Thursday, 22 August 2013


What I did today....

Came late for internship, went into the room.

I sat down and introduced myself in Burmese, which I tried to do everyday so that I don't forget the phrase. As you can imagine, this moment is awkward.

I take out my sketchbook and start to draw the old man next to me who is smoking tobacco and creating a nice frame for the old poster in 1960s.

He asks me simple questions for me to learn Burmese.

The other man comes in and greets me. He also makes frame for the old arts.

We are surrounded by historical materials but every single thing is dusty. I always feel like I am in the colonial period of Burma since the collections are mostly from that term.

I finish my sketching and get down stairs to eat Burmese lunch.

I meet new visitors there at the gallery where I have lunch. Visitors come from all over the world. Business, Volunteering, creating democracy, sightseeing, art buyers, they have their own purpose to visit here. The owner treats them equally and serve tea for each person.

I finish lunch and go back to the research center. Two old man trying to explain me about the incident happened in 2011 which is not the Monks demonstration.

The story ends up talking about whether Japan should have military or not.

Then one of them starts to teach me Burmese.

I always wonder if they are sacrificing their time to spend good time with me or if they are just enjoying the moment. We have been talking and talking for hours. They are both very very very experienced men, who are making frames for arts now.

The guy offered me to eat another Burmese food and we continued talking about Burmese history and culture.

"I believe that foreigners should go back to their country and just think about their country. They don't need to come here and take everything. I am not talking about you, you can come here and spend your time."

The guy is really nice but he is sometimes critical about fully accepting the foreigners. I sometimes get mixed feelings talking with him.

The rain gets harder and they go back home earlier than me.

I get back to the shelf which I was cleaning up and categorize the files.

A girl come to me and take pictures for the art journal that they are making.

I smile and go back to my work.

I am not helping the poor people, I am not directly supporting democracy in Burma, I am not teaching for children, I am not helping the injured. I am not in NGO.

I do art and I enjoy it. I talk with people and I enjoy it.

That's all.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Internship in Burma

I started to do my internship from yesterday in Burma, Yangon. So I decided to write some stories of what I have been experiencing here. It has been only two days but there are tons of stories to write. The place is called Pansodan Art Gallery and Canadian woman whose name is Nance and Burmese man whose name is Aung Soe Min started this gallery. Although it is called Gallery, they are working on other things, too.

So far, I am doing my job at the research center of this gallery, and there are tons of documents, photos, ads, paintings, and so on. They are all just squeezed into the room that it is almost like a jungle of documents. U Thein(I don't really know how to write his name) showed me around and I was just amazed with the rich Burmese history and his effort of collecting everything. So I've decided to clean up and organize that research center since everything is just piled up in chaos. I am especially focusing on the old photos of Burma where you can see some family photos, old architectures, news photos and so on. With this many documents, I could open up at least three museums, but they are still sleeping inside this room. U Thein showed me the old Japanese currency used in Burma during the colonization. I could read the old Japanese characters. 50 years ago, this money was used in this country!!! There were also some Japanese documents, too. I wish I could translate them into Burmese!!

Everytime I touch something, I feel the deep history behind it. And I feel the pressure and the excitement inside me. Although it has been only two days, I really enjoy my job. Nance actually let me do anything what I want to do, so the first week, I will just try to do my best to organize things and figure out in my head what I can do to be creative!

It is just nice to be surrounded by arts, and people who appreciate them. Burma is famous for its political and economical reasons mainly, but that is only one part of the country. I believe that there is no simple word to express a country and art explains that a lot.

