RSS

Category Archives: All we need is the Arts

Ilocos Futures

When I checked Vanessa Miemis, emergent by design, blog roll on culture hacking I read that a culture hacking conference will be held in the US this year. Dubbed as the Agile Culture Conference 2012 the convention explores the promise of culture analysis, culture design and culture implementation in society and the workplace.  The conference aims to discuss how culture is fast becoming  a “gating” factor to satisfaction, productivity and learning. Culture hacking was defined by Agile as the art or science of “modifying a culture for personal betterment and the betterment of others.” Inspired by hacker ethos and software re-engineering paradigms, culture hack is the process of taking things apart (deconstruction) to create new things, ideas, systems and worldviews.

When I received the invitation from networks to submit an abstract for the conference I emailed some friends in the World Futures Studies Federation to catch up with the idea…

View original post 967 more words

 
 

Butterflies, Pink Blossoms and Transmodernism

The Pink Resilience

The Pink Resilience

When I was a kid I remember seeing thousands of Gumamela flower. In the early 90s, our city was adorned by thousands of plum blossoms in red, yellow and orange. I remember using it as a garland and we picked dozens of them and made and blew hundreds of sparkling Gumamela bubbles. The experience was really subliminal and partly emotional. It is sad to note that the flowers and the bubbles are gone. The Gumamela are rarely found even in the remotest villages. I never knew about the Gumamela metaphor until I learned that it was the national flower of China and Taiwan. China Airlines, the largest airline in Taiwan wears the pink blossom. In Chinese culture, the pink blossom is a metaphor for strength, beauty and the resilience to overcome adversity. I saw a lot of Gumamela flower n Tamsui, Taiwan. The ceasing of the flower might give us an idea on where and what we are now. Decoding the flower is a good way of knowing who and what we truly are as Asians.

The Great Tamsui River from TKU Cheuh Sheng International Center. 2012.

Canal is formed when Water Comes

And then I arrived in the Tamsui District of Taipei, Taiwan.

I learned that Taiwan was geographically and topographically similar to Bangui, Pagudpud and Adams of Ilocos Norte, Philippines. It shares the same sea. Its mountain range, its native trees, flora and fauna are similar to that of the Tamsui District, Taiwan.  The precipitation and the weather is exactly the same. Tamsui is surrounded by water – the sea and Tamsui River. Tamsui is abundant in exceptional scenery with a rich blend of culture and natural wonders.

The Mighty Tamsui River

The three municipios will learn a lot if they visit the Tamsui district. If and when they aspire for an urban development fit for a village-ecological future oriented city Tamsui is the place to be. The mayors of these municipalities should visit Tamsui, Taiwan. Tamsui is a nature-oriented, ethnic-culture sensitive, tourist friendly future city. I was told that the Spaniards briefly occupied the area and renamed it to Casidor in the 17th century to facilitate trade with China and Japan. The Spaniards were expelled later by the Dutch. Tamsui (Danshui in English) started as a small fishing town that slowly became a center for tourism, fishing and trade port in the north of Taiwan. In fact, one of its national historical monument is Fort San Domingo. The fort has a history of over 400 years and the British used it as a consular office. They also have the Little White House. The Spaniards built in 1862.

Tamkang University: Simplicity, Truthfulness, Firmness and Perseverance

I stayed at Tamkang University (TKU) International House, my host. And so I went around the campus known as the “City of Intellect” and learned that Tamkang University is the first private university of Taiwan. It has four campuses namely: Tamsui Campus (The City of Intellect), Taipei Campus (The Sea of Knowledge Navigator), Lanyang Campus (the Garden of Wisdom), and Cyber Campus (The Space of Knowledge Explorer).

Today, TKU is ranked 9th by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan and in Asia’s Top 50 university. Around 30,000 form the diverse student of TKU and partners with 28 sister universities around the world (Source: http://english.tku.edu.tw/Campus_four.asp).

Chinese Palace Style Classroom

Established in the 1950s its “Triple Objectives of Education” in nurturirng academic growth are: globalization (spatial pattern of the future); information-oriented education (the life pattern of the future); and future-oriented education (the time frame of the future). Its motto is “SImplicity, Truthfulness, Firmness and Perseverance.

I was able to visit the Statue of Mr. Chang Ching-Sheng (founder), Liu Sheng Memorial Science Hall, Retaiku International House, the Business and Management Building, The College of Education Building, the Cheuh-Sheng International Conference Hall, the Carrie Change Fine Arts Center, Cheuh Sheng Memorial Library and of course The College of Liberal Arts Building.

