Tag Archives: creative writing

Ipoh Identity Digital Sketches: Food

More notes and ideas on the identity of Ipoh, Malaysia. Again, the tools used were an iPhone and Microsoft Paint. Am looking forward to getting feedback and developing these further. The first of this three part series is here.

Ipoh: the brand (sketches)

tin dredge

Selamat sejahtera,

Di sini saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada semua orang atas layanan yang diberikan kepada saya pada pagi Jumaat yang lalu. Saya amat bersyukur kerana diberi peluang untuk menyaksikan permulaan kepada identiti baru Ipoh yang lebih berkuasa. Semoga yang terbaik kepada semua yang terlibat dengan perjalanan ini. Berikut merupakan lakaran saya setelah sekian lama bekerja dalam bidang seperti : AR, seni, siaran televisyen, creative direction, tarian, pembuatan permainan, perfileman,promosi, VR dan menulis.“I Ate Tiong Bahru”, sebuah buku ditulis oleh saya merupakan buku terlaris di Singapura. Berikut merupakan ulasan dari Goodreads. Di Amazon. Audiobook.Kepada sesiapa yang berminat, saya boleh menghantar buku saya kepada anda dalam versi "ebook".

Artist in residence: Independent Archive ((Singapore,2016) Grey Projects (Singapore, 2015)

Beach Road” merupakan sebuah filem 360° yang ditulis, diterbit, dimasukkan sumber muzik dan dibintangi oleh saya. Ia dapat dimuat turun secara percuma di Google Play dan App Store.

SPOKEN pula ialah sebuah VR hasil kerjasama dengan Eugene Soh, dan dibintangi oleh sekumpulan artis dan penulis yang bernama dan tidak bernama.

Bubiko Foodtour” merupakan sebahagian dari projek 2 tahun yang melibatkan karakter 3D yang akan digunakan dalam AR dan media lain. Karakter 3D yang lain ialah “Secret Donut World” dan “The Doughbots”. Saya juga terlibat dalam penghasilan “The Dundercats”.

Saya mempunyai “BFA in Photographic Illustration” dan telah membuat pameran di seluruh dunia((Rochester Institute of Technology)). Sebagai jurukamera pertama kepada “Tippling Club”, hasil kerja saya pernah disiarkan dalam majalah Times dan dalam sebuah buku yang berjudul “Coco”, yang diterbitkan oleh Phaedon.

“...a spontaneous, studied and ever eloquent eye.”

-Xu Xi, calon “2007 Man Asian Literary Prize”, member ulasan beliau pada “Bus Stopping”, sebuah buku fotografi saya tentang Singapura. Selain itu, buku tersebut juga menerima ulasan daripada Stelarc, seorang artis ternama yang menghasilkan karya daripada mesin; Cyril Wong, seorang penyair yang terkemuka di Singapura dan Shuhei Takahashi, seorang pengkritik fotografi dari Jepun yang berpengaruhi.

Kebelakangan ini saya telah membuat kajian dengan penyiaran Facebook Live. Siaran langsung 72 jam yang pertama telah dijalankan di Abby Hotel manakala 60 jam yang seterusnya di Symphony Suites Hotel.

Akhirnya saya hampir menyiapkan pameran foto AR pertama di dunia yang berjudul “About Ipoh!”. Sepanjang perjalanan ini saya telah menikmati keindahan Ipoh secara dekat dan sangat teruja untuk menyampaikan keistimewaan Ipoh ke dunia!

Di sini saya berharap anda akan menikmati kajian ini. Sila ambil perhatian bahawa hasil kerja saya telah dibuat menggunakan iPhone dan mempunyai reka bentuk yang mudah kerana saya cuma boleh menggunakan Microsoft Paint!

PS I should also thank Liew Sunchin/Abby Hotel and Ray Ng/Hotel Lotte.

