Tuesday, May 26, 2009

every artist has a bitter gourd

Art is much like bitter gourd.
friendly on the appearance but bitter in its taste.
its an acquired taste. Not every one understands it. 
Some absolutely hate the bitterness, while others love to have it every other day.
Cook it this way and that, fry it with eggs, with salt fermented bean paste with pork or chicken,
deep fried with curry powder or boiled into soup.
Diabetics take them for its medicinal properties..

So when art is as obscure as bitter bitter gourd..
I have since grown up and acquired a taste for it .. a love.
the taste which like no ordinary... lingers long after the matter dissolved
it has worked its way into my system, bringing a general well being. 

there stands one who has a bitter seed growing within.. 
Cultivate a new species known as 
bitter gourd padi.. small yet bitter like hell.

to all YOU bitter artists of this world.. may your bitterness lives long, lingers and torments the living soul-less who wonders.... in search...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oh Mr Prime Minister

he has stepped into his office... sat onto his long awaited seat.
The crowd whispers.. the controversy looms.
A queue awaits.. the starved must be fed.
as he climbs up his pedestal, he knows he must be read.
What else could serve up better.. than to pronounce he is 1.
For at least the legacy he leaves behind, is the 1 that none deny.
On the left sits his kin, on the right sits a Maverick.
Both knew this is his time.. but both with a bone to pick.

Today I flipped my news, today I saw we've been used..
While you proclaimed we as ONE.
Rest assured, We will be the ones, you lose.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Happy Birthday Panda!
A cheerful face walked into my office one day. She is hoiyan, her pants caught my eyes.
She was here to interview for a part time art director position.
My company was struggling to find a footing as a design firm.. I couldn't afford a full time art director but badly needed creative directing. She showed me her portfolio which kept a range of creative, intelligent, well planned yet simple design works. She was a perfect fit.
Since she joined, she has sat in my room and taught me much about design, account servicing, business management, marketing, human resource management, arts in malaysia etc. etc. most importantly about life and living it.
On my birthday in 2005, she gave me a blank journal with only a few pages decorated with photos taken by her from different places. As i examined the photos I see:
Colour, sepia, black and white. Symmetrical, asymmetrical. Subjects from plants to architecture to babies. From Malaysia to Bali to China. From inside the living room to the bustling streets of KL.
Depths, rhythm, light and shade, harsh light, soft shadows, subtle to obvious. Ultra clear to the fuzzy. The single to a quad... She has done it all. Before facebook, before SLR, before iphone.
She has taught me much.. perhaps with perhaps without her knowledge. She travelled to ipoh,to penang, to kuching with me. Together we went and explore off beat places, I stayed in a backpacker's joint instead of fancy hotel, we saw cultural things or walks into lives of locals. 

The complexity in her intellect is not reflected from the simplicity in her dressing or her living. She made me looked at my world differently and led to find a group of people whom I aspire to think alike.

Today I celebrated her birthday. Sheepishly I showed up without a present. I asked her what would you like? Thinking to myself, perhaps something for her new found hobby "baking" or even Ikea vouchers. But with a voice equalled to an excited kid she told me "I want your photos, print it out big and frame it like that." pointing to the photo I hanged in my office. I am dumbfounded.. I am in shock...

Panda, you are an extraordinary person.. your creativity has surpassed art form and has intertwined into different facets of life. You are so creative and knowledgeable, so brave to challenge the norms, so generous in sharing your knowledge, all through actions and not by words. As I try to keep up.. you are already miles ahead. You said you see your shadow in my photos. Perhaps you should know I am the one chasing your shadow.

I thank you and dedicate this blog to you..

Happy Birthday Panda Yap Hoi Yan.

p.s extraordinary people touch my life everyday

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Husband

Happy Birthday to You Puss. 
You are a very special man.
I love you so dearly. 

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I thought about falling into the river, but I coaxed myself telling myself no it won't happen to me. 
I decided I have all my friends including my hubby surrounding me, like a human barricade i will be fine. I said a prayer, listen to the safety instructions, without a second thought I jumped into the raft and brave the current. 
Not bad for a freaking first timer with aqua phobia who can't swim for nuts. 
The irony is I who was most paranoid about falling ended up being the first to fall out of the raft. it was only 5 mins max from time we started and BOOM the warm up rapids hit us and out I flew.. I went straight into the water.. nothing to cling on to..wash away quickly by the strong currents. first thing in my mind is OH NO.. this cannot be.. my biggest fear! then while drinking a whole lot of water, I told myself.. do do do ..float float ..do what the instructor say.. as the current wash me further further.. I felt really helpless.. sad that this has happened. 
Suddenly the current became mildly and I saw myself moving towards BIG ROCKs.. it then daunts on me to go grab so I will stop flowing downstream. Just in the nick of time, SALVATION.. a fellow rafter came and pull me up into their raft. So just like that I am saved. 
I have 2 mins to recover before I rejoin my friends in my raft and we are back to brave more rapids.. The Next one is BOOM BOOM. BIGGEST ONE..

