I just added this to the store. It’s part of the download bundle for the issue we made about Solitude. I’m really happy with that one. It’s probably one of the best ones we’ve made for the Atelier S P A C E } Spring 2021 collection. I’ll also be sharing it in real life today at 3-4.30PM at our first popup show for this year. I’m excited! See you in the spaces and talk to you in the cloud if that’s where we meet. Happy day, after a big rain, not as hot and I think we’re past the heat wave.
Sound. Art. Collage. Thoughtful writings. Most of this work is by Akshay Harake, who answered the question on Quora, ‘I always push people away?’ I edited parts of it and made it into this shortened auto version; but the full text is in our zine, along with other DK-esque curated snippets. The text for this audio is also of course in its original and unedited form, on Quora. Cool. Checkit.
Cooooool. That was so fun.
I was taken on a journey that transported me out of Vietnam, but also, outside of all the usual boxes that you can find even when you leave the nation-border box. (HT Jiddu Krishnamurthi) For example, the strict thinking that keeps us from trying new things. All the feelings that I have been having here in Vietnam on my own, for a year, unable to articulate because of English I got to completely open up and share. That was amazing, and I got to hear, moreover, something in exchange. These exchanges are what I enjoy most about making S P A C E. They—the exchanges—are, after all, the whole point of it. And fun. ‘If it’s not fun’, as Boss says, ‘then there’s no point doing it.’ Thanks to conversations with MB this year, though I am coming out of the cave. It’s nice outside. Sunny.
Một ngày nắng đẹp.
Cheers, ladies and gentlemen.
To the journeys, then
PS A week or so from now, I’ll host another popup, maybe. By invitation for those already in my circle, but for those who aren’t, and are reading this blog post, and want to know more, here is a signup page: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/atelier-s-p-a-c-e-meetup-tickets-146866045295
Photo: Van Tran, Atelier S P A C E HCMC, Autumn 2020. Atelier S P A C E is supported by crowdfunding, in-kind donations, and Design Kompany client gigs.
‘When will you go home?’
Gosh. Who the hell knows. I say, to those who ask this, the same thing, every time. I say, ‘I’m not sure.’
‘Will you go home, when?’
[One year later]
‘Maybe soon. Maybe.’
The lead story this issue is ‘Home.’
See it in our store.
Here’s a link.
Cover: Richard Xu
I’m in a cafe with old men greeting each other and sitting together having their usuals, it looks like, and I’m in the back, as far from the outside smoke as I can be while still managing to catch the wifi signal. In my zone, kind of an old schoolhouse-looking thing that reminds me of rural North Carolina and the elementary school I had had to go to there, with its attendant brokenness and dirt and crusts of old stories that may or may not speak of pain, all that, I am having a mango smoothie. It’s not a smoothie like you think it is if you are used to ‘smoothie’ and its saccharine, overpackaged, too much neon, brand-picture in the United States.
It’s a sinh tố xoài. Damn good, this.
Simple, everyday things.
Today I shared a few pictures of foodstuffs with my newly reconnected with acquaintances Stateside wondering what the hell I am doing in Vietnam. It has been a year. I guess it’s been a year for everyone, but yeah.
A year of silence amidst a global pandemic that seems to have no end in the near future… ?
It’s been a year of solitude, like seriously, for me. I’m cut from the place and people who know me in the way that you know people when you have a history with them. For better or worse, this is my situation. In many ways I am relearning, re-assessing and coming to terms with the fact that I don’t really need to integrate into the models that have been imposed by, say, colonialism, or racism, or misogyny, the patriarchy, social hierarchies, different cultural norms, immigrant thinking, ‘nationalism,’ religious beliefs, et al. In short, all the lines that get in the way of just being… who we really are.
Who am I? [deleted]
The work of art is to show man who he really is, I heard, spoken on the stage of a giant theater in London, maybe around 2015. I forgot the year now. The year is blurry. I just remember the line. I remember it, and I remember thinking, That’s right. Still feels right. No popping over to the UK to speak English these days. Just laying low, studying the language here, passing through digital archives of my old travels to publish new things, with our programs, in S P A C E, Papers, and the Cojournal. My hangouts, on the web.