Hello,

I would like to thank everyone for the hospitality shown to me on Friday morning.I truly enjoyed watching a powerful, new Ipoh/Perak brand being formed. I wish everyone all the best with this exciting project.I should also thank Liew Sunchin/Abby Hotel and Ray Ng/Hotel Lotte.

The following digital doodles reflect years of experience in areas like: AR, art, broadcast television, creative direction, dance, gamemaking, movie making, promotion, theatre, VR and writing. One of my books, i ate tiong bahru, is a national bestseller in Singapore. Reviews on Goodreads are here. On Amazon. Audiobook version.I will be happy to send you a free ebook version of I Ate Tiong Bahru.

Beach Road is a 360 film which I wrote, produced, sourced music for and starred in. It is available as a free download on Google Play and the App store.

SPOKEN is a VR co-production with Eugene Soh, and features an international mix of known and unknown artists and writers.

Bubiko Foodtour is a part of a two year plan involving 3D characters that will be used in AR and elsewhere. Bubiko did the photography for this ebook: Other characters are Secret Donut World and The Doughbots. I am also involved with The Dundercats.

I have a BFA in Photographic Illustration(Rochester Institute of Technology) and have exhibited worldwide. As the first photographer for Tippling Club, my work appeared in Time magazine, as well as this book published by Phaedon: Coco.

“… a spontaneous, studied and ever eloquent eye.”

Xu Xi, 2007 Man Asian Literary Prize nominee, commenting upon Bus Stopping, my book of photographs about Singapore. The book also features comments from also features comments from Stelarc, the legendary robotics artist, Singapore Prize winning poet Cyril Wong and Shuhei Takahashi, an influential Japanese photography critic.

Artist in residence: Independent Archive ((Singapore,2016) Grey Projects (Singapore, 2015)

Lately, I have been experimenting with durational Facebook Live broadcasts. The first was for 72 hours, at the Abby Hotel. The second was for 60 hours, at the Symphony Suites Hotel.

Finally, I have almost completed the world's first AR photo exhibition: about Ipoh!

I have jumped into Ipoh wholeheartedly and am excited about communicating Ipoh's personality to the world!

I hope you enjoy these experiments. Please keep in mind that they were created with an iPhone and very, very simple graphic design: I only used Microsoft Paint!

destination city branding

sketch for Ipoh identity campaign

destination cities branding branding for destination cities branding for destination cities

The second part of this three part series is here.

Uber Return Trip

The squawking stopped when the door opened. The biggest crow stared with its mouth open, then hopped in. It saw a grain of rice on the floor; it ate it. Two males walked closer, then flapped their wings to get inside.

Seven loud crows are now in the car. There are no more grains of rice. The door closes. The car’s voice sounds like a smiling British actress, "Good morning! Where shall we go today?” Beaks become fast yellow scissors, cutting the air into shrill shreds of anger, hunger and fear. The car drives off.

At the border, the scanners, scales and sensors work perfectly: the car is determined to be empty. The car heads towards Kallang.

Fortississimo: Caw! Caw! Caw!

The crows' fury, the driver's perfection: Singapore.

Seeing things

Last night, an old woman's shaking hand pushed my nose towards fish bones and lemongrass. One of the rats ran over the sparkly shoes of a woman from The Golden Palace. She screamed. The man who sells pens came by, so did the man with the folding rattan chair. I stepped on a hot cigarette butt, caught off balance by the hisses of a male intruder. The friendly man with burnt skin sold perfume from a new duffel bag. The monk walked through and studied everyone, offered his bronze bowl to a few. I listened to happiness, drunkenness, boredom, suspicion, lust and a fight. A barefoot boy snapped his fingers, hit me with a bottle cap. Little radios played Cantonese music all night.

Now I’m lying in the sunrise shadows of the red plastic chairs. Coins are being counted on a metal table. The man behind the Apple Daily smokes and drinks coffee.

When I lived in the place with big windows I only worried about rainy days. I had no scars, no friends and two eyes.

