All posts tagged: documentaries

Portrait photo of Isamu Noguchi by Mimi Jacobs 1977 | Where My Heart Leads

Meet Noguchi: Design & Art for a better world

Prologue Twenty years ago, I first saw Noguchi’s work at his museum in New York. I assumed he was Japanese or Japanese-American by the name. The Japanese aesthetics infused his works – the stones plucked from a zen garden, the minimalist forms helped corroborate my assumption. Skip forward a couple years, I went to Paris for training at my first job in a French cosmetics company. With a couple days to explore the city, my boss recommended that I check out the Pompidou Centre.  Nothing at the Pompidou struck a cord. At the doorstep of the industrial facade of the Pompidou however, sits a quaint, nondescript structure. It’s the Constantin Brancusi atelier. Brancusi (1876-1957) was a self-taught sculptor. Legend has it that he walked on foot from his hometown in Romania to France.  One enters the atelier and follows an elliptical trajectory circumventing a cluster of Brancusi pieces, separated by glass. Brancusi’s sculptures are magnetic. I had found myself encircling his works at the MOMA as if looking harder might enable a deeper connection. A …

Thailand's King Bhumibol legacy | Where My Heart Leads

Thai King Bhumibol: Inspiring Nations

On a recent trip to Bangkok, I got a different taste of Thailand. Instead of the shopping and eating, we visited some sites. I visited the huge reclining Buddha at Wat Pho (sounds like “What For?”) with intricate mother of pearl inlays and en route swung by an amazingly well-kept temple site Wat Arun. Walking through the intricately-built and colorful Wat Arun temple grounds just a couple ferry stops from the main commercial area, I was struck by the fact that Thailand, some few hundred years ago, had preserved such wealth of culture, riches, and know-how evident from the well-kept structures and temples at the grounds of Wat Arun. Upon further investigation, Thailand is the only South East Asian country not colonised by European powers. Thanks to their King’s determination and the unity of the country – the royal family and nobles practically emptied their cofers that they had saved over two generations to pitch in and pay up in defending their nation. The Upbringing of a Statesman But my focus is King Bhumibol, the …

Longevity Reed | Where My Heart Leads

Secret to Longevity (That Everyone Has)

Prologue A wave of confusion swept over me when the female lead came on stage. Obviously she was a foreigner, so how in the world did she learn, or why did she even learn to sing old-school Cantonese Opera of all things? From the looks of it: back a little stooped and her small shuffling footsteps, she was probably in her 70s or 80s even? Soon after, the ‘male’ lead comes on stage – with a crutch in her right hand!  I was at the Hong Kong Arts Festival, at one of its Cantonese Opera evenings entitled, “Global Traces, Local Stages.”  What started it all Pre-show, a friend and I got dinner at the quintessential old-school diner Mido Cafe. Over Hong Kong curry rice, I was venting (just ever-so slightly) about the challenges of starting and running my business.  My friend generously shared her experience twenty years ago helping set up her husband’s business. It wasn’t all smooth sailing, but twenty years later, her husband now jokes, “Would you still have wanted me to have taken …

Director/Star Justin Chon (credit: George Ko, Giant Robot Media) | Where My Heart Leads

Justin Chon: ‘Strangebird’ on radar

“Do you want to watch gook?” my brother asked. “What’s it about?” “LA riots.” (LA riots? Never heard of it.) “Oh. No thanks.” As he was getting gook to play on tv, I looked it up. Halfway through the trailer, I called out from my room, “Ok, I’m watching. Start from the beginning, please.”  The film plays, I’m like, hey this guy looks familiar. He’s the YouTuber. Justin Chon felt like a ‘strange bird’ – quirky, yet real in his YouTube videos. He looked Asian, but wasn’t your ‘typical’ Asian kid – you can’t quite put a finger on him. In his older YouTube intros, against, fun, child-like music he peeks out from a plastic dumpster, flips open the dumpster lid and leaps out with a bouquet of colorful balloons in one hand and a big, wide grin on his face. As if he’s going to “litter” the world with colorful balloons in ways you wouldn’t expect. gook was refreshing gook was refreshing. The storyline was refreshing. The cast was Korean Americans and African Americans. It …