Category Art

Opulence and Grandeur of Moroccan Architecture

Over the Christmas holidays I had the chance to bond with my mom and my brother, and visit Morocco for the first time.  I came without any expectations, and left with awe at how beautiful it was.

We flew in to Casablanca, the financial capital, and then proceeded on our journey to Marrakech, Ouarzazate, and Essaouira.  The weather was quite cold at night at 8 deg C on the average, and in the daytime perhaps around 12, so coming in December was not such a bad idea.  It was perfect – much better than coming during the scorching summer.

Most of the Casablanca that we saw was a little dusty, except for the Hassan II mosque that the locals take great pride in, and the Royal Palace.  These two monuments that we came to visit were impeccable, with ornately designed architecture that screams opulence and wealth.  You’ll see their photos below.

Among all of Casablanca’s sights, my favorite must have been the old medina at sunrise, just as the mist was rising.  Being a gated neighborhood, it’s almost empty except for a few older men or women who start their days early.  If you’ve ever seen Casablanca, you’ll probably remember Rick’s Cafe, the cafe made famous by the classic film.  We saw the actual cafe, although according to our guide they never really shot the film in Casablanca…so the cafe now is just an imitation from the film.

New Year, New Resolutions.

2017. What resolutions do you have in mind? Mine, aside from the continuous struggle to be better in all aspects of life, want to accomplish some personal goals I’d rather not say at the beginning of the year. It’s like a jinx the moment you blurt it out to the world. Everyone knows what you desire, and the special bond between you and your secret is lost.

I’d just come back from Morocco, a first for me, and I have tons of pictures on my roll.  Here’s a few black and whites that I love from exploring souks in Marrakech and Essaouira.

About a Girl

Let me tell you the story of this girl.  Meet my long-time friend, Sherri.  We’ve known each other since we were 17, in college where we took up the same major, Advertising.  For the most part I think we took it cause it was closer to art than most other business courses.

Closer to our graduation, she got her first tattoo done and hid it from her mom, whom she’s super close to.  I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to keep it hidden, only later to be discovered.  Being a girl and having a thing for tattoos is not a common combination from where we come from.  Long story short, after a few years of working in an office and realizing a stronger calling for her art, she packs her bags and lands up in LA with an internship in a well-known tattoo studio.

Now she practices on her own and has really grown in her art.  She’ll continue to grow and like a butterfly I can only imagine where her art will take her.
Tattoo instrument Tattoo Sketches Sherri Austria Tattooed girl About a girl Tattooed woman Tattooed Chick Portrait of a young woman The story of a girl

About a Boy

It’s been a long time since I’ve pursued photographing people as a creative experiment, and I realized I’ve missed doing it. Recently I had the chance to work with a couple of people, one of whom is Allen, a young man whom I’ve had the great pleasure of photographing. What I found fascinating was for a young man of 24, he liked artists like Marina Abramovic and followed beatnik style.  And the best part is that we both liked theater, even though he’s very athletic, he doesn’t believe in being stereotyped and was open to performing on stage for theater too.

Check out some of the photos we had taken:
Portrait Profile of a young man Young American Man Dreamy portrait Man lying in grass Shadow portrait Portrait Photography in Shadow Symmetry portrait

A Song for Tea

Right in the heart of San Francisco, I found a gem of a shop that carried precious tea from China and Taiwan.  Unlike how we describe wine through different terms like being full-bodied, fruity, etc.; I still cannot put a finger on how to describe my green tea experiences in life.  Let’s put aside all the different teas of the world for now and just focus on the humble teas from China and Taiwan.  I could relate it to fine tobacco in that only connoisseurs who really take the time to go through the different kinds of leaves and how they are processed get to appreciate the beauty of it.

It’s not the same as getting a bag of widely distributed Earl Gray tea and knowing that every first steep or cup would taste the same, because the flavor is measured to taste the same.  When you’re dealing with rolled tea leaves, sometimes the flavor comes gradually and only gets stronger after having a first rinse.  Thus the phrase “good things come to those who wait,” applies well here.

Although it does take a little more effort and time to prepare Chinese tea leaves compared to easily dipping a tea bag into a hot cup of water, it only makes sense to enjoy the slower process of it. The art of slow living… as some may call it.  Song Tea SF Tea shop San Francisco Tea ShopOn the table Song Tea interiors Tea Lifestyle Lifestyle PhotographyIf you fancy doing a tea tasting or want to get some good tea in SF, head on over to Lower Pacific Heights and visit Song Tea & Ceramics at 2120 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94115.