Stephen Black: Augmented Reality Producer

Stephen Black has been the producer of numerous digital visual projects. These include the world's first exhibition of photographs in Augmented Reality, a self-produced project about Ipoh, Malaysia. His experiences as a producer range from high-profile commercial work to "no budget" underground art collaborations.

Black has worked for, or with: Annie Liebovitz, Kumiko Akiyoshi, CNN, Fuji TV, Fox, France 2, and WalkerAsia, a joint venture between Singapore, Kadokawa, Mitsubishi and Dentsu. Also, projects with butoh legend Kazuo Ohno and his son, Yoshito. Black wrote the text for a fictitious biography that formed the basis of Michael Lee's Office Orchitect artwork for the 2011 Singapore Biennale. He was a producer for CNN's Worldbeat music show and a co-producer for 3how's Riverwalk Session CD.

Upcoming AR projects for which Black is the producer are: Bubiko Foodtour, the Doughbots, and Secret Donut World.

These characters, plus original software are the basis of his startup, which aims to be the Pixar of AR. Additionally a collaboration with The Dundercats is being planned for Christmas, 2017. Black was the co-producer of Beach Road, a 360 movie that was featured at the 2015 Brisbane Film Festival and nominated for Best Experimental Film at the 2016 Las Vegas VR Festival.

SPOKEN , for which Black was a co producer, with Eugene Soh, is a virtual gallery; and art and writing project with an extremely diverse group of writers and artists.

AR is a new medium; a new stage, a magic platform to make everything new again. Movies, writing, dance, theatre, games, photography... let's go! onwARd!"

Indie Event Producer

In the fall of 2017  Black was the producer of an experiment which combined durational art, corporate branding, social media (especially Facebook Live), visual art and writing. The  event took place on the roof of the Abby Hotel in Ipoh, Malaysia and lasted for 72 hours. This led to a similar event, of  60 hours, which took place at the Symphony Suites Hotel, also in Ipoh.

Another recent project for which Black was the producer was the Sudden VR Festival, held at the Isetan on Singapore's Orchard Road in 2016. The festival was held in order to promote VR in Singapore, and featured contributions from local VR producers.

Black is the producer of Book Merah, which he established as a way of branding his publishing and writing activities.

Producer of Yoast-influenced text

So that this post would be SEO friendly, I followed the suggestions of Yoast. This is why the word "producer" appears so frequently, and the writing is not in my usual style.  For example, Yoast discourages sentences that are  more than twenty words long. Yoast encourages the uses of "transitional words", like 'in order to', 'as a way of',' so that' etc.

Interesting... looking forward to seeing where this ends up in the SEO rankings. Which reminds me: I have to thank Neil Patel for suggesting Yoast. Both Yoast and Neil's advice are free.

The word “Singapore” in three poems

The Pompeii of Allegan County

Five black and white aerial photographs.

The first from before the dune buggy business;

a landscape of sand and tires being the fifth.

Your trees were eaten by a big shouldered city

and you choked on sand.

Now there's a panel discussion about your warm shoulders

and a frozen steamer shipwreck buys you meals.

“Show me the lions!“ you spill,

leaning on a dark afternoon of

Pistons and Cubs in a Main Street bar.

“TripAdvisor is poetry, but soullessly so.”

I disagree.

“Like this: killer crazybumpy dune buggy rides!”

We honk at cows, castles of Amway, and baby food mansions.

A cedar waxwing, whistling and sighing. Black River Street.

Cakes Alive.

Truck stop: Amish beards and dresses, Saugatuck couples and “visiting whatevers”.

At the Singapore Yacht Club: oranges and a selfie with clouds.

A bell made from a circular saw; buried in sand.

Loud and clear.

That kiss, in a ghost town of boats.

Loud and clear.

....................................

Dreaming Around

The pink room dream

The dream of a canoe

The family after-dinner badminton by the lake dream

Dreaming on Greyhound

Super 8 dream

Those save the robots dreams

Sakura dreams

My dream love

A dream of giving birth

The Singaporean dream

Goodbye dream, goodbye

I have a dream of reunions and forgiveness

The pink room dream

.......................................

