The NoSpace Sessions

Generation Me-X Entertainment & NoSpace Art Gallery present:

The NoSpace Sessions

Saturday June 12th, 2010 @ NoSpace Art Gallery in RCA - Bangkok, Thailand

A one night only collaborative event featuring:

Undaground Tha Illest - Synthesizers and rhymes

J.Carter - On The Rhymes

Dakotaa Jade - On The Rhymes

Rupi Han - Live Drums & African Gembe

Doors open @ 09:00 PM with a Cafe Del Unda set starting the night off.

The show begins @ 10:00 PM. We'll be rockin' until 02:00 AM!

...and then, the AFTER PARTY BEGINS! Cafe Del Unda spinning riddims to move that ass. Dance Party until the SUN RISES!

Live Drums. Live Beats. Live MCs.

All original.


Bring some ice for your neck. It's guaranteed to be snapped.

More details and music at the Generation Me-X website,

Undaground Tha Illest - Soon Is So Far Away

Check out the Thai/UK emcee Dakotaa Jade -

Peace to Pryzdd Clothing, much love for the support. Check them out here -

Peace to the good people @ NoSpace Art Gallery for letting GenMeX & friends blow speakers in your venue. Much love.

Nospace Gallery
21/108 Block D, Royal City Avenue (RCA)
Bangkok Thailand 10320
084-1341184, 02-6414040


Noise Performance @ Nospace Gallery

Nospace Gallery presents one and only noise event in Bangkok.
No electronics, no ambient, no nothing, but Noise!

Every first Saturday of the month at Nospace Gallery
We are open for everyone who has interesting about Noise, come to feel the Noise experience, see the rare performance and hear something that uncommon, uncomfortable and unpleasant (noise) from various Noise artists.


Noise Performer:
Opening Acts by SPIKENSTEIN
And more…

Nospace Gallery
21/108 Block D, Royal City Avenue (RCA)
Bangkok Thailand 10320
084-1341184, 02-6414040

Brand New by Alongkorn Sriprasert and Itsaret Sutthisiri

Bangkok University and the Art Center at Chulalongkorn University with support from Office of Contemporary Art And Culture, Ministry Of Culture would like to invite you all to Brand New 2010's first exhibition by Alongkorn Sriprasert and Itsaret Sutthisiri.

Shortlisted for this year's Brand New, Alongkorn and Itsaret will present their past and most recent photography works at the Art Center, Chulalongkorn University. Fascinated by the ideas of memories and places, Alongkorn uses his washed out images to tell a story of the disappearance of places he grew up with. Similar to Alongkorn's works, Itsaret's works are concerned with places and a sense of belonging. Itsaret's works show a contrast between a struggling city life and a simple country life.

Brand New 2010 by Alongkorn Sriprasert and Itsaret Sutthisiri is on view from 31 May to 26 June 2010 at the Art Center, Chulalongkorn University. The opening reception is on Thursday, 3 June 2010, 2.00 pm at 7th Fl of the Art Center.

For more information, please contact:
The Art Center Chulalongkorn University
7 Fl, Center of Academic Resources
Phyathai Road, Pathumwan
Bangkok 10330
Tel: +66 2218 2965
Fax: +66 2218 2907

Bangkok University Gallery
119 Rama 4 Road, Klong Toey
Bangkok 10110
Tel: +66 2350 3626
Fax: +66 2350 3679

The Profitable Group vs 'rioting mob' cum investors

Reading about the article featuring angry investors vs the investment company called, "Profitable Group" somehow reminds me of this show which has a group of Israeli immigrants in the US selling electronic stuff in their store which called, "Going Out of Business".

In the movie, the store is always selling merchandise with the big banners "Going Out of Business". But it never is. It's thriving.

Likewise when a company is called "Profitable Group", I really have to cast a lot of doubt. Oh sure, profitable alright. Many companies are profitable. But they don't name their company "Profitable Group". What if one year you're not profitable? Will you change the company name to be "Used to be Profitable Group" or "Previously Profitable Group" or...whatever!

THEY came to demand answers and they were in no mood to take no for an answer.

So they marched up to two Caucasian men who were having a smoke and surrounded them.

The group of 11 men and one woman wanted to talk to one of the Caucasian men regarding their investments.

They identified him as Mr John Nordmann, group operations director of Profitable Group, a global investment firm, which, according to its website, has interests ranging from lubricants to property.

They claimed that the firm had not made good on its promises to them.

But the conversation outside Profitable Group's Stanley Street office in Shenton Way soon spiralled out of control into a shouting match. There was even some pushing.

Mr Nordmann told the group: "Calm down.Why don't you e-mail me your individual cases?"

His suggestion was not only instantly rejected, but it also upset some of the investors.

Said one of them, who gave his name only as Chris: "We have been e-mailing you for the last one year. Stop treating us as though we do not exist."

The shouting outside the office around 3pm attracted the attention of people at a coffee shop nearby. They got up from their seats and turned their heads towards the commotion.

This was when Mr Nordmann invited the group to go up to the firm's office to discuss the matter.

