I thought it would be funny to make very purely digital images in Japanese woodblock technique. The contrast in time couldn’t be greater: one tap of a button for the computer, translated to a long time to carve some wood, then get paper dampened, then patient printing by hand, involving a gradual building up of colour over a few hours to days…

Smiley Rock 1

It was entertaining, and laborious, and then just a little bit overwhelming.

Smiley Rock 2

After a while I wanted to record the actual process rather than the final images, and then I started to worry about why I was trying to make perfectly registered images each time, when really the process of making the prints would naturally generate interesting frames.

Smiley Rock 3

So the eyeballs swivel around and then bounce out of the head, and I made some dark lashes and a kind of fluttery blink…

Smiley Rock deconstructed

All in all I made 51 prints, but there are many more photos as they also record the build up of colour on each piece of paper.

Smiley Rock on the bedIt’s still very rough round the edges, but if you’d like to see the first trial animation, here it is:

https://vimeo.com/221670482

The sound is work in progress as well. More refined version coming soon…!

 

 

My mum was born in Malaysia, and came to the UK in the 60s to train as a nurse. Back then, she did not expect to meet my dad, raise a family far from her home town of Ipoh, and spend more than 50 years in the UK, speaking the third language that she has learned, surrounded by people with different ethnicity, working in hospitals as a midwife, helping my dad run a veterinary practice, and thoroughly immersing herself in the economy and politics of another place. She says there’s nothing you can’t do without a bit of effort. This was what a teacher had said when she was thinking of coming to England, even though English was her worst subject at school.

So anyway, I drew her while she told me a bit about her past. You can view the film here at vimeo.com/156493821

vimeo.com/156493821

Here is the promotional video for the Royal Mint Lunar collection, showing more about the design process for the 2016 Chinese Lunar Year of the Monkey. I can’t believe the stuff they do at Mint when it comes to making the dies and polishing them: when I realised it’s all done by hand I felt really bad for making such a fiddly design to polish to get that mirror finish…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYb7_A5mQL8

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYb7_A5mQL8

‘I’d Like to Become a Junkie for One Week or Two Weeks’ is a short extract from a video portrait of an eccentric and lovable couple from Malaysia and Singapore, who came to the UK in the 60s. They left behind extensive families, came to Britain and stayed. Creating a home from home, they surrounded themselves with an eclectic blend of East and West: English wooden furniture, rugs from the Middle East, and Asian cooking utensils; draperies of batik next to velvet curtains; English spoken with Singaporean slang; shepherd’s pie with rice and Chinese tea.

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screenshot_taichicreammah-soon hands

My first edited video that isn’t a stop frame animation! It’s about the current themes of weightlessness and flight; dreams and reality; levity and gravity; fabric and flesh. The slow motion part of cloth and body rising and falling is fascinating for me. I can’t believe how surreal reality appears to be. That’s one of the big paradoxes of photography; how can we believe what it shows when the human eye perceives something completely different? Something to ponder for the weekend…

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