Tuesday, April 29, 2008

holga036


Here is a picture of the classic indian snake charmer. This is what most people imagine and dream about seeing in india the old and wise snake charmer using his mysterious ways to hypnotize the deadly cobra. Well the reality is its an old poor guy from the country who catches a DEADLY cobra and sticks in in a box finds a instrument and plays some painfully bad music to earn a buck. These guys are all over the touristy areas. and they maintain zero control of the cobra what so ever. and those things are fucking scary. so scary in fact at one point in time i considered investing in a mongoose!

holga035


Here is a picture of a muslim tomb taken about 2 km from the famous silk road sunday market in kashgar.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The King


So most of you do not understand what it is like living in a foriegn land. Most things are available but ever once in a whil you need something simple like a sharpie, or a rubberband, or index cards.
The biggest void is hamburger we have mcdonalds but thats it! mcburgers suck. well beijing just got its first BK and today i had a whopper for the first time in years.Its like being a junky and well you know...... anyways as glorious as it is to be reunited with my old friend there is a snag the only BK is at the airport. so i will only get them when incoming friend ( and i do me Friend with a capitol F ) bring them to me!

holga034


Here is another b&w sikh portrait. I promise i will drop some more film off this week so there is some new pictures that are not sikh portraits soon.

da shan zi






So this past weekend i did some cultural shit! I went to 798 an old factory district in beijing to check out the "affordable art show". There are many galleries in beijing pimping lots of high art. Meaning chinese art is very hot with collectors right now and there are a lot of high end galleries representing trying to sell collectors on the chinese Jean-Michel Basquiat. This show was more LA style it was the chinese version of what in LA is known as low brow. Like the art done by commercial artists with fine art aspirations such as mark ryden or shag or the many other artist in magazines like juxtopisition magazine. The kind of art as an ex commercial artist i dig

And when before i said basquiat I mean all this chinese high art is a bunch of hype and people will be questioning its real value in a few years. Stephen Myers my 20th century art history professor was one of the greatest professors who I have ever met. He was in the middle of the pop art scene in NY in the 60's and knew people like lichtenstein and warhol. He had the best defination of what defines something as modern ART. It needs to fulfill two criteria.
1. It must evoke an emotional response
2. it must be a reflection of the times it was created in.

Most of this chinese art in the galleries are all a just of revolution popified imagery from artist trying to cashing on their countries history. It is all derivative, full of cliches, and none of reflects the real china of today. and the only emotion that people are responding to is greed.

But regardless of the snootyness of 798 it is still a very cool place to hang out get some beverages and wander around the many galleries mocking things.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

holga033


This was taken in kolkata. Its not the greatest photo but it does show the kind of poverty that the city is famous for.

my visa problem makes the nytimes!!!

ok its really not about me but it does capture the situation here in beijing really well.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/24/world/asia/24china.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

Saturday, April 26, 2008

holga032


A guy selling spice in xinjiang.

toulouse lautrec


After posting the last one it makes me think how strange life in beijing really is. Sometimes i think i am living in a toulouse lautrec painting.

the night started with me meeting my friend haitou who speak no english but speaks russian he sent me a text in chinese he wanted to go to the russian bars and needed a wingman but it was phillipes bday so i invited him to that. Me and him go off to the qbar to meet phillipe the Corsican for his bday party. We go to sanlitun and there was no qbar i ask him if he knows where it is he says he does and he takes me to a bar called pure girl. it was like the blind leading the blind. qbar is a fancy place and pure girl is a bar where the 14 -18 rich expat kid crowd hangs as well as a bunch of shady nigerian drug dealers hangout. upon arrival it was boarded up apparently the cops raided it and shut it down. then we finally managed to find the qbar about 1 km away. it was full of wealthy beautiful lao wai and a few well to do chinese. after all the festivites there and many screwed up drink orders later we head to sanlitun. the girls all jumped in a taxi and we me haitou and a finish guy named james decided to get so road beers and walk. there we bump into a couple of 50ish danish guys asking how to get to maggies. maggies is a notorious mongolian hooker bar where on any given night has hundred of mongolian hookers and has a 5 to 1 guy to girl ratio. its surreal. anyways we had to inform these gentlemen that unfortunately a guy chopped up a mongolian hooker and the police shut down maggies they told us that it was their first night back to beijing since they lived there 2 years ago and wanted to know where else to go to find mongolian hookers. the thing is we actually knew and told them to go to a place called the den. they said that was their first stop and they didn't like what they saw and they would go to a kareoke place instead which are all secretly brothels. and it dawned on me how natural this conversation was. In beijing all the foriegners know all the shady spots. This place has its own set of rules especially if your a foreigner. Moraility is a strange concept. Its not that myself or anyone we no actually go buy mongolian hookers but maggies is a just well known. In fact we have been there many occasions and its funny i expected to get constantly harrased by hookers but they didn't even acknowledge our presence. the girls there can smell money and knew we didn't have any so they didn't waste their time on the people in sneakers they went for the 50 year olds in the suits. i was actually offended.

