Category Archives: Mind Philosophy 艺门

Connecting Captains Capturing Contemporaries: Beijing 捕捉现代典雅掠影: 北京

When I first stepped foot in Beijing 20 years ago, it was big city with a perfect blue sky and most of its inhabitants do not know how to drive. Traffic was pleasant with the exception of thousands of bicycles either on roads or parked like sardines in open spaces near offices or metro stations.


I still remember my customer then Mr. Jia Wujun who had come to pick me up from the airport. While it was a perfectly normal day for me, it was his first day behind the wheels. He was as stiff as a stick as he handled the steering wheel with full concentration moving at the speed of a snail. He and his five brothers were farmers before but decided to take a leap of faith to dabble in a small seafood business when China opened its doors to the international market.

Today, Jia is one of the leading seafood importers in China who owns a factory in Thailand importing big volumes from all over the world in order to satisfy huge local demands. Not remotely a surprise, considering his connection with Thailand, he took me to one of the three Thai restaurants he now proudly owns. Thai Mei is a new venture that serves authentic yet not-too-spicy Thai cuisine.



如今,作为中国领先的海产进口商之一,他在泰国拥有一家工厂,从世界各地进口产品以应对大量需求,因他与泰国间拥有的商业关系,因此他领我去参观其拥有的3家泰国餐馆之一泰美(Thai Mei)时,我并不感到意外。这是家全新餐厅,提供口味正宗却没那么辣的泰餐

The Chinese have become a lot more well-off although the capital of China today is choked up with traffic jams and hazardous environment where sometimes one will find it difficult to see and breathe. If one would prefer to spend some quality time with fresh air and a ‘peace’ of mind, then award winning hotel Sunrise Kempinski Beijing where I was invited to speak in the China’s Business Family Heritage Forum 2016 would definitely be a good choice to stay. Although the Chinese wealth is exploding and with the expectation of its second generation to continue this fairy tale, many families are facing issues of successions as children inheriting the family business face difficulties in differing cultural upbringing and being raised in total comfort and well-protected environment. The forum’s primary focus was to bring together foreign companies that have succeeded in passing the baton through generations: to share researches done by local academics; and to explore the success stories of Chinese companies that have performed well in both domestic and international platforms.



Although distantly located away from the city, the hotel offers a near perfect environment for those who wanted to be free from noise and air pollution as described by hotel manager Sebastian Thomas. Its interior has an impressive architectural design served with immaculate facilities especially the fitness centre and the hotel pool. The breakfast menu provides a delicious spread of choice ranging from the East to the West. The hot Chinese soup noodles and healthy yogurt were simply my choice to start the day. One should also try the signature in-house grilled fish and the braised sea cucumber with rice in the Magnolia Chinese restaurant. The double-boiled hasma in papaya dessert would be an excellent choice to call it a day. The welcoming dessert presentation in my room, I must say, was the best I have seen so far.

Beijing is a big city conveniently connected by its subway system taking away most travellers’ nightmare of being stuck in traffic. Walking around Wangfujing, this famous shopping area no longer gave me the feeling of old China that it once used to be, but rather disappointingly modern Western brand outlets now occupy the traditional Chinese buildings. Perhaps one of the most interesting scenes for tourists is the street food where exotic creatures such as life scorpions, sea horses, centipedes and worms are offered as snacks to those with strong stomachs. There is also another pedestrian shopping area in close proximity to Tiananmen Square: Beijing Qianmen Street located directly behind Zhenyangmen offers visitors a glimpse of buildings from the late Qing dynasty. Although the main street is filled with typical big brands one could find in any city, restaurants located at the side lanes provide an interesting selection of, said to be, old, traditional and authentic Chinese food.


酒店虽然远离城区,但不具噪音和空气污染,犹如酒店经理Sebastian Thomas描述-已接近完美,有令人留下印象深刻的建筑设计与完善的设施,尤其是健身中心和泳池。早饭菜单中西餐点兼具,而温热中式汤面和健康酸奶是我开始新一天的选择,还有兰香阁中餐厅著名的烤鱼和特色菜“小米煮辽参”,接着来一碗甜点“木瓜炖雪蛤”更是令人心满意足。至于送到房间的迎宾甜点,对我来说是至今最好的美食体验。

身为首都大城市,北京交通方便且有完善的地铁系统,使大部分游客免除困在道路交通的恶梦。走入王府井,这个著名购物区浓浓的怀旧感已消失,取而代之的是现代西方名牌占据了传统的中国建筑物,让人有点失望。或许对于游客来说,比较有趣的场景是街头小食包括: 活蝎子,海马,蜈蚣和虫子等猎奇小吃。至于天安门广场附近的另外一个购物区:正阳门后的北京前门大街景区,也有许多清朝末期的建筑物。主街道充斥着一般餐饮大品牌,但侧边小巷的小餐馆倒是有着传统与老式的中餐。

Seeing Perfection through Imperfection 透过不完美端量完美

When the moon and stars are aligned, the perfect night is created and in this case, an IMPerfect night of art, wine and friends.

