heART and Design: THOMAS HEATHERWICK

“Listen to this music very carefully. This had brought me to tears.” says this guy who sent us out if we talked too much in class; or excluded us in orchestra rehearsals if we didn’t pay as much attention as he required. My mind was searching for the right response to this unsolicited, abrupt confession. How can something essentially non-living move someone so much? If there were words, sure – because words can ultimately kill the heart, isn’t it? But this was an instrumental number.

Several months later, I’d find out missing vowels. Passion.

A few years later, there I was… bawling my eyes out during performances, gasping at crafted objects, and marveling at the complexities that pure talent and passion generate.

However unfortunate, that there are not that much “moving” projects nowadays.

But Thomas Heatherwick is by no means ordinary, neither is he part of the general population. His work elevates him in ways not every man is fortunate enough to achieve.

I have seen his works (albeit most via the web), but having attended his talk the past weekend, and hearing his stories and concepts first-hand was an experience and a learning point beyond what the cyberspace conveys.

Thomas Heatherwick don’t seem to be undaunted by “this vs. that.” His projects merge the specialized zones that the corporate seem to think better subdivided. Strange though it may be, these may be the littlest of objects compared to his architectural work, but these next two creations are by far the most captivating to my artistic soul:

The London Olympic Cauldron.

Heatherwick Studios had tried competing for a larger project but ended up runner up for a couple of times, but this client – the government –  tapped him and asked his assistance to build the Olympic Cauldron. A cauldron? Is it not something the audience barely remembers? And there began the genius machine. Heatherwick Studios, did in fact make the most memorable cauldron in history. It was the biggest secret revealed during the Olympics. Afterwards, it was delivered to the different countries as a token of remembrance.

Let me know if these caused your eyes to involuntarily cascade tears down your cheeks.

Please visit Heatherwick Studios website here.

Happy Tuesday!

Friday Frolics: Cheung Chau (The Hidden Calm in Hong Kong)

Now, Cheung Chau is really not a hidden gem, but in some ways, it is and I would be selfish if I keep from sharing. I fell in love with Hong Kong for incalculable reasons, and Cheung Chau is on top of the roll. With a beach, a cycling track (and convenient bike rentals around the vicinity), random boutiques, good restaurants, massage parlors, and yet maintain the bucolic character, this is a paradise!

habyt_cheungchau

Taking the fast ferry ($24) from Central, it takes half an hour to reach the island. Ordinary ferry for half the price takes you half longer, but the journey is worth it.

habyt_cheungchau (2)

Cone-shaped domes-it’s an added element for a fresh, quirky surprise.

habyt_cheungchau (6)

For a moment, it went out of my mind that I was in the perpetually busy, smoggy Hong Kong.  For this reason, moving to Cheung Chau might be a practical preference. Monthy ferry tickets are around $300 but flat/room rentals could be as low as $2,500. This is unquestionably something to consider.

habyt_cheungchau (3)

Cars are nowhere to be found, and residents cycle their way up and down. Of course, I got hold of a pink one. $30 for four hours is not bad at all.

habyt_cheungchau (10)

And look at this cute grandpa on training wheels! 🙂

habyt_cheungchau (4)

I know this is far from a Miami view but it somehow reminded me of it.

habyt_cheungchau (5)

This on the other hand reminded me of Canada. This is international living. 😉

habyt_cheungchau (7)

Look at this kid.

habyt_cheungchau (8)

He met new friends. Today, he learned befriending strangers is not always a bad thing.

Last but not the least: food.

habyt_cheungchau (12)

These are a few of what I chucked down. Those variant shaped fruits got me curious- I was a bit disappointed that they were just fruits, from afar they deceived my eyes of ice cream. You might also want to try their fishballs, they are probably seven times larger than the usual… Listing interesting foods would be all too many.

Streets are not only filled with snack vendors, tons of restaurants are all over this tiny island, and it’s not all Cantonese and local cuisines. They have Thai, some Western bisto, and of course, a number of restaurants for what the island popular of: seafood! Hefty amount of seating are available for all tourists without disregarding the locals!

habyt_cheungchau (9)

Spent the whole day there and being bored was not one of the status I have been in. (Why? Shopping is another option! You could even get unique local, and branded souvenir items.)

habyt_cheungchau (11)

Don’t be fooled from the larger part of my musings, Cheung Chau is still a busy suburb- a short proximity away from the pier anyway.

Ps. By the way, they have “hotels” too if you are coveting for a few days of paradise. A line of promotional kiosk would be waiting for you across the pier. 😉

* Images shot with an Iphone. More here.