Archive for June, 2007

Tea and Sympathy

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Mamaki is best known as a refreshing herbal tea and for it’s medicinal uses. It grows only in Hawaii.

Mamaki Mamaki Tea digital image by Fung Ching Kelling Tea

My sister (Fung-Ching) sent me a bag of Mamaki tea she cultivated and some digital images via email.

This native Hawaiian fiber bush lacks the stinging hairs of other nettle family members. Caterpillars of the Kamehameha butterfly eat the red veined leaves. Bark was used to make poor grade tapa and medicine, and leaves for herb tea. The fruits are an unusual white mass with seeds on the surface like strawberries, and have a mild laxative effect.
More photos of Mamaki tree.

Exercise, eat fruits and vegetables and drink teas. We Americans must do our best to avoid becoming sick.

Aloha Aloha by Fung Ching Kelling

RIP Becher and Immendorff

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Two post war German artists died a month apart. Bernd Becher pioneered conceptual photography. While Becher was cool, Jorg Immendorff, was hot, angry and acted out in the form of protests and performances with his works.
Bernd Becher Photography

Bernd Becher, known with his wife, Hilla, for photographing relics of industry in the changing urban landscapes of late-20th-century Europe and the United States, died on Friday in Rostock, Germany. He was 75.

His influence as a teacher is measured by the success of well-known students like Andreas Gursky, Candida Hofer, Thomas Ruff and Mr. Struth.
(Via NYtimes)

Andreas Gursky: In memory of Bernd Becher, a much loved and respected teacher and friend

More photos here and here.

Jörg Immendorff, artist, born June 14 1945; died May 28 2007

Der Weg den wir malen müssen (Title of the painting below)

Jorg Immendorff painting

Jörg Immendorff
Neo-expressionist German artist through whose work ran a serious political thread (Guardian)

Marcel’s Salvation (Must see this!)

Towards the back of the scene lies a brighter framed image: this is no ordinary lounge, but a private celebrity chamber of Café Deutschland. Figured with his favourite cigars and chessboard, and tuxedoed waiter bringing tipple, Duchamp accepts a light from the always hatted Joseph Beuys.
Seeming to wallow in his own chain-smoking reclusiveness, Immendorff renders Duchamp as a rat-packish figure from another era. High class tinged with sadness, he cuts through with an energetic doodle of slapstick zaniness.

“I wanted to be an artist” by James Rosenthal (Artcritical)

Jorg Immendorff painting Brrr (Title of the painting)

Valéry Grancher – North Pole Adventure

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Valery Grancher North Pole

Valery Grancher North Pole

An email from Valéry Grancher arrived yesterday.

I spent one month from May 13 to June 12 2007 at the Rabot station in Ny Alesund 79.55° N 12.35 E in north pole area. I produced there, some performances and art pieces !

His North Pole Adverture is in French but you can still enjoy many great photos.

Nikon website is here.

The front page of the official Valery’s site now pays homage to Lucio Fontana.

Elsewhere from Japan
An Adventurer Mitsuro Oba forges bond with nature, poet Basho….a decade after Oba trekked across Antarctica and became the first person in history to walk unaccompanied to both the North and South poles.

He has faced life-or-death situations, including encounters with polar bears and the risk of starvation in blizzards that lasted for days. During a trek to the North Pole, Oba wrote a will for his mother after he became certain he would starve to death in the snow.

Raymond Radiguet, the Death of a Prodigy

Monday, June 18th, 2007
  • 1aacocteau_raymond_radiguet
    (Raymond Radiguet and Jean Cocteau)

  • Paris Review – A Brief Strange Life of Raymond Radiguet.

    Raymond Radiguet who was born on June 18, influenced both Jean Cocteau and Yukio Mishima.

    As Rimbaud had done years before, Raymond Radiguet made his breakthrough as a writer in his adolescence. Radiguet wrote the book before he was nineteen and by twenty he was dead.

