Archive for October, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , on October 30, 2009 by vincentloy

So fast it’s the end of October, and it’s time for Halloween! Happy Halloween to all!

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This festival is not popular in my country, Malaysia, because Malaysia is not the westernized type…so nothing to enjoy on this festival..what I know about this festival is pumpkin, trick or treat, and costumes. Nothing much. In Hong Kong, it is quite popular.

Anyway, there are many special things on Halloween…special event (quest) on the only online adventure game I played, Runescape. I have completed the quest and it’s fun. There are special dishes and items for the favourite game in Facebook, Restaurant City which I have bought and level up.

I can see an event organized based on this festival in my university, but it seems not popular or enjoyable…so, I didn’t bother it, since I need to have rest and to fill this weekend with my assignments, model-making, drawings, rendering, essay writing, etc…

Today is the first time for me to reach the highest floor of the plaza of the university I am currently studying, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology. At the rooftop, we in a group, saw the beautiful view of Putrajaya at a high level, and also disgusting view of rust machines and unsafe giant roof holder. Finally, we are being chased out by the guard who saw us. Haiz..,.In between, we had a nice time chatting, playing hide and seek, while waiting for the lecturers to finish grading our development works.

Ohh, now only I remember that I have long time didn’t update my blog…haha, time for it, and now it’s updated by this post of greeting…

Anyway, Happy Halloween to all! Here comes, the beginning of November, the second last month of the year 2009!

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Beyond the Realm of Conscience is so nice…

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2009 by vincentloy

Starting this week, I become a drama addict, I’m so addicted to the latest anniversary series of TVB, Beyond the The Realm of Conscience (宮心計). This series, even now only on first few episodes, is already so interesting, so exciting and so dramatic…fantastic plot, talented actors and actresses, meaningful dialogues, beautiful costumes (Tang Dynasty), etc…

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Been catching on this series, every episode, once it is released…really a hot favourite to win Best Drama this year (Recalling back, 2007 Best Drama – Heart of Greed (溏心風暴), 2008 Best Drama – Moonlight Resonance(溏心風暴之家好月圓)). This series is expected to grab a lot of awards this year (4th December – my birthday and the TVB 42nd Anniversary Awards).

The actors and actresses, see their costumes, too much and too heavy, the hair is so big, and burdening…

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I have seen so many trailers on this series, all are nice, been waiting for Tavia Yeung to turn from good to super evil (main villain) in the series. Almost all of the female acting in this series are villains, cool! All fighting one another, with tricks…very creative ideas from the director…This series is very obvious, putting up Tavia Yeung for hot favourite in Best Actress (last year she won Best Supporting Actress for Moonlight Resonance). Now, main villain is like having higher chance of winning, because of those unforgettable scenes with the villain’s eyes staring, expression and evil tricks and plans…

See the transformation?…Sure….

From a good Tavia (in the series as a palace maid):

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To the evil Tavia (in the series as the concubine and finally as the Empress):

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Check out the video below from YouTube , remember to focus on 0.34 till 0.38, the part where you can see how far Tavia Yeung can act evil!

Another clearer short video from YouTube:

There are many other actresses , acting very well in this series too, like Michelle Yim ( last year Best Actress in Moonlight Resonance), Susanna Kwan. There are two more I want to stress on, Susan Tse (acting as the Grand Empress Dowager). Her acting really fantastic, the character suits her a lot, her acting as villain in Rosy Business (巾幗梟雄) is excellent too, her facial expression is great. Another one, acting as concubine in the series, Selena Li should be recognized and given an award this year (Best Supporting Actress or Most Improved Female Artist), she has acted on so many series well, this one also good.

The TVB 42nd Anniversary Lighting Ceremony is just over and the Nomination List for TVB 42nd Anniversary Awards is not out yet. These are my choices for these awards:

Best Drama:

Top 4: Rosy Business, E.U., Beyond the Realm of Conscience, Born Rich

My favourite pick: Beyond the Realm of Conscience.

Best Actor:

Top 4: Wayne Lai (Rosy Business), Moses Chan (Beyond the Realm of Conscience), Kevin Cheng (Beyond the Realm of Conscience), Gallen Lo (Born Rich).

My favourite pick: Wayne Lai (Rosy Business).

Best Actress:

Top 3: Sheren Tang (Rosy Business), Charmaine Sheh (Beyond the Realm of Conscience), Tavia Yeung (Beyond the Realm of Conscience).

My favourite pick: Tavia Yeung (Beyond the Realm of Conscience).

Best Supporting Actor : Here I only support Michael Tse as Laughing Gor in E.U. , or maybe the uncle (Ngok Wah) in Rosy Business.

