Archive for May, 2011

What a tiring day with wood works!

Posted in Interesting Encounters on May 31, 2011 by vincentloy

The last day of May turns miserable for me as I am spending most of my time in a hot, not much ventilated workshop of my campus, dealing with tiring works of hammering and sawing. Why I have to deal with all these wood works eventhough I’m an architecture student?….that is all because of one optional subject we have to take to complete the whole study; Furniture Design Workshop.

There is this workshop assignment which actually costs only 10 percent that we need to complete, and it costs us so much of sweat, energy and time to complete…and we are not even done yet as it consists of 2 parts…I have only completed the first part which is considered to be the easier one but we even had a hard and exhausting time dealing with it; making three holes of square, three holes of triangle, drilling 3 x 3 holes with different sizes and sawing 7 lines on a small wood board. Part 2 is the harder part which we have to measure and draw out lines accurately which the given wood pieces had to be cut to form a strong and rigid frame without use of single nail or glue as it should be attached depending on the tongue and groove joint. I have to deal with this on the other day…and so the conclusion, we need another day to finish it up.

Ahh…not to forget that I have other more important assignments to do, as the submission deadlines for the other assignments are just around the corner, with mainly on next week….yes, I have to face the reality; NEXT WEEK! Even for this furniture design workshop module, I have not even started on the final project on designing and building a multi-purpose shelf, but the deadline for this one is much later. It is incredible that even architecture students have to deal with these wood construction thingy. Now, I admire the workshop’s staff whom had been very experienced and skillful on handling all these wood works. But can they help me to finish it all? haha…impossible…I sweat a lot today, I inhaled a lot of wood dust today and I used up a lot of my energy today, and I am in great loss of water in my body (now rushing to the kitchen to fill up a cup of water full to drink!)…bye…

Advertisements

A quick walk at night around Putrajaya Steel Mosque, the other beautiful side of the city!

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2011 by vincentloy

Many Malaysians recognize Putrajaya, the administrative city of Malaysia from its few important buildings like the Perdana Putra (Prime Minister’s Office), Putra Mosque as well as the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) on the other end of the 2km-long axis. However, beginning from 2010, another iconic landmark is added to the skyline of Putrajaya, which is the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque, or popularly known as the Steel Mosque.

The plan for yesterday’s night before watching the movie ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ (the movie review is on the previous post) at Alamanda Putrajaya was to take some beautiful photographs of the mosque which can be seen along the roads. At the night, Putrajaya does not look like what it is in normal days with many canopies set up and road blocks for the One Million Youth Gathering which many events were held. There are quite a number of people surrounding the area. Hence, the atmosphere is not quiet like in usual days along the boulevard, and it actually destroys my mood of being there in feeling the awesomeness of the architecture.

I can’t locate my camera and so, I have to use my phone to take some images. Photos from my 8.1 megapixels phone’s camera are also not very bad in quality. As a Chinese, being there in Putrajaya makes you to feel like you are a foreigner, in a place only with Malays while Chinese are more concentrated in Bukit Bintang area for usual Saturday’s night. So, it is a bit weird. It is so hard to find another Chinese in the area. I managed to take some pictures of the exterior of the mosque including a large path from the front of the Palace of Justice to the iconic new mosque. It is seen as a journey walking from the beginning to the end which reaches the mosque. Too bad, it is not permitted to enter the mosque.

I do not know much on the architecture of the mosque except recognizing the arches and the materials used in the construction as well as the geometrical-patterned wall framing which captures my attention from its reflection of shadow to the outside wall due to strong lighting from interior.

The exterior lighting of the structure is captivating too. I do see also unnecessary runs of structures over the arches in the mosque, which I don’t understand why it is applied. Before it’s time to leave, I had the opportunity to drop by under the striking bridge, called as Seri Wawasan Bridge, a futuristic-looking cable-stayed bridge with a sail ship appearance. It’s time to take some photos again, this time not only of the bridge but also of part of the night skyline of the city.

Many would go take pictures of the Putra Mosque and the Prime Minister’s Office once they are in Putrajaya…not for me, because I find this other part of the city (the steel mosque area in the middle of the boulevard) to be more interesting in terms of architecture. Do you notice that there is a strong sense of symmetry which suggested formality on the architecture in Putrajaya as what you can see from even these few pictures I taken and posted here?

Movie review: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2011 by vincentloy

Ahh…it’s midnight time for pirates! Not exactly, it’s time to post up my review after I have just watched the latest fourth installment to the franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides on midnight screening just now. It’s time for action by Johnny Depp as the Captain Jack Sparrow whom set sail again, this time forced by the Blackbeard through his lover, Angelica (Penelope Cruz) to search for the Fountain of Youth. One thing I would like to comment first is that the title of ‘Fountain of Youth’ is more relevant than the currently-used title, ‘On Stranger Tides’ because the whole framework or storyline of the film is aiming on that elusive fountain.

