly bonked fish cleaned and ready to be steamed.
We have the best Vietnamese cuisine in Canada thanks to an inclusive policy that opened the city up to thousands of post-war Vietnamese refugees in the late 70s. At the zenith of this flavour heap is Huong’s where I can relive a recent trip to vibrant Hanoi. The whole idea of lining up for egg-y brunch is absurd when you can get a spicy saté noodle lashing here and squash that hangover in seconds.
This vintage clothing store ain’t just some new-aged, marked up warehouse for ironic t-shirts and howling wolf hoodies. Brimming to the teats with ghostly relics, Ragtime has come to my rescue on multiple occasions; whether it’s a tailcoat for a bougie gala, Genghis Khan gear for a time-travel party, a Kamikaze pilot for Halloween or knickerbockers for my groomsmen.
Artengine is a local arts group that produces technologically based presentations. As part of their Electric Fields program, I recently attended Swim Sound – a sound performance at a municipal pool. A percussionist played on a floating platform, while a knob twiddler tweaked and tweezed the inputs coming from drum mics and a couple underwater mics. Too fun with an encore performance possibly happening in the spring!
Teguh Hartanto and Su Tomesen are visual artists based in Jogjakarta. Teguh's mainly works with the media painting and screen printing but he also does street art with graffiti and stencil. He works spontaneously; the outcome is unpredictable and surprising. For him, the process is more important than the result. Su's work consists of videos, photographs and installations, and she travels a lot.
Working in the context of a residence abroad or on location is a means of putting her (European) position, ideas and being into discussion. She has been artist-in-residence in Belgrade, Amman and Johannesburg, and worked for an international video art project in Port-au-Prince, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.
The work of Amsterdam based visual artist Martijn Sandberg, constantly explores border areas, such as the tension between text and image, legibility and illegibility, the private and the public domain. “I make Image Messages, image is message is image.” The image hides the message. In the cut paintings „Sorry No Image Yet‟ and „Too Busy To Paint‟ there is a subtle play between the language of the image and the significance of the image, and this gives rise to questions.
Here, the lack of image seems to be elevated to an image by the artist. The direct relationship between the image, the material bearing the image and the environment is also expressed in his site-specific works in public space and architecture. As in „If These Walls Could Speak‟ that can be viewed in the lifts at the OBA Public Library Amsterdam, and the artwork „I Will Survive' located at the border of a burial ground in Hardenberg, The Netherlands. In 2010 „My Last Penny‟ by Martijn Sandberg is released as jaarpenning/ art medal 2010, issued by the Vereniging voor Penningkunst/ Dutch Art Medal Society in a multiple edition of 450 pieces.