Tag Archives: creative writing

SE Asia Bookstore Energy!

Thailand is full of surprises, but one of the best was the discovery of so many healthy bookstores. Besides the work on my startup, I am now writing two books, both with connections to Thailand. Discovering bookstores has been an inspirational part of the Bubiko Orwell Tour.

Additionally... I recently had a pleasant conversation with Trasvin Jittidecharak, the publisher of Silkworm Press. We took no photos, though! We did discuss, however, this very interesting book.

And, before I entered Thailand, just after Christmas, I was lucky to have 30 minutes of quality time with Gareth Richards, in his office above the legendary Gerakbudya Bookshop in Penang, Malaysia. The team headquartered here recently won an award for their outstanding work on the Georgetown Literary Festival.

About a year ago, in Kuala Lumpur, I had a very brief exchange with Raman Krishnan, the proprietor of Silverfish Books, an English language, Malaysian-themed independent bookstore.

And... in Singapore: Kenny Leck and Books Actually. Plus:Booktique, run by Anthony Koh Waugh! But for now... Thailand.

papersmith bookshop

Dao, a woman who is soon opening a bookshop. Her deep respect and passion for books made a strong impression upon me. Thailand and Southeast Asia and the world of books. OnwARd!

Because of Facebook and the Mekong Review, I just discovered Bangkok's Open House Bookshop.

Oh yeah... you're here because you are enigmatic, intelligent and interested in w o r d s... I dare ya... ONE DOS San !

Two emails about Chiang Mai food from Any Way in a Way

The following emails are reprinted with permission. They contain information helpful to those visiting Chiang Mai. More than this, the professionalism and obvious joie de vivre of Olga's emails make them casual,little masterpieces of written communication.

Olga's stunning photographs of vanishing cultures can be seen at Any Way in a Way.

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

Hi,

Enjoy Chiang Mai, I like this place. It’s touristy but special. The more I stayed, the more I liked.

We are now on Koh Phangan. It’s a beautiful island, rather quiet despite its reputation for Full Moon parties. It becomes very busy for 3 days for the party before becoming again a sleepy island. Sapphire-blue sea and white sandy beaches, exactly what I was looking for. The only downside is food – the food is almost twice expensive compared to the rest of Thailand, and local food stalls are not everywhere. We drive for 10 min to eat locally (but expensive compared to the prices we used to pay). But well, we have sea in return.

Sure, you can post my recommendations. I have a few more 🙂

Another specialty of Chiang Mai is Chiang Mai sausage. It’s unbelievably tasty, spicy, with a lot of ingredients inside such as lemon grass etc. One of the best is at Isan stall I recommended yesterday. The best sausages are in the places where are not many tourists. Otherwise, they don’t make it spicy as it should be.

· Hideya Ramen: surprisingly great Ramen. It’s a tiny place operated by one passionate man.

· Rosy Cheeks: tasty and very photogenic. A little Asian fusion restaurant.

· If you want to try Thai Chili Frog or other quite rare dishes - Loong Thai Khao Gaeng.

· Kanomjeen Khunnai Mae: very special rice noodle place.

· Rustic and Blue: delicious and beautifully presented western type dishes. All coming from their farm. But expensive.

But what I really miss is the quality coffee of Chiang Mai. There are many barista style coffee places, with the quality comparable to the coffee in Sydney, the best place for coffee in the world

My favourites are:

· Akha Ama: great coffee, and the prices are very reasonable. They have 2 locations. One is near the Old City.

· Ristr8 is absolutely the must. In Nimman.

· Ristr8to Lab: same owner as above but different in style. They are located close to each other. In Nimman.

· Cotton Tree: great coffee and great place to relax. Quiet compared to other busy places like Ristr8. Try their affogato – coffee with ice-cream, very special. In Nimman.

· Omnia: quality, great coffee with some unusual creations of the month. In a residential area of CM.

· Graph Cafe: stylish tiny place in the Old City with great coffee. Their speciality is Nitro and Cold Brew.

· Ponganes: long-established place in CM, great coffee. In the Old City.

· Pacamara: same as above, long-established place in CM, great coffee. In the Old City.

