Once again I have been requested to guest edit this issue and I am feeling a familiar strangeness. There is a cool dark vibe coming from my surroundings. As one grows older, certain things now have different meanings. The more you avoided something before and now; the forbidden gets hidden within one's tortured soul. This is the drive to become a part of solitude that lives above the common life. Strange things do happen to many people at the most unexpected moments. Closure, remembrance, memories, departure, happiness, joyful moments, bitches, they all come together to remind you of who you used to know.
One core element we all have in us while we lie awake with our thoughts of design projects, paintings, bedroom music or love affairs is Passion. It lies in all of us, dormant in our sleep or waiting and though unwanted, it's unbidden. When you least expect, it speaks to us, guides us, eventually, passion rules us all and we obey. Passion is the source of our finest moments -- the happiness of being in love, the clarity of hatred and the ecstasy of grief. Sometimes, it hurts mostly more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we'd know some kind of peace but we will be empty. Without passion, we'd be truly dead.
Oh well, what do humans really know? Some of them cannot be bothered anyway.
"Et tu, Brute!"
from Shakespeare's play, Act 3 Sc 1
"Farewell, my children, forever. I go to your Father."
Queen of France,
"Shoot me in the chest!"
to his executioners
These illustrations are basically an extension of the one I submitted for the Motorola/Gorillaz Competition. Charlie Girl is an expression and slight exaggeration of myself, my dreams (of being a rock chick!!), and how I would sometimes like to look (in terms of hairstyle and dressing).
"I myself and my wife - in order to escape the disgrace of deposition
or capitulation - choose death. It is our wish to be burnt immediately
on the spot where I have carried out the greatest part of my daily work
in the course of a twelve years' service to my people."
[Signed] A. Hitler,
given in Berlin,
29th April 1945, 4:00 a.m.
"I feel ill; call the doctors"
"You are bruising my hands. This is shameful...
I raised you like a mother."
prior to execution by firing squad
"Leadership is the other side of the coin of loneliness,
and he who is a leader must always act alone.
And in acting alone, accept everything alone."
I was born in Sri Lanka, now doing my final years of studying in Communication Design at LASALLE-SIA. Among my most passionate of interests is photography. I enjoy taking pictures. The following are some of my favourite pictures, taken at various places and times of the year.
Title: Colours of nature
Camera Used: Sony CyberShot DSC-F828
Remarks: This picture was taken in Singapore at Jurong Bird Park
Title: Dorgan view
Camera Used: Sony CyberShot DSC-F828
Remarks: This picture was taken in Sri Lankan at backyard of my house
Camera Used: Nikon D70
Remarks: This picture was taken in Sri Lankan Jungle
"The truth cannot be drowned by any flood of false indictments."
What do the Japanese kimono and the Korean hanbok have in common? Well, they have been inspired by the Chinese Ru-Qun from the Tang Dynasty period!
This was a shocking revelation to me after attending a seminar in LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts on 24 November 2005 by Professor Hua Mei of Tianjin Normal University, China. An expert on ancient Chinese costumes and culture, Professor Hua shared her research on the development of the Chinese Tang costume and its vast influences.
According to Professor Hua, the Tang Dynasty was most stable and glorious during the period of rule, which started from Empress Wu Ze Tian till Emperor Tang Ming Huang. As there were minimal military pursuits, the country and its people grew in strength and wealth. The capital Chang'An had foreign ambassadors, dignitaries, merchants and students from over 300 countries. They brought with them their own heritage and culture that simultaneously enriched the lives of the Tang people and influenced the Tang fashion style. The bustling Silk Road paved the way for the interaction and integration of cultures and heritage between Asia and Europe.
During the Han Dynasty, the Chinese had a uniform belief in Confucianism, adopting its customs and even its strict ruling principles. However, during the later Wei-Jin Southern and Northern dynasties, political instability gave rise to a new group of literati that proposed radical ideas. The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove were well-known. They followed natural instincts and rejected rules and regulations. Their unorthodox ideas became popular and as a result, the Tang people held a more humanistic belief that was similar to humanism of the Renaissance period in the West. Their openness and readiness to accept new ideas and foreign influences showed in the costumes they wore.