Best Supporting Actress: Susan Tse (Rosy Business/ Beyond the Realm of Conscience), or Selena Li (Beyond the Realm of Conscience).

Only give comments on Top 5 awards…other awards, no comment …

Oslo Opera House

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2009 by vincentloy

I have discovered this piece of wonderful architecture, when I skimmed through an architecture book. Now, for me, it looks more interesting, when I did some research on performing center and opera house that is related to my project ‘…for the…’ in my Design 102.

Oslo Opera House, construction began 2004 and ended 2007, designed by architect Snohetta, covering an area of 38 500 square metres, and is located at Oslo, Norway.

There are basically four diagrams that explain the building’s basic concept, derived from the architect.

“The Wave Wall”

Opera and ballet are young artforms in Norway. These artforms evolve in an international setting . The Bjørvika peninsula is part of a harbour city, which is historically the meeting point with the rest of the world.. The dividing line between the ground ‘here’ and the water ‘there’is both a real and a symbolic threshold. This threshold is realised as a large wall on the line of the meeting between land and sea, Norway and the world, art and everyday life. This is the threshold where the public meet the art.

“The Factory”

A detailed brief was developed as a basis for the competition. Snøhetta proposed that the production facitities of the operahouse should be realised as a self contained, rationally planned ‘factory’. This factory should be both functional and flexible during the planning phase as well as in later use. This flexibility has proved to be very important during the planning phase: a number of rooms and romm groups have been adjusted in collaboration with the end user. These changes have improved the buildings functionality without affecting the architecture.

“The Carpet”

The competion brief stated that the operahouse should be of high architectural quality and should be monumental in it’s expression. One idea stood out as a legitimation of this monumentality: The concept of togetherness, joint ownership, easy and open access for all. To achieve a monumentality based on these notions we wished to make the opera accessible in the widest possible sense, by laying out a ‘carpet’ of horizontal and sloping surfaces on top of the building. This carpet has been given an articulated form, related to the cityscape. Monumentality is achieved through horizontal extension and not verticality.

The conceptual basis of the competition, and the final building, is a combination of these three elements – The wave wall, the factory and the carpet.

Urban Situation

The operahouse is the first element in the planned transformation of this area of the city. In 2010 the heavy traffic beside the building will be moved into a tunnel under the fjord. Due to its size and aesthetic expression, the operahouse will stand apart from other buildings in the area. The marble clad roofscape forms a large public space in the landscape of the city and the fjord.

The public face of the operahouse faces west and north – while at the same time, the building’s profile is clear from a great distance from the fjord to the south. Viewed from the Akershus castle and from the grid city the building creates a relationship between the fjord and the Ekerberg hill to the east. Seen from the central station and Chr. Fredriks sq. The opera catches the attention with a falling which frames the eastern edge of the view of the fjord and its islands.

The building connects city and fjord, urbanity and landscape.
To the East, the ‘factory’ is articulated and varied.
One can see the activities within the building: Ballet reheasal rooms at the upper levels, workshops at street level. The future connection to a living and animated new part of town will give a greater sense of urbanity.

Choice of materials

The materials, with their specific weight, colour, texture and temperature, have been vital to the design of the building. Snøhettas architecture is narative. It is the materials which form the defining elements of the spaces. It is the meeting of the materials which articulates the architecture through varied detail and precision.

In the operahouse, three main materials were specified as early as the competition entry: White stone for the ‘carpet’, timber for the ‘wave wall’, and metal for the ‘factory’. During the continued work on the project, a fourth material, glass, which allows for the exposure of the underside of the ‘carpet’, has been given specific attention.

Stone

After an international tender competition, th italian marble, La Facciata, was chosen. This is a stone which, in common with other marbles, retains its brilliance and colour even when wet. It has the necessary technical quality in terms of stabitity, density, and longevity. The producer, Campolonghi, has had the professional ability, capacity, and experience necessary for such a large and complex project.
The accessibble area of the ‘carpet’ is approx. 18,000 m2. Its detailed design has been important: the architect desired that it should not interfere with the general dorm of the building but that it simultaneously was articulated enough to be ineresting at close quarters.
Together with the artists several alternatives were proposed before a particular non repetitive pattern with integrated raised areas, special cuts, various surface textures, and specific details were designed to articulate the main geometry.

