Thursday, August 30, 2007

Want or not?

Malaysia is celebrating 50 years of independence this 31st August. People make the slip of saying that it's 50 years of Malaysia's independence (Malaysia was only formed in 1963, or 6 years after the Federation of Malaya's independence from British colonial rule). Much of this has to do, of course, with the historical amnesia that systematically afflicts the populace via the education system.

But this time round, as Malaysia lies months away from the next major General Elections, some people will not let these slippages occur without a fight. You've already read about the ballsy RPK. Now check out Nak Tak - a blog dedicated to making Malaysians think seriously about voting, and to think twice before they vote.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Y.A.C.H.T. (or Jona Bechtolt) makes music on his machine and then makes music with that music on stage. Laptop rockers are great.

Heavy metal design

Just make it bigger. (Check out the song, of course)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Break out your monocles

As we wait for the third edition of Monocle, that stylish, high-end newsmagazine from the guy who brought you Wallpaper*, have a read at what makes the man - and his magazine - tick.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

One-upping Damien Hirst

Xu Zhen, a Chinese conceptual artist, has re-created a bisected brontosaurus for an art exhibition in Beijing entitled 'NONO', a show without explanations or preconceptions.

Check out this article for more views.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Warm Fuzzy Lights

Saw this on coolhunting, and thought it would be interesting to share with you light freaks out there. A hollow steel-framed stand holds the three pair-shaped LED lights. You pluck them out, use 'em for about an hour, then just stick 'em back on the tree to kick back some juice. Nice.

Designed by Nick Foley.

Big Balls

You've got to hand it to Raja Petra, he's really upping the ante on a certain Malaysian political figure's attempts for a political comeback.

For those of us who don't already know it, blogging in Malaysia can be a rather dainty occupation - some factions have called bloggers 'pondan' (or effeminate men) and 'pengecut' (or possessing shrunken testicles) - so for a quick looksy at what's gonna go down in Malaysian politics, check out the most recent article by Mr maverick himself, Raja Petra Kamaruddin.

Mental check: Malaysian general elections on the horizon, so all the skeletons are being thrown out by the closetfuls.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I'm Muslim Too

As you can see, much of today's postings are dedicated to the work of Malaysian indie filmmakers :)

Zan Azlee, the quintessential quizzical filmmaker, has embarked on an interesting project of videoing voices and stories of Muslims in the Middle East. Armed with a camera and a sack full of instant noodles, the film is his take on what it means to be a Muslim (and a Malaysian Malay at that) in a world that is full of all sorts of Muslims.

Check out his blog for more updates of his travels, which includes swimming in the Dead Sea, flirting with hot Lebanese chicks, swimming in semen, flirting with hot Syrian chicks, visiting religious sites, and of course, more flirting with hot Iranian chicks. Ah, the Middle East...


James Lee, one of Malaysia's pioneer DV filmmakers, is completing his Betrayal Trilogy (comprised of Before We Fall In Love Again, Things We Do When We Fall In Love, and the final installment Waiting For Love).

You'll be surprised that while mainstream Malaysian cinema has thus far distanced itself from much of Lee's works (for numerous, although not all of them cogent, reasons), the international community has been generous in their recognition of his cinematic oeuvre, although some might contend that Lee's aesthetic trajectories and storytelling structures could be further developed.

All in all, 2007 is a most productive year for Lee, with 2 films screened thus far (the first two parts of the trilogy above) with this final chapter to be released soon after.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


50 influential designers and architects share their thoughts on the world of their design. Part of ICON magazine's 50th issue. Makes for reflective reading.


Hahaha, this is great. Talk about being mis-synced with technology.

Mind the Map

Check out what Information Architects Japan has done with their research on 200 of the most successful websites online today! Trust the Japanese to be so orderly about these things. Makes for very instructive reading.