There are quite a number of action-packed scenes especially sword-fighting scenes and the mermaid attack scenes (sorry for little spoiler here). The zombified humans in this movie seems to pose lesser threat than the beautiful mermaids which can turn as terrifying as you could never imagine…and also not to forget the main villain from this film, the Blackbeard whom is seen to possess supernatural power.

The moments from this film that get me excited are not those action-packed scenes, but instead are those scenes where Johnny Depp’s hilarious dialogues prevail, alongside with his funny expression and behaviour….eventhough some hilarious parts are awkward and seems to be forced into the script. Anyway, I like the performance by Johnny Depp in this, and I think no other can portrays a funny yet intelligent pirate like him so well. Thumbs up for his performance, alongside with other main characters like Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane, Sam Claflin, etc.

The settings of the film are made simple; along the shore, in the tropical jungle, in the city of London and of course on the rough sea….while the movie is still put at its best place from these simple venues. The duration of the movie is a bit too long for me as it took over 2 hours which many are wasted in excessive sword-fighting scenes that are seen unnecessarily to be taking that long time. The fun parts of this movie still kept me interested and no feeling of boredom at all despite I felt sleepy in the middle of it. It is a definitely worth-watching film with Johnny Depp’s solid performance and countless hilarious moments…hence, out of 10 points, I would rate this one 7.3.

The official trailer of this movie:

 

Another series completed…’Yes Sir, Sorry Sir’

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2011 by vincentloy

Yesterday is the airing of final episode of this TVB series entitled ‘Yes Sir, Sorry Sir’ which in Chinese is ‘點解阿Sir係阿Sir’. It is a privilege for Malaysians to watch it at the same time with Hong Kong audiences through Astro on Demand. However, I didn’t buy the package and so I have to wait for several hours (means the next day) to watch it online. It is a 30-episodes long drama focusing on Lo Sir becoming as an undercover and worked as a teacher (whom would be eventually called as Sir also which explain on the origin of the title) to investigate on the man behind the drug influence into young children especially in schools. The main casts are Moses Chan, Tavia Yeung, Ron Ng and Linda Chung.

I find the story or the plot of the drama is interesting eventhough this idea had been adapted to several movies long time ago (remember Stephen Chow movies as undercover in a school?). However, the development of the storyline totally differs from one another. The supporting casts like the students in the school (K4) had given a great performance despite they are a bit over reacting at some moments. The not-so-good thing about this drama is that it is being dragged in the middle of the story to an extent that I felt boring watching it and even had a slight feeling of not to continue watching it.

The character that I like the most from this drama is the bowling teacher portrayed by Linda Chung. She acted very well especially in her behaviour change from an arrogant and unfriendly teacher to a caring and friendly person. I am really moved by her performance especially when her heart is broken by what the others did to her. She really did a good job here, even better than Tavia Yeung as the first female lead in this series. For me, Tavia had no breakthrough performance here.

The character that I dislike the most is obviously the main character, the undercover portrayed by Moses Chan. I can say this is the worst performance from him which can easily annoyed many people. Why do I say that? His acting is seen as too childish in this series, with his unusual facial expression and behaviour which is sick to my eyes. Remember the ways he poses in front of Tavia, remember the ways he meet the police officer, remember the ways he get jealous by Tavia being close to Ron Ng in this series, and many more. All these just destroyed his acting in this series, and I am really get enough by all these disturbing scenes. The only part he did great is at the last three episodes when everything turned serious. For Ron Ng, similar to Tavia Yeung, there is no breakthrough performance for him, and so not much comment.

The last three episodes are the only episodes that really brought my attention. I don’t really get interested or excited from the other 27 episodes as there are nothing to bring the level of intensity of the story up. Out of 10 points, I rate this one 6.9, mainly credit to the few last episodes as well as the great performance by Linda Chung. Her crying this time really affected my emotion and brought up to my attention unlike last time in her excessive crying scenes in ‘Moonlight Resonance’ that annoyed me previously. This time, she did a good job. Have you watched this series?…and do you have similar thought or comment to this series?…

Movie review: Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2011 by vincentloy

Today is the first day of release of animated film ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ to theaters and I am so glad to have watched it on its very first day. I have been waiting for this sequel to the first one in 2008, which is three years ago! My level of anticipation for this movie is high and so, my expectation is high too. Yes….this animated film meets my expectation, with everything wished to be seen (like exciting journey and battles, interesting humors and dialogues, beautiful setting) are all on the screen.

