NEoN Digital Arts Festival: Dundee

“Oh my god it’s TALKING!” I squeaked as I beamed up at J. Before us a television lit up as strips of white flickered and flashed across its screen. The stripes were being picked up by a camera which was converting their width into soundwaves.

“Yeah I could tell when you figured it out,” J shouted over the din of the crowd exploring the NEoN Festival exhibition, “your face totally lit up”. Continue reading “NEoN Digital Arts Festival: Dundee”

Eating and Dancing in Cambridge’s Streets

Boom! Rattatate, rattattate, rattattate! Boom. Boom. Boom! Rattatate, rattattate, rattatate.

I found my head nodding in time to the energetic beat as it reverberated against the houses. Nabbing my boyfriend, J’s, hand as we crested a bridge I set us on course for the source of the sound. We dodged and gently nudged our way through the wall of people listening to the music.

Mill Road had gone from channeling a stream of cars to bursting with a river of strolling revelers. It was the Nile in flooding season. The local shops and international stores joyfully slurped up passing folk—their wares sparkling under the attention. Other islands of sound and bobbing bodies stood against the flow of curious incoming visitors. You never knew what you were going to float past next!

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Khon: Bangkok, Thailand

Trying to ignore my protesting, rubbery legs I kneeled before the Master and watched intently as he called over a young girl of about six or seven. She rushed to his side and he grasped her small hand, glanced up to make sure I was watching.

Then he bent the tips of her fingers backwards to touch her wrist. She didn’t flinch. I on the other hand was wiggling my own fingers in terror. Just a few moments earlier the Master had tried to bend my fingers to his will and they weren’t as flexible as we’d hoped.

So far my body just didn’t seem to be engineered for the contorting poses of the Thai masked performance called khon. My knees screamed from the kneeling, my body shook from the strain as I tried to hold the angles, I dipped hazardously as I tried to sway gracefully—it just wasn’t working out.

But there was one western foreigner among the Thais of that class who could hold his own. A Canadian who seemed to take the athletic demands of khon in stride and gracefully thundered through the steps. One whose energetic steps emitted the playfulness of the monkey he was supposed to be.

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Bangkok Arts And Culture Centre Infographic

Gliding up to the first of the three large exhibition halls I lightly stepped off the escalator and walked to the edge of the floor. My fingers gripped the railing as I leaned out over the soup of noise simmering below. The floor fell away into a neat crater revealing five floors below and two above. The building seemed to be designed just to encase the empty gulf. Perhaps the architecture was an attempt to leave room for all the sizzling thoughts and ideas bubbling up from below.

It is a capsule. A cathedral. A bomb shelter and haven for modern Thai artists. Hungrily nabbing my mental spoon I spun away from the edge rubbing my hands in delight. It was time to gobble through another five-course meal of social commentary and artistry.

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Phare: The Cambodian Circus, Siam Riep

The chair across from me sat empty. The pile of fries on the small table would be mine alone to tackle. Glancing at the young couple giggling to my left, the older couple softly talking in front of me and the family with three children to my right before circling back to my fries, I dug in. My hand looped from mouth to plate in a continuous track with only a pit stop for some ketchup en-route. Continue reading “Phare: The Cambodian Circus, Siam Riep”

Floating Market: Ayutthaya

It was a market, a place where you buy stuff naturally— but I wasn’t interested in acquiring things that I wouldn’t be able to keep. The sound of people bargaining rose and fell as I made my way down the planked walkway. I slipped past people admiring the goods in each booth, my position inches from open air and water.

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