Funny that few seconds seem symbolical to the chain of events that has happened in my life in recent years. Life is unpredictable.. its full of rapids.... when I fell right to the pits .. when I thought this is it.. someone came and pull me right out. You can imagine what it would be liked, fear it, rehearse and rehearse the emergency drill but until an actual event happens you will never know how you would react.. I know I am fighter .. I fight amidst my fear, my sadness, my weakness, my despair, my inadequacies... I hung tight onto a fact in this lifetime there is much left undone..and I will fight till God calls me home and say this is good enough. Best of all, I rejoiced on the fact that when I am back from rock bottom, my love ones, my friends, my fellow warriors are there to share the moment with me. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wong Seng Chow - Rice Wine & Dancing Girls

Firstly I must confess, I am not an ardent book reader. 
I failed in my multiple attempts to read a book. I sometimes find a book, read it half way and lost interest. Sometimes I find the book too long winded and I skipped right to the end portion and forget the in betweens. I have many books of all kinds, from cookery books, travel books, business books, advertising books etc. etc. and then the faithful story books.

I don;t like novels many too fictitious for my fancy. But on pre mother's day. My hubby and I plus Hay went to Annexe the alternative book fair. There I found a book. Title: Rice Wine & Dancing Girls by Wong Seng Chow. Well yes it is the cover.. the cover caught my eye. the sub head reads: 
The real -life drama of a roving cinema manager in Fifties Malaysia and Singapore. as I scanned through the book, I helplessly fell in love with the old black and white pictures. And as I read the first 2 pages of the book, I fell immediately in love with reading again. 

I paid Rm35 for this book and couldn't wait to start reading it immediately. 
first day I reached page 60, but I left the book at the office yesterday now I am at page 97. 
an achievement. 

A father's tale told by his son, by accident cos its only later that the son found his father's journal entries of his life. 

today's read: "This wasn't the first time I had travelled on a boat.When I was five or six years old, my parents made a trip back to China with me in tow and my sister Ching, who was barely two years old, strapped to my mother back in a cloth craddle. We had to make our way to Singapore first and then board a crowded tongkang (bumboat) that ferried us to a steamer bound for hong kong. Seated at the bottom of the tongkang and surrounded by adults, all I could see was the sky above, just like the proverbial frog at the bottom of the well. I don't remember much about the actual journey to Hong Kong or how we got to the mainland after that....." 3 paras later
"Again I don't remember much about our return journey except for the humiliating experience when we disembarked in Singapore. Deck passengers were herded like animals into bumboats and dumped at St John's Island, which had a lazaretto and was used as a quarantine station to deal with Cholera-infected immigrants. We were forced to cleanse ourselves by taking surphur baths and have all our belongings fumigated before being allowed to step ashore on the main island. When I think about it , the amazing thing about the whole trip was that I was perfectly alright during the long voyage to and fro. ..."

Amazing. 4 to 5 decades ago.. travelling to China via tongkang. I would not have survived 2 hour boat ride let alone days and weeks. my mother told me she went back to china by boat too when she was around 6 years old. How would she have endured the journey is again a real fascination. Herded around to take surphur bath? how inhumane yet an act to preserve humanity? so ironic. How could one have endured this. With H1N1, bird flu, Mad cow, SARS, would the day come when we too be herded into confined camps for surphur baths or perhaps acid baths. 

As I sit lamenting on all my daily frustrations, like a little spoilt brat.. I read and realised how far we have come. while a few days on the tongkang was once considered a short journey, I now cringed on the idea of spending few hours in an airplane. My ancestors travelled weeks under horrendous circumstances to a promise land in search for Prosperous future for their descendants. KONG KONGS n MAH MAHs KAM SIA Thank You. I pray that your spirits of perseverance and endurance continues to live in me.. make me strong and make me shine for your pride. 

Good Night my beloved, lets do good tomorrow. 