as a laowai in beijing you kinda fall into the cracks and live in this alternate universe that coexists with the locals version of beijing. we know all this stuff automatically whether its where to get drugs, hookers, bootleg DVD's, fake watches, or something far more simple like a falafel or a good hot dog, a can of root beer or mountain dew. the funny part is about maggies they are famous for both hookers and having best hot dogs in beijing.... really. how surreal is that.

Anyways started walking from the fancy bar back to sanlitun. There i was at a shady bar last night sitting at a table with a russian a swiss an italian a mexican a welsh girl a few chinese and a few other shady countries. i think i was the only american and throughout the bar is a mix of languages intertwined with random words of chinese here and there. then there are the chinese who hang there in the laowai bars. they are the artsy chinese and then their are just gaggles and gaggles of sleazy chinese girls trying to act all taboo. anyways as usual we then headed to nanjie till the sun came up and then headed to the rickshaw and all these places were full of people people and it was all too natural.

People always talk about new york as the city that doesn't sleep. new york seems very american and vanilla in comparison to a place like the 'jing.

weekday round up

its been a bit of a crazy week. I have been teaching some crazy oral english classes for $20/hr. Its such a scam all you do is do a 1 hour stand up routine and make them laugh and act as stereotypical american as possible then we watch the movie mouse hunt and i explained all the jokes to them. people basically pay money just to have an american in their life.

Other than that wednesday was tommy and handjobs last night in beijing we started off hanging out at huxleys then around 1ish we headed to nanjie for pizza. then around 5am laochi the owner rolled in with a bunch of his friends who were all filmakers and music video directors. I ended up hanging out with them until around 6 and rolled out to breakfast with them. none of them spoke english and my chinese is still sucking but somehow i managed. got home at 8am.

then the thursday night i taught my class and got home around 10pm then bored and no chance of sleeping i randomly rolled over the the rickshaw to see what was going on. it was the 1 year anniversary party and cocktails were free. Ended up getting a few random job offers 1 to work in an interior design firm and another to work on a shady chinese movie. ended up at the shaw until 6am.

last night was phillipes bday we ended up going to Qbar a super swanky place with a bunch of yuppie laowai. the service was the worst i ever experienced you order a cocktail from one person then they type it into a computer generate a receipt then give that to a bartender they make a drink then you give them money they take it to a cashier then they return with your change and then the bartender gives you a drink. problem is they are all behind the bar and everyone got wrong drinks receipts and change and they just didn't care. both times i went to the bar i waited 20 minutes i ordered two beers they gave me one then i took a sip and they tried to take it back and give it to another person. WTF. the tsing taos were all in a cooler behind them why could they give the other guy another and me the other one i was waiting for. it took another ten minutes for me to get them to reach behind and give me another. then they gave me a receipt for 1 beer and a rum and coke that was 40 kuai $5??? WTF!!!

after getting fed up with the fancy place we decided to roll to sanlitun and kick it old school. every place was packed. so we hit this new place smugglers which is cheap and empty because no one knows its even there. we hungout there for a while then back and forth and back and forth to other places ended up at nanjie then rickshaw for a breakfast burrito and home by 8am again.

I am so glad its now the weekend so i can get some rest!

