Day Three Part One—Exploring the Other Side

Today’s plan for this Koh Phangon trip is to explore Haad Rin area before the big Full Moon Party night and to take a look deep inside myself.

To redeem the hangover in the boat trip yesterday, I get up quite early and walk to Thong Nai Pan main street. Along the way, there is a restaurant I would like to try their breakfast but they open at 9pm. Next time then.

I buy aloe vera gel from 7-Eleven to sooth the burnt skin. The damage is done and it is the best I can now. Then back to the resort, have another average fried rice, and book a boat to Haad Rin at 9pm.

The journey by boat is very decent. It takes you along the east coast of Koh Phangan down to Haad Rin Nok. Now I am pumped to get to see more of it.

The boat stops to drop me off right at the beach. Pubs are setting up the party with big sound systems, workers are clearing the beach, and shops are getting their ventures ready for the night.

Backpackers wander everywhere whether on the streets, in pubs, or on the beach. It gets crazier and crazier as the day goes by. Now I think it is probably the right decision to stay on the opposite side of the island.

On my other side

There is another mission here in Haad Rin. I stumble upon Kamala Healing Centre in a local tourist guidebook. What intrigues me is one of the services, Past Lives therapy.

Could a past life be affecting your present life? Perhaps you wish to explore past lives out of curiosity or maybe you have questions regarding your present life that cannot be resolved without accessing to knowledge that lies outside the boundary of your present life memories. Find out and resolve any issues with a past life journey.

That, somehow, fits one of the purposes of the trip—to explore some spiritual journey. I decide to give it a go.

Of course, at first, I am nervous to enter a realm you have never set foot in before. In fact, the technique is to relax you and let your subconscious guide you to envision what are there deep inside. It is similar to E.M.D.R. (Eye Movement Desensitising and Reprocessing) that treated my depression not too long ago.

It is an intense journey going into your inner space. Even though I am not totally convince that what have visualised are really my past lives or I am just an imaginative visualiser, it makes sense what my subconscious is trying to tell me. The conscious mind will be processing it in the next few weeks.

The meaning of reincarnation becomes distanced away from me as I grow up. However, this session gives me some thoughts not just about some holes in me but also some substances of life. Maybe we are born again to get a second chance to make things right. Or third, forth, or indefinitely until we make it right.

Time to find a way back to the resort. That is always an effort. And I will get back here for the big party. It is going to be a very long night tonight.

Cowra Trip

We have done the shooting for a short documentary in Cowra. This COFA class work turns out to be a very interesting project that we can look in the long term. Road trip to Cowra is beautiful in this greenish spring in New South Wales. Along the way, we see an afternoon mist covering the Blue Mountains in Katoomba, magnificent sceneries on Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst and a mystic twilight view on Mid Western Highway before we hit Alabaster Motel around 8.30pm.

When the morning light hit my face in the motel room, I just have to get up because window of opportunity is slim. There is a dilemma, still or video camera. I take Nikon D70, take some shot and then run back to the room to get Sony HVRZ1P. At that time Stilgherrian is getting and figuring out what I am excited about. Sunrise is a bless and it is a good day for it.

We do not have much time to explore the town, just some shots from the car on the way hunting for breakfast then we go straight to the location. The sight of vast wheat field on the roadside is rewarding. The countryside looks different when it rains. Hopefully, the long drought is over.

After the documentary shooting, we get a chance for a brief visit to Japanese Garden then the lookout and stop at Blayney Wind Farm. Unfortunately, all of that no photographs from me since I am too exhausted for and stressed about the post-production to get the work for the class presentation plus another assignment deadline which is due on the same day.

By the time, I write this blog, those class works are done. This project lets me see how intensely I work as a producer. There are things that come back to me and things that I have to learn more. I feel coming down while having to deal other issues right away.

Story of Sticky

I always wanted to play with this idea of long exposure photography along the a tuk tuk ride but did not get a chance to do it in until the Thailand trip last year.

On the way to dinner in Khao Sarn Road area, I decided to get a tuk tuk from Pratunam. It was not the best decision to commute around Bangkok at the time when everyone was stuck on the road but it was quite perfect for the shooting, I found. To get a tuk tuk in that scenario was a tricky task. Some drivers simply said no to the destination or called incredibly high fair price

When I hopped on the first tuk tuk in at least six year, my camera was ready to shoot. Few test shots were taken as we slowly crawled in the traffic. I found the best shutter speed setting was 6 second at f14. The variation of 192 images were shot throughout the ride until the last shot when I was getting off the vehicle.

The idea was to stay with the sequence of the shots so there was no hard work of editing these image. Digging the right sound was more important at this phase. Initially, a world techno track from Rama IV was laid as the background and quickly arrange the images as Sticky Tuk Tuk. I left that work for a while until I decided to create the original track for it to avoid copyright issue and enter the local art exhibition. In Mac-ready audio editing software, GarageBand, I found some good royalty free samples to loop and put them together.


Sticky from ApostrophePong on Vimeo.

This work is awarded as Commended in Marrickville Contemparary Art Prize (MCAP’08) for CALD category (artists from Indigenous of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse background). And I will be at the Artist Talks on Sunday 21 September (last day) at At The Vanishing Point Contemporary Art, 3-5 pm and the following Sunday at Chrissy Cotter Gallery, 2-3.30 pm.

The Departure

The Departure

After Stilgherrian and I celebrated the King’s 80th Birthday, the journey in Thailand came to the end and we were set to leave the Kingdom on the next day. For the first time I could explore Thailand’s new gateway, Suvarnaphumi Airport, in daylight. We made the most of the afternoon with imported drinks while I took snap shots in the terminal.

Bangkok departure was more overwhelmed than I expected when I was sending text message to friends and family. Sunset as we are approaching the plan. It turned out that we were the last ones on board. No matter how long we set to get away, it would never be enough. Good-bye my homeland.

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