Friday, January 28, 2011

Why many artists are still poor 為什麼藝術家還是窮的

Well, because I am the only artist in residence, I was asked by an office lady to help her with some simple drawings for her friend's wedding. I agreed without hesitation, because it is an artist's joy that someone requests an artwork from you. So I spent over an hour and whipped out some drawings over the night despite my busy schedule.

I thought that this job would be out of goodwill because I'd received some help from the office, e.g. to fix crappy things in the dorm. To my surprise, she seemed extremely satisfied and offered me an "orei" (gift) in return on Monday. I didn't expect it, but I was sure happy. But unfortunately, the gift never came. Maybe she didn't like them after all? I don't know. But this reminded me that this is exactly why many artists are still poor, because we draw for free and didn't know how to market or negotiate a deal for ourselves.

This also brings about the same old problem of many Singapore companies that want free artwork for their promotion materials, bargaining with artists that their names will be credited with the artwork, hence helping us to promote ourselves. Well, that's nice, but what do they expect the artists to eat for a living? only AIR!? Even HDB's air (government housing with 99year lease) commands a lot of money. In short, it's time to stop doing artwork for free, even if you must accept, make sure the other party at least treat you with some chocolates!

因為我是唯一在府畫家,所以事務所的一名OL就請我幫她的朋友的婚禮畫幾張圖。因為畫家的才藝被欣賞是一件蠻開心的事,所以我毫無猶豫就答應了。百忙之中抽了超過一小時來畫她的畫。

由於事務所常常幫忙修爛宿舍,所以我覺得出自好意,免費幫忙畫就好了。但是意外地,她似乎很滿意作品,並答應禮拜一會回禮。沒想到會有報酬的我,心中暗爽了一下。不過很可惜的是,她似乎忘了這回事,回禮根本就沒下文。可能她其實不喜歡我的畫呢?這理由不明。所以為什麼很多畫家還是很窮的呢?是因為我們不會促銷自己或替自己爭取合理的合同。

這也讓我想起了很多新加坡公司,為了可以在他們的促銷材料上使用免費的圖案,就和畫家們理論說因為促銷廣告上會印上畫家的名字,所以這也是在替我們做促銷。喔~好好喔~。但是他們覺得畫家是吃什麼過活的啊?難道只吃空氣就行了嗎!?就連我們政府房屋的空氣(99年地契)也是很貴的!所以讓我們停止替別人免費畫畫吧!至少接受之前也要對方請你吃巧克力才接受!

Kyushu 8: Mt. Unzen Disaster Memorial Hall 雲仙災難館

I was thinking of skipping this review, but I thought the museum's effort to raise awareness about volcanic eruption was rather well done. This small theater show made use of anime and puppet to narrate about what happened 200 years ago, called the "Shimabara Disaster". I was grateful that they had English guides :)
本來不要寫這篇的,但是因為我欣賞災難館為了提高大家對火山災害的意識,所以還是寫了。這小小的劇場使用了動畫和木偶來講述200年前,稱"島原大災害" 的故事。我很感謝他們有英文說明器 :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kyushu 7: Dejima 出島

Dejima, located in Nagasaki, was a man-made small island completed in 1636. The purpose was for Japanese to conduct trade with Portugals, but it was soon isolated due to rebellion to lift the  Christianity ban. It later became a major trading port between Netherlands and Japan. However, the island's surrounding was later reclaimed and thus the whole area had to be rebuilt to restore its previous glory.
位於長崎的出島是建於1636年的一座全人工小島。目的就是為了促進日本和葡萄牙之間的貿易,但是因為基督教禁令,所以完成沒多久就被隔離了。之後,變成了荷蘭和日本之間的主要貿易港口。可是現在的出島周圍已被填海,所以政府得重新重建。

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gotemba Premium Outlet Bargain Sale 2011

This was my 3rd time to the Gotemba Premium Outlet for the bargain sale. My shopping friend was down with Influenza type A, now a rampage in Japan and Singapore, so I took the Premium Outlet Odakyu coach outside Shinjuku station that took me directly to the holy ground.

Thankfully with no red leaves, the journey was much smoother than the previous trip and shorter than 90mins. A magnificent view of Mt. Fuji can be seen from far, even with a clear view of its foothill.

WARNING: Lots of shopping blabbering ahead.