You can purchase the map, download it as a wallpaper/for printing, or even peruse a navigable online version of it. Oh so functional!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Big Brother

If you've ever wondered why KL has so many cameras - some of them are so insidiously hidden, they almost look like the street lamp heads themselves... until you look oh ever so closer - it's because they all feed into the Integrated Traffic Information System (ITIS). Part of the Kuala Lumpur Structural Plan for 2020, ITIS is supposed to be the KL City Hall's attempt at making traffic in this burgeoning city of 3 million that little bit better.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. Mostly because in KL if you want to go from Point A (say, Damansara Utama) to Point B (say, KLCC), there are only so many roads to take. Chances are, on a Friday afternoon (or any other afternoon/evening, for that matter), almost all of the major roads are going to be clogged. The only alternative is to not be in the city, yet what kind of alternative is that, actually?

But do check it out, anyways. One step closer to being transparent about how the city's run, I suppose, although ITIS should make available the images from all their cameras. (Check out the Archive to read the previous KL Mayor's thoughts on cameras and crime - ha!)

If you happened to be at your desktop, and want to see just how bad the KL traffic is going to be, check out the Traffic Info page.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Free Time

"Five to Nine is a PDF magazine that explores what designers & artists do in their free time, and is published by skwiot/smith, a small graphic art & design firm based in Saint Paul Minnesota. Issue are curated&designed by Peter Skwiot Smith."

The current issue, entitled Oui ou Non, shares with us how graphic designers interpret the idea of opposites, in black and white.

You can download these nifty magazines from their website.

The Business of Theatre

The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (or KLPac), with its anchor tenant The Actors Studio (not linked to the other Actors Studio in the US), has been getting much flak over the past couple of years, mostly because they are quite a behemoth in the KL performing arts scene.

Check out this frank conversation about running a theatre space between two co-founders of their respective establishments: Joe Hasham of TAS and KLPac, Jenny Daneels of Kakiseni. Mmm, the smell of money...

patriotism of a very high order

Recently there's been much kerfuffle in the Malaysian press over a certain Malaysian student, currently in taiwan, and his re-interpretation of the Malaysian national anthem, Negaraku (literally My Country).

Much mudslinging and arm-wrangling abound, as Malaysia comes closer to celebrating its 50th year of independence (but not formation; Malaysia was officially formed on 16 September 1963, which makes Malaysia 44 this year). There have been calls for NameWee, the monicker used by the man behind this video, to be arrested and charged for making fun of the national anthem. I mean, wtf guys?! Chill...

But I feel this music video is quite apt, a remarkably candid and honest pastiche of reflections on a Malaysia that is increasingly going I'm not sure where.

Also check out this entry on the history of the Negaraku by the swashbuckling Isham Rais, to contextualize some of this (in BM).

Friday, August 10, 2007

girly man

You guys have to check out this version of Thriller... We laughed ourselves silly at the office!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Slapping Game

This game is so much fun! If only they had it on wii (not that I have one, but would be awesome either way!)

Play the game here

Sia - Buttons

Sia - Buttons
I'm not sure what to make of this.

*Quite a catchy song and it also proves that even when you're in a tight budget, you can produce an awesome music video.

Malaysian Shorts @ HELP Uni

Date: 13th August 2007
Time: 8pm
Place: HELP University College Auditorium, PBD, KL.
Admission: FREE!

9 shorts
Curated & hosted by Amir Muhammad
Total running time: 1 hour 48 min.

1. BATTHOSAI (Amir Sallehuddin/22 min/Malaysia/In Japanese)- ASWARA

2. NOT HOME (Allan Koay/Malaysia/10 min/In Cantonese)

3. QALAM (Hadi Koh/10min/Malaysia/In Malay)- ASWARA

4. EYE CANNOT SEE (Idora Alhabshi/12 min/ Malaysia-Australia/In English)

5. COMOLOT (Mohd Ikram Ismail/8 min/Malaysia/In Malay)- ASWARA

6. OBSTACLES (T. Sathiyavarmaan/14 min/Malaysia/In Tamil) - ASWARA

7. A (Foo Wei Xiang/9 min/Malaysia/In Mandarin)

8. VERTICAL DISTANCE (Edmund Yeo/6 min/Australia-Malaysia/In English)

9. SEHARI DALAM KEHIDUPAN (Syed Omar/12 min/Malaysia/In Malay) - ASWARA

Via Amir Muhammad

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

rain is good

Time to take back the sound. Hujan, a young alt-rock foursome from all parts of Malaysia (and Indonesia!), sound like The Strokes, but imagine what would've happened if they didn't, well, suck after that great first album.

