Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Aku, Kita dan Semesta

After weeks of separation, my best friends and I finally had a chance to reunite. It feels like it's been years since the last time I saw them. This opportunity came in the form of Pasar Seni ITB 2014, which my best friend Gina happens to be a part of. Oh yeah, Pasar Seni ITB is an event held by the Fine Arts and Design students of the Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) every 4 years. Uli and I came without a second thought. Uli's friend Sasya also came along - I'd heard so much about her but hadn't had the chance to meet her until this weekend. The event wasn't at all like what we imagined it would be - both in a good and bad way - but it was quite a lot of fun. Well, mostly because I got to spend it with my soulmates.

Since Gina was part of the event committee, she departed earlier than the rest of us to the event. We left around 30 minutes afterwards, though, and it was already pretty crowded. Pasar Seni was a very much open event - you don't even have to pay any entrance fee! - so there was the inevitable stream of people from the streets. Though the majority of the event was held in the ITB campus, parts of it was held right there on the streets. As soon as we walked in, we got in line for the event merchandise because one glance at the catalogue and we were hooked. I knew there was a pre-order option open until the week before but I wasn't interested enough to grab that chance. Boy, did I regret that! In the middle of being in line, a huge storm washed over us and we were stuck. The event committee wasn't prepared for the downpour so they needed to regroup afterwards before they could open the merchandise store again. But the line was so long, they were crazy if they thought we would leave.

Primark shirt (thrifted) // Connexxion dress (old) // Typo satchel bag // vintage hat + penny loafers // hand-me-down tights // photo of me by Uli

Before I go on describing the event to you guys, let me show you what I was wearing. So, okay, I'll be honest. When I was packing for this weekend, I did not register the existence of rain. It was kind of stupid to be wearing a.) white and b.) penny loafers. For one thing, that dress ended up being smeared all over by mud - okay, not all over, just the bottom part. For another, the loafers are soaked through. They look much darker, don't they? Nope, they're the ones I've always had. I hadn't purchased another pair. The hat was a good call, though, because it save my hair...although it doesn't help because my whole outfit was dripping wet. I really love this outfit, though. It's like a collar-on-collar action. Much too saccharine?

The best part of Pasar Seni this year, I think, is the augmented reality effect. It's actually really cool. So Pasar Seni has this app you can download to your phone prior to the event. During the event, you can turn on the app and point the camera to their symbols (or 'marka' as they call it) at some of the pinpoints scattered all around the campus. In reality, you will just see some strange symbols while, on your phone, you will see some 3D animations. You can take pictures of or with the animation. One of the symbols is as captured in the first photo. That one becomes a bowl of noodle and meatballs. You can check some more out on my instagram. Incredibly impressed.

Other than some displayed artworks and installations, there are also some 'wahana' (games/video mapping experience), food and product stands. There were dozens of awesome design products for sale, starting from clothing and art prints to textile works and art deco. The most unique brand was Grow Box, who sells boxes where you can grow oyster mushrooms in. The mushrooms are edible and really beautiful - as you can spot above below the dinosaur. It is absolutely quirky! Gina's part in the event is a 'wahana' called Kotak Kontak, which is an interactive experience mimicking Power Ranger. It was a bit cheesy but it was still rather fun. She made the video mapping and it was very impressive. Afterwards, the four of us strolled along the area and saw some parts of the event for a while before she had to go back to her post and the rest of us went home. All in all, we got rained on four times that day and wasted 2 hours for the merchandise and got really drenched and dirty but it was still a lovely experience.



