Not just a pretty facade, Highline illuminated “Blood Mirrors”

“Up Late,” a two-hour after-dark event from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., brought together music, immersive theater and installation art to the High Line located in Manhattan’s Far West side last Thursday. Arguably one of the most eye-catching exhibition was New York-based artist Jordan Eagles’ High Line projections.

The mechanics behind the display was simple, requiring only overhead projectors and transparencies. Operating on the principle of which a focusing lens projects light from an illuminated side onto the glass top, the rich hues from the transparencies were superimposed unto the High Line.The allure, however, was not in the sheer magnitude of the installation, but the constant fluidity. If someone happened to stand in front of a projector, a shadow was cast; if someone came across the path of the projected image, his or her face instantly changed into something alien, tribal even.

Indeed, High Line projections extended beyond static frameworks of traditional paintings, Instead, the artwork’s preexisting state of being continue to morph and transform in reaction to the passing of onlookers. Attendees turned from passive lookers to active participants. Our actions, whether we are standing still or moving around, reconstructed the projected millisecond by millisecond.

chelsea-highline-art-jordan eagles

New York-based artist Jordan Eagles added another coat to The Highline, that of preserved and suspends blood.

Eagles’ work was pretty, interactive and selfie-worthy. But what if I were to tell you the transparencies were reprinted from blood? Continue reading

Lessons from natural world animal misfits, being different is awesome

From Bacchus, the Roman god of agriculture and wine, to sublime-invoking divineness celebrated by Romantic poets to “The Magic” in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel The Secret Garden, Nature has consistently been a large part of human consciousness. Even a vertical city like New York, where every square footage of land boasts a premium price tag, Central Park and its 778 acres of prime real estate would never be turned into luxury condos or high-end retails.

Nature is glorious, soothing, frightening, powerful, beautiful and the list of adjectives continues. In fact, after watching a PBS documentary “Nature: Animal Misfits,” I realized that some of my seemingly ill-equipped-for-survival animal friends are remarkably well-adapted in their chosen way of life. Furthermore, they offer great lessons on health (giant panda), love (kakapo), work (sloth) and life (nautilus).

Being different can be awesome sometimes, like the animal misfits. It's about finding your niche and just go "Whoopee!" (Seoul, Korea/December 2010)

Being different can be awesome sometimes, like the animal misfits. It’s about finding your niche and just go “Whoopee!” (Seoul, Korea/December 2010)

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Beauty up with animal (panda) mask

As much as I enjoy the busy news cycle of a financial journalist – reporting, writing and sometimes grabbing a cocktail or two, a girl must take care of herself. In addition to my regular beauty routine, facial masks are wonderful boosters. Nothing beats facial masks: simply clean your face, put on your mask for 15-20 minutes, remove, massage/pat the remaining extract unto your skin and feel your skin radiate with joy!

Ooh, I am feeling wonderful! What’s this? Hydrated? Moisturized? (Sherry’s post-facial-mask skin raving, ha!)

My latest obsession are animal masks (see link for Panda Facial Masks). I mean, if you are already going to look ridiculous no matter what — this is inevitable, I mean, surely nobody can look hot with a Phantom of the Opera-esque mask — why not have fun?

Facial masks are great instant beautifier, add fun into your beauty routine with panda mask!

Facial masks are great instant beautifier, add fun into your beauty routine with panda mask!

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Spring into spring with pink, purple and something black

To buy a bouquet of flowers, from a return on equity point of view, is bad investment. Flowers start to die the moment they are removed from the stem, and as they loose their freshness, their value depreciate. But we adore flowers nonetheless.

As Michael Pollan pointed out in his book, The Botany of Desire, attractive flowers have a higher chance of being noticed by insects and animals (acting as agents of pollination), and thus bearing fruits first. Humans are also susceptible to this attraction.

Of the humans, Sherry has been most fatally afflicted. In addition to pink calla lilies and yellow daffodils in my office, there are also a variety of blossoms in my apartment, including snapdragon, forget-me-not, pansy, zinnia… You get the picture. And to top off my flower frenzy, a seminar on flower arrangement!

(image credit: Web/Ashley Kate HR)

(image credit: Web/Ashley Kate HR)

Word of the Day: Flower 
Flower 花(hua/ㄏㄨㄚ)

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Discovery of unicorn suggests the perfect man exists! (albeit a little hairy…)

Speaking of the unicorn — no, not your super tech startup valued at over $1 billion, but the white, mythical horse-like beast with a long horn spiraling from its forehead, it’s nice to know that it is real! A new skull fossil discovered near Kozhamzhar in the region of Pavlodar of Kazakhstan by researchers for Tomsk State University confirms the existence of the Siberian unicorn, or Elasmotherium sibiricum. 

