Archive for September, 2007

Arizona Fence Team Mates

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Arizona fence team mates Digital image by Fung Lin Hall

I had visitors in my backyard two days ago and this morning I found out about Google 9th birthday celebration. (American’s dream of politicians retirement.)

Yoshiko Yamaguchi – The Manchurian Candidate

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Yoshiko Yoshiko Yamaguchi and Isamu Noguchi and Isamu Noguchi

She met Isamu Noguchi in New York in the fall of 1950. They were married in Japan in May 1952 (From Noguchi org.)

Yoshiko (Shirley) Yamaguchi (born 1920), is a noted Japanese film star, television reporter and politician. Yamaguchi’s parents were Japanese, but she was born and raised in Manchuria. After the Japanese invasion of Manchuria she adopted a Chinese name, Li Xianglan (in Japanese, Ri Ko Ran), and appeared in propaganda films and other movies produced by the Japanese for Chinese audiences. At the end of World War II she avoided execution for treason in China by revealing her Japanese identity, and then established a career as Shirley Yamaguchi in Hollywood and on Broadway.

She went through radical changes as she assumed new names, new locations and new professions.
As Lixiang Lang (fragrant orchid) she sung like Judy Garland. Persian bird(Перская птица) (ペルシャの鳥) sang by 李香蘭 (Interesting find from youtube – she appears in a Russian film)

Born in turbulent times, Li Xianglan lived a complex, controversial life in which everyone seemed to have experienced multiple identities.

“What was that war all about?” remains the fundamental question. For me, “Li Xianglan” often reminds me of my father and my mother, living in their memories that are an
integral part of their personal history. Telling the story of Li Xianglan is my personal tribute to the memory of my late parents (Kore eda from Night Fragrant Flower)

Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, she avoided being recognized as Japanese in Manchuria and when in Japan she hated to see the Japanese feelings of superiority to Chinese.
More here from an interview – Looking back on my days as Ri-kolan

As Yoshiko Yamaguchi she left the land where she grew up to start afresh in Japan.

Scandal Mifune Toshiro and Yoshiko Yamaguchi in Scandal - Kurosawa film Yoshiko with Toshiro Mifune in a Akira Kurosawa film.

As Shirley Yamaguchi she appeared in Hollywood films, one of them A House of Bamboo is a film noir directed by Samuel Fuller.

As Yoshiko Otaka, she ran for office and visited the Middle East and became an advocate for the Palestinian cause.

I went to Vietnam to report on the war. I saw the front lines in Vietnam, and next I became interested in learning what the Middle East War was all about. (Looking back on my days as Ri-kolan)

Here is her early years slide show on youtube interspersed with a story of Mao and Chang Ching.

Here is another film clip – A woman of Shanghai..

I (this blogger) was in this film as a film extra with other Chinese classmates when I was around 7 years old. Every morning a bus from film studio came and pick us up from our school in Tokyo. We did lots of running around in Chinese orphan costumes. We even had a song to sing.

This was my mother’s favorite song which is banned by the Chinese government today.
Suzhou is the theme song of a sequel of the popular 1940 movie “Xina no Yoru” (China’s Night). The song’s lyrics depict the separation of two lovers — a Japanese sailor and a Chinese female guerrilla fighting against Japanese invaders.

Of her life with Isamu Noguchi, she was in awe and overwhelmed by his severity and steadfast dedication to his craft, to his art and his vision. (This I pulled from my memory from her old interview she did in a Japanese magazine. Frieda Kahlo had an affair with Noguchi. Compared to Frieda, Yoshiko seems more conventional.)

Li Xiang Lang (Yoshiko Y.) and T.E Lawrence.

She visited the Middle East several times and in her report THE ARABS UNWRITTEN she wrote that she met a young Bedouin Sherif in Egypt whose uncle claimed that he had adopted T. E. as a son(!)

See Billy Rose Sculptural Garden designed by Noguchi in Jerusalem another side by side comparison to Yoshiko work as a politician for the Palestinians’ causes.

  • Update: R.I.P Yoshiko Yamaguchi – Diva of China and Japan (see more photos here)

    Dokoupil and Jetelova

    Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

    Jiri Georg Dokoupil
    More images from this series here.

    Jiri Georg Dokoupil

    This nose is named after a famous french philosopher. (His photo here with his distinct nose.)
    Check the title here.

    I want nature. I want pure nature. I want nature against ideas, formalism, academism. Against politics. (Dokoupil’s rambling talk from here)

    Red Buddha” here. I thought his “Yellow Jesus” was funny, which was part of his retrospective at Rudolfinum museum Prague around 1996. Here is Christus Golden but it is different from the one I saw.