The Tang men wore traditional headdress and long robes from the central plains, "six harmony" (which refers to Emperor Qin unifying the six states) shoes and belts from the nomadic tribes in the Northwest.
The Tang women were dressed in traditional short blouses and long dresses known as Ru-Qun. However, to meet the growing trend of viewing overweight as beautiful, the women wore their dresses high up above the breasts and used different layers of fabrics to artificially create the overweight look. They accessorized with shawls, different hairstyles and emphasized on makeup. In fact, there were ten different ways of styling eyebrows! The openness of the Tang women was evident in a popular variation of the Ru-Qun with short sleeves and wide collar that exposed arms and chest. In another variation, sleeves were made from translucent fabrics. The Tang women also cross-dress whenever they like, even in full menswear. All these were strictly forbidden in Confucianism.
The Hu costume had a strong impact on Tang costume too. The Hu people referred to the nomads in the Northwest, particularly the Persians (modern-day Iran) and minority tribes in Northwest China. The Hu costume consisted of a pointed headdress, reverse (flipped-up) collar, long robe (extends below the knee), long pants and leather boots. The novel Hu costume was once fashionable among the Tang people in the capital city of Chang'An and other cities such as Luoyang.
The popularity of Tang fashion spread beyond the Chinese boundaries to neighbouring countries like Japan and Korea, further extended to include West Asia, South Asia and Europe. However, Japanese and Korean fashions were more evidently influenced by the Tang style. For example, the Japanese hairstyle and the kimono were very similar to the Tang costume. According to the archives in the Nara National Museum, Japanese Prince Shotoku of that time and his maids were known to dressed in Tang costumes all year round. In the history of Japanese fashion, there was a period known as the "Chinese Sui-Tang" period. The traditional Korean hanbok also bore a resemblance to the Tang costume.
Tang design motifs such as the Baoxiang flower (combination of lotus and peony design import from Indian Buddhism) and Juancao (literally rolled grass) became widely used in global designs. In Japan, the Juancao pattern was even termed as Tangcao Wen (literally Tang grass pattern). The Tang Dynasty is the pride of the Chinese and in fact, the Chinese were synonymously referred to as Tang-ren (Tang people), the Qi Pao (cheongsam), Dui Jin or Da Jin Ao (breasted menswear) popular after the Qing Dynasty were collectively known as the Tang costume.
Though we may never know who created the Tang costume, he or she still deserved a big "Tang" you for contributing to the world's fashion, culture and heritage.
"Are you judges?"
"Tiny" is a storybook designed and written by Ashblack, also known as Gavin
Here's an excerpt of the story, if you like what you see, do send an email to email@example.com, for the full story.
Chapter 1 - To Wither From a Bloom
Tiny opened her eyes. She was still in the hotel room at the Semper Augustus. She looked like a little rag doll lying curled up on the enormous king size which stank of last night's promiscuity. She tore herself from the bed and searched for her clothes. HE had left. There was a note on the glass top table. She read it without picking it up. "I put a spell on you, cause you're mine." She turned on the cold shower which smoothened her long hair and in the midst of the running coldness her eyes welled up as she recalled movements in the dark. Did HE love her for herself or is she an object of his obsession? Tiny felt despair, she felt extremely small.
"Saddam Hussein is a homicidal dictator who is addicted to
weapons of mass destruction."
George W. Bush
t2r: You're Ginette Chittick! Tell us about you...
t2r: How did you become involved with creating FruFru & Tigerlily, playing in a band, Astreal, and hold a full time job?
gc: Ok, first one first, Astreal. I used to play for an all girl punk band called PschoSonique (I'd rather have that erased from my consciousness) back in the summer of (yeah right) '93 and then I met the good fellas of Astreal while doing the rounds of gigs. So years later, when Astreal needed a replacement vocalist, I was invited and also took over the bass guitar duties. So I've been there ever since, co-writing songs, mothering the rest of the guys. Our new album (8 years in the making haha), Fragments of the Same Dead Star, will be released this year.