Timber

Oak has been chosen as the dominating material for both the ‘wave wall’ and the main auditorium.
For the wave wall it has a light and varied surface. Oak is used throughout for the floors, walls and ceilings. The wave wall has a complex organic geometry made up of joined cone shapes. It is also an important acoustic attenuator within the foyer space. To achieve these goals it is made up of smaller elements which can deal with the changing geometry and provide acoustic absorption.
Inside the auditorium oak has been chosen for a number of reasons: It is dense, easily formed, stable and tactile.
The oak has been treated with amonia to give a dark tone. Here too oak is used for floors, walls, and ceilings, as well as balcony fronts, and acoustic reflectors.

Metal

An operahouse is designed and built to have a long lifespan. This means that a simple, modern metal cladding, such as we associate with factories and workshops, needs to be re-evaluated and redesigned.
After a consideration of aesthetics, longevity, maleability and the possibility to make very flat panel, aluminium wa chosen. To give the panels further quality, a collabarative process was begun with two artists.
The design team initially aimed for an industrial modulrity but that the panels themselve should have greater visual quality. The panels were punched with convex spherical segments and concave conical forms. The pattern was developed by the artists based on old weaving techniques.

Glass

The high glass facade over the foyer has a dominant role in the views of the building from the south, west, and north. Early in the project it was realised that this glass faced was more important than previously assumed, both during the day and night when it would act as a lamp illuminating the external surfaces.

The glass façade is up to 15 meters high. It was the architects intention to design a glass construction with an absolute minimum og columns, framing, and stiffening in steel. The solution was to use glass fins where minimised steel fixings are sandwiched inside the laminates.
The requirements for the glass’s stiffness increased due to the desire for large panels and slim joints where the panels meet.
Thick glass of this sort tends to be quite green rather than transparent. It was therefore decided that the façade of the operahouse would use low iron glass.

In all, eight different panels were designed which give a constantly changing effect depending on the angle, intensity and colour of the light playing on them.

Plan solution, general arrangement

plan 1

The building is split in two by a corridor running north-south, the ‘opera street’. To the west of this line are located all the public areas and stage areas. The eastern part of the building houses the production areas which are simpler in form and finish. Comprising 3 to 4 storeys above ground. There is also a basement level – U1 – below this part of the building. The sub stage area is a further 3 storeys deep.

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To know more on the Oslo Opera House, like the spaces in the building (main auditorium, interiors), landscaping and courtyard, drawings and details, please refer to this site:

http://www.archdaily.com/440/oslo-opera-house-snohetta/

This is the source and the information posted here are obtained partially from the source mentioned above.

www.archdaily.com is certainly a good website to find new building designs, and many more, related to architecture, updated daily.

Nine Emperor Gods Festival Night…

Posted in Interesting Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2009 by vincentloy

I remember, one year ago, earlier, I have written a post (among the first few posts of this blog) on this festival night, the Nine Emperor Gods Festival (九皇爺). This year will be the same.

Around these days, rain will fall, to show sympathy and mercy to the Nine Emperor Gods. There are many myths behind the origin of this festival. Don’t you notice that rain falls everyday currently (it’s not related to monsoon season, because this festival is celebrated in Chinese lunar calendar, so different date every year).

This year, as usual, followed my cousin and my aunt to watch the parade which organized to invite the Nine Emperor Gods to Earth, down from river (in this area, Ampang River). The parade is very grand, usually 10 – 20 minutes long, with lion and dragon dance, ‘long-leg seven’, etc,.. This festival attracts a lot of people, and the streets involved on the parade are fully crowded.

This year, we went to that area late, but we were still able to watch the final parts of the parade, the most important one, when we saw the arrival of Nine Emperor Gods ( an item caught from the river, believed to be possessed by the Nine Emperor Gods, hidden by the cloth).

Some pictures taken at the night (still manage to capture)

Lion dance performing rituals in front of a ritual table:

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The dragon, fly until so fast…

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So many people, crowded…and being pushed…

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Another type of lion dance..

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The ‘tall-leg seven’ gods…these performers can stand like that, and walk for a long distance…great

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those decorated kind of things…duno what it is called…

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oso duno why they shake this thing…we have to pray as this one comes forward…

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finally, the Nine Emperor Gods, hidden by the cloth…I want to see what is inside…! What the man is carrying? So many things covered it up…this one also we have to pray, the main and the final…

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Time to leave, sure traffic jams..wow..Ampang area has changed a lot, so many new apartments, shoplots, commercial buildings, and the Ampang Waterfront.

Happy Deepavali to all Indians!

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2009 by vincentloy

There is one nice benefit of living in Malaysia, u will have different festivals, from different races. Since there are three main races in Malaysia (Malay, Chinese, Indian), there are a number of festivals celebrated in Malaysia, hence, there are many holidays too. Haha…most important is holiday, but this year’s Deepavali falls on Saturday (so, the same).

