Monday, August 29, 2011

TIFF 2011


My final TIFF 2011 film list, 16/20 of my first picks, 4 second picks.
More than welcome to join me (single tix available Sept. 3):

Thursday Sept. 8

12:00pm - Dreileben (Omnibus) - ( @ Jackman Hall AGO

Friday Sept. 9

2:15pm - Alois Nebel (Tomas Lunak) - ( @ Scotiabank Theatre 3

4:30pm -
Mr. Tree (Han Jie) - ( @ Scotiabank Theatre 3

Saturday Sept. 10

12:00pm - Into the Abyss (Werner Herzog) - ( @ AMC 7

3:15pm - House of Tolerance (Bertrand Bonello) - ( @ Isabel Bader Theatre

Sunday Sept. 11
9:45am - Chicken with Plums (Satrapi/Paronnaud) - ( @ AMC 3

1:15pm -
Urbanized (Gary Hustwit) - ( @ AMC 10

4:30pm - Girl Model (Ashley Sabin/David Redmon) - ( @ AMC 6

Monday Sept. 12

2:00pm - Twixt (Francis Ford Coppola) - ( @ Scotiabank Theatre 13

4:30pm - Anonymous (R.Emmerich) - ( @ Winter Garden Theatre

Tuesday Sept. 13

11:00am - The Lady (Luc Besson) - ( @ Elgin Visa Screening Room

2:30pm - 11 Flowers (X. Wang) - ( @ AMC 3

Wednesday Sept. 14

9:15am - Damsels in Distress (Whit Stillman) - ( @ Scotiabank Theatre 4

12:15pm - The Moth Diaries (Mary Harron) - ( @ Scotiabank Theatre 4

Thursday Sept. 15

2:30pm - Leave It On The Floor (Sheldon Larry) - ( @ AMC 6

Saturday Sept. 17

9:00am - The Awakening (N. Murphy) - ( @ Scotiabank Theatre 1

2:45pm - Melancholia (Lars von Trier) - ( @ Ryerson Theatre

Sunday Sept. 18

9:00am - Violet & Daisy (Geoffrey Fletcher) - ( @ Scotiabank Theater 1

12:00pm - Pina (Wim Wenders) - ( @ Tiff Lightbox 1

3:00pm - Countdown (Huh Jong-Ho) - ( @ Tiff Lightbox 1

Sunday, August 14, 2011


My friend OA and I are exhibiting at the
Gladstone Hotel for Open Eyes Toronto.
The show runs from Aug. 16-22.
[Reception: Aug. 18 // Panel Discussion: Aug. 20]
Come out to support us and have a drink

Opening Reception:
Thu, Aug 18, 2011
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Cover: FREE
Venue: Gladstone Gallery (2nd Floor)

"Artists explore locally what is beautiful, problematic, controversial, inspiring and unique in the city. The urban environment is revealed through creative documentation: scale, texture, patterns and program are displayed, analyzed and challenged. The collection of work is intended to be a backdrop for dialogue about the city - thoughtful, fun and interactive..."

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Finally made my way to Mark McEwan's most recent venture, "Fabbrica" at the shops at Don Mills, Toronto. "Fabbrica" meaning factory, is the operative word driving the rugged yet slick interiors by Giannone Petricone Associates, the post-war-Italy-inspired graphic design/branding by Concrete, and most importantly the handcrafted pizzas and pastas, among other rustic Italian fare, offered by the restaurant.

Despite mixed reviews, it seemed like our table ordered exactly all the right things. The perfectly-grilled octopus was accompanied by a tasty salad; the wood-fired funghi pizza was aromatic and light with an amazing texture; and the seafood linguine was just heaven. The meal was rounded out with a limone cagliata with mango & raspberry salad, pistachio gelato, and espressos.

Everything was flavoured just right and the hand-made-ness of the pizza and pasta made me smile! :) yum. The nay-sayers either ordered the wrong things or need to have their taste buds checked! (images via Concrete,, and CBC)

Friday, December 10, 2010


The objective of my Graphic Design course was to re-brand a Yonge Street Store between Wellesley St. and Bloor St., a stretch of Toronto with generically named businesses and atrocious storefronts. I chose Tokyo Grill as my client to re-brand. (Above: New storefront with signage)

Tokyo Grill is a Japanese restaurant that serves up authentic home-style cuisine. Specialties of the house include home made soba noodles available every last Saturday of the month. Also on order are a variety of grilled fish, teriyaki, ramen, curry, don, and katsu dishes; along with a selection of Japanese beer and sake. The dining style is intimate and friendly. Wedged within a small pink building with a hybrid program, the restaurant occupies a minimal storefront in true Tokyo-style. With 32 seats, Tokyo Grill is a favourite retreat frequented by loyal customers for its relaxed atmosphere.

The re-branding was simply an exercise in consolidating the existing brand. The new Tokyo Grill signage capitalizes on its roots by favouring the Japanese font. The exclamation mark is a minimal way to draw attention but also as a reference to exaggerated expressions from Japanese Pop Culture but also relates to retro monster movie dialogue, such as Godzilla and King Kong. A new graphic motif was created for Tokyo Grill drawing inspirations from their own house made soba noodles but also relates to grill smoke, grill marks, and the Great Wave off Kanagawa. The block-iness of the Japanese font allows for multiple ways of locking text together, creating a working pattern that can be used for various touch points as well as decoration (say, wallpaper or place mats) - this was a lot of fun for me ;)

Thursday, December 2, 2010


In search for a place to sit... Amidst the intense studio this fall, 3 electives, TA-ing, and work-study, I thought I'd try to make a chair, something I've never done before... I'm not quite sure what I was thinking, but I suppose at the end of it, I would have a chair to lean on after I've completely exhausted myself!