A year of solitude, though, and I also know something new. There is such a thing as art for the sake of art, art for an audience of… One.
Is a good moment.
It’s been one hell of a year, ladies and gentlemen.
Hasn’t it? For goodness’ sakes. I know we cleared the mental books on the end of 31 December 2020, or some of us did, and I wrote with those several few about, including but not limited to, topics such as renewal, acceptance, positivity, connexion, true connexion, discovery, design, spacemaking, edits, releases, psychopathy and sociopathy and the Japanese word ‘powa hara’ with respect to someone I met who does this and is insane, yes–wait, but yeah.
It’s the New Year again, here, where I am. Lunar New Year. Tet, in Vietnam. It’s happening. A chance, to re-press that pause button. This time, the streets are empty of traffic, and there is no everyday noise. So it does feel like, finally, a kind of quieting. A different mood for pause.
I must say that the Book of Feelings Project (Autumn 2020 and Winter 2020-2021), which came out of Atelier S P A C E // HCMC and was a collaborative effort with people who know me quite well by now, perhaps better than even my old roommates from high school and college because we are talking, and often, and deeply, about feelings!, well. Yes. Because of this project, I feel different. I feel… new.
A good thing.
(Hi, those of you who are angry that I’m enjoying my life. You didn’t do it. You didn’t manage to mess up my thinking or make me sad. In fact, you’ve been let go.)
Outer S P A C E is the next program, now, for S P A C E | Spring 2021. Because I’m bringing things back to the internet now. I can’t [deleted] and all those short ends of the sticks made me realize something. My value and contributions will be better appreciated elsewhere. The internet, of course. Another home.
After all, the internet is where I developed relationships that led to new connexions, new contacts, and even work. They made it possible for me to live in Asia for almost 10 years. DK is [deleted] and therefore balks at anything that has anything to do with weirdness, like ‘selling out’ or doing things that you don’t want to do because ‘it pays the bills.’ Somehow we pay our bills. Somehow we find a way. Maybe it’s because we don’t like to compromise on that which is the underpinning thing that has never changed for me, for DK. Fun. It has to be fun. Fun is the point. Why do it if it’s not fun? Even Boss agrees.
Anyway. To make a big display of that would be to lose the fun-ness of it, so I don’t usually talk about how much fun we’re having when we go about making things in S P A C E and its preceding, related journeys.
Like the Year of Uncertainty project in 2013, with Orangutan Swing was pretty cool–we went in a small team of three to India, for six months, but also to Vietnam, Thailand, and Nepal. Then Cambodia. That was 2014 by the time we found Phnom Penh. And stayed. And stayed some more. And I just got off a call with the team; they’re still there. I’m in Vietnam; the borders had closed, when I was wrapping up some writing projects in Dalat, and… well. It’s been a hell of a year. Which means, of course. Time to write a book.
Writing Reality & Trust
A year in Vietnam? How are you doing? And other questions abound. I’m gong to talk about that more, the lessons and things like that, the practical and not-so-practical, the awarenesses and the losses and the feelings of pain and also love. The beginnings of some things, closings of others. And starts—you know I love starts—but also: middles. This is the ultimate. Staying. When it’s boring or tough or grueling or unexciting. Staying. Because staying also teaches you things.
Maybe you can’t go anywhere because there was a third was outbreak of the virus.As we are experiencing currently, here in Ho Chi Minh City. Mmm-hmmm. And you just. Have. To. Not go. Reality & Trust. HT ‘Book of Feelings’ teammates. You know who you each are. Talk soon. DK
Good evening from Ho Chi Minh City, ladies and gentlemen. Let me share with you the mix tape, ‘See you Saturday, maybe,’ featuring a few musicians I’ve gotten to listen to often and sometimes even chat with in real life (remember when that was a thing?) about art, composition, intrigue, and sharing.
Every time I hear the Cambodian mix I feel a little homesick for one of my more recent ‘homes’ (I have a lot), namely Phnom Penh, hence the song I’m including from Justatee about the feeling of wanting to go home. it’s a good mood, suddenly, listening and feeling. Of course I have to end it all with Punjabi tunes.
We started this studio, DK, in 2006 in Seattle.
