Still have the bad habit that when things are not complete, (either I haven’t organize my thoughts to 100% or many things are all over the place that have no sequences) they don’t get to show face here.

Thus, many documentation don’t get to have the instantaneous effect of getting posted. But eventually, once they are sorted out, they will get to dance on the stage all at once. I wonder if this perfectionist’s completeness will make both me and others wonder will I make it till the end?

Well, I know.. un-glamorous  and unprofessional setup.


Significance of Offerings

If the lotus symbolises spiritual purity,
as it blossoms despite roots in mud (which represents defilements),
does the offering of lotus flowers represent purity at shrines?

But the offering of flowers
traditionally represents impermanence (of our bodies),
as they swiftly wither away despite their beauty.

What about the offering of lamps?
They represent spread of the light of wisdom
which dispels the the darkness of wisdom.

What about the offering of an electrical lotus lamp?
It can represent purity, impermanence and wisdom!
A three-in-one offering!

As long as we understand the significance of offerings,
traditions can be rejuvenated in modern forms.
Even new meaningful meanings are welcome, while we remember the old.

Photo Opportunities

Series of photographic works entitled “Photo Opportunities”, from hundreds of snapshots of tourist locations found on the Internet.
By Madeline Yale.

In the essay, she also talks about how socially conditioned we are to take pictures we have seen before – images popularized through film, television, postcards, and the Internet.
In my opinion at the first glance, it greatly resemble Claude Monet’s impressionist painting. It seems to also reflect people’s impression of these tourist attraction even before they stood in front of them. Interesting project on accumulative data collection through photography.

More examples

10 lessons for young designers by John C Jay

10 lessons for young designers:
1. Be authentic. The most powerful asset you have is your individuality, what makes you unique. It’s time to stop listening to others on what you should do.

2. Work harder than anyone else and you will always benefit from the effort.

3. Get off the computer and connect with real people and culture. Life is visceral.

4. Constantly improve your craft. Make things with your hands. Innovation in thinking is not enough.

5. Travel as much as you can. It is a humbling and inspiring experience to learn just how much you don’t know.

6. Being original is still king, especially in this tech-driven, group-grope world.

7. Try not to work for stupid people or you’ll soon become one of them.

8. Instinct and intuition are all-powerful. Learn to trust them.

9. The Golden Rule actually works. Do good.

10. If all else fails, No. 2 is the greatest competitive advantage of any career.

Plus some insights of what he does and think

Getting my lotus

Finally gotten my last flower, lotus. It was all wrapped up.

I slowly open up each petal till its core. It an irony that it was my first time touching a lotus petal.

I never knew how it looks like inside before the lotus bloom. Neither do I ever come so close to the core of an alive lotus.



City kids.

3 marks of existence

According to the Buddhist tradition, all phenomena other than Nirvana, (sankhara) are marked by three characteristics, sometimes referred to as the Dharma seals, that is dukkha (suffering), anicca (impermanence), and anatta (non-Self).

After much meditation, the Buddha concluded that everything in the physical world (plus everything in the phenomenology of psychology) is marked by these three characteristics:

1) Dukkha (suffering)

2) Anicca (imperanence)

3) Anatta (non-self)

Dukkha 苦 [く] ku

Suffering or dissatisfaction is part of our human experience.

Dukkha is one of those word that do not translate easily. Most translators use the word suffering to explain the meaning of Dukkha but it not really appropriate.

There are actually 3 kinds of Dukkha:

  • Physical and mental pain and suffering (pain induced by a cancer or the suffering of a mother who lost her child)
  • Impermanence or change bring dissatisfaction. When we are happy we usually don’t feel pain or suffering yet happiness is an impermanent state and it will bring dissatisfaction when it will fade. This dissatisfaction is part of a longing for another state of mind.
  • Conditioned states. This one is a little more tricky to understand. Each being are attached to 5 “states”:
    • Matter (brings greed)
    • Sensations (bring dependence)
    • Perceptions (brings inflexibility)
    • Mental Formations (brings close-mindedness)
    • Consciousness (brings selfishness)

One important lesson to learn from this law is that non-attachment (to things, ideas and feelings) are very important in order to transcend suffering.