    Mishima was attracted to the novels and the personality of Raymond Radiguet. Mishima was fascinated with youth, and especialy with youthful death. (Donald Keene – Five Modern Japanese Novelits)
    Mishima wrote a short novel called The Death of Radiguet”.

    Raymond Radiguet by Picasso and Modigliani
    Drawing by Pablo Picasso (enlarge) and painting by Modgiliani (enlarge).

    Max Jacob introduced Radiguet to Jean Cocteau.

    Do not accuse fate. Do not speak of injustice. He belonged to the solemn race of men whose lives unfold too quickly to their close. (Jean Cocteau, more here)

    He was hard and of a brutal force, alternately passionate and indifferent, as Cocteau said, it needed “a diamond to scratch his heart.” (via)

    Raymond Radiguet by Jean Cocteau
    A drawing by Jean Cocteau

    Smoking a cigarette “At the Age of Fifteen”, another drawing by Jean Cocteau from Flickr.

    Homophobic Hemingway accused Radiguet of using sexuality to advance his career. (Wiki)

    In 1918 he met the 15-year-old poet Raymond Radiguet. The two collaborated extensively, socialized, and undertook many journeys and vacations together. Cocteau also got the youth exempted from military service. In admiration of Radiguet’s great literary talent, Cocteau promoted his friend’s works in his artistic circle and also arranged for the publication by Grasset of Le Diable au corps (a largely autobiographical story of an adulterous relationship between a married woman and a younger man), exerting his influence to garner the “Nouveau Monde” literary prize for the novel.

    Gérard Philipe and Micheline Presle in an adaptation of Radiguet’s novel, Devil in the flesh. (1947)

    Gerard Philipe Michel Presle inThe Devil in the Flesh (France was slowly overcoming a murderous war, its veterans were revered, the adultry of a soldier’s wife was intolerable. via.)

    The novel is described as,

    an extraordinary mixture of perception and brutality, tenderness and heartlessness. (via)

    I have never been a dreamer. What appears dream to others more credulous than I seems to me to be as real as cheese to a cat – in spite of the glass that covers it. Yet the glass does exist.
    When the glass breaks, the cat takes advantage, even if it is his master who breaks it and cuts his hand in the process.
    — The Devil in the Flesh

    His second and last novel Count D’Orgel, reviewed by Waggish.

    Roy Deforest – My Life As a Dog

    Friday, June 15th, 2007

    This posting on the passing of Roy Deforest, the California artist is a few weeks late.

    FredRoy Deforest painting
    Roy DeForest, Fred, 1978. Varnished polymer on canvas. 30” x 30 ½”.

    Painter, Roy DeForest Dies at 77 (via Stepen Vincent includes large panel work by Roy)

    Roy, indeed, was a man of letters. He loved to collect and read books. He was particularly a student of the West, deeply imbued in the spirit and work of Mark Twain. I knew him as a quiet man, not given much to lengthly articulation. He talked through his work. A incredible draughtsman. Miriam Schapiro said to me once, “Roy can draw in his sleep.” In fact he probably did draw in his sleep! In the brief period that I knew him, Roy was generous to a fault. Though a kind of career and success came to him, I do not think he was ever interested in manufacturing a career in the contemporary manner. I think he was always in it for the challenge and the pleasure of the work.

    Untitled (Shooting Gun and Devil)
    Roy Deforest

    Obit from UCDavis

    Untitled (Wolf) (I like this one a lot.)

    “Dog Eared Cadillac” (Cool Cadillac)
    Artist: Margaret Dodd pays tribute to Roy D.

    Roy Deforest Memorirs of Youngman
    Memoirs of Young Man

    Chinese Surname Shortage

    Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

    Chinese surname spark rethink

    When everybody’s named the same, then who knows Hu’s Hu?’ (via)

    In a country of around 1.3 billion people, about 85 percent share only 100 surnames, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the Ministry of Public Security in April and published in the China Daily newspaper on Tuesday.

    Zhang Ziyi and Zhang Yimou
    Chinese stars
    In the middle is Tony Leung Chiu Wai and the bottom is Tony Leung Ka Fai

    Fay Wong in Chungking Express directed by Wong Kar Wai or Kar Wai Wong.