這是我第三次去御馬場outlet!為了就是正在舉行的冬季清貨大減價。我的朋友因為染上了在日本和新加坡肆虐的A型流感,所以我只好自己座小田急高速快車,直接從新宿到outlet。

幸好這次沒有紅葉,所以路途比上次的順暢,路程也少過90分鐘。從遠方可以眺望到美麗的富士山,連山底也能看得清清楚楚。

警告:繼續閱讀會有很多購物的閒聊。

Friday, January 21, 2011

Kyushu 6: Shimabara Castle 島原城

Just another castle... (I think there were too many castles in our tour). This one, located in Nagasaki,  was constructed in 1616 and contained a lot of exhibits from the period of Christianity suppression.
又是另一座城(我們的行程也太多了吧!?都看起來大同小異) 。這座島原城位於長崎縣,1616建成。裡面的展覽品大多是基督教禁止時的雕像,記錄等。

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kyushu 5: Ferry ride

We took a ferry from Kumamoto to Nagasaki and the boring ride turned out to be like a zoo feeding frenzy. Tourists, who were like me, were snapping photographs non-stop to capture "the moment", when the sea gull grabbed the pocky stick.
原本從熊本到長崎的輪渡,竟變成了像動物園餵食的場面。很多遊客都紛紛狂拍照,為了就是拍到海鷗夾到pocky棒的那“一剎那”。

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kyushu 4: Kumamoto Castle 熊本城

Kumamoto Castle was constructed between 1601-1607 but the entire castle above the stone platform had been destroyed by fire in 1877. A rebuilt of the castle was carried out in 1960 and was completed in 2008, based on remaining old photographs and written accounts about the castle. As you can see, the stone platform has two different colored stones, marking the original charred ones from the newly added ones. The curve on the wall was meant to trick samurais into climbing them, only to find out later that it's impossible and unfortunately became easy targets to be shot.
熊本城建於1601-1607年,但是整座城在1877年的大火中被燒毀。日本政府在1960年時,根據舊照片和紀錄開始重建這座國寶。從照片中可以看到基礎的石頭有兩種顏色。下面是較深色,被燒過的大石,上面則是後來蓋上的。牆壁的傾斜是為了誤導武士攀越攻城。武士爬到上端時才發現不可能前進,並成為箭下目標。

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Stinky Dorm 2 髒寮

You may have remembered when I just moved into my international dorm, it was shockingly dirty. Then, there were the dirty sinks. But what I didn't mention earlier, was that either 1 or 2 girls in my floor, out of nearly 30 tenants, has been constantly dirtying the toilets by leaving her sh*t and urine around the toilet bowl!

你們可能記得當我剛搬進這國際宿舍時,有多麼的骯髒吧?結果,洗手盆也是髒髒的。不過我沒提到的是,連廁所也是髒的!在我這樓近30名住戶中,可能有一兩位一直把她們的尿和屎留在馬桶周圍,噁心死了!

I am particular about hygiene and this drives me insane. Complains to the admin office proved futile, so I finally resorted to draw a poster in hope to attract the culprit's attention into changing her inconsiderate habits.
因為我少許潔癖,所以這點常讓我抓狂。去事務所投訴也沒用,所以最後畫了一張海報貼在廁所外面,希望犯人改掉她的壞習慣。

Even with numerous posters pasted inside the cubicles, the culprit had ignored them. I am not sure if my poster would work, but I'd done my best. I hope all tenants be trained into keeping public places clean!
可惜,即使廁所裡面貼滿了如何正確使用的告示,犯人還是無動於衷。因此我不確定我的海報會不會有效,但是我已經盡力而為了。希望所有的住戶都接受保持公共衛生的訓練!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Japanese Hot Pot time 日本火鍋大餐

It's getting really cold in Tokyo now with everyday temperatures below 10 degrees.  What is a better food for winter than hot pot!? As expected, my smarty supermarket had already pumped up their shelves with lots of hot pot ingredients and soup base to embrace this demand. I soon joined in this delight with my multi-purpose rice cooker.
最近的東京每天氣溫都維持在攝氏10度以下。冬天的食物有什麼比火鍋更適合呢!?
當然,我附近的超市已經擺好了火鍋所需的湯底和材料了。 我和我的萬能飯鍋也因此加入了這個火鍋熱。

Monday, January 3, 2011

Lucky Bags 福袋

I came back to my tiny 9 sq meter Japan dorm only to find out that our floor's toilets had broken down and pipes in the washroom are leaking. On top of that, I have flu and sore-throat from too much unhealthy spicy and fried Singapore goodies. But, nothing,  NOTHING can stop me from scoring a L'occitane "Lucky Bag" which I had ordered 3 weeks ago from Hankyu online shopping mall and delivered today. This item was sold out within the first day. Muah-hahaha.

我回到我的小小日本9平方米房間,竟然發現這樓的廁所壞掉,洗手間的水管也漏水。不止這樣,我還因為吃太多油炸的新加坡美食而導致傷風喉嚨痛。可是!沒有任何東西能阻止我買到L'occitane的福袋!!! 這福袋是我3週前從Hankyu網購回來的,今天送到。福袋當天就售完了,可是我搶到了喔!哇哈哈哈~~~

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