· Asama Cafe: outside Chiang Mai in a beautiful garden near the lake. Really great coffee in a peaceful setting.

There are also 2 places I find special:

· Begin Again: coffee is not the barista level coffee but the setting in amazing. If you feel like you are in the middle of a jungle. You can find photos on our website https://anywayinaway.com/coworking-spaces-cafes-chiang-mai/

Penguin Ghetto: nice place, quite special, odd I would say, and coffee is very good.

Enjoy!

Olga

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

Hi,

How do you find Chiang Mai? Have you been to Chiang Rai all this time? Was it good? We didn’t stay long time in Chiang Rai, just enough to explore the town and a couple of temples outside.

As for Chiang Mai, renting an apartment is much cheaper than staying in a guesthouse, however, they require at least 1 month stay.

If you want to stay in Old Town of Chiang Mai, we stayed in a few places. We like Nocky House, located very close to a local market with food and vegetables, in a very old traditional house, very charming.

Otherwise, just nearby, there is 9 Hostel – a very different style – very modern, cement walls etc. Quiet and clean. I liked, Errol found it impersonal.

There is also SK 1 – very good price for what they offer (swimming pool), near Somphat market.

If you like a modern area in Chiang Mai, it’s Nimman. We also stayed there but we rented an apartment on a few occasions.

For food:

· Chang Phuak Gate (North Gate) – local food market. You should try the “must” there – Cowboy Lady stall aselling Khao Kha Moo (pork legs that melt in you mouth). My mouth is watering just when I am typing…

· You should try a special chicken at SP Chicken.

· One of the best Khao Soi (specialty of Chiang Mai) is at Khao Soi Islam, Charoenprathet Road Soi 1. I tried – very good! People also recommend Khao Soi Lam Duan and Khao Soi Khun Yai.

· If you want a very creative vegetarian and organic - Pun Pun restaurant located at Suan Dok Temple.

South Gate Night Market: the most known market among farang. But the food is good, the prices are low, and the variety is unbeatable.

· Warorot Market: Chinatown of Chiang Mai. Interesting food that you won’t find everywhere.

· There is one local place called something Vegetable Organic. They have amazing food (non-vegetarian, their vegetables are supposed to be organic, hence, the name). The specialty of the house is different types of friend rice. I don’t like saying that but this is the best fried rice I have eaten. They are near Burmese Restaurant and Library (you can google to find). There is another restaurant a few step away – a small stall selling Isan food. Great food!

Olga

(SB: You can read about Olga and Errol here.)

Esbe over view rough draft (AR startup, AR -themed novel)

Esbe is the name of my planned AR startup...

Augmented reality novels

Hereis glimpse into esbe

Here is Bubiko's Instagram account.

Antigone Cloud and Yves Arc: Dialogue Sample

Thanks for joining this adventure!

Antigone Cloud is the name of the novel I'm now working on (it is related to my AR startup). I won't say anything more, as the text below should give a clue or two. Please keep in mind that the following is minimal; in the book, there are visual cues and other devices to provide more information. My thinking is that if the following basic dialogue can be understood, then the planned text additions will only make the scene easier to understand, and more pleasant to read.

PLEASE leave a comment or question, of any kind. THANK YOU

And, if you have any visual materials that are even remotely related to young adults, AR and/or Southeast Asia, I would be very happy to feature them on my blog and elsewhere. Drawings, 3D scans, 3D models.. anything. I would really love to see images of young people recorded with 3D volumetric cameras. I would, of course, credit and backlink, as well as share information about your image/software/company/artistic motivation.

Antigone meets Yves

Yves Arc: Hello... archild. (He emphasizes ‘child”, drawing it out, stretching his mouth into a terrible smile.)

Antigone Cloud: I’m...I’m...

Yves Arc: You're the blip that popped up on TPS last night, correct? 6:17PM. Your Source is on the 5th floor, room 521. In the Life Shelter, on a shelf above a bicycle.

Antigone Cloud: Your voice is like Sir Caboose! Are your Pparents from Cambridge? Do you have a bedder?

Yves Arc: Someone has the international pop culture app, now don’t they? Your Pparents would seem to have excellent taste. Yes, my voice was inspired by Sir Caboose.

