OohLaLondon

A Night at the Opera

Posted in Exploration, London by Kaity Chua on September 22, 2010

When it comes to all things in the realm of culture and the arts, I never say no. That’s why I found myself willingly saying “yes” to Deng’s invitation to watch a modernized version of Mozart’s libretto called Così fan tutte at the majestic Royal Opera House. 

Even though the opera was considered a comedy, only about three restrained chuckles escaped my mouth. I found myself more intrigued with the architecture of the venue.

Before I could take a photo of the stage, an usherette reprimanded me. Tsk, tsk. That’s what I get for being a trigger-happy tourist.

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Hyperreal Horticulture

Posted in Exploration, London by Kaity Chua on September 21, 2010

I never really gave flowers a second-thought. Yes, they are nice to look at, lovely to smell, and even better to receive but eventually, they wilt, wither, then are tossed into the waste. Call me unromantic but that’s what I think.

And then I walked into Joana Vasconcelos’ Garden of Eden at the Haunch of Venison. Planted in a dark, massive room is a labyrinthine garden of glowing, twinkling flowers – an artificial paradise made of optic-fiber plastic flora and fauna.

I think it’s quite intriguing how I found these eerie, fake glittering flowers more fascinating than its natural counterpart. Does it perhaps betray how much I’ve become a victim of the poisonous plasticity of this world? Maybe yes, maybe no. But maybe I was simply drawn to the magnetic twinkle of these phosphorescent posies.

This installation is really one of the most interesting I’ve seen here, by far. To give you a better idea of how surreal it was to be wandering around this garden, I made this video:

* This post is dedicated to my dear friends, Isabelle and Rick. Just because I know how both of you love, love, LOVE photographs of flowers. HAHA!

No flashlights. Only explosions.

Posted in Exploration, London by Kaity Chua on September 18, 2010

Heaven knows how many times I’ve crossed paths with wobbly, stumbling people taking sips or massively downing a bottle of wine or a half-empty can of beer in the cold, cold streets of London. And only heaven knows how many times I’ve judged these inebriated individuals. But I admit, I am a hypocrite because some days ago, I was one of these soused-up street stumblers. I have a very plausible excuse for such bad behavior though: Fireworks!

To culminate the Thames Festival, a fireworks show illuminated the night skies of London. What’s a better time than any to open a bottle of rosé and drink to that fine spectacle in the sky?

Ah yes. Drinking wine from dixie cups. Classeh.

And now, I have to bid you farewell because everything is starting to look like this:

This 15-hour marathon hangover has to end! Goodnight.

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A Riot of Color

Posted in Exploration, London by Kaity Chua on September 15, 2010

In my past entries, I was blathering on and on about B&W photography. It was really only a matter time before I cracked and came rushing back into the kaleidoscopic arms of the bright, the vibrant, the luminous. Obviously, it was a very colorful reunion. And the venue? The 2010 Colourscape Music Festival – a very strange albeit extraordinary event.

Sitting atop the greens of Clapham Common was an inflatable structure made up of a hundred or so chambers. As soon as you let yourself be swallowed up by the chambers, you instantly get transported into an otherworldly universe filled with color, color, and more colors. To make the whole experience even more bizarre/fascinating, the whole structure reverberated of the wails and echoes of a multitude of groaning instruments. The sound of music it was not, more a cacophony of wailing whales.

Yes, it was the trippiest time of my life. No, I wasn’t “energized” by any kind of mind-altering substance.

The view that greets you as soon as you enter this colorful chamber of secrets.

Just another day chillin’ in the labyrinth.

So this is how it feels like to be eaten up by a rainbow.

The pot of gold doesn’t exist but a hundred of photo shoot opportunities do!

I think I might have met Roy G. Biv in one of those chambers. He was a very colorful character, to say the least.

Monochrome Madness

Posted in Black & White Photography, Exploration, London by Kaity Chua on September 8, 2010

And so the B&W phase continues.