So many changes in the way the internet, and the world, is ‘[deleted]… and DeBord’s Society of the Spectacle has *happened*.
Hijacking real life with portrayals of faked imagery.
That’s why I do this. That’s why, with a few friends, I make S P A C E.
[deleted]… and why do they do that? Seriously, why? I’ve thought about this. In the era of hijacked reality by the fakers, it’s easier to pretend to be someone *amazing* than it is to… actually *be* amazing. Which means, be who you really are.
Always listening, questioning..
New angles, new perspectives, new thinking could be found in the places where normally you don’t read about, or go. Like Latvia, or something like that, you know Northern Finland. Or Vietnam, where I am writing from. The next issue of S P A C E (pictured above) will tell you what I found out on my personal journeys in 2018, 2019, and 2020 in those countries talking my way around the world. And I’ll interweave them, in a short dialogue about… conversations with neighbors.
Yeah. Because, well. I talk to everyone. Ysually it’s really boring and I get sleepy. But sometimes… something happens, and you hear a magic quote.
Listening out for this is my gig.
Sure, it’s taken years to find out how to do that. Four years in newspapers, for example, and bunches of listening to many people I meet. This kind of striking-up of conversations takes practice of its own kind. I’m not always into the idea, but sometimes I do it. I met two people like that today (HT A. and T.. have fun on that trip!) And… caring about that effort that goes into you know, what we used to do, writers, field reporting. You go there. You look. You listen. Then you start to write down what you read, feel, hear, and see. Photos, and writings, and more. Seeing seeing. With time. Going slowly. Next stop for me? Dunno. Maybe Hanoi, again. Maybe somewhere new.
Around the turn of 2019 into 2020, I was in Malaysia. I was debating where to go next. Then I moved back to Cambodia. Lots happened and I’m in Vietnam now. I’ve had some time. Time to call up from the old archives some mind maps and other things about ‘what is S P A C E.’ Mostly it’s about doing what feels like the right thing to be doing; wherever I am, at that moment.
Sometimes it’s Soundcloud: I made this thing, ‘Hi2’, at that time, while parked for a moment in Kuala Lumpur. In that city’s borrowed apartment, one of just a dozen or more in the years I’ve been in southeast Asia, I closed my door and typed, real fast. And thought about what I wanted to do, with S P A C E. Who did I want to meet?
A few people.
What I do.
The idea was to show up, see what happens, and make something cool together.S P A C E probes deeply in order to look for the new…Meaningfully, not trivially….…How things will go from here is anybody’s guess..We are awaiting a new chapter…
Let’s make meaning?
This week, a pretty fun collage, from real life and internet conversations that wound up in a pretty wacky set.
S P A C E | HCMC ‘Quarky.’
Here’s a link.
S P A C E | HCM, ‘Quarky’..
Okay, it’s cool that I got some help with that, like, real life and exchanging language and conversation in a casual, light way, but also, it’s relaxing to be able to pick up on a few lyrics for songs now. So when I’m out and about and I hear something that catches my ear, I ask about it. ‘What is this? I want to know!!’
Edges and reaching beyond those edges..
Slowly learning by osmosis..
And people I meet really love it when I say stuff to them like, ‘Well, I’m your neighbor,’ or ‘Did you guys meet at work?’ I think it means a lot to people when you make a basic effort, and I’m finding that I can do a lot with just a few phrases to ease more fluidly into a place that, seven years ago when I first arrived in Southeast Asia and Hanoi for the first-ever time, um, I was like, completely unaware about anything really meaningful. Now I can see even when I curate the mini-mag S P A C E for stories set here that there are things that are culturally significant and worth sharing, and other things that are just what tourists would quickly snap and leave having snapped it. you know what I mean?
There is more to say about that, see the stuff below at the end of this post about ‘decolonization.’ I mean, well, no, ask AD. I will put more together about how we can arrange that in some future conversation in S P A C E when I get to that, in early 2021, after finishing up our stories set where I am right now, which is Ho Chi Minh. Another month for Atelier S P A C E // HCMC, and then… maybe make a move to another part of the country. Or. Depends on our crowdfunding. Let’s see.