And your voice? American? (Yves coughs).

Antigone Cloud: Yes. Sailor Jayne.

Yves Arc: ... oh. A pop star...

(Yves coughs again.)

Well, we can’t all have the voices of Liz and Dick, now can we?

Antigone Cloud: I am sorry; can you repeat that?

Yves Arc: Repeat it? Why? I enounced and pronounced perfectly. 57 decibels. The ambient noise is easily canceled out. Obviously you lack culture-related software. Richard Burton. Elizabeth Taylor. Dick and Liz! Superstars of stage and cinema. The most fabulous couple of the modern age. Nec plus ultra!

(Yves looks at her, sees his reflection in her glasses. Sighs.) I suppose I should simply state everything in Star Quest mode. Or would you prefer cartoon mode?

Antigone Cloud: Star Quest mode, please. (in a quiet voice). Thank you.

Yves Arc: What age you are supposed to be?

Antigone Cloud: Ten.

Yves Arc: Ten? Why, when I was a ten-year old, I was in charge of a factory with 34 air conditioners,18 surveillance cams, 9 quality control systems, 6 robots and an assembly line 28.9 meters long that constantly needed replacement parts from a mythical place in China! Plus, overseas clients. Six languages!

Antigone Cloud: I don’t believe you! You're just a boy!

Yves Arc:: First of all, in three days I will be upgraded to arman. Second, I have been carefully curated by...

Antigone Cloud: Curated!? You mean you’re made with a bunch of mixed up old software junk with a bunch of new programs that are buggy. Buggy buggy buggy! (Antigone sings the last two lines of a commercial.)

We are curates, tried and true,

Helpful curates and we love you!

Yves Arc: Please stop. It's tacky. (Antigone’s expression shows that she doesn’t understand.) The commercial... it takes advantage of lonely people who don’t have much money. It doesn’t care for them. It doesn’t care for arbots. (Yves watches the palm trees react to the wind).

Antigone Cloud: But it has achieved economic success.

Yves Arc: Yes, Commander, affirmative. A lot of us have been sold.

Antigone Cloud: 37% of all curates are removed from TPS within the first month.

Yves Arc: That statistic would seem to be true. (He looks worried.) I must reSource now. The increasing humidity is decreasing my strength.

Antigone Cloud: Me too. (She looks at Yves with apprehension) Your TPS is a fifth floor flat above Books Hontoni? In the Life Shelter, on a rattan chair with a broken seat?

Yves Arc: Affirmative, Commander, affirmative. (Yves sighs and walks away.) Why can’t Pparents ever respect privacy mode?

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

Thanks for reading this far. Looking forward to your comments.

Writing and the Digital Avante-garde

The slides are explained here.

TEST READERS WANTED: If you would like to be one of the first to read about ANTIGONE CLOUD, email Stephen Black at bubikofoodtour@gmail.com

Antigone Cloud is a ten-year old girl who is actually an arbot, a softwre program made of light. Antigone, who lives in Singapore, has the body of a ghost and the mind of an emotional computer.

Lida Cloud 1

A gao yord tattoo just below one boxer’s Adam's apple, a tiger on the back of the other. Their bones and muscles glisten beneath the stadium lights like warm, metallic oil. They study each other. They move. Flicker. The fighter in red pirouettes, then launches a punch made of rock. Impact! The crowd roars. Bravely, the one in blue stumbles. He finally gains focus again; his gloves shoot up like a shield. He moves forward. Jabs: left, left, left. An elbow to the right. His eyebrow becomes a dripping red line...

The girl looks bored.

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

The above, or a version of it, is likely the opening of Lida Cloud, the book I am in the midst of writing. Lida is an arbot in the form of a ten-year old girl.

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

The story of Lida is a topic for another day. For now, the image of the boxing ring is symbol for both Life and AR.

I would like to thank Thaifight for allowing me behind the scenes for their recent tournament. I am still compiling my notes on those two days into a documentary type article. Thanks also to Graham Meyer for responding so professionally. The opportunity to write about the tournament happened very quickly, and all I had was an iPhone. Graham magically appeared, thanks to Christian Hogue. Graham's other images of the tournament are are excellent, so much that they would overpower this bit of 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.