Another wonderful Malaysian find!

You can also check their MySpace (but just check out the AMP site for music; MySpace sucks!) for updates on where their next gig will be.

In case we forgot

One of Malaysia's more intrepid writers, as well as an adventurous filmmaker, Amir Muhammad is releasing an upcoming compilation of funny things Malaysian politicians say. It's a fun-filled, shock-fest of a trip down memory lane in an amnesiac Malaysia.

As the countdown to the book launch continues, Amir has also worked it out with the wunderkind business, arts and culture magazine 'Off The Edge' to have some of these quotes appear each month starting August '07, and even after the book is released. I guess there's no stopping Malaysian politicians from saying the darndest things (one of the more recent, scandalous ones being how some 8,000 out of 10,000 bloggers are unemployed women).

Out 16 September '07. And just in case we forget (especially us Malaysians out there), that's Malaysia Day.

Book design and illustrations by Shahril Nizam.


The new, sleek, chic, anodized aluminum-framed iMac. Ooh. Comes complete with re-designed keyboard too.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Fear the ninja!

Monday, August 6, 2007

the good book

One of my favorite webcomics, updated on an almost weekly basis. The kind of comics that makes you go, "Eh... oh? Hahaha!" The one that I've highlighted here always makes me laugh.

His art work is quite luscious, and his humor is well wicked. You will enjois.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


The Final Voyage of C.Y.C
oil on seashell with insect carcass wrapped in spider's web

And now, time for something a little less chirpy, cuddly, and cupcakey: the fascinatingly macabre world of the highly talented Chang Yoong Chia.

Opera Dancers by the Pond
oil on canvas


So cute! These quirky stuffed toys, called 'doodolls', are so cuddly and weird-looking that you wouldn't mind the awkward descriptions the fellas who thought up these things have put. For PinkiePirate here, it says that:

"With his exceptional sense of direction and savvy seafaring skills, no wonder Pinkie Pirate has explored every land and ocean. A descendent of the infamous pirate who conquered he seas, he is also the owner of a magical wooden sword that will bring you wherever your heart desires!"

Umm... right. Anyway, the website has 12 doodolls on display (one for each sign of the horoscope! Pinkie Pirate here's an Aries...), plus where you might be able to find them.

Friday, August 3, 2007


A couple of weeks back, an entrepreneurial gallery-owner in Kuala Lumpur decided to open up what he termed a digital art gallery, which is supposed to be the first of its kind in South East Asia (I can't remember his claims exactly, because I was at their launch for another event). What this meant, exactly, is the opening up of a store and an exhibition gallery at The Annexe @ Central Market, in downtown Kuala Lumpur.

I haven't been there since the opening, but on opening night the place was quite buzzing with the excitement of the new. The store itself looked rather inviting, with the canary yellow-painted walls energizing those who dared to walk in (of course, you could equally argue that a fully yellow-ed out shop can be quite intimidating to enter).

Anyway, it was quite a fun shop, displaying various knick knacks and brickabracks that designers might find interesting: portfolios, art works, etc.

If you get to go to The Annexe, do drop by and check it out.

I Must Be Hungry...

Or at least have a serious case of sweet-tooth-elitis. The lads and lasses of Wondermilk have been pimpin' out their cupcakes (and calling 'em cuppacakes) for some time now, so much so that they take special orders for almost any and all occasions.

Check out these sweet cuppas that they made for the LV flagship store opening party...


Monster Tasty Yummy

Spotted these yummy cupcakes on Shalia's blog, with an entry on kurasa raksasa (or literally, "i taste monster").

Chantek, but I hope kurasa raksasa comes up with a website of their own soon, with more t-shirts and graphics!

Gojilla eat your heart out :)