Part 1 of Projekt Foto-Painting… making “skins”

It’s the second day of Chinese New Year … enough of food, though in defense I am lucky to be a peranakanwith grandparents that were Western educated.

*Chinese-Malay parentage that dates back 4 or 5 generations when a pretty Princess was sent to a suspect nationality King – Parameswara (surely he must be Indon!) with an entourage of people including some (Bruce Lee-Jackie Chan ‘kung fu’) warriors (that has been conveniently obliterated from our history books when DNAs existed and diversity and inclusion was still alien) to a faraway Peninsular in the interest of improving trade relationships …

Long story short, none of my descendent were on that ship – they may have died from opium or more probably peacock feathers allergies. But (legend has it?) that someone earlier on in the blood line was a pirate who eloped with  a (not all that) beautiful (judging from the sepia photos I have seen)  girl in the Indonesian royal court and landed on the rat infested shores with occasional sighting of bullish deers bullying tigers (who’s to verify and challenge back in the day where they chop your head off from treason?). The thieving  profession skipped one generation and continued with grandpa who legitimized it as a artifact collector (Western educated, remember?) … skip another boring generation (my mom) … I steal the lamest of things!

Honestly, if you are so inclined, there’s a “on NO! Family” section of our antics and what-nots there to amuse yourself.

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In any case, being a peranakan means I don’t have to consume food that puts the dining table to test on its weight bearing abilities this time of the year. We’re generally happy with a few key dishes from New Year’s Eve and by that I mean, “MUST HAVES” such as:

  1. babi asam (tamarind chili pork),
  2. kari kay (chicken curry),
  3. itek tim (preserved salted vegetable duck soup),
  4. bendi sambal belacan (blanche lady’s fingers topped with chili and shrimps paste)  …

The pong teh (chicken/ pork stewed with bean paste) has long been dropped – I don’t like it – simple as that. For my mother’s sanity itek/ ayam seuh (deep fried stewed duck/ chicken in ground coriander sauce) has been omitted a few years back due to the laborious preparation.

And for Chinese New Year – you’re going to like this – all we had was nasi ulam (boiled rice with freshly diced vegetables, herbs and some finely grounded fried salted fish and dried shrimps) for lunch – which augurs well, having spend the whole morning at Nilai Memorial Park with Mr.B.

So, anyways, I decided that I will spend my 3 days break getting ink + glue on my fingers … and well, I do need to fulfill some overdue photo selection that is meant to be published into postcards and I did promise to make mom a photo book on her quest/ journey to bake the perfect Sourdough/ Artisan Bread… plus, some dreadful work related stuff that I vow not to look at till the night before!

The project (Projekt Foto-Painting) in mind is to incorporate some tribal photos I had taken in Ethiopia with “mixed media” type techniques to create a “painting” … but the key thing is everything has to be acrylic. No photo. No paper. No other foreign matter than will disintegrate some century later … and where the entire painting can be removed from the substrate should it requires refurbishment/ restoration in future.

Ahem.

Not that my work is a Picasso, Rembrandt or what not in the making, but you know… if you’re going to be spending the time and the investments in professional art materials … do it right!

p{Haque} Projekt 1

L to R Clockwise: (1) some carbon prints of the shortlisted photos – though I am thinking I should go with full-coloured carbon prints now, (2) palette knife with Golden Artist Colour Soft Gel (Matte), (3) 12″x12″ 380 gm/m square primed medium grain cotton artist canvas – will be applying a layer or two of Golden Artist Colour Gesso, (4) generic plastic sheeting – I’ve used an old clear folder for me to create the “skin” on 

p{Haque} Acrylic Skins

L to R anti-lockwise: (1) arrrgghhh!!!! discovery that my tub of Golden Artist Colour Soft Gel (Matte) has mostly turned crusty and rubbery at the sides – thanks to Crop.Arty utilisation at Scrap-n-Crop.com over the years where when the “it’s not yours syndrome” happens – people just don’t care or value things that belongs to others or cost them nothing!, (2) I decided to experiment by adding Golden Artist Fluid Matte Medium into the work-in-progress “skin” to try to extend the Soft Gel (Matte), (3) testing the “skin” with a window pane test – the Fluid Matte Medium may have done the trick … “skin” will take another few hours to be dry, but I won’t be working on it till later – some GAC 200 would have been ideal to speed-en and stiffen it a little, but I guess some professional artist have bought the stash – can’t find any to use. 

This is Part 1 … fingers crossed the eventual end product will emerged as I have envisaged. But with art, mixed media and painting, one has to be ‘open’ to ‘accidents’. Sometimes those are really the best!

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2 minutes Comic Con moment

I’m not usually star struck. I can’t recall when was the last time I was star struck – that is to say prior to this.

Maybe it takes a lot to impress me. Maybe I just haven’t met my ** stars **

So, when I saw a bunch of cling rubber stamps and distress ink stained painting spotting comic characters, I stopped in my tracks and started admiring it and muttering out loud:

“I like these. No. I really, REALLY, REALLY like these.”

Out of the blue, a calming voice over my shoulders responded, “Thank you.”

I spun around, and there was this guy who looked vaguely familiar … I smiled and turned my head back to continue admiring the art work while saying, “Yours?”

And at about that moment my eyes caught the sign:

Brett 00

And that’s about when caution was thrown to the wind and I was just short of a squealing pre-teen …

OK. It was a 2 minutes Comic Con moment for both of us minus the insanity of costumes. Sure. I know the entire point of Comic Con is the costumes!

 … but hey, at least I’m one of the few who recognised that name … and who is totally dizzy looking at the art work!