Here, I would like to wish Happy Deepavali to all my Indian friends, and to all Indians in the world, no matter you are from India or from my country, Malaysia. Let’s celebrate Festival of Lights with joyful moments!

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Extra information: Deepavali is not the new year day for the Indians, it is actually a celebration of light, from what I heard, is that there is a God, defeated an evil monster/king. Deepavali is more important than Indian’s New Year.

Submission of AS 102 Building Technology model…

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2009 by vincentloy

This module, Building Technology 102 is all about details, construction systems, foundation, floor, wall and roof systems. As mentioned in previous post, there is only one major assignment in this module, and it’s enough to kill architecture students. Poor us!

We have to select a specific domestic-scale project from a list of famous projects around the world by famous architects like Tadao Ando, Richard Meier, Herzog and de Meuron, Renzo Piano, etc. This assignment is to be done in group, of two students. After chosen a project, we have to find working drawings of the project and understand on the design and construction systems of it.

Then the hardest task is coming, building the model, a secti0n-cut model (not sectional), a clean-cut, in scale 1 to 20. We have to build it in progress, from preliminary model, to prototype model, and finally, of course FINAL MODEL. The final model is submitted today. This model took me and my friend six days to complete (without counting the nights).

This is the outcome:

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The other students’ works:

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Nice? Full of effort on it…some people did not sleep just because of this…how tiring…

Beyond the Realm of Conscience (宮心計)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2009 by vincentloy

I have been waiting for this TVB series for a whole year, finally, it will be released on 19th October 2009. The title of this post is the title of the series. The title tells all, the evil plots to survive and to achieve higher rankings among woman in palace (Tong Dynasty). The series will be 33 episodes long.

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This idea of this series came out last year (2008), aimed to break the record of Jewel in the Palace (50 rating points) and Moonlight Resonance (50 rating points). This series is going to be similar with Korean’s Jewel in the Palace, now it’s Hong Kong version, which is said to be better.

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The synopsis of the series: (source from Astro on Demand)

Imperial Household Bureau is responsible for managing and directing all household services to the Emperor and the Imperial family in Tong Dynasty. It is comprised of four departments, namely Jewels, Attire, Food and Furnishings. LAU SAM HO (Charmaine Sheh) and YIU KAM LING (Tavia Yeung) are introduced into the bureau in their tender age and brought up in the disciplines of the palace. The two girls are diligent. YUEN TSUI WAN (Susanna Kwan), Head of the Jewels, and CHUNG SUET HA (Michelle Yim), Head of the Attire, are both very fond of HO for she is a kind-hearted young girl. Soon, they start fighting for the fellowship of HO.

HO always remembers her mother’s words left to her before she passed away, that she was told, ‘Doing good deeds, Speaking good words, Showing goodwill’. She lives her life of being gracious and kind-hearted in the palace. On the other hand, LING believes her survival in palace is achieved through cruel and calculating tactics. She cheats and schemes her way to the top and finally becomes the concubine. Though she realizes that HO has fallen in love with the chess master KO HIN YEUNG (Kevin Cheng), her jealousy still arouses by HO’s attraction to the Emperor LEE YI (Moses Chan). Fearing that she is losing power, she ruthlessly makes up a false allegation against HO for murdering the Empress (Mary Hon) and condemns her to death. No matter how clever she is to scheme, things do not go the way she planned. By using a strong comparison of the two distinctive characters, HO and LING, the message of the drama is that “benevolence” is the only way to gain final victory.

Three exciting trailers of the series I have found out from YouTube:

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Can’t wait to watch this series, really looking forward to it, high expectation on it, to be the most favourite and best TVB series of the year (the other contender is Rosy Business and Born Rich). TVB wants to promote more on Tavia Yeung Yi this time (last year winning Best Supporting Actress of her acting in Moonlight Resonance). This series, she will be the main villain, accompanying other experienced villains like Susan Tse (villain in Rosy Business), Michelle Yim (villain in Moonlight Resonance, Best Actress in 2008), Susanna Kwan (villain in Heart of Greed). This is the first time Tavia acting as villain character while Charmaine is always the good character (boring) one.

Lead actresses: Charmaine Sheh, Tavia Yeung, Michelle Yim, Susanna Kwan.

Lead actors: Moses Chan, Kevin Cheng.

Supporting actresses: Susan Tse, Selena Li, Kara Hui, Mary Hon, etc.

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Must watch it on time, despite the busy schedule of my semester, because it’s almost end of my semester, time to complete all assignments, models, presentations, examinations, etc.