Friday, April 25, 2008

holga031


So I am busting out another portrait of a sikh from amritsar. This is officially a whole month of a picture a day the goal is to keep this going for a whole year or hopefully forever. I am sure everyone is getting tired of the portraits by now but that is the nature of film i developed all my amritsar protraits first. When i am not so lazy i wll drop of more rolls from bangladesh.

at first i was really digging this one but now the women in pink to the left is really distracting me. thoughts or comments always welcomed.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

holga030


here is a photo of a couple of mango dealers. first taste is free... thats how they get you hooked.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Holga029


Here is a long exposure shot of the louis kahn national assembly building in dhaka bangladesh. The exposure was one minute without a tripod holding this on top of the fence surrounding the building. unfortunately this is as close as you can get to it.

more beach photos














these were all taken by my friend helen with her fancy 5 D.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Holga028


this sikh was in charge of the foreign dormitories at the golden temple in Amritsar. you cannot see from the photo but he is missing an arm. He basically spends his entire days making sure us foreigners are not doing bad stuff. He disabled and I imagine that is how he found his place at the golden temple. He lives there and takes all his meals there and has pretty much devoted his life to the golden temple. It seems a very simple life but not all that bad.

fu*%ed up english names


mr menkes just brought this video to my attention. It is funny but does not capture the true essence of how fucked up english names are. Just last week I met a girl named SCARY. The most common boys names though would have to be Tom or Jerry... and yes it is because of the cartoon. That cartoon is more famous here than jerry lewis is to the french. they play it in the bank and you can watch it while you wait for your number to be called. Girls names are usually fucked up things like rainbow or butterfly.

To understand why this is first you must be aware of the english teaching scene in china. There are many different places and types of english schools but from my observations the easiest jobs to get that require the least amount of effort is teaching kindergarten. So kindergarten teachers are usually the biggest derelicts here. And I truly mean that in a comlimentary way. In fact our last party was probabely 50% kindergarten teachers.

Anyways kindegarten is usually where people get there english names which stick for life.
Therefore you have hungover 21 year olds rolling from a late night at nanjie ( the name of a bar ) straight to work to mold the minds of children. I have heard stories of kids being named elvis, adrock, hammer and girls getting classy names such as bubbles, jenna, savannah, candy, and many other varieties of stripper names.

My roomate handjob is a kindergarten teacher and he just named his kids after friends in beijing. One of which he named Ben in honour of me. The unfortunate thing about that is the word ben in chinese means "stupid" so he basically gave the other children material to abuse this boy for life and probabely robbed him of any chance of going to college someday.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Teaching in Taiwan

So i was online looking for some teaching materials to use in my oral english class and in one of the forums i discovered this blog. It is from an american living in taiwan and although it doesn't contain the sex drug and rock & roll that my blog possesses. it does have some interesting thoughts from a foreigner living in taiwan. I find i interesting because its a look through the looking glass to the other side. I find it very interesting because if my chinese traditional medicine studies do not work out i might be fleeing for Formosa just like chang kaishek.

http://kenberglund.blogspot.com/

holga027


Here is a holga shot in varnassi. This is one of the "ghats" or just entry way to the river. The river is lined with these massive staircases that lead to the river.
This one isn't all that great and i find it difficult to shoot wide stuff with the holga but still like this one because of the striped pattern painted on the steps.

Beach Party







Just got back from the beach party last night. It was pretty fun we had about 17 people there. You really can't go wrong with beach a party the weather was good so all you really need to do is just add beer and a bonfire and theres no way it can go wrong. These were shot by ernie and stolen off his facebook page. as more photos are uncovered i will try and post them.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

10 kuai jacki danni



so last night our buddy jackson ex world famous bartender at huxleys was working at a swanky bar called 101 just 2 big chinese city blocks from our place. They has a 5 kuai jack daniels promotion shots of jack daniels for 5 yuan that is like 80 cents or something. Anyways I had dinner with a special lady then got home to find the gang ready to go. i was tired but someone twisted my arm and we all hit the bar. It was cool nothing too crazy happened just another night rolling with the peng yous. my buddy ernie brought his cannon with his fancy 100mm prime and shot these and then put them together so we look like we look like we belong in a german new wave band.

holga024


here is a picture i shot of a girl while on a bus in kashmir waiting to get back to someplace safe. anyways this girl saw a foriegner and came and begged for change and i took her picture and she got really shy and covered her face. any thoughts?