One of those in the group, a 37-year-old who gave his name only as Mr Rajan, was overheard saying to a fellow investor: "We're actually very lucky to see the director outside the office. We were always referred to his subordinates every time we came here."

The day's confrontation had its beginnings with the group's investments with Profitable Group between 2006and 2009.

They said the terms of their investments, which they claimed promised them a certain return after six months, had not been honoured.

The 12 people claimed that their individual investments in land and lubricants with Profitable Group totalled about $700,000.

And none of them had received any returns, they claimed. They had met on an online forum where they shared their experiences.

Chris claimed he had "pumped in" the most money.

"I have invested more than $180,000... Enough is enough, I'm willing to forfeit my returns so long as the company pay me back the money I have put in," he said.

After Mr Nordmann's invitation to the group, another commotion broke out. An investor later told The New Paper that they were upset because he wanted to go up first whereas they wanted to group with him.

During the tense exchange, Mr Nordmann managed to take the lift to his office.

Blocked at the stairway

Some investors tried to follow him by taking the stairs, but the other Caucasian blocked their way.

All the stocky man had to do was stand at the bottom of the stairs and his wide frame made it impossible for the investors to pass.

This led to more shouting and shoving.

The bald-headed Caucasian soon lost his cool and started shouting back at one of the investors called Jim.

Jim and Chris, who were at the head of the group, were pushed back. Every time the man tried to grab their arms, they would brush off his attempts.

Someone in the crowd then shouted: "Call the police... We have witnesses here." While this was going on, other investors managed to enter the lift which had returned to the ground floor. But the Caucasian dashed from the stairs, pushing aside those who were in his way, and stood against the lift door to prevent it from closing.

The group at the stairs took this opportunity to go up to the office on the third storey.

They were soon joined by those in the lift who also decided to take the stairs.

From below, this reporter could hear more shouting.

The group, except for one investor, then went to the boardroom to discuss the matter with Mr Nordmann.

The lone investor who decided to sit out the meeting was overheard shouting: "I am tired of going in and out of the boardroom.

It's always the same story. I want answers."

Mr Nordmann was heard shouting back: "Well, I don't know who you are. How do I know that you're really an investor? I want your particulars."

Investors who were in the boardroom confirmed that this took place.

Police arrived

About an hour later, the police arrived. A police spokesman said they had received a call for assistance around 4pm regarding a dispute at an investment company on Stanley Street.

Both parties were advised on the legal recourse available and were told to keep the peace, the spokesman said.

When contacted later, Mr Rajan, an engineer who claimed to have invested about $20,000, said the director wanted to look at the cases individually.

"He had promised to tell us what is going to happen to our investments by Thursday (May27)," he said. "There maybe hope."

Profitable Group declined to comment when approached by this reporter.

About Profitable Group

PROFITABLE Group is a global investment firm with various portfolios.

These include properties, lubrication technology, eco-housing and security.

The company acknowledges that virtually every business has been affected by the global economic downturn.

Its website says: "While our clients may have experienced delays on some projects due to a general slowdown, The Group is still able to state that not one client has ever lost money, which we believe is remarkable particularly over the last 12 months."

But the group is on the Monetary Authority of Singapore's Investor Alert List.

The firm has sponsored broadcasts of Formula 1 racing.

When Singapore played Liverpool in a friendly football match at the National Stadium last year, the group, which was the promoter of the club's Asian Tour, allowed the anthem, You will Never Walk Alone, to be played before the match.

This was against the agreement that no anthem should be played, said a spokesman

From Asiaone, "Shouting, then shoving".

The Profitable Group has blasted a group of investors who turned up at its office in Shenton Way on Monday, describing their behaviour as "thuggish" and "criminal".

In that incident, it was reported that a dozen people had demanded payments apparently owed to them - and the police had to be called in to defuse the situation.

In a letter to the investors on Thursday, which was also forwarded to MediaCorp, Mr John Nordmann, group operations director of the Singapore-based investment firm, said he was "hugely disappointed that Singaporeans would act in such a manner".

He added that he would "not hesitate to call the police authorities and press whatever charges they deem appropriate" if there is to be a repeat incident.

Referring to a document he was given on Monday, in which he said the group described themselves as members of an "investment recovery task force", Mr Nordmann said: "It's easy for one to interpret this as some sort of militant vigilante group."

The group of investors had been told they would get a reply by Thursday about their investments and held out some hope for their investments with the firm, which is currently on the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)'s Investor Alert List.

The list comprises persons "possibly conducting activities regulated by MAS without authorisation".

Indeed, the reply did come, but along with the strong words from Mr Nordmann, was a refutation of the investors' claims.

Mr Nordmann highlighted that the payouts for their land investments depended on certain events, such as planning permission being granted for the land.

"That event has not taken place," said Mr Nordmann, who did not say what the chances were of it happening.

But the United Kingdom's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported two months ago that one of the sites the company had bought in Britain was "a green belt" land, where housing development has been banned.

The investors are still entitled to a 12.5-per-cent annual payment on their capital but Mr Nordmann said the group have "refused to accept" the payments.

He said the outstanding amount from his company was £8,125 ($16,600) and not the $700,000 the group had claimed.