The characters in the movie are voiced over by many famous artists like Jack Black as the main character, the ‘Po’ panda, Angelina Jolie as the tigress, Jackie Chan as the monkey, Seth Rogen as the mantis, and even Malaysian-born international artist, Michelle Yeoh as the soothsayer. The casts are a mix of Western and Chinese stars which blend in and cooperated very well for such a nice combination of characters in this film. The setting of the film especially at the very main place, the visualized GongMen city is very beautifully generated, with houses, bridges, streets decorated with lanterns, as well as the iconic pagoda tower. The producers must have spend a lot of time in working out such a beautiful place, and put that into this movie.

Ahh…almost forget to mention a bit on the story…not much spoiler here….it’s about the continuity of kung fu by the help of the dragon warrior whom is the panda with his furious five (friends) to stop the evil plan of Lord Shen (a peacock) whom wanted to conquer whole China with his invention of firework cannon. It’s not only about that, the story goes much deeper and reveals where does Po comes from actually which is very much related to his adventure in this film. It’s another nice story, goes smoothly as the sequel to its first film. I like the part from this film when it flash back on some scenes from the first film showing how Po turns out to be the dragon warrior as fated.

Another aspect I wished to mention is on the impressive level of humor from this film. There are quite a number of hilarious scenes from the dialogues, the characters’ expression and behavior, and even from the fighting scenes too. You will definitely get entertained by these hilarious parts, eventhough some are quite silly. I expected a happy ending, and yes…it does end with a moderate and good conclusion too….but there is already a hint at the end that the story would continues (so there will be Kung Fu Panda 3, 4…and so on) as a group of pandas still survived, whom two are hinted to be of Po’s parents. Okay….sorry for the spoiler…All I have to say is that it is a fun, entertaining and interesting movie despite there are some boring scenes in between which further explain the story of Po. I like this film too because there is not much of love or friendship things in this film, which I always get bored and annoyed to.  Out of 10 points, I gave this one 7.5.

The trailer of the movie:

From skyscrapers to public spaces and modern houses…that’s how my interest changes on architecture

Posted in Interesting Encounters on May 23, 2011 by vincentloy

Many of you might be wondering what am I talking about by the title of this post. Let me tell you my story on how I begin to love architecture.

It started way back in my secondary schooling years (let me think, I guess from Form 2 0r 3 onwards) , when I began to draw famous buildings around the world on some useless papers. I can do this anytime, anywhere when there is a free time for me to do so, even in class when there is no important lessons going on. In the beginning, the buildings I drawn are limited to only a few very iconic ones..that’s it…I am in love with skyscrapers a lot that time…

As I progressed to Form 4 which I needed to choose a stream for my study which is between art or science, and my previous results have put me into science stream as it is practice in Malaysian education system of putting weaker students in art stream. I have no interest in science subjects like Physics, Chemistry and Biology, and ended up scoring no A in these subjects. It proved that I am still more on art stream, but in a more professional way…which is in architecture.

Even when I’m in Form 5 and I was supposed to be more concentrating on the major public examination of SPM in 2007, my interest on drawing buildings never fades. I have drawn more and more buildings from all around the world, knowing them better than anyone else. I even knew some datas of these tall buildings I like to draw like the height, the number of floors, the city it is located, the architect, and even the year it is built. Crazy of skyscrapers, isn’t it? Even when I started on my study on architecture course in higher education level, I still look forward to skyscrapers and even on broader aspect; skylines of cities around the world. For my friends who know me for a long time, they definitely knew this.

However, as time passes and as I reached my final year of degree study, my interest is kept going smaller in scale…from tall buildings to huge public spaces and finally now, modern houses and light structures! Nowadays, I seldom checked on websites regarding skyscrapers already, while my focus is now more on public spaces and modern houses (some tropical styles of houses too). Studying architecture had influenced me from one direction to another direction without even me realizing it until now…but still, I like skyscrapers too, as it represented pride of architecture in the way it reaches the sky…but there are nothing much you can do about it compared to those public spaces and volumes or even private enclosure like houses.

Now you ask me how high is Bank of China Tower, I can’t answer you (unlike few years ago when I can straightly answered you confidently). However, now when you asked me what is the design concept of Guangzhou Opera House by Zaha Hadid, I can answer you back (the answer is imitating a giant boulder overlooking Pearl River in a different approach and advanced cutting-edge technology).

Is it a kind of change that is good for my study in architecture? I think so…as I felt remembering those datas on skyscrapers is pretty useless for me…knowing different ideas and approaches in various designs and learning from the precedents are far more useful…the architectural websites I usually visited changes (from the past which is skyscraperpage.com or emporis.com to current which is like archdaily.com)…I have changed…(I don’t simply put any pictures in my post, there is a reason for me to put these pictures unlike the past when I would be simply copy and pasting it)