    12 Hooks (Large and humorous, and not from the Minneapolis airport bathroom)

    He has two more chairs – blue and brown (sculptures) in this page (Scroll down, his name is Jiri Georg Dokoupil)

    Jiri Georg Dokoupil
    Wall Animals and self portrait

    Jiri Georg Dokoupil and Magdalena Jetelova are two wonderful Czech artists who rose to prominence in the 80’s. They are part of the group of emerging European artists (i.e. Sigmar Polke, Immendorff etc.) and not usually known as Czech. If you do research for famous Czech artists you will not find their names in the list. They are more famous in Germany and New York than in their own country.

    Magdalena Jetelova Magdalena Jetelova

    More on Jetelova – “Light, Water, Mud and Wood” here.

    Just One More Thing

    Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

    Once one starts collecting gif animation images online there is no stopping. Peter Falk gif is our new aquisition.

    Peter Falk Peter Falk animation

    BBC will air Just One More Thing: Columbo! on Tuesday. (via Greencinedaily.)

    Watch on youtube – Tante Julia – scene drole n°2 or Tune in Tomorrow – Peter and Keanu dubbed in French.
    (An American film “Tune in Tomorrow” was adapted from a novel by Mario Vargas Llosa called Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter.)

    Mario Vargas Llosa and Peter Handke

    Peter Handke google image gallery and his controversy.

    Peter Falk is counterweight to Peter Handke?

    Wenders had admired Peter Falk in Cassavetes’ films in the 1970’s, and it was probably from Cassavetes that he obtained Falk’s telephone number. He phoned one evening, introduced himself, told a little about the film and explained that he needed a former angel, to which Peter Falk replied after a pause: “How did you know?” When Falk asked whether a script could be sent, Wenders said that he had nothing at all in writing about this ex-angel, not even a single page. If anything, that apparently made the part even more interesting to Falk, who answered: “Ah, I’ve worked like that before with Cassavetes, and honestly I prefer working without a script.”
    Falk arrived in Berlin one Friday in November and he and Wenders spent the weekend together, developing the role on the basis of taped improvisations. All of Falk’s scenes were shot the following week, and Falk returned to Los Angeles.

    Peter Falk-les ailes du désir (Wings of Desire)

    Grayland and Gif Collection

    Saturday, September 15th, 2007

    Drive to San Francisco and turn right to Furtherfield.
    JTWineJTWine animation graylandwheelsucksnot for people

    New Yorker cover design New Yorker cover design walking in the clouds

    Pencil Dracula is Terayama ShujiTerayamay Shuji animation gif

    Mutant Eggplant

    Eggplant and Donald SultanCollage for Robert Creeley

    L’Atalante Paris, Paris(Paris, Paris)

    Glider gif from Ninaglider. gif

    Dan Wade Kiss Kiss Dan Wade

    <>Jeremy Jeremy Blake animation Blake Jeremy Blake animation Animation

    Don’t forget to flush before you leave.

    Leg with Candle – Robert Gober

    Thursday, September 13th, 2007

    Leg with Candle by Robert Gober
    Leg with Candle (wax, human hair, leather, cotton and wood)

    Three artists pay heartfelt tribute to Elizabeth Murray. (R.I.P Elizabeth Murray from vitro-nasu)
    We learned that Robert Gober helped strech her stretchers. Guess what yesterday (Sept 12) was his birthday. Happy birthday Robert!

    Sinks at Diabeacon or see more google-gober images here.

    A good friend was dying of AIDS at the time Gober was fabricating Subconscious Sink at the very beginning of the epidemic. The sink suggests cleansing rituals, although with no running water there is no ability to wash clean or purify. In this regard, a font of Holy Water comes to mind, but one disabled with no blessed water to sanctify–not an implausible association given Gober’s Catholic background and the emergence in the 1990s of overt religious imagery in his work.(via)

    X Playpen X Playpen by Robert Gober

    Lorenzo, Arvo Part and Adorno

    Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

    Let us celebrate September 11 birthday boys – D. H. Lawrence, Arvo Part and Adorno.

    Helen Mirren plays Frieda Lawrence

    Paasion and Heartbeat (previous post on Lawrence includes a photo of Frieda and Lorenzo and the list of adaptation of his novels to cinema.)