The mixtape is called…
O S M O S I S
Atelier S P A C E // HCMC
all… around… thế giới
‘Đi Về Nhà’
I kind of just really adore this one. I really do. I don’t know what it is but it just makes me feel good vibes. The theme is ‘home’ and going there and going when you feel all kinds of feelings. Good ones and not so good ones, you can just ‘go home.’ It’s a nice idea….
‘Vì Một Câu Nói’
A pretty voice, I heard this and got intrigued. Especially because I could understand the line that repeated over and over again, and stuff like that. I thought about going to see this person who is going to be in HCM in concert very soon but the idea of sitting in a room with a ton of people with their smartphones out taking video doesn’t sit right with a music-lover like me. I’d much rather go to a small venue where the people who are there really want to just listen, and not get caught up in recording everything and themselves so they can tell everyone how ‘cultural’ they are. I found a new local venue that I think fits my criteria for that, and got to now a couple of kids who love jazz as much as I do, over there, a few nights ago. Well, well. If it wasn’t a pleasure getting to hear Sonny Rollins coming off strong on the very first number! Wow. Made my whole year. HT T, K, lookin’ at you.
‘Kẻ Mộng Mơ’
I got to hear this one and really admired the song, the voice, the earnestness. I think there is a lot of emotion in the male vocalists I get to hear on these occasional bouts with getting to see, um. Karaoke. Even if I can’t understand everything I really love the feeling of just being swept away in someone’s heartfelt telling-it-all-and-laying-it-out-there. Up in Dalat, when I hung out on one of my last days with DSP, he told me that writing Vietnamese lyrics is really hard because of all the things that you have to pay attention to with the ups and downs of tones and stuff. I guess that’s something that people who grow up listening to English lyrics really never had to consider as a technicality to building something song-wise. You know, writing this down here makes me feel like I’m some kind of musician, or something. I’m not. I just like what Iike. Is all.
‘Hà Nội Mười Hai Mùa Hoa’
I have to put this one in, because it’s something that VT told me about. We were talking about ‘culture’ and all this kind of craic as we used to call it when I lived in Ireland (and became very much a fan of Irish musicians, songs in Irish, people from Cork and the songs they gave us, and many more stories related to stories, pints, stories, and did I say stories?) Music and stories and time together. What else is there?…. Yeah..
Anyway! Aside from this one about the seasons of Hanoi which takes you into a different kind of space, in the way it feels when you leave HCM and go to HN, perhaps, because of the abrupt formality you kind of walk into, well, yeah, aside from that, the songs above came from those, ‘What is this!!!’ kinds of questions that I put to people like bartenders, baristas, and fellow guests of whatever place I happened to land in.
Winging it, and making S P A C E..
I’m still in the city of Ho Chi Minh, still exploring and making forays hither and tither to discover, and share, what I find curious and interesting and the people whom I meet, too, to invite them to co-create with me. Always a fun task. Most people don’t want to make a commitment and that’s okay, but it’s my work to show up for the people who want me to make space for new thinking to invite itself into… well, S P A C E. Discovery and design our our themes. Let me expand a little.
ATELIER S P A C E // HCMC. Part of DK’s work is to discover and insist on making and pressing out S P A C E. I know. That’s a lot of vagueness. Still if you are familiar with DK, you know what I mean. We make S P A C E for the new and different to engage and interact with themselves, in a flat hierarchy not a Western-lens thing that tells you what to think about everything. I am working with my good friend AD in the cloud, in Papers, on a zine about ‘Decolonization’ right now so it’s on my mind, this idea. Anyway! So here I am, writing to you, the Internet, an those who read this blog, about what I found out. In case you want to know what contemporary Vietnamese choosers-of-music like to hear that isn’t that old school stuff that is like only just the old love song stuff. Besides that, what is there. That stuff makes me so sad. So I enjoy these things. One is a rap. Really fun. HT VT, QN. Fun ha.
If you are in HCM, check out these opportunities.
A members-only issue, this time.
S P A C E | Mito, ‘Shibui.’
Here’s a link.
HT E. Happy Birthday.
