Archive for the 'art' Category


U2 on Movies

Bono and The Edge, U2 3D
When asked about what they look for in other movies, Bono and Edge respond,

“Joy is the hardest thing, always, for any artist, for any writer, for any photographer,” Bono says. “It’s the hardest thing to capture because it’s impossible to contrive, whereas despair — you can have a good go at despair.”“You don’t have to try too hard to summon it up,” The Edge adds.

“It’s a little bit too easy,” Bono agrees. “Or melancholy, which we can sometimes suffer with.”

As an artist I do find that it’s very difficult to communicate or convey real joy. How do you do it without coming across…naive or can it even be naive? True to life joy is not common or perhaps we just don’t know how to recognize it. So many of us do not experience that kind of real joy in our own lives or see it in the lives of others. You would think you’d find it in the church behind their eyes and in all that they do. It’s a rare thing. Something just ain’t right about that.

“Be joyful always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.


White Stone Gallery

The White Stone Gallery (formerly Lime Street Gallery) is a new deal in Manayunk featuring “Biblical Fine Art” or modern art with scriptural meaning according to their website. During January 11 – February 24 the gallery will exhibit a collection from various international artists under “Faith”. ABCPastor favorite, Makoto Fujimura, is among the featured artists. And the work is also available for sale from what I can tell on the site. Not sure if there is an opening reception tomorrow for the artists but I’m very curious about this whole set-up.
So if you’re in Philly…

Last month they had an interesting Nativity Exhibition that included an artist from China utilizing Chinese silk embroidery.

Nativity Exhibit

4219 Main Street [Manayunk]
Philadelphia, PA 19127

or if your idea of Christian Art is more in line with VeggieTales, the new movie, “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything” also opens in theaters tomorrow.


the gates.central :: 2.26.05

the gates.central :: 2.26.05

The Gates NYC

design 102 ::. design for life
i really appreciated all the great comments on my last post. lots of substance. it really got me going. here are some further thoughts in designing living – homes
design involves all of life to serve life
these days some communities are being built with openness and accessibility in mind. many of these architectural designs involve expansive windows that invite the world outside in. how would you like your family activities to be on display for all to see?

my good friend e. and her hubby just moved into a new dorm type apartment structure where they can easily peep into other people’s spaces from across, above, or below. now this may not make many people feel very comfortable. afterall, it goes against the design principles of modern suburbia that tend to separate, divide. people cherish their privacy. but what do we really have to hide? why do we hide especially when we are part of a “community”? during my stay here in jersey, i don’t know many people who care about their neighbors or even know who they are.

i grew up in a very italian part of brooklyn where everybody knew everybody. these older pizanos would sit outside on the sidewalk on summer afternoons just chillaxing. i saw them everyday on my way home from school. they watched me grow up. these fellas were even very protective of me, looking out for my safety and sometimes calling me out on my poor decisions or rejoicing in my achievements. that was a great supplement to my home-life. they cared for the neighborhood and those living in it.

the idea behind designing communities where everyone can see your family or individual business is about cultivating community responsibility. neighbors are to look out for their neighbors. it requires that people get involved in each other’s lives. it literally removes the walls and barriers that keep us from each other. the result should be a more secure, close and loving community. we like to hide behind our masks. we’d like for everyone to think that we have the picture-perfect family or perfect life. we know better today there’s much more behind those smiles in family portraits. we desire authenticity and acceptance.

in a recent conversation, it was asked, why don’t we live or like to live in glass houses? the answer — because people like to throw rocks, especially in the church. we like walls and darkness because we don’t want others to know everything in our lives. we need something to hide behind to show that we are better than we actually are. we’re afraid of being judged. our homes, our lives are fragile things. they must be handled with care.

taking church a step further ::.
the church needs to rethink its sense of architecture among other things. rather than asking people to go to “church”, invite them to see your home first. in other words, let them see how you live. between you and the people you hang with (e.g. fellowship, family), are you living in living together in redemptive practices of reconciliation, accountability, care and obedience? imagine what it would be like if your neighbors saw “church” happening in your open and accessible home? ++++++

Movement 001 Movement 002 Movement 003
movement 1 :: movement 2 :: movement 3

we need to rethink design/architecture/urban planning and its relationship to(1) being part of the Kingdom; and (2) being responsible stewards of creation. i’ve been long wild about sustainable design. i can’t believe i consider myself a treehugger. whowouldathunkit?

[Sustainable design is the art of producing objects using only renewable resources, and which themselves, in operation, deplete only renewable resources. Such designs are called ‘sustainable’ because they serve human needs without destroying the resource base on which human civilization is based. Thus, they can be used into the indefinite future.]

there is a restoring factor to design and not just aesthetics and functionality. design should aid the soul and not just the eye or body. when we design something it ought to have a purpose larger than itself. it ought to serve life.

some good conscious links ::
::Habitat for Humanity ::
a widely respected, nonprofit organisation that seeks to “eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world”
::Architecture for Humanity ::
AfH has a long, honored tradition of doing astoundingly cutting-edge work. they will be applying 100% of the money raised for this project to the reconstruction itself, with zero overhead costs. please consider making a donation.