On one random night out, I took my camera out for a spin. It got home dizzy, wobbly, and out of sorts but I’m pretty sure it had one hell of a time.

A Neon Indian Summer

Posted in Exploration, London by Kaity Chua on September 6, 2010

Last Thursday, I was able to watch Neon Indian live.

First time I heard their songs I thought to myself, “It’d be quite interesting to see them play in the flesh.” Fast-forward some months later, there I was in a club, nursing a Mojito, and grooving along with the crowd to the band’s dreamy, trippy synth-heavy sounds.

The vocalist (Alan Palomo) played this weird/intriguing instrument. Whenever he’d shake his hands furiously in front of those metal things, it’d create staccato synth sounds.

Not a bad way to spend a Thursday night at all.

Randomania II

Posted in Exploration, London by Kaity Chua on August 16, 2010

Back home, lugging around Nico the Nikon used to be such a heavy burden to me. But here, I can’t leave home without her! She’s become my sidekick, the Cheech to my Chong, the Bonnie to my Clyde, the fish to my chips.

Now our countless adventures together in this big city bring you Randomania Part Two!

Ms. DJ Samson attempting to seduce you with her beautiful eyes. Is it working? No? Thought so.

It’s Andrea Gonzalez! AC Gals unite in London!

Ann and a very “friendly” guy.

A surreal/scary experience of being alone on the tube.

Every Thursday to Sunday, disciples of all things fresh and delicious take a journey to London’s food mecca, Borough Market.

Seezzling hawt raclette. Omnomnomnom!


Nothing like a good nightcap to end the day. Goodnight, folks!

A wild night

Posted in Exploration, London by Kaity Chua on August 10, 2010

So this night taught me the truthfulness of that age old axiom, “never talk to strangers”. I love gay men. So if a gay man approaches me, all walls collapse and I turn into a wild flower. But some straight men have gotten privy to this level of comfort women instantly get with men who have crossed the feminine side. Now, I’m pretty sure you can figure out what happened to me in the arms of a supposedly gay man! Ah well, chalk it up to experience I say!

Sunday’s best

Posted in Exploration, London by Kaity Chua on August 9, 2010

On Sundays, everything closes at 6 pm but not in the Spitalfields/Shoreditch/Hoxton areas of East London. Filled with curious characters, colorful markets, quirky knick-knacks, hole-in-the-wall art galleries, pubs, restaurants, and streets wrapped in graffiti art, it’s no wonder why this place has quickly burrowed a nice and comfortable spot in my heart. It has easily become my most favorite part of the city.

Outside the weekly Sunday Up Market

Can you do a head count?

Organic Cherry Beer. By far the yummiest beer that has ever existed on Earth.

Cherry Tee

It isn’t obvious in this photo but you are looking at a London red bus that’s been converted into a restaurant.  On the first floor is the kitchen. The second floor houses the dining area. We would’ve stayed there but it was a hot day.

Outside Vibe Bar. I blame the good vibrations for the blurriness of this photo.

Not a shortage of the good vibes inside Vibe Bar.

And with a hug and kiss, I bid you goodnight.

Randomania

Posted in Exploration, London by Kaity Chua on August 3, 2010

Sometimes, it’s the most random things that catch our eye and are ingrained in our memory forever.

Here’s a mixed bag of those bits-and-pieces caught with Nico, my trusty Nikon film camera.

The view outside my flat.

All around the city are Japanese restaurants, which sell individually wrapped sushi! Crazy!

Isabelle

This city has gone to the birds.

How about we revisit our childhood?

That thing they’re rolling? It’s not what you think it is.

Caught this band at Cocoma. Don’t remember their name but they were pretty good.

You can’t see it here but British girls go wild as soon they’re unleashed in the moshpit.

At Karla’s charming flat.

Behind-the-scenes of an impromptu photo shoot.

The long ride home.