Tag Archives: urban

My Sydney Hidden Beauty

Some of my big inspirations in Sydney might be in oblivion to many. They are texture in the back lanes and abandoned stuff on the streets.

The moment I got out to get my first craving food,  a couch and a mattress were sitting on a street corner like old friends, waiting to welcome me back.

These materials were actually pivotal for my creative works. They transitioned me from photography into making videos. It started from a short film about abandoned chairs, then ambient videos on a red sofa. When I got into COFA, broken TVs were used for a looped video assignment. And it concluded with video installation about torn mattresses.

No one would care how they got there or how they would end but they were so intriguing to me that I needed to exercise my imagination to tell their stories. Having explored them again reminded me how beauty could be discovered from discarded lives on the streets.

On another aspect, I was thinking of doing urban landscape comparison between my old photography and the latest visit. But there was no concrete plan for it and I enjoyed drifting in the streets and back lanes. However, I got a chance to do only one properly.

Corrode: Scratch (2004)
Corrode: Scratch (2004)
Corrode: Scratch (2016)
Corrode: Scratch – Twelve years later

A Dose of the Tunnel Intake

Light in the Tunnel

Texture from Both Ways

Paint Layers

Will Coles' Street Art

My creative time in Sydney was always around Newtown area. And this particular tunnel intrigued me the most and always got me something whether I walked through, or took time to examine it, or used it as a shooting location.

There’s a long history for me with it at least since 2002. It is a must for me to get there and drown myself in it.

The tunnel, one of my favourite spots in #Sydney #Newtown

A photo posted by ‘Pong (@apostrophepong) on

The tunnel as a film location #Newtown #Sydney Not just me who likes this spot

A photo posted by ‘Pong (@apostrophepong) on

Previous works on the tunnel

Exist Promo Teaser (2010)

Broken Jesus
Torn Faith (2010)

Run Away (2006)

Twilight Underneath (2004)
Twilight Underneath (2004)

Deserting (2003)
Deserting (2003)

Tunnel of Love (2002)
Tunnel of Love (2002)

Weekend in Detroit: Saturday Self-Revelation

img_8536After all this time in Washington DC, I get to get out of town, finally. Intentionally, the first city I’d like to visit is Detroit. That’s for some good reasons—to get the sense of changing urban landscape and to see Sigur Rós concert. It turns out to be one of my self-revelation peaks.

Saturday in the Detroit is actually quite short. It is almost 6pm when I get to downtown to walk around the city whereas the show starts at 8.30pm. So, there isn’t much time to explore the famous urban decay. Although there are many abandoned buildings, it is not as dramatic as it sounded years ago.

Probably, the city is slowly in reincarnation phase. You get the sense of city’s rebounding from local creative business like local breweries such as one I have at Detroit Beer Company. It has a long history of art and music scene. I can see it now from Fox Theater. The over-the-top Art Deco interior just amazes me. I wish I could explore more and more.

While waiting for the show, the combination of the theatre’s visual stimulant and the meditative walk-in music put me to process the whole experience so far. My head keeps chanting ‘I’m in Fox Theater in Detroit to see Sigur Rós’. An intense journey I haven’t had for a long time kicks off.

During the first half of the show, my emotion gets so overwhelmed by self-reflection that I start to sob.

I’ve been soul searching since I made the big move to this current job in DC last year. (That includes the trip to Sydney in May-June this year and I should blog about it later.) And lately, I have convinced myself as an INFP. It ticks the boxes I question about my own decisions in my life. The evening with the mantra ‘I’m in Fox Theater in Detroit to see Sigur Rós’ has just put a nail on it.

Understanding myself as an INFP processes me why I wanted to visit Detroit before anywhere else in the States and why Sigur Rós. For the first time in many years I think I’m clear why I’m here, hence, where and how I’d like to go further.

It’s a short day with a long internal journey in Detroit. In the end, it gets you the feeling of self-discovery. Everything seems to make sense now. All effort is worth it and the rest of the trip is the bonus. I shall move forward and explore.

In a Blizzard

A view from my regular pub, Songbyrd
A view from my regular pub, Songbyrd

As a boy from tropic, I wasn’t really looking forward this Snowzilla, my first ever snow storm saga. But it turned out to be an interesting small adventure in D.C.

I was preparing to stay in the house until it ended. Especially, I tumbled on the slippery street on the first snowy night. That was a bad alarm. But when it actually came knocking on your door in the morning with the white landscape on the street, the smooth-looking  snow lured me out with the camera.

I decided to take the regular route from Mount Pleasant to Adams Morgan. The condition was tough with 30-cm snow and the freezing wind. Still, I wasn’t alone on the street.

However, the camera (it’s the office camera, for disclosure) wasn’t prepared for it. When the snow landed on it, it turned into the liquid form. And that could be the big problem. My goal was to get to the destination, get a lunch, and grab some drinks at the regular pubs.

Funny enough,  pubs were open as usual and I had too much to drink as usual.

Morning Train to Bangkok

As soon as I got up on the train from Chiang Mai, my focus was almost immediately on the changing landscapes outside the window—from Ayutthaya Station right up Hua Lamphong Station. It was an enjoyable mixed bag of urban creep sceneries to see.

In Ayutthaya, there was a rhythm of rice fields and industrial estates emerging from the light of dawn. Then they started to work on the new Dark Red Line suburban commuter train in Rungsit. Don Muang was the mark that it had entered Bangkok with the old International Airport. Along the way, there was Bangkok’s Stonehenge, which became street artists’ heaven. It went through the train depot in Bang Sue, which would be the last clear horizon perspective from the train. Finally, while it was approaching the final destination in Hua Lamphong, Bangkok from the train view turned into dense communities.

By the time the train arrived Bangkok, the camera phone and the spare powerbank almost ran out of their power and I got very exhausted with the travelling and everything. But it was all really worth it.

All the shot was taken with an iPhone. The music “Sunburn” by Lee Rosevere trough Creative Commons license BY-NC 4.0