And really, for him, it must be rather miserable from being the Brett Weldele in Comic Con to a shadow lurking in the background at CHA. So, I’d like to think inasmuch as he made my day, I made his day. Of course, Val is obliged to buy his merchandises, if not for anyone else, for me!

Brett and Me 650

ABOUT Brett Weldele … and his works:

why Google Malaysia din do nothin’ 4 me…

Let’s get this clear: I AM NOT DISHING google, google Malaysia, gen-Y, gen-Z, the Millenias, clickers …etc.

Now, chill. I’ll be an idiot to dish google. Firstly, it is so ingrained in my everyday lingo where honestly I would have said more “google” between the hours of 9 am to 12 noon than “good morning”.

This of course has a lot to do with my grouchy a.m. side, and “just google” is really sayin’: MORON, STOP BOTHERING ME. GO RESEARCH IT ON YOUR OWN … DO I LOOK LIKE YOUR DICTIONARY TO YOU?!?

Secondly, the opportunity to step into Google Malaysia office is not one that comes by every so often. We ain’t talking about a coffee shop, a bank branch or a public toilet here where literally every man on the street would be able to walk into it.

What makes the experience even more brag-able was the fact that the visit was rather timely – it happened just a couple of days after the local tabloid newspaper ran a feature article on: “how hip and wonderful it is to work in Google Malaysia”.

Furthermore, (need I say this again?) everyone is entitled to an opinion – freedom of speech and expression has never been more acute ever since Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web; goggle being the search engine of the triple W world would gettit.

But lastly, like the PayPal Asia stint I had last year? 19 months ago? (I can’t recall is really an unimportant point), this arrangement with Google.my is rather similar. See, in the symbiotic world of the triple W, the more embedded you are in the ecosystem and the more wide spread your network and sharing is, everyone wins. What the heck am I sayin’? Oh blimmey: go GOOGLE SETH GODIN!  

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In any case, on the day I was destined to make the trip to Google Malaysia’s office, word got out like wild fire. Three quick observations:

  1. I apparently have IT/ application developers on payroll at Scrap-n-Crop.com
  2. I do have long-lost brothers and cousins and uncles and what-not “blood relations” that has google listed as their dream employer which I am suppose to know
  3. I am the most selfish “employer”/”relative” for not bringing anyone along!

{smirk – life is too short, I’ve forgiven all in 1. and 2.}

Interestingly, it was the above 3 factors that got me so upbeat and determined to photograph google’s office – openly and at a sly.

Some parts are photograph-able (despite having signs that says otherwise).

And some parts are just off limit zones like the open desk – hoteling system work stations with a Kelisa cut into half and custom fitted with cushions as a sofa set to the side of the open work space by the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, or the arcade machine at the corner.

Question is:

who in the sane mind would plonk themselves on the sofa in the middle of a busy work day?

who in heavens sake will have the {blip} to fire up the arcade games machine sending off weird background noises in the middle of a working day?

Google Malaysia office, reminds me of the offices I have been in: Accenture, Bloomberg and SAP to be precise.

Having spent my past live in one of them which features a pool table, smoking rooms (like those in airport lounges), massage chairs, sofas with comfy scatter cushions, pantry stocked to brim with every imaginable sugar rush food only to be replaced in the last decade with health bars, low fat yogurt and real coffee, I personally found the allure of the above go *poof* the moment you are showed the real work area:

work benches lining up back-to-back in a large open space area that usually have bright funky accent walls, cool IKEA silver pendant lights hanging down that serves to only shine on balding spots, some miserable potted plants defying nature and a “personal” work space that’s just enough to accommodate a 15″ laptop, a coffee mug and some demilitarized-zone type of margin that avoids elbow fights to take place between yourself and the occupants to the right and left

If that’s not depressingly proletariat enough, the concept of hoteling also translate to an individual having only a pigeon hole or a pedestal on wheels to call theirs, often stashed into some dungeon when you’re not being bench-ed in the office. There’s really no special spot to call your own, cubicle walls for posters that inspires you and most definitely not an inch space for your personal knick knacks.

The very concept and word “bench-ed” is in my opinion demoralizing.

And for that I am in the opinion that any professional sportsmen who’s bench-ed or put on the reserve list should be compensated more in guaranteed income for lack of exposure and opportunity to earn misc. sponsorship type of income, if not for the obvious psychological damage of being bench-ed and reserved causes the soul.

However, being bench-ed is really inevitable in the consulting and IT world where work does get seasonal, which is by no means the fault of the individual associate – well, more often than not.

And it is during these low months where those recreational rooms built to create the illusion of work-life-balance or work-play-balance gets most used; not for recreational purposes, but rather as work spaces for the excess associates who were not able to be assigned a bench.

Simply put, there’s NO VACANCY in the “hotel” and you’re have to utilize the lobby, dining area, pool, toilets … ok, maybe not toilets, but you get the drift.

Past experience aside, my recent visit to Google Malaysia’s office reaffirms two things:

I am a true-blue Gen X. What drives me in my choice employer are (in order of importance):

  1. challenges (read: I am really contributing towards something and not the Gen Y‘s perceive care for things larger than themselves)
  2. immediate superior (the Leadership Team in my case)
  3. location & premises (preferably less than 1 hour commute, 5* toilet facilities and covered secured parking)
  4. rewards
  5. career progression opportunity and clarity

I am too far up the career ladder to be seduced by a “cool” workplace. Gimme my own room (back), car pay plan and driver allowances (back), a clearly defined MBO and strategy … and you’ve hit home run with me. Long story short: you’ve got to at least match 45 out of 50 of the items in my benefits/ perquisite negotiation list … yes, it is that long, and doubly yes, you can PM me for that list!

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