He admitted, though, there were "delays in payments" for investments in a fuel product called Boron.

The Profitable Group is trying to make arrangements for this, and Mr Nordmann said investors should come on an individual basis, not a "rioting mob".

From TODAY, "Profitable Group slams irate investors".

Hollyho1989--the girl on her way to be a millionaire--is a he?!

Remember Holly Ho from "Hollyho1989 almost gets it right in her quest to be a millionaire..."?

The latest news has it that she is actually a he. Yeah, no kidding. Some guy named Marcus Lim claims that he created a fake online female persona for viral campaign.

Oh really? Truly an elaborate hoax? Or that guy just trying to confuse the real (if such a person does exist) 'Holly Ho'?

Marcus Lim's project supervisor Ms Kathryn Shannon Sim was reported to confirm this. That is if she's not in cahoots with him...

See this is the Net, we are talking about. Anybody can make any claim. It's up to us whether to believe or not. I wonder, though, what happened to those who were really conned to donate 10 cents to this 'Holly Ho'? Heh.

TWO months ago, a doe-eyed beauty calling herself Holly Ho posted a video on YouTube and on her Facebook page.

In the video, she asked for 10 cents from each netizen.

She said she was hoping that at least 10 million netizens would respond, so she could become a millionaire without getting a job.

Netizens responded all right, but with brickbats instead of pocket change.

They called her lazy and blasted her for being a slut.

Others tried to flirt with her.

Her campaign for coins generated so much debate that it appeared on citizen journalism website Stomp in March and April, generating a total of more than 123,000 views.

But the biggest shock was yet to come.

It turns out that Holly Ho is a he.

And the video was just part of a school project by Mr Marcus Lim, 26, who is pursuing a degree in design communication at Lasalle College of the Arts, specialising in advertising communication.

He was the one who adopted the Holly Ho persona as part of his final-year project to conduct a viral marketing campaign to create brand awareness for a bank.

Mr Lim’s project supervisor Ms Kathryn Shannon Sim, 32, confirmed this.

Mr Lim’s plan was to create a suitable personality online, then start a discussion on wealth management.

He said: “The emergence of social media has changed the way people communicate.

“So it is important for advertisers to build a participatory culture to communicate with their audience.”

Needing a pretty girl to create the required “controversy”, he roped in a friend, Elyn, to be the face of Holly, whom he named after the materialistic character Holly Golightly played by Audrey Hepburn in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

He shot a video of her asking for donations, uploaded it to YouTube and waited for it to go viral.

Although the video was taken down by site administrators a few days later, it already sparked a flood of comments on Stomp after netizens posted two reports on Holly there.

Mr Lim said Elyn, 20, declined to speak to us because “she didn’t want to draw additional attention on herself”.

From DigitalOne, "He gets friend to act in video | Student creates fake online babe for viral campaign".

The New York Times : Breathing life, cash into HK's old walk-ups

The New York Times
Special Report : Great Homes and Destinations
27 May 2010

A handful of small-scale developers are renovating old-style tenements and creating real-estate gems

Mr Bell, an interior designer, worked with Dare Koslow, an American advertising executive, who wanted to recreate his New York SoHo apartment in Hong Kong - so when he had to sell his loft in 2003, it gave him the impetus, and HK$1 million, to create it here

WHEN Sean Clifford returned to Hong Kong for a friend's wedding in 2005, he couldn't believe the kind of rental returns he estimated he could achieve in a year after renovating an apartment in one of the city's old walk-up buildings.

'I went out and looked at property, and I was shocked,' he recalled. 'It was a 25-30 per cent return on your cash if you took an apartment and renovated it' in an appealing way.

The New York native, who had worked here from 1997 to 2000, started buying up old flats with special features like a rooftop or terrace.

He began with just HK$2 million (S$360,320). Now he has about 30 apartments, marketed under the brand name Soho Lofts, that he estimates are worth around HK$300 million.

Mr Clifford is one of a handful of small-scale developers who renovate apartments in the old tong lau-style tenements and walk-up residential buildings built in Hong Kong from the 1940s through the 1970s. By stripping them down, removing most of the interior walls and restoring them, sometimes with period features, the developers create real-estate gems from apartments that have decayed along with the buildings that house them.

Victoria Allan, the Australian founder of Hong Kong property brokerage Habitat Property, is reworking an eight-floor building in Kennedy Town, Hong Kong Island's westernmost neighbourhood along Victoria Harbour.

After six years and a blizzard of governmental paperwork, she has now gutted the building and expects the work to be completed by year's end.

In addition to adding elevator service, each floor will be an open-plan, one-bedroom apartment spread over125 square metres - net, not gross, as is often quoted in Hong Kong. The views look across the street and over the harbour to the new Stonecutters Bridge.

Ms Allan, 40, originally from Perth, felt that there was a lack of interesting upscale apartments in the city. 'The whole idea behind it is to find space that I liked - to have something quite cool and a more unusual layout for Hong Kong, and a quirky location,' she said, adding that she is taking one of the apartments.