The instructor, Andrew Jones, gave us the seemingly simple task of designing and making a plywood chair (for a museum cafe) using only plywood. The term gave way to many iterative studies of a singular material. The class contributed an assortment of ideas along with discoveries about the many challenges of furniture design including joinery, structure, and ergonomics. Congrats everyone on all the hard work and grueling hours in the wood shop!

A jumble of ideas... trying to understand the planar behaviour of plywood assembly

The most challenging part of this design was the hiding/revealing of structural ribs and the alignment of the curved seat and back to the frame for a flush finish. No screws were used in the assembly, only pressure and glue.

It's a handsome one! and the chair too...

The critics complemented the chair's quiet confidence. For the assignment, a museum cafe chair, the design is appropriate when imagining say 100 of them in its setting, where the clean (muji-esque) aesthetic will not create too much noise. Andrew also said he's never seen the ribs revealed to the side like that before, subtle innovation.

Papa chair, mama chair, baby chairs...

ZG's plywood chair

SR's plywood chair

An assortment of plywood chairs

Some chairs experienced some growing pains... ;)

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Gareth Pugh showed his Spring 2011 collection in Paris via video format again instead of runway. The video goes on forever, and has a few odd stop/start points in between, but definitely showcases the clothes through unreal movements not possible in a runway format. Every time the video format is shown in lieu of runway, people are wondering whether video is the way to go... Pugh notes that videos are neither less costly or time consuming but is free of show-day drama and stress. (via The Cut) My favourite campaign video is still the YSL Men's (2008-2009)...

Friday, August 13, 2010


Since it's relocation from the old Wujiang St. location to a food mall a block away, Yang's Fried Dumpling has been no less busy, for those who can find it. Known for it's tasty Shen Jian Bao (fried soup dumpling), and beef or fish balls soups. It's always busy and never disappoints. Greasy goodness! A Shanghai must.
(Above: an army of dumpling making cooks)

(4 dumplings for 5 yuan = 75 cents!)

(beef balls soup)

Monday, August 2, 2010


Toronto's Sugar Beach is located on the Waterfront next to Corus Entertainment and the Redpath Sugar Refinery on Corus Quay. Although set to officially open Aug. 9, people have been using it even while construction was finishing up. Make no mistake, thank heavens this "beach" has landed in the East Bayfront but while media such as Blogto, Post, or the Star are hyping it up, we felt like there should've been a little something MORE especially as it approaches opening day...

It has a very similar feel to HtO, which is not surprising since Claude Cormier Paysagistes are responsible for both. But being sugar beach, the candy-coloured sun-brellas and the candy-striped Yorkville-esque rocks were fun and fitting but not enough. We were hoping that it wouldn't just be a larger HtO! The sandbox like "beach" with its beautiful white sand was still a little lack-luster at the edge of this quay. It needs a little extra "kick", a little extra "
SWEETNESS"... perhaps a tad more colour, perhaps a water feature (like a Yorkville waterfall) would help to elevate the site and transport us from the industrial surrounding on one side and corporate complex on the other side!

Nevertheless, the fact that it's here is a great start! :) (Thanks to YY for the tip)

(peering into the Corus Entertaiment atrium)

(green mounds and candy-striped rocks)

(candy-coloured sun-brella-ellas on white sand beach)

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Kimbra is a Kiwi, that is to say she is from Hamilton, New Zealand. Having recorded and made videos for her singles Simply On My Lips and Deep For You some years back, she is now set to release her debut album in 2010... Staytuned!

Here's her video for
Settle Down, she looks like one of those creepy dolls in the background:

Thursday, July 8, 2010



Just came across this mix. It's a mashup of new Robyn (Fembot) and old Kelis (Milkshake), but we'll never forget her Milkshake days despite her new dance-oriented tracks. The mashup is fun and fitting seeing how the two artists will be touring North America later this month (July 23 - Aug 5) All Hearts Tour:

07-23: Los Angeles, CA – The Music Box
07-24: San Francisco, CA – Mezzanine
07-27: Boston, MA – House of Blues

08-02: Washington, DC – 9:30 Club

08-03: Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero

08-05: New York, NY – Webster Hall

Robyn's solo dates:

07-16 Chicago, IL – Pitchfork Music Festival

07-17 Detroit, MI – Crofoot Ballroom

07-22 Solana Beach – Belly Up Tavern

07-30 Toronto, Ontario – Disco Lemonade: Summer Mashup Festival

07-31 Montreal, Quebec – Osheaga Festival

(image via Cream Team)

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Toronto band, Star's latest (5th) album, The Five Ghosts, was released on June 22, 2010. It's very stars, except more... subdued. Most of the other 4 full albums are made up of some hits and other forgettable tunes. While some hail this album as being the most consistent throughout, others feel the whole things a bit dull. Like most of their other albums, the more I listen to the whole album, the more I enjoy it, especially during down time at the end of the day. There are more energetic standouts to me such as Fixed, How Much More, and though glib, We Don't Want Your Body is too catchy to ignore. After a decade, still going...

Favs: Changes, Fixed, We Don't Want Your Body, How Much More, I Died So I Could Haunt You

We Don't Want Your Body

How Much More