Monthly Archives: August 2017

IPOH SING: New works by Stephen Black and Bubiko Foodtour

Visual art, video art, haiku and photographs of Tiong Bahru Singapore and Ipoh, Malaysia. Stephen Black: artist, producer, author of the bestselling book, i ate tiong bahru. Bubiko Foodtour is AR's first indie superstar! Aroi mak mak!

Tiong Bahru Mouth by Stephen Black

Ipoh in August by Stephen Black and Bubiko Foodtour

This post is a response to the Singapore/Ipoh Causeway Exchange Project

https://www.facebook.com/tiongbahrumouthhaiku/

i ate tiong bahru

Support:

KooKee

Abby Hotel

22 Hale Street Heritage Museum

Stephen Black is now completing an ebook of visual imagery called iPoh, iPhone. If you would like a free copy, send a reason why to bubikofoodtour atmark gmail.com. Bubiko is on Facebook.

Bubiko Foodtour Update: August 23, 2017

In June 2017, public actions began for Bubiko Foodtour, a character who will soon be appearing in AR(Augmented Reality). These actions involve networking, photographing Southeast Asian foods for a Bubiko Foodtour book project and informing the general public about the possibilities of AR with examples such as these:

Additionally, my background with VR is explained, and these two projects are shared: Beach Road (a short 360 movie I co-produced with hiverlab) SPOKEN a virtual galley, curated by myself, co-produced with Eugene Soh and featuring a variety of artists and writers. Regarding my background related to my AR startup, this link and this collection of links.

Unlike Pokemon and other characters that have made an impact in AR, Bubiko is starting from zero: a grassroots, bootstrapping approach. Her base is being built in Southeast Asia, for two reasons. First, Bubiko is “ä littlë chef from Thailand”, who is currently researching Southeast Asian food for her book project.

Secondly, Southeast Asia is ideal for gaining the first-hand knowledge necessary to create successful international AR experiences. SE Asia is a complex, multicultural and expansive environment for gaming/digital entertainment. Lessons learned here minimize unpleasant surprises for a global launch.

We are now creating a Bubiko Foodtour mockup, one much more hi-tech than this:

Although Bubiko’s character is now being created (in Z-brush), she is being introduced to, and discussed with, a variety of individuals, restaurants, companies and organizations.

Just as AR technology and Bubiko continue to develop, the following database will also expand, creating possibilities of many kinds. Also, not all of our plans and activities are outlined here; do get in touch if you would like to know more.

onwARd,

Stephen Black

ART

David Severn (UK/Japan)

Stephen Black (US/Asia)

Trees of Life (Japan)

Harsho (India)

Richard Haughton

Eugene Soh (Singapore)

Syauqi Kahar (Malaysia)

Ruben Pang

FOOD

Straits Affair Peranakan Food and Culture Specialists Melacca

Ambroggio

Samm’s Farm Coffee producer/ two cafes Bandung Indonesia

Pizza Puzzini Swedish pizza in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Russel's Tea Sri Lanka

Oatmygod Whole Wheat Snacks Taiwan

Regent Pandan Layer Cake Shop

FUNDING DISCUSSIONS/LEGAL

- Singapore-based VCs

- Johor Bahru, Malayia-based VC

- San Francisco-based VC

- American/Asian IP lawyer specializing in IP

- colleagues and leaders of industry

TECHNOLOGY

Pet Shop Box Studio: specialist in digital stickers

Google seminar on VR for artists by Michael Neimark, Google's first artist in residence

Vive/NVidia bootcamp Google Earth VR and TiltBrush demo at Cooler Lumpur, KL

3D printing

NVidia

Imagineering

Unity

University of Monash (research)

VR Lab

Nearly every vendor of VR gaming software that we see!

SOCIAL MEDIA

Major push after Bubiko is officially ready

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Bubiko's blog

Black Tofu Soup and The Reality of a Late Afternoon

I’m multi-tasking; this short piece of writing hops across topics like Southeast Asian cuisine, Bubiko Foodtour, self-promotion, AR, VR, branding, racism, philosophy, and the meaning of life. In short: I’m rambling.

We get out of a Grab car in front of a McDonald’s. A young Malay is standing and eating soft ice cream. We ask where the police station is. He doesn’t know, but asks an elderly Chinese, who does. Both men are friendly. We quickly set off down the covered sidewalk. Our destination is the cart of a vendor who sells kidney bean soup and almond paste. The internet says he is near the police station and he sells out by 5, sometimes earlier. It’s now 4:30.