Taipei 101: A Transmodern Skycraper

A landmark skycraper in the Xinyi District of Taipei, Taipei101 is the tallest and the largest green building in the world. The building was awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification in 2011. The building was ranked the tallest in the world until 2004. 101 is iconic it symbolizes the fusion of Asian culture and technology. The structure is transmodern (it combines high-tech architecture, technology and feng-shui, ancient mystical science and traditions) and function like a sundial when face by the sun. I was told that its layer light displays the seven colors of a spectrum (rainbow) and one color coincide with the days of the week. Truly, 101 is one of the best skyscraper in the world and embodies transmodern way of thinking, aesthetics and icons. The 101 is a pillar of Asian creativity.

Chiang Kai Shek and Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall: Standing on the Shoulder of Giants

And then I was standing on the shoulders of giants. I was fortunate to have visited the memorial halls of Chang Kai Shek and Sun Yat Sen. Jiang Jieshi in Mandarin, Chang was a prominent political and military leader of 20th century Republican China. Known for transforming the Whampoa Academy as one the most sophisticated and advanced military school in Asia, he led  China until a civil war broke out and the Communist Party of China ousted the Nationalist Government to Taiwan. Chang Kai Shek ruled as President of the Republic of China in Taiwan until his death in 1975.

Of course, Chang’s predecessor Sun Yat Sen, a Chinese revolutionary and founding father of the Republic of China, was responsible in overthrowing the Qing Dynasty. Sen was a uniting figure in the post-imperial China. He was one of the so-called “Four Bandits” that fought the Qing Dynasty. His legacy of the Three Principles of the People and the Five Yuan Constitution continues to guide Taiwan’s political system and bureaucracy. Sun Yat Sen in my book is one of the most inspiring figures of the early 20th century. His biography, speeches, writings on government and democracy is a must read. Professors, young leaders and historians will learn a lot by reading Sun Yat Sen’s writings.

Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

Sun Yat Sen ended the 2000 years of Dynastic System in China

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

The National Palace Museum: Chinese: Arts, Music Culture and History  

The National Palace Museum exhibits a fine collection of Chinese arts, culture and history. Originally founded in 1925, the NPM collection numbers to more than 680,000 objects making it a premier museum of Chinese art and culture. Most of the artifacts found in the Forbidden Palace are housed in the National Palace Museum. The Republic of China shipped around 600,000 artifacts when the civil war raged between the Nationalist government and Communists. The NPM is a fully evolved museum and employs the latest digital technology in cultural innovation and industry. The NPM plays a vital role in shaping the future of museums and its role in contemporary life and society.

NPM features the following exhibit:

  1. The Mystery of Bronzes
  2. Nature and Human in Unison: Smart Cravings of Jade and Beautiful Stones
  3. Uncanny Feat and Celestial Ingenuity: The Carving of the Ming and Qing Era
  4. Art in Quest of Heaven and Truth: Chinese Jades through the Ages
  5. The Bell and Cauldron Inscriptions: A Feast of Chinese Characters – the Origin and Development
  6. Rituals Cast in Brilliance: Chinese Bronzes Through the Ages
  7. Special Exhibition Gallery
  8. A History of Chinese Ceramics
  9. Painting and Caligraphy
  10. Rare Books and Documents
  11. Arts from the Qing Imperial Collection
  12. Splendors of Qing Furniture
  13. Religious Sculptural Arts

The Museum Layout is quite massive and a visitor would need at least three to four days at least to tour the two exhibition areas including the library building. You can also visit the Zhishan Garden without extra cost. General admission is priced at NT $160 that’s more or less about 200 in Philippine peso.

The museum also has a Children Gallery, a multimedia auditorium and offers creative workshop classes.

Metro Arts

Yes the Taipei train and subway stations was passenger friendly. But more than that was the Metro train exhibiting modernist and even futuristic art works. The public art that I saw were children artworks.The artworks were distinctive, delightful, thought-provoking and inspiring. Work of arts can be found in a number of stations.

Spring Optimism

Last day in Taiwan was a time well spent. We went to the National Palace Museum, the Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, the Sun Yat Sen Great Memorial Hall and of course Taipei 101 – the tallest shopping mall  in Asia (formerly known as Taiwan World Financial Center). It would have been better if we were able to check the Martyr’s Shrine, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Confucius Temple, Spot Taipei, the North Gate and the National Museum of History. We hope to visit them soon.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on May 11, 2012 in All we need is the Arts

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ilocos Futures

Edge Y Ilocano

The edge y Ilocano has arrived and they will, literally and virtually, create or perhaps disrupt the next 40 to 60 years of Ilocos history, society, arts, futures and culture. I am pretty sure they won’t write their history like what their predecessors did,  the baby and mid-life boomers that relied on typewriters, politics and law, government, liberalism, superstars, dictators, ideologies, the cold war, crude oil, traditional media, unrestrained economic growth and capital markets. The generation that was hook into Roman and Renaissance myths and “Coke is it” metaphors, their “boomer” heroics, I think, are about to end.

