Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wong Hoy Cheong

Humility.That's what I see in him.I've been hearing briefly about what he does from his friend,about him being an artist,his artwork exhibited in New York and Berlin.That simple man,by the name of Wong Hoy Cheong,an activist,a man who lives a simple life,who has achieved so much and who is still contributing a lot to the society.

As we were crossing the road:

Me:I just love Penang,when I'm old, I wanna stay here.
HC:That's what I'm doing now.You can do the same.You don't have to wait until you get old.Why don't you guys set up LFL branch here,we need human rights lawyers here.
Me:That'd be cool!

While waiting for our coffee:

Me:I've been meaning to ask about your artwork,tell me what do you do exactly?
HC:I make visual art.I used to paint,that was a long time ago.
Me:I heard about the art gallery in New York?
HC:Yes,I have a representative who sells my artwork in New York.
Me:Wow!Besides New York, where else?
HC:One in Berlin and one in Taipei.
Me:Wow!So you've been around the world?
HC:I've not been to Africa,would love to go there someday.
Me:Tell me more,what else do you do?
HC:I used to lecture.
Me: Where?
HC:Harvard,NYU,Oxford,NUS...(and the list goes on).
Me:That's impressive,I wouldn't know all that if I didn't ask you in person.

Funny to see how shy he was to tell us about his life.It was as if he was at gunpoint,having to answer all my questions.I just couldn't contain myself from excitement when it comes to learning about these great people,the things they do and the lives they live.

Me:You've achieved so much.Your family must be proud of you.
HC:No lah,my family thinks it's a bluff!

Everyone laughed.

That's Wong Hoy Cheong.An educator who was awarded as an outstanding educator by Cornell University and had a scholarship for undergraduates named after him.

He also gets the 35th floor of the Deutsche Bank devoted to him and his artwork.Now I know how influential he is as an artist!

This Penang trip felt so different from the previous numerous trips I had before.I can't thank him enough for showing us so much about Penang,the places,the culture,the stories.


Thursday, January 12, 2012


S:I think it's the Avatar chair that makes our office swanky.
Me:It's all E's fault,no no,it's E's friend's fault,he gave us the chair.
E:Ya, it's the Avatar chair!
Me:V's office is swanky.
V:No,it's not.
Me:What do you mean not swanky,it's next to KLCC!
E:No lah,V's office is not swanky.
Me: You've never been there,it's super swanky!Whatever it is,LFL is the swankiest!
KL:Let's make a move now,we need to fix your car.
V:What happened to your car?
Me:Stranded in front of the swanky office,I think it's the battery.
V:You used it up.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

New Year's Resolution

Eric : What's you new year's resolution?
Me : I've never had new year's resolution.What about you?
Eric : My resolution is not to have resolution.
Me : Nice!
Eric : Life is beautiful,go travelling, do things that make you happy.

I couldn't agree more.

Saw Woody Guthrie's 1942 New Year's Resolution, it just made my day.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar

I had a beautiful dream last night.A little boy picked up a book on the street.A few pages were ripped off.I could see how excited he was. I had a conversation with him. Then I met a grown man, who looked so familiar.I woke up to this vivid dream, smiling.

I eventually finished reading "You can't be neutral on a moving train" by Howard Zinn. I feel connected to everything he said in the book.A great teacher he was.Reading it felt like I was sitting right in front of him, listening to his every word.

The boy was the same grown man I saw in my dream. It was him.The book he picked up on the street was "Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar".There were no books at his home.The parents just couldn't afford to buy him any.

He taught me to be hopeful again, particularly in times of despair.


Gone by Jack Johnson

Look at all those fancy clothes
But these could keep us warm just like those
And what about your soul, is it cold
Is it straight from the mold, and ready to be sold

And cars and phones and diamond rings
Bling, bling, those are only removable things
And what about your mind, does it shine
Or are there things that concern you, more than your time

Gone, goin', gone, everything
Gone, give a damn
Gone, be the birds, when they don't wanna sing
Gone, people, all awkward with their things

Look at you, out to make a deal
You try to be appealing, but you lose your appeal
And what about those shoes you're in today
They'll do no good, on the bridges you burnt along the way

Are you willing to sell, anything
Gone, with your herd
Leave your footprints
We'll shame them with our words
Gone, people, all careless and consumed, gone

Gone, goin', gone, everything
Gone, give a damn
Gone be the birds, if they don't wanna sing
Gone, people, all awkward with their things, gone