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Leaving the Field

Leaving the Field

Been away every two weeks the past 3 months and it’s kinda wearing me out again. Travelling does that to you sometimes and that’s ok. It just means that you’ll have to be more attentive about what your body needs than what you want out of something.

A familiar territory I’ve been threading way too often this year.

I was looking at the photos from my memory card and this just stood out from one of my many solo wanderings in Melbourne two weeks ago.

I like being invisible, it’s kinda like a comfort zone mode for me. Walking makes me feel therapeutic especially when my mind is tangled in a million knots.

That’s also probably why i feel like I’m “trapped” while I’m in KL, then whenever I do feel like I need to take a walk, I can’t. It’s just not safe. Kids don’t go out and play anymore, which makes us lose that bit of humanity deep down. It’s sad and no one’s doing anything about it..at least not yet.

You know, I could rant about the epidemic that is Malaysia forever but I shall not.

Too much sadness in Danywhere, I’m turning it into a downer.

While I was walking along Flinder’s Lane looking at the graffiti, I met a few artists working on their tagging. I thought it was pretty cool that they were unfazed by my presence despite my worry they’d be kicking me out from their territory. So while I was watching them painting, I realised that these alleys are actually dump area but due to the amount of spay painting these people have been doing, the foul smell were non-existent and replaced by aerosol. It’s interesting tho, to see how they’ve (indirectly in the beginning) converted an alley no one would go to one of the number one spot people want to check out.

Of course, there’s always the never ending debate about vandalism vs art when it comes to graffiti but when you make a space, a public gallery to encourage their creativity to flow and send out a message from their mind, it could easily be a positive outcome. Eventually, it becomes a tourist attraction.

Yes, as much as underground despise the idea of selling-out, as long as your message is sent out, I don’t see anything wrong with it. Just a bit of ego is being compromised but otherwise, I think it’s a good source of inspiration for others.

See that’s the thing about art. You just never know who you’ll be touching and making a change. Just the fact that you’re about to reach out to just one person makes what you do go to the next level. And that will not happen until the day you decide to put yourself out there.

So, in the end it all goes back to the very core – why are you doing what you are doing?

When you’re able to identify that part, your ego will step back and motivation takes over.

It’s just too bad that I wasn’t able to see Banksy’s work in Melbourne. Shall talk about that next time.

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Brussel Zuid: Hello New Friend

Brussel Zuid

I tend to have a question in my head the moment I wake up. It varies from “What to eat” to “What the heck did I do last night?”. This morning, Leeds popped up without notice. Maybe because, this new old city has a certain charm that I find peculiar – much like Haarlem, Bingen and Ludlow. Those little place, there’s just something about it.

It was our third city for that Euro trip we went. Frankfurt and Amsterdam were the first two  (by now you’d prolly figured that I’m not writing chronologically). While I like things to be in somewhat order, feelings dictate otherwise.

This was quite a bit of journey, one that didn’t sunk in until we were moving about. From Amsterdam, we went to Brussel Zuid. At first I thought this was the station I had stopped 7 years ago when I went to Brussels but it turns out they switched the transit station and I was slightly surprised to see the other side of Brussels.

Zuid in Dutch means South (or Midi in French) and it’s probably like the ‘hood side to the colourful and chocolate-laden city of Brussels. It was also my first time encountering a beggar on the street who were very persistent (didn’t help that she was sitting in a wheel chair along the main station). It’s relatively gloomy on this side, somewhat grungy too in terms of character and mood.

And here I got Syiks all excited to check out Brussels for 2.5 hours during our transit. Well, she was disappointed it wasn’t the Brussels we were all accustomed to. Nonetheless, we walked around anyway. I mean, considering we have so much time before departing for Kings Cross St. Pancras..might as well eh?

Brussels_Zuid_Colours2

Nothing was opened at 9ish morning, that and I think this area isn’t really the place for tourists anyway. But I guess, in years to come, this place would look better since Brussels Zuid is the biggest train station in Belgium, considering everyone transits here.

When we walked out, no map what so ever, just..simply walk – I spotted this

TinTin

Tintin acted as my beacon to navigate through this unknown place we wandered. If you’re out here, you won’t miss out on Le Lombard‘s iconic sign up the building. What is it you might asked? This is THE comic publisher for Tin Tin 🙂 You’ll definitely find Tin Tin all over the city, especially in Brussel Centraal but this was the one thing that stuck in my mind. Who would’ve thought, being here in a place you don’t know and you find a piece of Belgium’s history. Oh that kid in me jumped for joy over this discovery!

Murals, Brussels Zuid

Like most places that shares the same character as Brussel Zuid, you’ll find the heart in your face. Centraal is filled with beautiful art splattered everywhere. Some commissioned art but a place like this, the raw talent is released tenfolds without restriction. It’s there because there’s a story they want to tell. That’s a quality I find more expensive, one you can’t just buy anywhere. The colours very much jives with the other murals I’ve seen along the way. Unsure if it were by the same people but I suppose it’s the colours that represents them.

I don’t know how I spotted these since it was high above but I’m glad I did, just enough to know that you can find beauty in any place, any nooks and crannies. It doesn’t matter how established or developed the place is, there’s always something unique. And this is Brussel Zuid’s.

You don’t see Cubism painted on walls for public to see but this is what that is. Brussel Zuid is their public gallery for their artworks.

Graffiti, Brussel Zuid

While I initially started off to write about Leeds, there’s something about Brussel Zuid that’s pulling me to dive in further. And I like how this has turned out to be. The unassuming places, those places you pass by not knowing that there’s a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

So what’s the moral of the story?

Even when you think a place does not fit in your world as you expected, take a chance and get to know this new place. Make the most of what you have and rock it out!

Thank you Brussel Zuid, for at first I thought it wasn’t much of transit trip but hey, looks like I actually did see some things I didn’t get to all this while. Kudos!

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TED Prize: JR

I know it’s a Saturday but I thought of this video off an on, I don’t know why. There’s so much goodness in JR’s words, works and thoughts.

If you’re ever in Paris and spotted paper graffitis (these days it’s cut-out shapes of drawings) on the wall, along the alleys – this was how it all started. Many moon years ago. It’s kinda like an signature, the other side to that Parisien romantic dream many people associate the City of Lights.

Anyway, I’d love for you to spend some time and watch this video, how much impact something so simple yet became a functional design that could save lives (or make lives better).

I always believe that while we can’t change the world, we can make a difference, at least to one person. We might not know about it but that’s what the magic is all about.

Perhaps you too might be inspired to leave a mark in the future?