Doug

Julie says 35 people are there,

there because they love you.

I would hide too.

You’ve got a divine chariot to catch

and those 35 whispering sleepwalkers

just want to touch you

one last time.

Doug: breathe...

That's a heavy thought,

easy to say as I watch the sky in Singapore.

But breathe again, Doug... please.

Now I remember: the King Cole Pizza place.

You're sitting there;

Lewis and Alexis.

Summer, Friday night.

They're boxing it up;

We’re smelling that pizza.

We’re 18 and we like it. Love it.18,18...

Hair’s lookin’ good.

Blue denim jacket,

the rock and roll Falcon’s outside.

You’re cool as Van Halen

Man, that pizza smells good...

How to make the AR marker for IPOH: 38 iPhone Photographs by Bubiko Foodtour

IPOH: 38 iPhone Photographs by Bubiko Foodtour, is an AR app that needs a marker to start the exhibition. Here is how to make one:

1. Get a white piece of paper the size of a postcard.

2. Use a crayon or marker to write IPOH in the middle. USE CAPITAL LETTERS.

3. Put the paper anywhere where there is good light.

4. Point your phone or tablet at IPOH.

5. Relax and enjoy the 30 minute ambient exhibition. Each image lasts about one minute.

6. You could also create IPOH with your computer, using A4 paper and the Arial font, bold at 60 points. Other fonts and sizes may also work, but you'll have to test.

Send us your photos of the IPOH exhibition on your phone and we will be happy to share them!

unusual AR marker

The Bubiko Foodtour AR photo exhibition! Meow! Meow!

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...

A (VR/AR/Haptics+)-based book proposal for agents-like-Lauren-Appleton

Hello literary-agents-like-Lauren-Appleton!

I hope all is well on your side of the interwebtubes! My name is Stephen Black and I have a book proposal that I believe will be of interest to you, one of the publishing companies whom you represent and millions of people interested in visual art, gaming and film-making.

Cinema 8.0 will be a timeless bestselling classic like Towards an Architecture

Towards an Architecture was written during a transitional period in which concrete, preformed materials and Modernism were replacing past paradigms and materials. Cinema 8.0 is being written during a transitional period in which VR, AR, social media and haptics are exploding the concept of "motion pictures".

An artist/producer/writer, I believe my finished text will be factual, inspirational and light-hearted. Just as Corbusier's book is evergreen, so will be mine. (A valuable resource has been this post by Ryan Holiday about the making of Perennial Seller)

Beach Road 360VR film featured at festivals in Singapore, Brisbane and Las Vegas.

SPOKEN Unity-based virtual exhibition, curated by myself, co-produced with Eugene Soh.

Captioned virtual reality scene with two real men in it

Eugene Soh and Stephen Black

i ate tiong bahru A bestseller in Singapore. With. No. Marketing.

I've long lived in Asia, have worked for CNN, Cartoon Network, Fuji TV: writer, director, cameraman, producer. Collected as an artist, published as a photographer.

Here are blog posts that exemplify some of the research that I have done. The theoretical/inspirational components, as well as a chapter outline, can be viewed upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration literary-agents-like-Lauren-Appleton!

onwARd,

Stephen Black

public section of Engadget Experience 100K grant proposal

Bubiko Foodtour: the world's first AR superstar

I discovered information about Lauren Appleton, and her request for manuscripts, here. I wrote the above with a great deal of respect and, hopefully, in a way that prevents internet search complications or misrepresentations.

Oh yeah...a book cover about immersive environments A working title, now scrapped.

Toyo Project 2

Toyo Project 1 is here

Again, I am in Kuala Lumpur, it is 2107 and Toyo is messing with my mind.

Seeing the picture in the first post was a shock. That night: Walking around the Lower East Side with some people on a lot of broken glass and we went to a bar first and the streets were all bodegas and Korean florists and guys selling drugs or dime bags and everything was fun, burnt out and/or threatening when we walked in the music was on and we were overlooking things and there were pipes and sculptures all over.