    Ang Lee who is now a respected American director shares his surname with Spike Lee. Spike Lee is not even Chinese. They were roommates when they studied filmmaking at NYU.

    Zhang and Zhang the Chinese pair figure skaters took Silver at the 2006 Olympics (Youtube) The commentator said that they share the same surname but are not related.

    The Road Home – Zhang Ziyi in her first film directed by Zhang Yimou

    Actually Zhang Ziyi and Zhang Yimou have different chinese characters. In romanized they are the same.

    Hal Lum

    Sunday, June 10th, 2007

    Hal Lum Painting Diver
    (Courtesy of Honolulu Academy of Arts)

    Congratulation to Hal Lum!
    “Diver” by Hal Lum, took the Cynthia Ayre Award at Artists of Hawaii 2007.

    A UCLA professor sizes up Hawaii’s best art of the year by Joleen Oshiro. (Star Bulletin) and page two here.

    Previous posts on Hal Lum include his photo of poet Linda Gregg and his painting.

    We Are Not Afraid Hal & Masayo
    Hal and Masayo posed for Les Levine.

    Hal, Masayo and Paul Weitz by Fung Lin Hall
    Hal, Masayo and Paul Weitz, this one is by me.
    On the wall is Hal’s painting. (Paul Weitz directed “About A Boy” and other popular movies today but we knew him as a playwright in the early 90’s.)

    Sorry Hal I don’t have your recent photo. But I like these old photos.

    RIP Richard Rorty

    Saturday, June 9th, 2007

    Richard Rorty Richard Rorty1931-2007

    Richard Rorty, the leading American philosopher and heir to the pragmatist tradition, passed away on Friday, June 8. (via Long-Sunday)

    “He admired people deeply, loved literature passionately and took deep pleasure in his work. (Philosopher couldn’t be ignored, SF Chronicle)

    Philosopher, poet and friend, obit from Jürgen Habermas

    Requiem for a Heavyweight, obit from McLemee.

    The man had chutzpah.

    A collection of links and a video on Rorty

    A Queasy Agnosticism – Richard Rorty reviews Saturday by Ian McEwan

    The tragedy of the modern West is that it exhausted its strength before being able to achieve its ideals. The spiritual life of secularist Westerners centered on hope for the realization of those ideals. As that hope diminishes, their life becomes smaller and meaner. Hope is restricted to little, private things—and is increasingly being replaced by fear.

    But his novel helps bring us up-to-date about ourselves. It makes vivid both our uneasiness about the future and our queasy, debilitating agnosticism about matters of justice and redistributed wealth.

    Richard Rorty did not get Freud and Lacan.
    Interview of Richard Rorty by Josefina Ayerza

    Via Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

    The centerpiece of Rorty’s critique is the provocative account offered in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979, hereafter PMN). In this book, and in the closely related essays collected in Consequences of Pragmatism (1982, hereafter CP), Rorty’s principal target is the philosophical idea of knowledge as representation, as a mental mirroring of a mind-external world. Providing a contrasting image of philosophy, Rorty has sought to integrate and apply the milestone achievements of Dewey, Hegel and Darwin in a pragmatist synthesis of historicism and naturalism.

    Rorty on Derrida via Pas audela

    I feel greatly indebted to Heidegger and Derrida for enabling me to read the canonical works of Western philosophy with fresh eyes. Unlike the mean-spirited Nazi Heidegger, though, Derrida was not only a good social democrat, but a generous and tolerant man. Like Kierkegaard, he had a bubbling wit and the ability to make fun of himself.

    Obit from Todd Gitlin

    I felt drawn to Rorty’s essays again and again—not least because they ranged far and wide (he ended up as a professor of comparative literature), and were, whatever his subject, elegant and approachable, closely argued and audacious at once; but also because he put his fingers squarely on the central thought dilemmas (or multilemmas) of our time, and because he didn’t use philosophy as a dodge from politics—sensible liberal social-democratic politics at that.