:: food ::
share restaurant nyc

desire is to connect people with the food that they eat and with the friends they eat with. cuisine is seasonal American, all served in tasting portions that are meant to be shared. portions are slightly larger than appetizer size to encourage sampling of various menu items.
the menu revolves around ingredients that are purchased fresh from farmer’s markets and local suppliers. since food should both taste and do good, share supports small farmers who are sensitive to the environment and practice sustainable agriculture.
share’s philosophy is to eat with the earth’s cycles; the menu changes with the seasonality of the ingredients. A strong emphasis is placed on using pure ingredients and natural resources such as organic and wild (not farm raised) products. sauces are integrated to enhance and elevate the natural flavors of the base ingredients. we feel that it is important to reconnect people with the land through the food they eat.
in the back of the house, owner-chef Kay Chun, runs the kitchen using her food education and industry knowledge to ensure that the food is of the highest quality. owner-manager Winston Shih runs the front of the house to create an intimate environment with friendly service and close attention to customer needs. “


design for all ::. 101

we were designers. friends even, yeah, some of us were. we walked on campus together as though we were something. but history was in the making. we quickly became then the most well recognized class in the school’s history leaving our mark with our names inscribed on the sterile halls of a brand new facility. i believe it’s still there. we probably were the last class of a certain mold. hours of art history and theory, aesthetics and beauty, form and function. lectures. critiques. deconstruction. integration. of course we also fulfilled our core requirement studies in humanities, science, and english. but we were painters, sculptors, filmmakers, architects, artists – designers. we were a new breed, traditionally trained in the old school and part of the forging of a new era of design. the swell of the digital age arrived in our time. we helped bring about a shift in the visual landsape as well as in the economy. now design is everywhere and everything. thanks to target there’s a new manifesto declaring design for all. you prolly have seen the commercials.

make it better, more fun, more exciting, easier. make it fly, make it soar, let it take your breath away. that’s what good design is all about. transforming the ordinary into something better….maybe even something extraordinary.

now i’m still not sure how i feel about target corp and their campaign but they sure merchandise some pretty nice things and have made some good investments like acquiring two of my choice designers from way back, mossimo and mizrahi. michael graves is another story. i really like that they carry method products. i’ll shop at target over that bully walmart anyday. and don’t even let me start about the injustices in that company.
i have been spending a lot of time recently thinking about art, design, society. my background consists of fine arts, landscape architecture, and urban planning all of which i’ve integrated under design. these things deeply influence my design process. i guess i’m part of what they call the cultural creatives. all this said gives reason to why i’m so wildly interested in the gates in central park, nyc by christo and jean-claude

the gates.central :: 2.26.05
i’m posting about all this (and probably moreso…read on) because i think it’s time to understand the realm of art, design and things that are misunderstood like the gates and its place in our lives. i was talking with a student over the weekend who shared his dislike of modern art. he, like many don’t like modern art because it doesn’t make sense to them. i understand that. but many believe that what doesn’t make sense of course is not worth considering.

when i was on the administration at a new local christian college we had a riff with some older students over the fine art prints that were being chosen to be displayed in the buildings. they wanted real “christian art” over reproductional prints of impressionists and other modern painters like, wassily kandinsky, who was deeply interested in spirituality as reflected so in his works. you see, “christian art” are prints from well known nice christian folk whose works of ‘light’ you can find in a jesus books and gift stop or at your upper-middle class malls.

here’s my take on the gates : : they’re supposed to be personally experienced. all 7,500 16-feet high gates are to be taken as a single piece like the multiple strokes in a painting. now the gates are a gift to the city, entirely self-funded by the artists themselves. it is a greatly profound work and a beautiful extravagant gift to the city and to the world. its bright colored fabrics are outspoken in this cold season as they meander throughout the park. they demonstrate the veins of the park as throngs of people from all over the world, from all walks of life, pass through them like lifeblood. you can spend time thinking about that visual if you dare. jean-claude believes that the world is his canvas. he has brought his art out from the privacy of a studio or a museum to the outside. that’s a shift that we are experiencing not just in the art of the 21st century but in all of life. we need to see that we are all a part of life in this world, in this city. this artpiece is helping to create community. as christians our lives are his handiwork. he will build his church. we are failing to be lovely and accesible. we fail to be extravagant and even flashy. we fail to give to the world. we fail to annoint the head and feet of Christ and do a beautiful thing unto him.

to me design is not just about selling something which i feel many do focus on, particularly in christian retail. sure design can be commercially viable. heck i need to pay the bills. this is my design manifesto: good design is thorough and lasting. it serves many purposes and many people. it can be flashy or even unrealized but it ought to integrate all of life to serve all of life. in a sense, we all need to be designers.