Next up, FruFru & Tigerlily! I started out making tees under the label FruFru and I had a sponsor from a grimy little store at Heeren, but then that soon fell and stuck with a thousand collar tags which I didnt want to see go to waste. So I decided that the time for graphic tees were over for me and I joined up with Cheryl, who made boho accessories under the label Tigerlily, and then Jasmine, who made beautiful henna designs on tees. Hence the name FruFru & Tigerlily. We started our modifying stuff and making accessories, DIYing trucker caps, alot of arts and crafty type things, then moved on to making our first collection titled "Resistence is Futile". Every single one of our item has a title much like a song does in an album. We're pretty rock n roll.
Alas, while all these are really fun and all, I still need to needed a full-time job. I managed to score a lecturing gig at LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, which had been my dream job since I'd been schooling there. I'd always wanted to teach back here.
Oh, I'm also a rock non-dj at Home Club, my night is called BEAT! and I team up with two fabulous people, George Chua and Joe Ng. Come watch us dance and pretend singalong to all the songs. Every friday, free flow from 11 to 12!
t2r: What are your influences for your fashion pieces?
gc: Definitely amazing music and imagery I've encountered in my past and present.
t2r: Do you have any formal training or experience in real-world fashion design or with your music?
gc: Nope none at all. I wish I had. We're all learning and spending alot of time doing that, luckily for us, everyone's heaps of fun.
t2r: What would you say is unique or stands out about the fashion in your label?
gc: A large part of our label is really the way the three of us are. Our personalities shine through and these are really clothes and things that we like to wear and DO wear. And also we meticulously give titles to every item and that is very important to us as alot of our pieces are music inspired. And I think I can safely say that as I really do write music. Music and imagery are intricately entwined and we try to bring that out in our pieces.
t2r: Since you certainly pay attention to women's fashion, do you have any preferences?
gc: I do like clothes that are rock n roll, indie and vintage inspired, but I also do like frou frou girly stuff, so it's really a mish mash of things. And I love my lightning bolts.
t2r: What kind of music do you listen to at the moment?
gc: At the moment, I do like The Octopus Project alot, then they're the usual suspects, Interpol, M83, Broken Social Scene, The Cure, Suede, Enon, Elbow, The Faint, Ladytron, Gang of Four, Hedwig and The Angry Inch OST, etc.
t2r: What books do you have on your bedside table?
gc: An introduction to Visual Culture by Micholas Mirzoeff, Nylon magazine, Cosmos by Carl Sagan.
t2r: What are you afraid of in the future?
gc: Not having enough time to see the world! People not having enough respect for animals! The ego of the human race! Too many things! But I'm not too afraid to arm-wrap the world.
t2r: Any inspirational quotes for anyone reading this?
gc: My favourite inspirational quote has always been Kermit the Frog's "Time's fun when you're having flies." Oh yes, it be!
"Very few parties have lasted, as we have, the PAP, since 1959 in
government. That's 47 years. The LDP in Japan, after 30 plus years,
they got into trouble because, well, too many kick backs, construction
contracts, et cetera. We run a clean ship. No grease."
MM Lee Kuan Yew,
12 Apr 2006
Instant Cafe Radio Episode 35 © 2006 Bitchrepublic
My love, my inspiration © 2006 Zulkarnain Abdul Khalid
Playground photography from Edinburgh, Scotland © 2006 Joselyn Sim
Charlie Girl © 2006 Charlene Ong
The Alps, Switzerland © 2006 Jason Tsui
Images from imagination © 2006 Kelvin Tan
The photographer - Living a passion and sharing it with the world © 2006 B. Aravindan
A Tang-ful Experience © 2006 Chris Tan
Tiny © 2006 Ashblack