She and a silent partner, whom she declines to identify, spent HK$8 million in 2004 to acquire the top seven floors of the building, which were available as a single purchase. It then took five years to move out the tenants and to buy the commercial space on the ground floor.

Now that the value of the site has appreciated, the partners have mortgaged the building to cover the renovation costs, which are expected to run around HK$25 million. 'I'm sure it's a different approach from what a major developer would do,' she said. 'The idea is to have a really usable apartment, and to restore an old building.'

The partners probably will rent the units for at least HK$45,000 per month, although selling them also is a possibility.

Although the partners could have torn down the building and constructed something like a 20-floor tower, a common approach in Hong Kong, current zoning regulations would have restricted the footprint to 60 per cent of the site. And they would have lost the charm of the original building, which has a pleasant curve to the sea-facing side and an Art Deco feel as well as an overhanging balcony that is not counted as part of the footprint.

While Ms Allan chose to invest in Kennedy Town, a 15-minute drive from the city's financial centre in Central, Mr Clifford hunts for properties exclusively in Hong Kong's Soho. The area, south of Hollywood Road, has a cluster of bars, restaurants and specialty food stores that draw the young professionals, particularly expatriates, whom he targets as tenants.

Mr Clifford, 47, paid HK$30 million to buy No 4 Shelley Street, a walk-up building right next to the Mid-Levels escalator that brings a steady stream of people to Soho. He has been renting out the apartments in the building, which is now for sale. The units rent for as much as HK$55,000 per month for a top-floor 750-square-foot apartment, complete with roof, that he calls 'The Rock Star'.

With an eye on developing an entire building from scratch, Mr Clifford has put No 4 Shelley Street on the market, in a public tender due to close at the end of June. Colliers International, the agency in charge of the sale, estimates the building will fetch HK$160 million.

Mr Clifford often works with Andrew Bell, an Australian who left advertising to work in interior design. 'We are very focused on our target audience, and we don't deviate at all,' said Mr Bell, 54. 'It's a young Western or American expat, probably earning more than they ever have before, and he wants to be in the middle of what he sees as exotic Hong Kong.'

Mr Bell specialises in recapturing the apartments' period charm by replacing features like the old wrought-iron windows with modern reproductions. 'I feel it is a pity that this low-rise area is not regarded as valuable except by a few people,' he said.

But that appears to be changing. Mr Bell also works with Dare Koslow, who owned a loft in the SoHo district of New York City before he moved to Hong Kong. Mr Koslow, an American advertising executive, wanted to recreate that apartment in Hong Kong - so when he had to sell his loft in 2003, it gave him the impetus, and HK$1 million, to create it here.

'I had this available cash around SARS time in Hong Kong,' Mr Koslow, 47, said, referring to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome that ravaged the Hong Kong economy. 'It was coincidentally the ideal time to buy.'

Mr Koslow now owns 25 apartments, having bought, renovated and sold another five to help with financing. He has a full-time job as the regional brand marketing manager for the mobile phone company Vodafone but he spends much of his free time redeveloping walk-ups.

'It's become an addiction, actually,' Mr Koslow said. 'And at the time I started doing it, there were not that many others doing it.'

Mr Koslow currently is mired in a drawn-out struggle with the Urban Renewal Authority, a quasi-governmental entity that wants him to move out of his current place on Bridges Street, also in Soho, so it can 'regenerate' the area. Mr Koslow says he already is doing that, combining two flats to carve out a 1,500-square-foot apartment with bare beams and an industrial-chic style.

Both Mr Koslow and Mr Clifford say their apartments command such high rents or prices because they are an alternative to the boxy high-rise apartments that have become the norm in Hong Kong.

'Every day there is a new one going up - they're all white boxes, with tall glass faces,' Mr Koslow said. 'They're all exactly the same and so boring and bland.'

Small-scale developers are renovating apartments like this one in old tenements and walk-up residential buildings in Hong Kong.

The developer Dare Koslow’s home on Bridges Street.

A Hong Kong home that has been redecorated by the interior designer Andrew Bell, who specializes in recapturing period charm by replacing old features with modern reproductions.

The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre during Bangkok political crisis, May 2010.

The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre during Bangkok political crisis, May 2010.

The BACC is located one block away from the protest site, the Raiprasong intersection, which became the main venue after the clash at Kok Woa intersection on 10th April. Thereafter, there began to appear the barricade structure opposite the Art Centre consisting of sharpened bamboo poles and tyres.

During this time the Centre remained open, but with tightened security measures. From the beginning of May, various events planned for the period were cancelled, but the exhibitions on the upper floors and the 3rd and 4th floors were still on view, with perhaps half the number of visitors in a typical week. A number of protest members came to visit the BACC, including using the library. However, attempts were made to take newspapers out of the library without permission.

The BACC forecourt saw activities of various peace groups, especially the Whiteshirts, mounting campaigns for peaceful solution to the conflict. The conflict became intensified, and by 13th May the BTS train service was no longer running, nor the roads around the Centre namely the Phyathai and Rama I, were accessible, the BACC was therefore ordered to be closed (14 – 24 May). There were some twenty staff members remaining in the building at all times.