I took this photo of Toyo that night. Or so Toyo tells me.

okokokokokokokokokokokookokokokokoko

Hi Steve, sorry I couldn't serect any of Photos yet,? I have some question to ask, do you have an idea of Title of this book project? And where is Forcusing of my photo work? Like which period?like 80s Ny or NoSeNo 99 night event? You are thinking combining your NoSeNo Video, means you are more detail of your project , let me know wher to forcus my photos?!

WED 12:26PM

Hi Toyo...

Photo book.. no title yet...

Subject is simply ten photos. Up to you, but I hope I can decide 2 or 3. The point is to put together something that is interesting and full of information and stories. SO it could be anything... but maybe it is good to have only a few from No Se No, because that is so famous already.. As for teh video... I am not sure how it will work yet... I am thinking that my black and white videos will be the heart of the project. And some things, like No Se No, you also have... But the final result cannot be predicted right now. I am just wondering if you are interested or not. If you don't want, to.. I understand... If you are interested...for now that is good enought. I can include you as a possibility in my proposal. Then when I start to see my footage, I can better understand what can be made. For example, I videoed you talking... that must be interesting. Is all of it interesting? Is the tape damaged? Maybe you talk about something and you have a photo of it.. I remember you were speaking in Japanese... but you said "Don't carry mugger money" Maybe you have a photoof that. Maybe I have a photo or video of that... Konokanji... these kinds of questions... I am sorry I am not clearer...but I hope it will be an interesting experience and video.

Book again... if you have a theme or topic or title, I am happy to use it.

Steve Thankyou your reply, I'll talk to you later I gat go dentist appo again. Ok?

Ha ha ha... Japanese joke. I hope the dentist is Ok for you...

WED 4:44PM

THU 3:51PM

Hey Steve, yeah I get something from your comment, about forces! You are not forcing me and my photo so as you are not forucing you and your video,you are interested to make interesting book!? Combination of my photos with your video work and with some writing (story). I'm interested your Idea Steve! You are good writer that you showed me in Facebook. You have something in your head! Like christa G and Stelarc. .. Etc . That we can talk about or tell story about ?! I don't know now we should think and talk more ok ? I'll send you something later

THU 9:52PM

Toyo.. Please do not worry about the story.. The starting point is the photo. It can be a not famous person or a landscape or teh snow on cars. Anything! A tree a show a performance, teh sculpture garden The question is What is in your heart that you want to share?

8:50PM

Toyo... what do you think? Maybe we do one photo a week, or one photo a month? It is important for me to create a blog post that introduces the 10 photos...

Steve I'm sorry not moving our project well, I'll try to serect few tommrow to send you . All period of photos are from my heart.anyway imgoing to start early Ny snap shot, ok? I send you one special for you!

Toyo... No problem at all!

Now we have a start! I know every image is from your heart! I will show you the blog post in a day or two.Then if you think is OK, I will share with people slowly... Yoroshiku onegaishimasu. T H A N K Y O U

(TOYO SENT THE PHOTO THAT IS IN TOYO POST 1) Toyo... who is that singing?

Alright you see image ijust send? You are with microphone got it!

?????!!! Is that 8BC? Where?

Is that an image you want to use in the book maybe? I don't remember that event right now...

haha if you want we can! That was Jhon Sanders( sculptor) Party scene 1983 or 84. Many NoSeNo performers are there, the Brond lady is Shrin Take (Electra in a Bill's play Sharon Take next block from NoSeNo on Rivington st Basement studio

A SAturday night... Many pipes in teh ceiling.. a basement I was there only one time!

Idont know What Day night?! But you found your memory!yes? I too only went once Jhon was friend of Ray. Ok I send you one more image you took tho photo from my camera? I think,are you ready?

(TOYO SENT THIS PHOTO ) John , and me and other Brond girl!

wow

wow

wow

Chat Conversation End

I did a little performance/exhibition about Toyo...