American Journal of Applied Science published the findings.

The skull suggests a male, Siberian unicorn had once roamed the landscape. The mammal stood roughly 2 meters (6.5 feet) tall and 4.5 meters (15 feet) long and weighed about 4 tonnes.

The unicorn, instead of being white, ethereal and beautiful, is rather hairy… well, there goes reality! (image credit: Web/ The Guardian)

Great news right? Absolutely, I can tell my college-day girlfriends that we might still find that perfect man. “Hey, remember unicorn-stallion-mustang-horse-pony-donkey? Well, about Mr. Right…”

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“I got served the ellipsis!” (A note on email etiquette)

A financial reporter is a funny state of being. I am certainly no financial expert (I majored in English and Asian film studies, and I imagine if I had majored in economics, I would opt for other better-paying finance-y jobs), yet my job requires me to speak to many experts in my field, including investment bankers, debt brokers and traders. In fact, talking to the right person(s) is often what makes stellar news stories. But what if the right person(s) doesn’t want to talk to you?

Well, now enters the personality. Sure, I am professional, courteous, but I also want to connect with my sources on a personal level. It is after all a conversation. And it needs to go both directions, hence the extra seasoning with questions like “How was your [vacation/weekend/day]” or “What are you doing this [weekend]”, as well as throwing in a little about myself and various doings.

But what to do when I was given… the ELLIPSIS?

Ellipsis sorta, kinda drives me crazy. As minions can… (image credit: Universal Studio/Web)

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The contrarian “xia” Nie Yinnian: to kill or not to kill

The midday sun beats down unforgivingly. It’s noon by the way the shadow eats away at the two horses, swallowing them whole and making them appear gaunt and two-legged. The harsh light bleaches the world into blinding whiteness: only two colors remain, white and black. The starkness mirrors the two women who now appeared onscreen, one is wearing white and the other black. The woman in white hands the woman in black a dagger and instructs her to kill a man.

Cut to a team of riders. The woman in black watches the leader silently through the trees. Then, without warning, she runs out and in one swift motion slits his throat. No blood spills onscreen, but seconds later, the man topples off his horse.

This is “The Assassin” (《刺客聶隱娘》.

“The Assassin” (2015) is a film about a young woman who confronts the question “To be or not to be.” Should she fulfill her fate as an assassin and kill her cousin/childhood love? (image credit: “The Assassin”/Web)

“The Assassin,” which won the 2015 Cannes Film Festival “Best Director” Award, is the long-awaited film from Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien following Hou’s 2007 collaboration with French actress Juliette Binoche in remaking “Le Voyage Du Ballon Rouge” (“The Flight of the Red Balloon”).

The story takes place in 9th century China of Tang Dynasty and revolves around Nie Yinniang (聶隱娘/played by Taiwanese actress Shu Qi). Yinniang is the daughter of a general. Taken away at a tender age, she was raised as an assassin. Now, having grown and perfected the art of combat, she was returned to her birthplace with the assignment to kill the governor, Tian Ji’an (played by Taiwanese actor Chang Chen) who was once her betrothed.

But in opposition to what is expected with a film where the protagonist is a kick-ass swordswoman — elaborate fight scenes, kick-ass martial art moves, “The Assassin” is predominantly silent and static. The finished product is Hou’s contrarian interpretation of the film genre wuxia (武俠).

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The “Force” is strong come December 16

Even an Atlantic Ocean apart, the Force is undeniably strong. On the cover of British GQ and British Elle that I had picked up while stopping at Gatwick Airport located in Central London, who but Harrison Ford (aka Han Solo) and Lupita Nyong’o (aka Maz, CGI-animated alien character) grace the cover, respectively.

Image Credit: British GQ/British Elle Jan 2016

Image Credit: British GQ/British Elle Jan 2016

“Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” premiered in Los Angeles today, and will proceed to proliferate the Force to New York (Dec. 17) and London (Dec. 19). With ardent fans’ help, the franchise’s legacy stretches across race and generations. In New York City, several Star Wars-themed events can be expected, including a costume party at the Ace Bar (531 East Fifth Street) and the Bi-coastal (and also Orlando) lightsaber battle that is reported to become the largest in the world. But for those of us covering financial news, we are watching another Force: the U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike! Continue reading