The afternoon of the 14th saw the height of the crisis: protesters were fleeing the Rajprasong area in the direction of the Centre. The BACC staff members helped directing them to safety towards waiting buses provided by the authority (19th May). The BACC building was not damaged in the incident, except for a hole, possibly punctured by a bullet, in the laminated glass railing connecting it to the BTS station.

The BACC has now been open since 25th MAY.

A fearless squirrel vs a snake

What did the nutty squirrel think of himself when it fought the snake in the video clip, "Squirrel Goes Nut"? A mongoose? Or specifically a mongoose named Rikki-Tikki-Tavi? Heh.

Cat gives a cardiac massage to his injured girlfriend...or is it his sibling?

This very touching & tragic YouTube clip, "Cat gives a cardiac massage to his injured girlfriend" has so far gained 2,584,603 views!

A little description of the show:
This stray cat was filmed in Turkey( Kızılsaray district of Antalya ) trying to reanimate his female friend who got hit by a car. Even though some people tried to help him, the white cat wouldn't let them come near for two straight hours. Finally a vet arrived and took the injured cat. Sadly, it was too late and he couldn't resuscitate the feline.

I can't tell for sure whether the title of the clip is correct. The dying cat may not necessary be the other cat's girlfriend. It is more likely that the cats are siblings.


Distorting Some More in a Cooler Place

By Jay Bautista

As it is now, as it was evident then, the 1906 plan of American architect and urban planner Daniel Burnham (who also did the plan for Manila after designing Washington DC in 1902 before San Francisco in 1907 and Chicago in 1909) for Baguio did not fully materialize because there was just too many people increasingly occupying the city. For whatever their reasons may be, personal or economic, historical figures would show that from having 489 residents in 1903, it ballooned to 30,000 in 1948. To date, Baguio’s population is easy 300,000.

More than just the statistics, unmindful of the city’s centennial year, Ricky V. Ambagan’s creative task was to spend an early summer there and capture the images of the city for his second solo exhibition, Mga Langgam Sa Baguio. A collective body of 27 works of various sizes with the biggest at 3 x 8 ft and mostly 3 x 4 ft resulted from this endeavor.

Tanaw 2, 3x4ft

Continuing his signature style of distorting realism as an imaginative manner of justifying a particular approach to life for a multitude of assemblies, for Ambagan, it is the place and not the throng that dictates such phenomena like Quiapo, Monumento, Kapasigan, and this time Baguio (named after the indigenous plant bigiw).

“More than the numbers” as he would put it, “by physically rubbing elbows and sweating it out with them, I could feel their pulse which is very significant if you are serious with the context of your craft.” Quite close to his heart, Ambagan has always been fascinated with Baguio and its Cordillera culture: “I have always gone back and painted Baguio and its nearby communities like Sagada and Mayuyao on my mind. It is the nearest place you could go and be in touch with our pre-colonial soul. It keeps me grounded.”

Baguio’s Oil

Typical of an artist bred by his milieu, the influence is obvious. All his life Ambagan has been living in crowded places -- he grew up in a compound with an extended family of relatives; he has lived in Pasig -- one of the most densely populated cities in the metropolis; he has studied at the largest high school in the world. Even this show is exhibited at the heart of one of the most crowded public places you could find.

Like an obsessed chronicler of his time, Ambagan frequents to wherever a huge amount of people gather. He has gone to various places sometimes aboard the Metro Railway Transit (MRT) for a different perspective. Meticulously documenting the amassing of our populace, he follows where they are and why or how they are there. He wanted to grasp the “interplay” of the real and symbolic in their desperate yet dignified lives.

Silong, 3x4 ft

For Ambagan, there is more tension in Baguio than most of the sites down here. Giving more texture in the pieces paving them with a more rustic finish, Ambagan does not want you to be a passive viewer. In Higante 2, from where you are standing in the gallery, the painting unsettles you, as the strong current of paints perturbs the jeep just by the mere viewing of it.

“Distortion really depends on how I see the image I chose. Minsan sa pagpinta na doon ko na dinedesisyunan. Kaya may degrees ang distortion, Nakabatay sa eksena.” This premise is evident in the works Humahangos 2, Kalaro, and Hikayat.

Conscious of how he paints, Ambagan wants his pieces thick, dirty and rough as seen in Wen Manang, May Pag-asa, and Suke 2 where his sense of perspective pervades. At close range one can observe only extreme layers of paints on top of each other however as the viewer steps back, one sees “the forest from the trees,” a better and grander view greets you. Ambagan feels that his canvas is not finished unless he fills it up with texture, so a simple bicycle scene on a Sunday morning could be embedded with hostility as well.

All is not dark and grim with Ambagan who may have been affected by the cool climate of Baguio this time. In fact in this show he introduces one light source in most of the pieces as a way of paying homage to Philippine old masters like Fernando Amorsolo and Fabian dela Rosa. In Suke, Pagbabalik, Pila, and Dagsa ever the sentimentalist that he is, he rediscovers the Philippine sun. Our painting must be created outside the as western mold for us to claim it as our own and it was Amorsolo who set the rules in his/our own terms.