Wikipedia has a lot to say. The source of the following is from this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shibui
Định nghĩa shibui hoặc shibusa
Definition of shibui or shibusa
Bảy yếu tố của shibusa là
sự giản lược (simplicity)
sự tuyệt đối (implicity)
sự khiêm tốn (modesty)
sự im lặng (silence)
tính tự nhiên (naturalness)
tính đều đặn (everydayness) và
sự không hoàn hảo (imperfection)
Sự giản lược quý phái của shibusa là sự biểu hiện tinh tế về bản chất của các yếu tố trong một trải nghiệm thẩm mỹ mang tới sự tĩnh lặng. Sự quý phái khiêm nhường là điều hiển nhiên trong sự thanh thản u buồn với một chút lấp lánh.
Như các thuật ngữ mỹ học Nhật Bản khác, iki và wabi-sabi, shibui có thể áp dụng cho nhiều đối tượng, không chỉ là nghệ thuật hay thời trang.
Shibui (渋い) (tính từ), shibumi (渋み) (danh từ), hoặc shibusa (渋さ) (danh từ) là những từ tiếng Nhật chỉ một khái niệm mỹ học đặc biệt về vẻ đẹp giản dị, tinh tế và không phô trương.
Shibusa là một sự xuất hiện hoặc trải nghiệm được làm phong phú lên (enriched), được làm dịu đi (subdued) của phẩm cách tốt về mặt bản chất với cơ cấu về hình thức, liên kết và nỗ lực, mang đến một sự tĩnh lặng vô tận.
- Shibusa bao gồm những phẩm chất thiết yếu sau đây:
- Đối tượng có shibui xuất hiện với sự đơn giản về tổng thể nhưng chúng bao gồm các chi tiết tinh tế, chẳng hạn như kết cấu, mà cân bằng sự lược giản với sự phức tạp.
- Sự cân bằng sự lược giản với sự phức tạp này nhằm đảm bảo rằng vật đó không chỉ gò ép vào một đối tượng shibui mà còn liên tục tìm ra những ngữ nghĩa và vẻ đẹp phong phú mới được tạo nên bởi quá trình phát triển những giá trị thẩm mỹ qua nhiều năm.
- Shibusa không nên bị nhầm lẫn với wabi hoặc sabi. Mặc dù nhiều đối tượng wabi hoặc sabi là shibui, không phải tất cả các đối tượng shibui là wabi hoặc sabi. Đối tượng wabi hoặc sabi có thể khắc khổ hơn và đôi khi cố ý thổi phồng khuyết điểm đến một mức độ mà chúng có thể được làm một cách nhân tạo. Đối tượng shibui không nhất thiết phải hoàn hảo hay không đối xứng, mặc dù chúng có thể chứa đựng những phẩm chất này.
- Shibusa duy trì một sự cân bằng đồng đều giữa các khái niệm thẩm mỹ tương phản nhau, ví dụ như thanh lịch và thô kệch, hoặc tự phát và có tự chủ.
- Objects with shibui appear to be simplistic overall but they include subtle details, such as texture, that balance simplicity with complexity.
- Balancing this reduction with complexity to ensure that the object not only presses against a shibui object, but also continually finds new rich meanings and beauty created by development. aesthetic values over the years.
- Shibusa should not be confused with wabi or sabi. Although many wabi or sabi objects are shibui, not all shibui objects are wabi or sabi. Objects of wabi or sabi can be more austere and sometimes purposely inflate defects to such an extent that they can be artificially made. The shibui objects are not necessarily perfect or asymmetric, although they may contain these qualities.
- Shibusa maintains an even balance between contrasting aesthetic concepts, such as elegant and crude, or spontaneous and autonomous.
Màu sắc của shibusa là những màu “lờ mờ” (muddy). Ví dụ, trong thiết kế và sơn nội thất, màu xám được thêm vào những gam màu chính để tạo một hiệu ứng ánh bạc, mà gắn các màu sắc khác nhau lại với nhau thành một sự sắp đặt phối hợp. Tuỳ thuộc vào mức độ của màu xám được thêm vào, màu sắc của shibui trải dài từ những màu pastel tới tối. Thỉnh thoảng, một mảng màu sắc tươi sáng được thêm vào để tạo một điểm nổi bật.