visa blues and solutions

So not quite sure what is going on these days. my visa is currently at the visa place getting extended until july 1st. then all lao wai have to leave and even all non beijing residents have to leave the city. olympic fever is in the air and china isn't letting any unknowns stay to cause trouble. It seems visa are also a problem i have been here on a quasi legal business visa for over a year. Unfortunately the chinese govrnment had deemed sleeping unitl noon consuming large quantities of dumplings and pijiu's and exercising prima nocte with the locals daughters apparently are not valid business purposes to be in china. The x visa is out but it is the WORK visa a word i don't even like say aloud. My only other option at this point is to study but i need to study at a school approved to give a visa. I have a shady visa agent on it who will arrange for me to study traditional chinese medicine for 6 hours per week and that will make me eligble not only to remain in china until decemberish i will also be licensed to perform open heart surgery in haiti.

anywas other than that I have been teaching english for $20/hr 3 days a week. where else in the world can an immigrant be in a country in a quasi legal status and make more money than the locals for working under the table. I should be washing dished but nope i am hanging out for 2 hours telling a bunch of chinamen some stories and getting paid handsomely to do it.

Its pretty amazing just how easy it is especially since my english and grammer and spelling suck. I have a group of eight people i bring up a discusiion topic download a vocabulary list or a story from one of the many websites devoted to teaching english overseas and then just sit back and push their buttons until its over. If things get boring all i have to do is say the word dalai lama and they all turn into a bunch of chatty kathies. Not only is it easy it is very interesting to hear thier fucked up theories. My class and the rest of china plans to boycott KFC on june 1st because they say the dalai lama is an evil man and that he likes KFC or some nonsense. It seems they love to boycott things but they never seem to have impact. kind of like when they do hunger strikes here they do it in shifts each switching off not eating for 8 hours at a time. not all that effective in my book.

I am still completely broke an since i am broke life has become a bit tougher. now that money is so tight i cannot afford to live the lifestyle I lived last year. So i had to make some tough decisions. I had to decide what were absolute necessities and if could afford things like my maid, my beach house, or my chinese lessons. anyways I decided to quit the chinese lessons... life is a series of little trade offs.

anyawys probabely no posts over the weekend because the weather is beautiful and I am off to my beach house for the weekend. We have 20 or so people going so we are going to party all day then build a bonfire and camp on the beach at night.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

reel part deux

I can't seem to load the blogger video so here is the reel on youtube:

cocktails, skinny dipping and dim sum

Anyways not sure if anyone remembers but last summer i came in from a long night of cocktails, skinny dipping, and dim sum. I got home around 6 am and decided I need to do some internet research ( look at internet pornography ). Anyways I dropped my laptop and the hard drive busted. I lost ALL my data including my college artwork, my demo reel, all my personal information ( porn ). So anyways I just made a new demo reel in order to get a job if need be.

So here is the new demo reel any thoughts comments and/or job leads would be appreciated. also feel free to forward this to anyone and everyone looking for any position doing anything. I will work in a meth lab if need be.

holga023


another wrinkly old man photo

xinjiang holgas




here are some random pics from small towns in xinjiang there was a lot of light leaking in so i dig them. the statue is really interesting it is a statue of chairman mao being all buddy buddy with a famous xinjiang man.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

holga022


here is the holga of today.

I like this picture of the old tibetan man his glasses are so thick it makes his eyes out of focus which gives the rest of the picture a weird out of focus look.

bhang shop part deux


I also shot this photo at a different time. which do you guys prefer cow or no cow.

From Wikipedia: Bhang Lassi is a special lassi that contains bhang, a liquid derivative of cannabis, which has effects similar to other eaten forms of marijuana. It is legal in many parts of India and mainly used for religious purposes, particularly during Holi, when pakoras containing bhang are also sometimes eaten. Rajasthan is known to have licensed bhang shops, and in many places you can buy bhang products and drink bhang lassis. Many guidebooks warn foreign tourists against trying Bhang Lassi because of the risks of serious intoxication.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

holga021


here is where the magic happens!

This is the rajastan government authorized bhang store where one can find all kinds of bhangalicious goodness.

random rickshaw photos.





I took a ton of photos of rickshaws and riskshaw wallahs in both bangladesh and india. here are some random ones.