Except for one late afternoon scene, you have to note that all the works have the same time of day, as Ambagan captured them somewhere in between 8 to 10 in the morning. With the side by side layering of black and blue, notice how the shadows in Humahangos, Silong, and Tanaw had become violet when reflected as shades from their varied tints. For this he had the impressionists in mind particularly Claude Monet who made a dent in his artistry.

Higante, 4x6 ft
True to his purpose, Ambagan’s work uplifts and documents the secret lives of our common folk: the vegetable vendors in the sidewalks, whom you can’t even get a discount if you do not speak the international language of Ilocano; the guys who rent out bicycles for P100 per hour so you could roam around Burnham park. They all come vividly alive in Ambagan’s canvases.

As in his first show, an obvious favorite and consistent representation in Ambagan’s pieces are jeepneys. In Baguio, they are bigger and more functional – the wheels, the passenger seats and even the special ladder that makes you climb and enjoy the double-decker seat, dust-free. Although in Baguio they are even more stoic in color and very accommodating with the minimum sitting capacity of 20 passengers. There are also four checkpoints (of course there is a fee for every pass) to contend with that they have to hurdle on their way to that destined bagsakan in Manila. If they get delayed further, they miss the weekend rush of the people to the market. There goes everything – puhunan and tubo. In this lovely city of pines known for its ukay-ukay or cheap bargain finds, are their dreams included in that as well?

Ambagan may have depicted simple themes, very familiar subject matters in the local genre but not in a typical, commercial kind of way. An in-your-face realist, Ambagan’s sense of proportion is clockwork training marked by years of mural making and painting walls that adorn resorts and interior walls of restaurants. He has an eye for what makes a well-balanced significant feature.

Back to his patriotism, Ambagan likes to paint his inspirational idols on t-shirt making it a canvas within a bigger canvas. A statement within a statement we see Jesus Christ and Jose Rizal in Buena Mano, May-Pagasa, and Harinawa.

Buena Mano, 4x6 ft

Session Road to Distortion
Ambagan’s loosely and broadly-handled color palette creates a sense of immediacy which reflects the contemporariness and active stance of his subjects. Looking at the pieces, Ambagan seems like a badly-behaved poet, one who knows all the right corners and when to make that left turn. Knowing all the thugs, the goons and the whores of the city, he is well-versed with the saints and sinners in the streets.

The actual painting proper is a three layered procedure -- base strokes, lightness, pattern or the distortion part. Different layers require different brushstrokes. I have seen him use at least ten different brushes in one of his sessions. Showing his meticulous self, only Ambagan knows when the artwork is appropriately done or if it he still needs ample time to add more details or finishing touches to them.

Starting from a white primed canvas fabric with grounds like gesso and chalk. The absorption of the colors is dependent on how much the canvas is primed on its materiality. Second layer uses the grays and other subsequent colors for the eventual wet-on-wet or wet-on-dry technique (alla prima technique). Marked by Ambagan’s unconventional process, by this time, coats of the colors become indistinguishable. Opting for a natural mat finish, Ambagan has to unlearn academic rules saying he should varnish but Ambagan constantly rebels.

Mga Langgam Sa Baguio, 4x6ft
His art is fleeting in this lively fluid and sketchy technique. You might find him conservative in this aspect as Ambagan’s method somewhat like the style of the impressionists, but it is slow and laborious. Each layer had to be dried before he touches them again. Even more confident this time around, the signature distortion is there but his brushstrokes are thicker. This will give you an idea how long it took him to prepare for this show.

“Distortion is about change in approach in art in my desire to something positive. However distortion is more than technique, the more gravity, the deeper the meaning there will be. Also I don’t like repeating a painting I have already done. Distortion gives me the freedom to say something again in another manner,” explains Ambagan.

Ambagan has celebrated Baguio in a way that he knows -- with traffic, wires, filth and all. It may not be ideal to some but it the Baguio nonetheless that he saw at a particular point in time. An aesthetically assertive painter, for Ambagan art is about dialogue. Being one of and with them, the proximity of his imagery on canvas is as if you are next to the crowd he paints. There is a merging of the spectator as we (viewers in the gallery) are part of the spill of people from the artworks. Distinct lines have been blurred, as the characters are all one with the audience as Ambagan is part of the stories he wants to tell.

Mga Langgam Sa Baguio opens on June 11, 6pm at the Galerie Anna, 4/f SM Megamall A, Mandaluyong City.

Travels in my mind by Sudrak Utayophas

Travels in my mind by Sudrak Utayophas

at Liam’s Gallery Pattaya

Opening 19th June at 6.30 pm

Time travel back to her childhood on a farm in rural Thailand. Sudrak Utayophas fondly remembers her upbringing filled with warmth, love and simplicity on a farm with her grandparents.
A unique vision of Thai Agrarian Life on canvas

Exhibition runs through 11th July

Liam’s Gallery
GALLERY HOURS : Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 19:00 Hours
Address : Pattaya Modern Art Centre Limited
352/107 Soi 4 Pratamnak Road, Moo 12 Nong Prue,
Banglamung, Pattaya, Thailand. 20150
Tel 66-0-38 25 18 08, Email:

exhibition redraws the definition of drawing

The Australian Embassy Bangkok proudly presents Erased: Contemporary Australian drawing, an exhibition of works by six internationally renowned Australian artists engaged in transforming the definition of drawing.