Continue reading ‘design for all ::. 101’


come again? ::.

i’m taking “biblcal poetry & the poetic books” this semester. we study the stylistics and hermeneutics of biblical poetry, which involves translating and interpreting hebrew text. since summer passed i’ve forgotten all my hebrew. there will be many late nights to come.

to start, we needed to observe the nature of poetry, discussing the differences between poetry and prose. we came across an interesting poem by william yeats. crafted in 1918, these lines of carefully chosen words really captured my attention. my heart sadly resonates at yeats’ observation of the second coming, not of xianity but, paganism. he paints a dismal if not critical picture of the xianity. it struck my core but i wasn’t sure why. still i gird myself up, convicted with steely-eyed confidence that the hand our creator still moves. there is nothing here under the sun that is not his dominion ::

The Second Coming — W. B. Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

on art & craft ::.
question to an art major: can you explain what you are painting and why?
he answers: if it could be explained then there would be no need to paint.

if the bible is about 30 percent poetry, what does that suggest about the way we read it and the implications it has for those of us deliver its message?
clearly, it demonstrates to me that there are different ways of delivery. the bible is highly structured, crafted if you will. we’ve grown up with straight answers and presumptions. there is yet splendor, mystery to unfold. we should not reduce scripture to mere intellectual answers. we should never approach its pages without humility, where there is a sense of hesitation, an awareness of our breathing.

why do i need to paint, speak or walk to a different beat? something has captured my heart, where i am left feeling undone. i must respond futiley to something so magnific, so infinite in all manners of expression.


a beautiful mess – a discourse of my journey toward wholeness

DISCOURSE \Dis*course”\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Discoursed; p. pr. & vb. n. Discoursing.] 1. To exercise reason; to employ the mind in judging and inferring; to reason.

cruise control
there are movies we watch over and over again because there are certain characters that we are just drawn to. many of the movies that i enjoy watching repeatedly are tom cruise films — i’m part of the recite every line in top gun club. he’s quintessentially a somewhat tormented soul faced with challenges toward maturity and healing – wholeness. while the crowds are captivated by his incredible boyish charms, i’m drawn more to the fact that he’s always on the verge of great manhood. renee zellweger got it right when she said, “i love him for the guy he wants to be, and i love him for the guy he almost is.” i love that about his characters. i relate.

in fact i think it’s the state that many brothers are in — becoming the men they almost is. it just takes a moment of personal crisis which begs for a decision to be made that proves what you’re really all about. take a stand and be a man. i’m looking forward to the last samurai because it crosses with one of my other favorite genres, samurai flix.

life. honor. art :: i’ve always been fascinated by samurai. hurt myself plenty learning how wield swords as a kid. one of my earliest film experiences was watching the legendary lone wolf and cub at a tender age. but the appeal of the samurai is their way of life, living according to the bushido code and spirit, where honor is more important than your body. much like chivalry. all this has deeply influenced me. perhaps it’s in the blood, being asian and whatnot. but being so I’ve learned early on to forsake my body for things that are worthy. we’ve forgotten what honor is today. there’s a striking balance in the samurai between great violence and art. wielding a sword is potentially lethal but at the same time a graceful art. it speaks of our lives that’s filled with furious chaos while existing the beauty of Christ. look at the cross — violence and beauty. looking deeper samurai interestingly are balanced individuals that appreciate life at large which is the spirit of asian culture as zenlike as it sounds.

“the samurai culture leads not only into poetry, but also into flower arranging. and art. and religion.”
— from john logan, the last samurai writer

mastering the art of life
{there is much more artistry and sensitivity in the code of bushido than we can possibly imagine. a samurai warrior spent as much time arranging flowers, writing poetry and learning calligraphy as he did training with a sword. the totality of that culture wasn’t simply that of the legionnaire but it encompassed so much aesthetic response to the world around him}

it’s the journey of a soul. {there’s a part of the samurai culture that involves a great appreciation for “this moment now”. every single moment. because you could die in the next moment: honorably or dishonorably, but it could happen. so while you are alive in this moment, you have to put your whole heart and soul into anything you’re doing. if you’re writing a poem you have to make it the best poem you can possibly create}

life in the moments. {there are the quiet moments of appreciation of life. the ritual of dressing a man in a kimono, for instance — the celebration of feeling every moment of that process} life is like a running kodak commercial … share the moments share life …

ps :: can’t believe my wife shared this with you all. hey punky’s hot

never leave your wingman. never.
“where my wingmen at?”

[american born chinese pastor]
seeks to be that third place for those who are american born chinese [abc] in ministry.
here we may explore issues unique to the chinese church and doing ministry in that context
expand the intersection of asian american culture and christian faith
or simply expose what goes on in the mind of this abcpastor

this may be a bit ambitious or even naiive but i do hope that through the posts we can bring together different faith communities, passions for the advancement of the Gospel and the equipping of the body of Christ.

if you are an abc pastor or have any suggestions or would like to contribute to make this space evolve, just comment.


Feed the Ego

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