    Arvo Pärt: Silouans Song / Vienna Philharmonic Women

    Touch, Sunday and Solitude with Japanese subtitles on youtube.
    Arvo Pärt : 24 Preludes for a Fugue (2, 3, 4 of 29)
    (documentary film (2005) films by Dorian Supin about Arvo Pärt to be released on DVD. )

    Tabla Rasa-Miguel Robles/Arvo Part (Dance on Youtube)

    Solo dance Spiegel im Spiegel

    The Jargon of Authenticity

    In his book “The Jargon of Authenticity,” Theodor Adorno discusses what he considers to be a major fallacy with all of society: the way we talk. It is his opinion and observance that we speak in such a way as to bring others down while at the same time raising ourselves up. “The jargon — objectively speaking, a system — uses disorganization as its principle of organization, the breakdown of language into words in themselves.” The jargon is a tool used by society in order to distinguish the few from the many, to distinguish “my” class from “your” class.

    Adorno adorno_0

    Minima Moralia (wiki)

    I would like to draw attention to this great collection of reflections on a damaged life, wherein Adorno writes like a tragic poet, occasionally far away from the hassles of Marxism and Commodity Fetishism. Dedicated to his friend Max Horkheimer, the book begins with an epigram, life does not live. The book is in three parts with small chapters, the first of which is called For Marcel Proust. The book was written in America, when Adorno was in exile, when he became known as Teddy. The book has numerous anecdotes, parables and aphorisms and mostly reflections on exile, on damaged lives.Minima Moralia

    Adorno’s Minima Moralia is a favorite of this poet –12 or 20 questions: with Joshua Marie Wilkinson

    Tie-breaks on Youtube

    Sunday, September 9th, 2007

    “You can’t get ready for a match like this. These guys are unique, you know. Every guy in the top 100 is a unique player… It’s all in the mind and all in the moment.” Roger Federer (from U.S.Open: Second Week Report – 3 quarksdaily).

    it’s about what you know you will summon from yourself at times of need. Federer’s Mind and Moment (Asad Raza)

    Andy Roddick showed up in black outfit to match Roger Federer’s tuxedo outfit. Name the black of each player. How about Black Pearl for Federer and Bunker for Roddick? (Name the color site is fun).

    Roddick and Federer US Open 07

    Agassi commentary box window “Most world champions have two things they’re the best at — Federer has five.”
    Andy was brave, he played his best tennis and lost, a beautiful moment in Tennis history.

    Watch the tie- breaks of quality tennis played by Roger and Andy at US Open 07 on youtube here.

    Justine Justine Henin  and Roger Federer US Open 07 and Roger

    Here is the tie-break of Justine Henin and Serena Williams.

    Justine Henin vs Venus Williams on youtube

    Pain and Boredom

    Saturday, September 8th, 2007

    Cinderella installation (DEMAKERSVAN)

    See Lace Fence at, where I learned about this Dutch Design team.

    DEMAKERSVAN or Dutch Design is mostly famous for its conceptual, almost art-like status.

    Thomas Lendvai
    Thomas Lendvai A Series of “Nows” 2005 installation at Plus Ultra

    Thomas Lendvai at Winkleman

    You see, Lendvai is more than just your typical artist– he is a worker at his core with an old world ethic to match. Not driven by a need to create and self-promote like far too many of his contemporaries, Lendvai instead has had visions of lumber, table saws, and power drills pulsing through his veins since his birth. (Read more here)

    See fun photos from this flickr page.
    People inside Thomas Lendvai’s installation at Winkleman Gallery

    More on Between Pain and Boredom from Artcal

    James Wagner loved it,

    I doubt that any gallery installation in the city rewarded visitors with as much fun on Thursday night as that of Thomas Lendvai at Winkleman.

    Rawi Hage

    Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

    Photograph by Rawi Hage
    Photograph by Raw Hage (Via)

    Rawi Hage was born in Beirut and lived through nine years of the Lebanese civil war. He immigrated to Canada in 1992. He is a writer, visual artist, and curator. His writing has appeared in Fuse Magazine, Mizna, Jouvert, The Toronto Review and many others, and his visual art has been shown in galleries and museums around the world.

    Rawi Hage talks about his novel here, part of Giller Prize Short list videos.
    De Niro’s Game or Beirut in Long Sentences

    De Niro’s Game refers to the Russian roulette scenes from the movie Deer Hunter staring Robert De Niro. After the movie, Russian roulette became a popular game among young boys in Beirut with ready access to guns. (Read more here)

    Photograph by Rawi Hage

    Hage wants Ken Loach to direct his film.


    My name is Ahmad. I arrived from Egypt on a rainy day. Only the clouds and noises of the waiting taxis met me at the airport. (Read his short story here)