The ‘IMPerfect Creation’ was held in Melbourne’s SpACE@Collins gallery recently featuring award-winning Asian contemporary sculptor Ch’ng Huck Theng’s bronze sculpture creations. Pronounced as “I am perfect”, it was his first solo exhibition in Australia and successfully sold seven out of the 11 pieces on display. The 11 interesting artworks carries its unique story, meaning and philosophy inspired by different people and happenings around the artist.


“IMPerfect 创作”在墨尔本的SpACE @ Collins艺术画廊举行,这是屡获殊荣的亚洲当代雕塑家庄学腾的青铜雕塑作品展览会。这是他在澳大利亚首次个展,名称发音为“我很完美”,并在11件展品中成功卖出其中7件。而全部 11件的趣味艺术作品带有环绕着创作者身边人与事的独特故事,意义和哲学灵感。


The opening night was officiated by Rupert Myer, Chair of the Australian Council of the Arts and was attended by more than 150 people, all who were the artist’s close network of friends.

In Myer’s speech, he said: “This new perspective that Ch’ng introduces is the concept of beauty and ugly – in which beauty cannot be seen if one cannot see ugliness. Chng strikes me as not just a business man, he’s an artist and editor with an inquisitive mind. I know this as he interviewed me for his magazine, Essenze, where he seemed to understand my full story even though the interview was just a short one. Rupert continued by comparing Ch’ng’s concepts and philosophies with Australia’s great including artist Arthur Boyd and Albert Tucker. He is a brilliant and talented man.”

The evening was catered by Humbling Eats, one of Melbourne’s finest caterers for fine cocktails.

“The sculptures show us social behaviour that we encounter daily, or that we ourselves act out consciously or unconsciously. Each piece tells a deep story and are inspired from my own personal experience too,” said Ch’ng.


开幕仪式由澳大利亚艺术委员会主席Rupert Myer主持,逾150人出席参与,显现艺术家丰富绵密的人际网络。揭幕礼贵宾Rupert Myer表示, 庄学腾的作品以新视角解析美丽和丑陋的概念 – 如果一个人看不到丑陋,同样看不见美丽。


墨尔本最佳精品鸡尾酒供应商之一 Humbling Eats 也承担晚会餐饮。



Some of the pieces are more personal to him. “Princess Liberty for example, depicts the time when my daughter went to university in Australia. So she’s riding a horse which also represents the plane, but I named it Princess Liberty because even though she’s away from home and grown up, she’s still daddy’s little princess.”

“I hope that my art will make us look deeper into our own hearts when faced with issues and problems,” said Ch’ng.

It takes Ch’ng almost six months to create one sculpture and the heaviest piece named “Angel of Love”, weighs more than 100kg.

Ch’ng is currently one of the leading artists and sculptors in Malaysia as this year marks the artist’s 22 years in art. His works are collected not only in Malaysia but around the world by respected institutions that include the National Visual Art Gallery Malaysia, Singapore Art Museum, Hong Kong University Museum & Gallery, Shanghai Art Museum and Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA) in Paris.




Dare for Impermanence 勇于铸造无常

Spend a special moment with your loved ones in one of the world’s first ICEHOTEL, located in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, and experience some of the largest permanent outdoor art exhibit in Sweden. Situated approximately 200 km north off the Arctic Circle, the ICEHOTEL is setting a new precedent by building a permanent ice and snow structure adjacent to its already existing site. Built from natural snice (mixture of ice and snow) taken from Torne River, the environmentally-friendly structure will now cater 365-days a year experience for its guests.



With the new technological advancement, they are now able to maintain the ice structure year-round incorporating energy from a solar cell facility made of 875 m2 of solar panels enough to power other parts of the building including the restaurants during the summer months.

With higher expectations than ever before, it has specially invited and handpicked over 70 artists, designers and architects from around the world based on their creativity, experience and technical proficiency to work on the new ICEHOTEL 365 as well as the 27th edition of the winter hotel.





The 2016 edition, covering an area of 2,100 m2, will hold 55 rooms, a magnificent ice bar serving 27,000 cocktails in the rocks, and an ice gallery. When parts of ICEHOTEL melts back into the Torne River in the spring, ICEHOTEL 365 will continue to offer visitors an ice experience year-round. The permanent structure will be housing nine deluxe suites, each with its own warm bathroom and sauna, as well as eleven art suites.

2016年版的冰酒店面积为2100平方公尺,容纳55间客房,一个漂亮的冰酒吧,在岩石里供应2万7000种鸡尾酒,其中包括冰画廊。当部分ICEHOTEL在春暖之际融化到Torne河中时,ICEHOTEL 365将继续为旅客提供全年无休的冰上体验。永久性结构将容纳共9间豪华套房,每间自带温暖浴室和桑拿浴室及11间艺术套房。

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