    Butterfly and Beach Sumo

    Friday, June 8th, 2007

    Kinski – Butterfly

    Takeshi Kitano’s ‘Sonatine’

    State of the Onion

    Monday, June 4th, 2007

    Seven years of patience
    while the persimmon tree
    incubates her fruit. Also
    “deep… dark… tomb”

    In his poem “The Persimmons,” Gary Snyder goes “deep in the dark of a tomb” and emerges with a persimmon ripe to the bottom… one of a group… that might have been drawn by Mu Ch’i.” Here the poem rises beyond space-time to the realm of the spirit. (source)

    Bonnard OnionDigital image State of Onion by Fung-Lin Hall
    Slideshow here for more digital images of Red Onion Set. (Six red onion images instead of six persimmons.)

    The red onion after being photographed a number of times got chopped up eventually, joined in a crowd of tomatoes, bell pepper and couscous. This little onion led an exemplary life; giving nourishment, intellectual and aesthetic stimulation to an undeserving greedy, murderous humanoid.
    (Thanks to you little red onion I finally decided to use Flickr my account of which was left unused for so many years. )

    Read this wonderful interview given by Louise Bourgeois.
    Life’s Lessons (via Modern Kicks)

    I like portraiture, especially the works of Bacon, Bonnard, Kokoschka, Messerschmitt and Soutine.

    My work is a form of psychoanalysis. It is a way of coming to grips with my anxiety and fears. It is an attempt to be a better person.

    My work deals with problems that are pre-gender. For example, jealousy is not male or female. I do not believe that there is a feminist aesthetic.

    I am glad when people respond to the work. But this has nothing to do with my motivation and need to work. The only thing that interests me is the piece I am working on now.

    Hiroshima, America and French Open

    Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

    Happy Birthday Raphael Nadal. I will wait for your match with Federer in French Open 2007. He has a blog!!!!

    Happy Birthday Alain Resnais on his 85th birthday.
    His new film “Private Fears In Public Places” trailer here.
    He made this film last year when he was 84 years old!

    Enjoy the visual poem captured on youtube.

    (previous post – Hiroshima Mon Amour, Futon and Cropped Hair)

    In 1957 French avantgarde filmmaker Alain Resnais set himself the difficult task to make a film about the uncertainty of knowledge. Together with Marguerite Duras, he developped a script which was to tell “a story so banal” that it could counter the weight of the unnamable human tragedy in Hiroshima. The original script even proposed introducing the film with footage of the mushroom cloud. The premise was thus to make a film about the formalization of experience in the media and its contradiction with personal memories. At the same time, his film shows the arbitrariness of visual signs and their semantic interrelations. His film is as much a film about Hiroshima and the volatility of knowledge, as it is a reflection on the medium itself. (In the Maze, Christoph Raetzsch)

    Lit bloggers are celebrating Allen’s birthday today.
    America (text)

    America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.
    Your machinery is too much for me.
    You made me want to be a saint.

    America on youtube.

    Ballad of the Skeltons directed by Gus Van Sant

    Allen Ginsberg’s Top Ten Movies

    Allen Ginsberg’s neighborhood video shop, Kim’s Video, asked him for his top 10 list of movies, and this is the list he gave them:

    Orpheus (Orphée), Jean Cocteau, 1950
    Blood of a Poet (Le Sang d’un poet), Jean Cocteau, 1930
    Children of Paradise (Les Enfants du paradis), Marcel Carné,1945
    The Flower Thief, Ron Rice, 1960
    Pepe Le Moko, Julien Duvivier, 1930
    The Battleship Potempkin (Bronenosets Potyomkin), Sergei Eisenstein, 1925
    Pull My Daisy, Robert Frank & Alfred Leslie, 1968
    Heaven and Earth Magic, Harry Smith, 1962
    Port of Shadows, Marcel Carné, 1938
    The Grand Illusion (La Grande illusion), Jean Renoir, 1937 (via)

    Note: Delphine Seyrig was in Pull My Daisy and two of Resnais films Muriel and Last Year at Marienbad.