Anicca 諸行無常 [しょぎょうむじょう] shogyoumujou

means impermanence. this impermanence permeates all phenomenon in nature and human society. A common image is that of a leaf, falling down a tree to be soon replaced by another. The same fallen leaf will decay and feed the tree it comes from, thus changing state again. Everything is a flow of change that carries all in its passage.

Human consciousness is subject to this law. We are always changing on many plans. You just have to remember how, as a kid, you didn’t like certain things, say coffee. Today, chances are that you now like coffee.

It’s a simple example but the truth is that impermanence plays an important role in our delivery from suffering. Since all states are impermanent and subject to change, so is our suffering. It is thank to this law of impermanence that we can attain Nirvana.

Anatta 無我 [むが] muga

Simply put, this law stipulates that we are not really an entity but a result of our perception of the world through the five collectors:

  1. Form (our physical form)
  2. Sensation (our 5 senses)
  3. Perception (rationalization, thinking)
  4. Mental formations (habits, prejudice, beliefs)
  5. Consciousness (a awareness of our world)

Lotus in buddhism

Originally the lotus was an idiom for water which was the source of life, fertility, many children, abundance, continuity and the right of kings. It played a major role in wishfulfillment and was used  in religious and festive decorations. Buddhism employed the lotus as a simile for purity because of its habit of producing flowers that are untainted by the mud from which they arose. Simultaneously, it was a simile for beauty as attested by the numerous names that alluded to the lotus- lotus faced, lotus eyed, heart of the lotus. It also stood for detachment and enlightenment, the ability to rise above one’s circumstance and freedom from bias.

The lotus is the national flower of India and it symbolizes hope

The lotus made its appearance when the Mahayana school introduced the concept of the eternal Buddha the first Buddha who was shown sitting on a lotus throne was possibly the cosmic Buddha Amitabha.

Buddhism in China introduced a love for nature and the use of vegetal forms, a sense of gentleness and serenity.

From book The Lotus in the Buddhist art of India by Teoh Eng Soon, 2002



This symbolizes Bodhi, the state of total mental purity and spiritual perfection, and the pacification of our nature. It generally has eight petals corresponding to the Noble Eightfold Path of the Good Law. It is the lotus found at the heart of the Garbhadhatu Mandala, being the womb or embryo of the world. It is characteristic of the esoteric sects, and the lotus of the Buddhas.
From here

A Breath of Life

This is an expedition involving the artificial study of plant life.
Materials – Flexinol (shape memory alloy), recycled electronic components, specimen jars.
Ten propagated flower lamps from a living plant. Each flower lamp has a ‘death state’, until human interaction triggers its ‘life state’ and just for a brief moment, you may recapture the flowers in full bloom, and just like flowers, each lamp is uniquely formed and retains its own character.
When the viewer blows into the specimen jars, each flower begins a shape change. Blowing is the appropriate interaction as trees and plants grow on carbon dioxide.
Every living thing needs a home, plants change themselves to survive in their habitat.

Makoto Azuma- artist florist

Makoto Azuma has staged Mother Nature, and his unique vision makes us think twice about the subtle connectivity of his work. In his laboratory-cum-boutique in Tokyo, Makotot Azumo arranges haute-couture bouquets for a clientele that are becoming increasingly addicted to this ‘must haves.’ Prolific in his work, Azuma also likes to invest in places: Ark Hills, a former printing house that he rechristened AMPG (Azuna Makoto Private Gallery), 21-21 Design sight in Tokyo, the Cartier Foundation and Colette in Paris, and public baths on the Museum Island of Naoshima. He has collaborated with fashion designers such as Martin Margiela and Issey Miyake, as well as with labels like Adidas, for whom he designed the logo for a limited edition tennis series. Milan, Paris, New York, Düsseldorf…flower power is taking over once again thanks to Makoto Azuma and his botanical sculptures. At 34 years old, this florist has been honored with an invitation to the Japanese pavilion for the Shanghai World Exhibition next May. Another high-profile, international event for Azuma-sama.