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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Movie Date: Disney Shorts

Although Disney is one of the biggest and most successful studios in the world, there is a certain image that sticks with the name. When people hear Disney these days, it's less Mickey Mouse and Disneyland than princesses and Disney Channel, which seem to send them retching afterwards. Such a sad, sad fact, to be honest. I'm an admirer of Walt Disney. He certainly revolutionised the world of animation and turned it into what it is today. It's such a shame to see the great Disney name has fallen since his time. Back in the day, people hear "Disney" and they think of the studio which shapes the animation industry to this day. Now, people hear it and think teeny, tiny, sparkly - not to mention, unfeminist - princesses. Sometimes even I think that Disney has gone sour...but then these shorts get me excited about the studio again. Though short, they certainly uphold the concept of traditional animation as well as incredible story-telling - Disney's best qualities. Here are some of my favourites:

Rhapsody in Blue (Fantasia 2000)

In case you didn't know, in 2000 Disney released a DVD filled with collective short animations, portraying different classical musical pieces by various composers. It was the sequel to the first Fantasia DVD they released in the 1940s - which also rocks! Although most these videos have no dialogue, they each have stories to tell. Some of them are quite whimsical, like this portrayal of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." There are about four stories in the film, which in the end will all come together. I adore the quirky style of animation, definitely so different from the princessy type and absolutely in keeping with the hustle and bustle of the city. This film managed to get me obsessed with the music. Aside from this one, Firebird in the same DVD is also another one of my favourite.

Destino

In 1946 Walt Disney and Salvador Dali started a collaboration. Over fifty years in the making, it was finally done. If you ever wondered what their baby would look like - would it be as magical and mind-blowing as you imagine it to be? - then you are simply correct. The storyline is not as blatant as Disney's usual works but it definitely has some of their typical magical touches, especially the background music. It also has Dali's incredibly artistic style to offer. You will definitely find the boundary between reality and imaginary absolutely obscured - if not at all erased. Although the film is only around 6 minutes long, it felt to be so much longer as the plot widens. The story, I believe, is about the invention of time. Practically held my breath throughout the film.

One By One

This film was released as a feature film in The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride DVD format. It tells the playful story of children in South Africa who attempt to make kites using various uncanny materials. Although there are no political indications in the film to imply that it is set in South Africa, the feather which appears in the beginning and ending of the film is in the colour of the South African flag. The style of animation reminds me a little of The Proud Family, minus the sassy way of talking and manner. Also, I feel like this might be the style which shapes The Princess and the Frog. But maybe I'm just a little racially biased is all. This film also has no dialogue, simply an incredible "freedom song" playing throughout the film by Lebo M. It definitely goes together with The Lion King.

Paperman

If you're an avid user of the internet - which I assume you are by your reading this blog -, you would definitely have heard of this. Paperman was shown in theatres the same time as Wreck-It Ralph - which I also super, super adore - so if you saw Wreck-It Ralph in cinema, you would have seen this one too as a freebie. The story is super simple, a love story between a man and a woman who frequently see each other upon waiting for the train. I especially adore the black-and-white and semi-sepia effect the animation has. It gives off an intimate aura to the audience. This film has that typical magical touch of Disney but mixed with the urban lifestyle of modern days. It was so incredible that it won an Oscar last year.

Feast

The other day, when I went to see Big Hero 6, I was greeted by this short animation before the actual movie. Again, it was shown as a freebie along with another of their Blockbuster films. Feast tells a really adorable yet artistic story of a Boston Terrier and its master through the eyes of the dog. The changing lifestyle and mood of the master is immaculately portrayed by the portions and types of food he gives the dog - none of them has any names. It is incredible how much they could show without having to reveal the master's face or even body for most of the film, usually it's just his limbs. The style of the animation is also so different from what we're used to, it reminds me so much of Pascal Campion's style.

There are obviously still dozens of other short films Disney has made. Most of them are as spin-offs of their existing series - especially of Mickey Mouse and the gang - but also not to be missed. These little miracles are what makes me remember what Disney is originally all about. Sometimes that gets lost in all their more mainstream works and these little treats can be quite a wonderful Saturday night-in animation adventure. To me, they seem to bring out the Disney roots more than their more popular films. So don't say you're a Disney fan if you've never seen their none-princessy or their less mainstream works.


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