Showing posts from December, 2008

2 wise kids

click for more in J's flickr This year, the kids at our door wanted to know the meaning of Christmas. Friends, amps wish you Christmas as it's meant to be with your friends and family!

on a Hou Hsiao Hsien movie set

By the tracks of the Jiji Station, the oldest train station in Taiwan OK, not quite. We did not even manage to go all the way south to Hou Hsiao Hsien's KaoShiung or even Tainan, but we did venture out from Taipei for 3 days to Taichung. But the real takeaway was actually this supposed feature of Hou Hsiao Hsien's films - trains! Trains are about the best thing about traveling. Unlike cars and taxis, trains are a social mode of transport. Train stations allow for reunions and departures, points to assess and affirm relationships. I admit that all this fades away when you are tired or in a great hurry (or both). But seriously, cars (oh, 4-wheelers!) have only brought about pollution and wasteful consumption, traffic jams, asphalt, mindless obsession with speed and countless quarrels in the stressful, enclosed interiors of cars. Friends, take it slow. Take the train. Read a book. Hold your partner's hand. Be there with the people around you. With Taiwan's highspeed rail

city day-trippers

Home from a day trip - click for larger view in flickr A Taiwanese friend in Singapore once asked - "During weekends, which are the "rural/country" places (her phrase: 郊外) that Singaporeans like to go to?" Her question stumped me for a moment. I am not sure what answer I gave her...maybe I had said Botanical Gardens, Sentosa, Pulau Ubin or, if I recovered quick enough, Sungei Buloh. While us amps are advocates of good ol' domestic tourism, the idea of "郊外" as a regular weekend distraction on this island is still somewhat remote. But not so for the Taiwanese, young or old, and probably especially so for the Taipei city folk who are daily gas-ed by scooter-fumes. Among the things J and I miss most about Taiwan when we got back to our little island is this "郊外", often a MRT ride just 30min or less from the city where everything slows down. So if you are ever in Taiwan, day-tripping is a good way to see this island the Portuguese had very aptl

what is XXXXL and 18 Grams light/heavy?

This is what we've been doing instead of blogging about Taiwan. Click on images for larger flickr view. The good folks at this research-driven architecture and ID studio moved not too long ago into one of the best offices in Singapore - the previous campus of the Trinity Theological College at the top of Mt Sophia (i.e. right next to Old School). More specifically, the company is housed in the College's beautiful 1969 chapel, its roof shaped to resemble the Chinese word for man "人" leading to a cross. They asked if we could make some art for the large glass surfaces in their office, and we could not resist such flattery (heh)! Even harder to resist was their motivation and the brief they gave us - to create works that reflected their ethos and the site, engaged and were not too inaccessible to most folks, and resolved some "practical" issues of light/reflection/identity. "and it was good" - cities, trees and daydreams on a meeting room