VRLab! I didn’t know there was one here. This morning I had exchanged emails regarding an interview with Dato Jack, VR Lab’s founder. From outside, I can see two women signing in. I enter, explain my connection with Dato Jack, and am allowed to watch. After a thorough explanation and simple instructions, the two women put on headsets. First, they move their heads in all directions, then they slowly manipulate their hands and arms, acquiring the skills to become virtual archers. I study all this because I am writing a book about VR and haptics, as well as planning an AR startup that will eventually expand to VR.

The TV screens in the room show me what they are seeing: a castle under siege. Suddenly, an axe-thrower attacks so suddenly that the woman with braids jumps. Her headset falls off. I leave after a few minutes, by which time they are fully immersed: crouching, cautiously turning and laughing. They are killing people with arrows.

We rush back outside. The sky is soft and complex: rain clouds/blue sky/sunlight/evening. The atmosphere is fresh and I’m glad to have a camera. We find the soup vendor. He’s surrounded by people, all of whom seem to have placed large orders to bring back home. Nearby is a truck stall selling assam laksa. The aroma is uniquely seductive, like a tart, mysterious fruit beckoning from a bed of homemade noodles.

We are soon seated at a rickety table, experiencing multiple foodgasms from the assam laksa, the kidney bean soup, the almond paste and a plate of perfectly fried kway teow that we couldn’t resist. We finish and head into the U-shaped market. In an hour it will be packed.

Ears of sweet corn! I can honestly say I am a farmboy from Ohio, with many memories of corn fields and corn roasts. However, the corn I picked and the cows I milked were actually in Michigan. (OK, full disclosure, about the cows: There was only one. I was a five-year-old visiting a farm with my family. And, yeah... I was too shy to squeeze anything.)

A sign for Pun Tofu! Word play that is not wordplay. I write, often about food. Eight books. One, i ate tiong bahru, is a national bestseller in Singapore. Stories about my IT/VR/AR adventures in Hong Kong and Singapore will soon be a series on Popularium. This trip to the market is research for the text part of Bubiko Foodtour, an AR project. A stall sells kuehs and this is good: I heart kuehs.

The sky is peacefully exploding. Sharply outlined clouds, bulging with water vapor, dissolve into darkening, ragged zones of blue and orange. More generators are started. The lights of the night market come on as the moon rises in a kaleidoscopic sea of twilight. We eat black tofu. This same stall had intrigued us at another market, but we hadn’t tried it. We watch it being made and find a table. Surprisingly, the chicken soup served with it has the taste of green tea. The news of the day encroaches unexpectedly: skin color and Charlottesville.

I remember an article I found while doing research. In a city in Malaysia, over an unspecified period, the police took action on illegal street vendors. The breakdown: 158 actions against Chinese-based businesses, 103 against Malay businesses, 31 against Indians and 13 on other races. The harmonious flavors in the black tofu soup are wonderful , but not enough to take me away from thoughts about Nazis, Communists and the White House.

We step into the crowd one last time, studying foods like nasi lemak, Vietnamese pizza and salt-baked chicken. Five blind Chinese, all elderly, sit on red plastic chairs and sing Chinese songs. A man plays acoustic guitar, a woman taps a tambourine. There is a bowl at the woman’s feet. We listen as we watch Murtabak Sam make pandan pancakes with bamboo charcoal flour. We call a Grab and wait.

Now, here on Medium, are some of my experiences, my reality at that market. As I wrote this I remembered scenes, recalled what I was thinking and added new thoughts. I input my data into the internet, and now it is all over the world.

…one kind of wonder after another kind of wonder, all in something wondrous...

Toyo Project 3 (KL presentation)

I am doing a presentation in Kuala Lumpur about Toyo's work. The location is Tandang Records/The Zhongshan Building at Kampung Attap.

This link explains my relationship to Toyo.

This link goes to a series of posts about a photographic collaboration with Mee-Young Arkim. The posts outline some of my ideas on the art of photography.

The Japanese photographer in Bali Wave Ghost..

FA-Q was an artist with impact and a friend of Toyo's.

The Guardian on "the art-punk firestorm".

Rivington School: 80s Underground, book launch at Printed Matter

Special thanks to OUR ArtProjects and CC!