Of course, we cannot deny the details of the so-called “Aquarian prosperities” that happened in the 1970s which was a cool thing, the heydays, however, were short-lived. Tragically, I say, the legacy of the previous generation concludes with the worst global economic bankruptcy, social inequity, unemployment and environmental damage…

View original post 1,945 more words

 

Animal Talk

Dr. Wang Roubing in his curtorial introduction said that the Animal Talk Art Exhibit was a visual discourse of eight Chinese artists from China and Singapore. The art exhibit offers an experimental ocular platform to discuss in a transformative-reflective style the relationship between arts and animals, between humanity and the rest of creation.

China based artist Zhou Bin in the Meat Worms photography series wedged his naked body into the gaps of ruined buildings and in various natural environments like a worm. Zhou, in making this artworks, conveyed that he wanted to express his discontent towards the rapid changing of Chinese society.

As for Singapore born artist Sai Hua Kan and Chen Jianjun reminds me of existential dualism and the tounge-in-cheek critique of economic and productive relationship in which animals exist with man at the centre of his world. Animals in their artwork questioned the commodification of animals and cruelty of animals by man in the twenty first century.

Singaporean-born sculptor in a series of wood carvings called Guardian Angel illustrates his kampong experience. Xiong Yu’s installations called World Above Clouds animates an imaginary relationship between human civilization and wilderness.

Robert Zhao Renhui’s photography series On Hype Reality offers an unconventional angle in looking at zoos.

Wang Roubing captured in a bird shop is built on monetary value and the ownership of other living creatures. It discloses the conundrum of relationship between human and nature.

The Still Life animation series by He Peng illustrates with moving images of the theory of evolution.

Animal Talk visual arts exhibit encapsulates a conversation, a metaphoric reference that allows the condition of human society to be exposed for scrutiny.

As Zhou Bin stated in the Meat Worms Landscape No. 3 explained that “everyday, our living environment undergoes a constant, dramatic change, continually replacing the old with the new.” And asked “Where does this force of change, invisible, impalpable and yet so powerful, come from? We are all like worms, hiding, struggling and squirming in this frenzied reality.”

The Jendela Art Space experience was truly engaging. The artists did a good job in their portrayal of animal torture and how man neglected, abandoned, and disregarded its non-human neighbors.

 
 

Art Works. Art Work

Art Works. Art Work

Banga Art

Banga Art. Potential.

Magnificent Art Works

Sweet. This is liberating.

This is wonderful...

Art Shirts.

Shirt Arts

Toy + Wood = Jeepney

Tinikling

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 14, 2012 in All we need is the Arts

 

The First Cebu International Documentary Film Festival is here!

 

The First Cebu International Documentary Film Festival is here! Make one, or if you have one, sign them up and send them right away!

This is the first in the Philippines and it will give everyone an opportunity to showcase Pinoy ingenuity in the digital age.

The festival will take place on June 13 to June 16, 2012.

Link here for more information http://www.cidff.org/about-cidff.html and this

http://www.cidff.org/home-cidfp.html

 

 

 
 

Tags:

Animal Talk, Spiritual Techs and the Multicultural Mind

Multiculturalism

After seven days of sojourn in Penang, Malaysia,  the roadtrip was on! and the Super Coach trip to Singapore was fun . The travel was 5 to 6 hours. It was a journey like no other as I had that rare opportunity of  immersing with the people at the bus and gas stations and enjoyed the long and artistic visual landscape of Malaysia to Singapore.

Penang Sarimanok. Penang like the Philippines is known in Malaysia as the Pearl of the Orient.

Malaysia-Singapore Border

The voyage revealed many personal insights on culture, good governance, language, multiculturalism, diversity, religion, music, arts, food, epistemology, environmental management, etc. I took note of them.

Then came Singapore and I was, to my delight, welcomed by towering Buddhist temples, Hindu Ashrams, Islamic Mosques, Confucianist centers, Christian spiritual centers, diverse spiritual practices, rituals and faiths of ancient Asian, Oriental or Non-Western spiritual traditions.

Sinic culture was scenic

Art Mart Gallery

Singapore was a melting pot of spirituality but unlike India, Singapore was ultra-modern, or better yet trans-modern. If Malaysia was Malay, Arabic, Islamic and cultural, Singapura is a fine China; a porcelain in the heart of South East Asia.