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

一生, 一世。
不理,我好我坏。 我小我大。我男我女。

我对你的爱,非你给我大, 但一样一生一世。无边无境。

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How does One Say Goodbye?

Ssh.. don't mention the word.. how could you.
Its so unfair. Have you not think about your parents?
In face of danger, sadness and despair.. sometimes the word 'Die' flash cross my head.
It even stays for while. I shared this thought with my closest ones and it really takes a lot for them to convince me otherwise. I think perhaps God knew, he needs to give me a reminder to stick around, until its due time, so he planted KB and Hay into my system. Just the one thought of them losing their mother is enough to hold me back from thinking further.

Being a Mother is a privilege. 
So how does a mother say goodbye? Angie diagnosed with cancer 3 years ago and when her condition worsened this year. When doctor tells you, you have less than 1 week to live, in times like this how do you say your goodbye? Amidst her pain i.e. jaundice, chemotherapy, swollen legs, blood clots... she planned her exit. She said her goodbyes to friends to her relatives, to her siblings, to her mother, to her husband and then to her young children. She will have to leave knowing that she cannot be there..when they are afraid, when they get hurt, when they fall sick and when they cry.. Now with that in mind, how do you leave with a smile on face?
How can you leave leaving a smile on others faces? 

With all the energy, she has left, she channelled her fears, pains and sorrows, into pride, joy, dignity and optimism. She says life has to carry on, however ways we have been dealt with.
Focus not on the DIE but rather How the Person have LIVED. She celebrates, thank and praise. She comforts the sad and lost.  Again, I cannot understand, why I took on such interest in someone I have never met. But as I looked, I find this lady more amazing. She inspires me and makes me reflect, what would I like out of this life? And like her, how and what I would celebrate for at my departure.  

P.S. RIP Angie.. I dedicate tonight's blog to you, your three children, your husband and your family. Thank You, You have inspired me. 
That day when you arrived at Heaven, I looked up into the sky and it was child like, fluffy clouds... it was... Happy. God bless your children and your husband. 


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

All I need

Dear God,
Please forgive if I have sinned against you.
Please forgive if I have done wrong against my neighbours.
Please allow me an unusual way of praying using my blog.

I want to pray for my children, Father please keep them healthy. Please take the fever away from Kobe. Heavenly Father, please watch over my Hayley girl the little artist. Please help her remember the word 草. Please help her remember to dot the 树. Please help her remember the chinese spelling. Please remind her in her heart and her mind that she is precious to me, and I love her so dearly. Please hold Kobe's hands, please whisper words to remind him what a special boy he is and how clever he is. Please tell him that I love him so very much and he has to learn to read a book to me.

Heavenly father, take care of my parents. Keep them happy and in love. Keep them healthy.
Father, I pray for health, strength, courage and peace for my beloved husband. You will be right there mentoring him in all tough situations he faces. That in you there will be no fear. Remind him that I so love him and I think about him during my day.

As I walk on this path with you Lord. I thank you for opening my eyes to this world, bringing so many wonderful people into my life. Though sometimes, I feel like I am in a dark forest, seeing no end. I have faith that you are right there with me. Give me fresh eyes, give me a soft sensitive heart, give me strength and confidence. Give me wisdom father. 

I pray for my siblings and in laws, that you keep them close under your watchful eyes. Let them find joy peace and comfort in you. I pray for my colleagues, that in the deep night as they retire into their bedrooms, God will you whisper to them that they are so gifted and special. They have done so well. They have truly displayed your marvelous creations in the best manner. 

Lord, I am tired tonight, I must confess. So many thoughts running through my head which I feel lost trying to switch them off. I pray that Father, you will too whisper in my ears to say that "Diane, that's good enough, you have done well" 

I thank you Lord. You are indeed my God. 
In Jesus name, I pray Amen.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Calling for All

I am in between.
My mom tried to talk to me. She illustrated with several examples.
The victorious rise of the underdogs.
She said its strange but she feels this is the season for the underdogs.
Look at Slumdogs Millionaires then look at Susan Boyle, which I have never heard of prior to tonight.
Who would have thought?
Really who would have thought the sickly brat.. being creative?
Drama from the drama.
Well watch out for the new super hero the "Admin Guy" 
entering the dark cynical artistic world, cutting through the thick gloomy clouds, 
casting sparkles, showering administrative love, rescuing lost creative souls...
Something like this.

My husband told me its like the unpolished diamond, as you polish and polish..
it will sparkles. 

you creative souls out there. Check this out lah.