The tour of Erased is presented by the Asialink Centre of the University of Melbourne in partnership with the Art Gallery of New South Wales and profiles the diversity and strength of current contemporary Australian drawing practices.

Curated by Natasha Bullock, Curator, Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Erased features works by artists from Australian urban and indigenous backgrounds: Christian Capurro, Simryn Gill, Jonathan Jones, Tom Nicholson, Raquel Ormella and Vernon Ah Kee. The artists explore social issues ranging from environmental awareness, industrial relations and nationalism, to more subtle statements about image-making in contemporary culture.

The aim of Erased is to expand our understanding of drawing, which is based not only on mark-making, but also emphasises the importance of erasure or removal - an inherent albeit silent part of the creative process of drawing.

Each selected artist in Erased has established an ongoing practice from which they make work that creates a space for political considerations, stemming from a sense of transformation or loss.

While it is easy to think of drawing as a conventional and perhaps conservative art form, Erased celebrates the freshness and vibrancy that Australian artists are bringing to the medium.

- PSG Art Gallery of the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts, Silpakorn University, from 5 to 28 June 2010, opens Monday – Sunday from 10 am - 7 pm, and is closed on public holidays. Tel: 02-221 0820, 02-225 8991
Opening ceremony on Friday 4 June 2010 at 6.30pm.

-Art Gallery of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University, Huay Kaew Road, Chiang Mai, from 9 to 29 July 2010, opens Monday - Friday from 8.30am – 4.30pm, and is closed on weekend public holidays. Tel: 053-944 805, 053-211 724
Opening ceremony on Thursday 8 July 2010 at 6pm.

- The Khon Kaen University Art and Culture Museum, 7 to 30 August 2010, opens daily from 10 am – 7pm, Tel: 043-332 035
Opening ceremony on Friday 6 August 2010 at 5pm.

Media contacts:
Benchawan Tanjaroensub
Media Officer
Australian Embassy, Bangkok
Tel: 02 344-6463

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Tropfest 2010: Shocking How God Works?!

Tropfest. Dubbed as The World's Largest Short Film Festival, I am just pleased to encounter the winning clip of this year Tropfest. Titled, "Shock" by Abe Forsythe.

Another clip--a finalist short film--with the intriguing title, "How God Works" by Matilda Brown is also a pleasure to watch.

I won't spoil the plot. Look guys, they are just short films, for goodness' sake! So go & watch them yourself!!

Let sleeping tigers lie...Not! (Amber Chia: Keep Wild! Animals...Free?)

Why Amber Chia--in "Amber stripes down for Peta’s anti-zoo campaign"--reminds me of a comic heroine, Tigra?

For the clueless, find out more about Tigra here.

...But the main point of this post is more about the alleged tiger abuse in Malaysia actually!

Yes! There's this video in YouTube, "Tiger being abused to earn money" which is well needless to say, about the abuse of the supposedly protected animal at A’Famosa Resort, Malacca.

I reckon it did happen at that resort. And just take a look at how badly the (bad) publicity was handled:
"Warmest Greetings From A'Famosa Resort

We're referring to your e-mail on regards of the video shared on

We would like make things clear that we never druged any of the animal for entertainment sake. The tiger shown in the video was just merely lazy and it's was their nature to do so. We practice a standard level in handling the animals.

However, rest assure that we had stop the photography session with the tigers due to the public & management concern of the tigers welfare. We appreciated your feedback which had been forwarded to management for their action to be taken.

Thank You.
Eric Ong."

From Facebook, "Response from A'Famosa Marketing Team".

Yeah right. It's just a lazy tiger, sure! Where is Amber Chia, no, I mean Tigra, when you need one?!

A Malaysian wildlife park came under fire Sunday from wildlife activists over a video posted on YouTube showing an apparently drugged tiger being prodded and poked for the amusement of visitors.

The two-minute clip shows the tiger lying on a slab at a wildlife park in the Afamosa resort while a handler invites visitors walking around it to take pictures with the animal.

The handler then prods and pokes the big cat to force it to pose and even uses his knee to jab its head into an upright pose for a photograph.

Click here to find out more!
'This is horrible and a disgrace that an animal is treated in this fashion. We must stop such abuse and the perpetrators must be punished,' Friends of the Earth Malaysia president S.M. Idris told AFP.

Wildlife trade watchdog TRAFFIC criticised the park's use of captive tigers for entertainment.

'If they acquire tigers for this use, it gives Malaysia a very bad reputation as it shows the park is using the tigers for entertainment instead of educational purposes,' senior officer Kanitha Krishnasamy told AFP.

Afamosa resort general manager Allan Chee denied the tiger was abused at the park, which has more than 20 tigers and numerous other species.

'There was no abuse to the tiger, the tiger was just drowsy and lazy after being fed and so was being prodded by the handler to get into position,' he told AFP.