As expected, Singapore is a thought leader in this part of the world. As one of the world’s busiest art centres, Singapore’s Esplanade caters to artistic diversity, multiculturalism and varied audiences. Who would not want to go to the Esplanade – the performing arts centre of South East Asia. Malay, Indic, Islamic, Sinic, Western arts, etc. are calendared throughout the year for everyone. Dance, music, folk arts, rock, visual arts and other lifestyle activities are presented free or at low cost.

HyperTech

I also visited Singapore’s public libraries to check on its music SG archive (Singapore Music Digital Archive). I learned that the MusicSG project is a non-profit initiative to digitally archive and publish Singapore musical works. It can be accessed over the internet or at the multimedia stations at the National Library Board’s libraries. The musicSG is all about digitizing and archiving Singapore’s musical heritage.

The Books I read...

Frank Zappa for you!

SerI also tried checking the National Online Repository of the Arts or NORA, a database of digitized works in the literary, performing and visual arts by prominent Singapore artists including Singapore’s cultural medallion recipients. The NORA project includes a wide range of digital works in the performing arts, literary arts, visual arts and film.

The Serangoon Public Library, a Community Learning Hub, was just amazing. It houses more than 150,000 items for readers and has a wide collection of books, magazines and audio-visual materials. It has a digital media zone, a children’s corner, a Window’s display for those who are not sure of what to books to pick up and a new arrivals section to draw attention to the latest library collection.
The next day, I went to check the Visual Arts Exhibit entitled Animal Talk at the Jendela Visual Arts Space.

Animal Talk

Dr. Wang Roubing in his curtorial introduction said that the Animal Talk Art Exhibit was a visual discourse of eight Chinese artists from China and Singapore. The art exhibit offers an experimental ocular platform to discuss in a transformative-reflective style the relationship between arts and animals, between humanity and the rest of creation.

China based artist Zhou Bin in the Meat Worms photography series wedged his naked body into the gaps of ruined buildings and in various natural environments like a worm. Zhou, in making this artworks, conveyed that he wanted to express his discontent towards the rapid changing of Chinese society.

Animal Talk

As for Singapore born artist Sai Hua Kan and Chen Jianjun reminds me of existential dualism and the tounge-in-cheek critique of economic and productive relationship in which animals exist with man at the centre of his world. Animals in their artwork questioned the commodification of animals and cruelty of animals by man in the twenty first century.

Singaporean-born sculptor in a series of wood carvings called Guardian Angel illustrates his kampong experience. Xiong Yu’s installations called World Above Clouds animates an imaginary relationship between human civilization and wilderness.

Robert Zhao Renhui’s photography series On Hype Reality offers an unconventional angle in looking at zoos.

Wang Roubing captured in a bird shop is built on monetary value and the ownership of other living creatures. It discloses the conundrum of relationship between human and nature.

The Still Life animation series by He Peng illustrates with moving images of the theory of evolution.

Animal Talk visual arts exhibit encapsulates a conversation, a metaphoric reference that allows the condition of human society to be exposed for scrutiny.

As Zhou Bin stated in the Meat Worms Landscape No. 3 explained  that “everyday, our living environment undergoes a constant, dramatic change, continually replacing the old with the new.” And asked “Where does this force of change, invisible, impalpable and yet so powerful, come from? We are all like worms, hiding, struggling and squirming in this frenzied reality.”

The Jendela Art Space experience was truly engaging. The artists did a good job in their portrayal of animal torture and how man neglected, abandoned, and disregarded its non-human neighbors.

According to PR Sarkar, the author of the philosophy of Neo-humanism, there are two “destructive tendencies” that are predominant in the human mind: one is intra-humanistic that is the exploitation or oppression of fellow human beings; and the other is “inter-creature” that is the torture of animals, plants and other living beings. The inevitable result of this is the “catastrophic ruin of human life as well.” Sarkar writes when “man awakens his genuine love for the entire living and inanimate universe, only then will the human, plant and animal worlds be save from extinction”  and “attain the consummation of its existence” (PR Sarkar, Birds and Animals, Our Neighbors, 2007).

The PCAP Group is Against Cruelty to Animals Source: http://shiilabhadrananda.anandamarga.name/

The Animal Talk and Sarkar’s Philosophy of Neo-humanism urged us to recognize our non-human counterparts as essential not just to our survival but the survival of the entire living world as well. The importance of the non-human world, the need to treat animals and plants as our co-equals was best captured by this poetry derived from Shabda Cayanika Part 10, Discoure 66:

The world which is the child of the Mother Goddess,

Does She think differently about its different creatures?

You want to satisfy the mother by slaughtering the kid?

More Photos

Confucian Temple

Buddhist Institute

Buddhist Association

Islamic Masjid

Spiritual Sun Consultancy

Islamic Madrasah

Hindu Ashram

Esplanade Jam

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 7, 2012 in All we need is the Arts

 

Tags: , , , , , ,