Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Clockwork Magic

Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions.
Albert Einstein

Bonjour all!

Oftentimes I find myself baffled at the unbelievable things the human mind can achieve.
What powers of imagination that we bestow, the inventions that come alive, and the endless opportunities to dream in hope and live in a world where the strange and exquisite creativity comes alive!

However, I feel sorry at times at the world that we live in- often it can be quite harsh, mind-numbing and tedious, where such grand ideas, imagery, and inventions get pushed out and excluded because it is seen by some as different, and that people can't accept such things or don't want to understand.
I know I'm not alone in this when I say that individuals such as I, are able to see the other side in things, see beauty in a long-forgotten building, find beauty in those that others strike as ugly, see life through the Romantic lens , champion divine aspirations, and can simply believe that we can truly make our own happy endings.

I haven't done this in quite some time, but I would like to share with you a bit of my world that is a sort of Wonderland for me- whether it be actual persons, books, artworks, events, and others. I hope you enjoy reading!


L'Exposition Universelle de 1889 in Paris: How I would have loved to have been there! Especially watching the expressions of everyone's faces at the brand new architectural feat- a tower named after the creater himself, Gustave Eiffel, and the wonders to behold during those fateful days.
Fast forward the present century, and I see myself yearning to be in Shanghai for this year's World Exhibition.

The past couple of days, I have been looking at the pavilions that are in store there- it runs from May to October- where its believed that 70 million visitors (the most in history of the World Exhibitions) are going to be centered around this amazing city.
I seriously wish I could would be such a dream!
Here are some that have absolutely blown me away:
"Seed Cathedral" - the UK's pavilion:

"Ice Cube", made of block lavas with crystal-like transparent adornments on the outside- Iceland's pavilion

China's pavilion

Russia's pavilion

South Korea's pavilion

They all look so utterly stunning! Visit the Shanghai World Exhibition site for more pavilions and learn more about what's going on.
While I'm at Shanghai, apart from the World Expo, I would most definitely go to Bund, and stroll around the French Concession, which is one of the best parts of Shanghai I'm told and the Old Town, where the The Huxinting Teahouse is a popular spot for tea drinking lovers such as yours truly!
Even back in the day during the '30's, Shanghai was like Paris in must have been so lovely!


"There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly" by Jeremy Holmes- I happened to come upon this, while I was at my favorite bookstore, and I just loved the artistic detailing of this book. You don't have to be a child to appreciate and love such clever wonders of children's books- yet at the same time, this is no ordinary sort of book either!

Music Of A Life by Andrei Makine is heartfelt and conveys this dreamlike quality in his writing, where there are rich characters as Alexei Berg, a classical pianist with parents as a renowned playwright, and his mother a famed opera singer, with a story that falls deeply within the atmosphere of World War Two. I literally read it from start to finish.

There's such an interesting world behind the Automata. Automata are mechanical figures that are made out of very complicated clockworks and can do different forms of movements such as singing, dancing, and even writing. A lot of creators have done very interesting Automata as far back as ancient times.
One of my favorites have got to be Tom Haney's work, and here are some that I especially love:
"Wanderlust", where the globe turns the man's pointer across the surface in search of his next destination. The globe stops at random spots every five seconds and the figure's head follows the pointer up and down the globe.

"A Collector of Thoughts"


Albert Lamorisse's The Red Balloon

The Red Balloon is such an endearing film that is remarkably short, but full of surprises.
Brian Selznick could not have said it any better when in his essay, about this film he sums up how I felt watching this charming film: "As a child, I longed for two specific things that I now realize Lamorisse’s movie embodies: the presence of a loving friend and the knowledge that real magic exists in the world."
I highly recommend for all to see.

Georges Méliès
He was a famous filmmaker who worked from the 1890s through the 1920s. He actually made the world’s first science fiction film called A Trip to the Moon.
The first time I stumbled upon this film last summer, I took an instant liking to it.
From Denmark, Peter Callesen: Here is a man who can do wonders with cut paper. I never would have thought to think such an imaginative way, and am glad that there are such great minds that can come before us and make us see things in a whole new light.
Alive But Dead, 2006.


Lastly (but certainly not the least) I came across what has got to be the most touching story that has truly moved me to tears, and that is the story of a dog named Hachiko. There has been a recent American film of it called Hachiko: A Dog's Story, with Richard Gere and Joan Allen.
Originally, it took place in Japan where he belonged to a professor.
Throughout the professor's life, Hachi would always see his loving owner to the front of the Shibuya train station, and would meet him there punctually there at the end of the day when the professor gets off the train after work.
This continues to happen as an everyday routine until unexpectedly, the professor suddenly passes away, and so never arrived at the train station where Haichi stood waiting.
Since then, everyday for the next nine years, Haichi continued to sit in front of that train station waiting for his owner to return. With undying devotion, he stood there waiting until the end of his days.
Hearing this extraordinary tale made me believe all the more of the wonder of devotion, loyalty, and unconditional love that can cross beyond human bondage.

And that's all for now, ciao :)


Note: Pictures are via Tumblr and respectful links.


  1. Wonderful post! I love George Melies fims. I'll have to check out The Red Ballon sometimes:]

  2. Definitely, hoped you enjoyed it as much as I did :)

  3. Lovely post! Amelie always makes me happy - even just a photo. And your architectural photos are gorgeous!

  4. first i must thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment.
    and i definitely know what you're saying, in that there is a lot of crappy stuff in our world. but it's important to be able to see the beauty in those things, but even more so, i think the "ugly" crap makes the truly exquisite art stand out even more. kinda like you gotta experience some sadness to really highlight happiness? something like that :)

  5. Great selection of beautiful things! I'm especially intrigued by automata. My favorite is Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes in film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang pretending to be one of those wind up toys. It was genius.

  6. @ Emma- I know, Amelie has such a special place in my heart so I totally agree!
    @Sarah- I definitely have to side with you on that. It's very much like to see true beauty, you really have to look deep within, oftentimes not on the outside.
    @Jeni- Thank you! And I very much remember that now, thanks for mentioning that! It truly was :)


Thanks for brightening my day! Always love to hear what you have to say.


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