He said the park in southern Malacca state prided itself on its animal performances, with elephants playing football and others allowed to roam freely.

However, state wildlife and national parks head Abdul Rahim Othman told AFP the park had been warned over having such photo sessions with animals which can be viewed as abuse.

'We have warned them and will carry out further investigations and if they continue to violate our warnings, we can take action against them including pulling their licences,' he said.

Just 3,200 tigers are believed to remain in the wild, down from an estimated 100,000 a century ago.

From Asiaone, "Malaysian wildlife park under fire over Tiger video".


Solo Art Exhibition
Painting & Poetry on the wall
12-30 June 2010
Opening 12 June 2010 at 06 : 30 p.m.

Mongkol is a painter ,poet and performance artist from Thailand. He has performed since 1995. he is part of ASIATOPIA’s committee and has always been involved in art & social movements groups. His performances are usually very intence,mostly dealing with political sphere of thai politics and Global’s situation. He has published 2 books of his drawings and poems ‘Inner & Outer’ and ‘the Man numbers Zero’

He has performed in many performance art events & festival, both in Thailand and around asia. He has performances in Japan,Australia,Indonesia,Hong Kong,Macau,Korea,Myanmar,The Phillipines,Vietnam and China.He also participated in Poland’s International art festival ‘Interakje’ at Piatrkow trybunalski and the 8th OPEN International Performance art festival in Beijing;China

On 2008 ,April Mongkol travelld to Indonesia to participate in PERFURBANCE#4 ;International group performance art festival that took place at ‘krinjing ‘village in Java,Indonesia and a short residency performance event at Rocid Studio in Bandung ,Indonesia

And back again on August to The 2nd Jatiwangi Arts Festival 2008 at Jatiwangi village in west Java, Indonesia. On november to ASIATOPIA International art festival at Bangkok Thailand and FUTURE of Imagination 5 at Singapore
On June 2009 he recently join with BEYOND PRESSURE International Performance Art event in Yangon, Myanmar. Open Performance art festival
In Beijing,Chiana and PIPAF 5th ,Santiago city – manila,Philippines.

Meo Jai Dee Gallery
Soi 1,Nimmanheanmin Rd, T.Suthep, A.Muang, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 50200 Tel : +66 53895138 E-mail :

Kiki Platas Tattoo Artist

Kiki Platas Tattoo Artist

'Earth' by Ho Tzu Nyen - some views from the ground

In the blackness of the screen, little specks of light begin to fade in, like what you would see out of your plane window as you are approaching land. As more specks become visible, it builds to a kind of pay-off to the title of the film and a rather symbolic opening... until it is punctuated by the visual distortion caused by rippling of the water, whose surface produced a reflection that we have in fact been gazing at.

These first few minutes of the film 'Earth' epitomise what the film's aesthetic genius rests on - calculation. It is artificial in its intent and inorganic in its approach and it brings it to a deliberate extreme. In doing so, Tzu Nyen reminds me of what artists are meant to do - have a stubborn vision and flesh it out concertedly. 'Earth' is a lot of wilful indulgence but yet it is executed with so much discipline that how the film is being made is a good enough reason to watch it. In fact, it becomes the more important question in our heads and drives our continued curiosity in, even when it gets challenging.

Speaking of content, a blunt and gut-driven summary sounds like this - 'Earth' is a green film that shows how interconnected we are, reeking with overtones of the warnings of environmental destruction. How true is this? I would bet Tzu Nyen to say yes but without any weight of caring too much about what our interpretations are. It is evident from the film that what he cares about are reinventing the ways of representing a universal and common topic.

'Earth' is shot in a theatre set and everything is staged to create the image of an apocalypse. Visually, the organised 'mess;' is a sight to behold - both in its claustrophobic close-ups and the painting-like wide-shots.
But even more gratifying are little moments, driven by sound, that delighted me. There was a shot a man seemingly injured coupled with the siren of the ambulance echoing in the distance and the flashing of red light thrown onto his face. There was another moment where a man seated up is blind-folded and peacefully oblivious to the madness around him. Throughout the film, there is also a plethora of ethnic sound-bites, reflecting a mixed kind of consciousness among these 'earthly' inhabitants.

Watching 'Earth' is not without pain too. In fact, watching it is like going through a dual experience of being tortured and yet discovering something new or even brilliant in the torture. It uses constant disorientation to break down what you might try to make of it, so you are never too comfortable watching from a single angle. But ultimately, I feel the film is not trying too hard to control its outcomes. Save for that tableau, it is simply a very pure attempt to achieve a certain physical and experimental process. But of course, in Tzu Nyen's case, he's seasoned enough as a visual artist to safeguard the aesthetics of the film even when his 'experiment' veers off the the time-precise track.

Here what some members of the audience had to say about 'Earth' at the screening last Sunday (23 May) at the Substation.

Chee Seng, a year-3 English Literature student at NTU talks about how sound's made the film.

Beng Kheng, the Experimental Film Forum Programme Manager, shares his deep thoughts on his last day with the Substation. We will miss your quirky introductions, BK!

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