Different kinds of people come and go to this gallery, Dutch guy filming a democratic debate in Burma, German guy starting his own Beer company, travellers buying lots of paintings, students exploring the country, artists selling their paintings, writers producing their books, and so on. I am willing to meet new people and discover more. SO if you are interested, feel free to follow my blog!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Museum Reviews 2

        Andreas Gursky (Until Sept 16th)
       I was recommended by a friend to see this exhibition. Sadly, I have never heard his name, but he was a famous photographer in the world. The museum was also famous and I have been visiting there a couple of times. The architecture is beautiful and you can just come in and have a seat there. It's also located in Roppongi where the Mori museum is. They have some exhibitions as the same time so you can enjoy the day there with restaurants and big museum shops. The exhibition was surprising. The photos were extended and the size was almost like a wall. I realized that his works are challenging the border between photography and paintings. Those photos are almost like paintings and you get tricked some times. Also you realize that how "ARTFUL" your surroundings can be with some techniques and good eyes.

Review 60/100
Worth seeing for Japanese who are not really familiar with photography. For foreigners who want to see some Japanese art, the museum has also Japanese art collections so you can visit there.

        Playback Artist Talks (Exhibition ended)
       My friend got two tickets of this museum so we decided to have a look at the exhibition. I remembered I went to this museum before when I was small but it was still remaining as modern and fascinating. It is true that the museum has more history than mori museum or the National Art Center but, the architecture was surely beautiful as a modern building. It is located right next to the emperor's house. The permanent exhibition is also worth seeing and first of all, the ticket is much cheaper than the others! That is important for us students! Art should be priceless is my opinion! The exhibition was quite interesting since you get to hear the background stories of the art works and the artists real voice. There were paintings and art pieces and next to them, there was a screen so you can hear the artists' ideas. Sometimes you don't understand or even misunderstood the ideas behind the art so I thought it was a great idea to have this kind of exhibition. However, there were too many artists and each artist talked more than 20 minutes so I got really tired of listening and concentrating on each interview. It might be better if they could shorten the interview or give us a ticket which we can visit again.

Review 55/100
Great idea, but should be more sensitive about picking the artist and considering the energy of the observers.

To be continued....

Friday, 16 August 2013

Museum Reviews 1

Since I came back to Tokyo, I managed to visit as many museums as possible. I have been willing to write the reviews about them even though I haven't taken notes of what I have thought about. Well, why don't I just try. There are some of those who are visiting Japan right now, if you haven't tried one of these museums please have a look. It doesn't matter if you don't like ART. I would especially recommend to those who don't like them at all.

         "JR -Could art change the world?-" (Exhibiton Ended)
        I came back to Japan and the day after, I visited this museum only to see JR's work. It is the smallest museum I have ever been in Tokyo and the price was not cheap( although with the ticket, you can visit again and again until the exhibition ends). I watched JR's performance by TED. He was challenging problems around the world by art. But could he really change it? I still don't know. Still I believe that art is more than entertainment or culture, it has so many possibilities, and that is what JR wanted to prove I guess.

Review 30/100
Not bad, but it was just enough to see the TED video.

        "ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE" (Until Sept 1st)
        This was also the exhibition I wanted to see after I came back, so I went the week after I went to WATARI-UM Museum. The exhibition was greater than I expected and felt like I should come again, which I did. They had variety of artists who all struggled to express love. You can not only see some Japanese "weird" cultures, but also enjoy the artworks from all around the world. It is definitely worth seeing.

Review 70/100
Pretty good as Modern art museum, plus you can see the city view from 52nd floor with the same ticket! But the museum was pretty cold don't forget a jacket.

To be continued....


Thursday, 4 April 2013


This animation pretty much explains every thing.
I am not opposed to job hunting.
I am opposed to SHUKATSU. That is a different thing.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

sometimes you need vision.

The guy(?) who commented on my previous article replied me with this animation and I thought it is worth watching :) Thanks to royal gala!!!

Monday, 11 March 2013


SHUKATSU is a Japanese word meaning job hunting. However, today I want to tell you that it doesn't mean job hunting at all. It is all about following the rules of the "adult world" and losing all your sensitive senses.

The word contains so much negative image that not many people want to face this shukatsu season. Some say it is a time to face the reality, it is a time to say good byes to the long holidays, it is a time to be the slave of the company.

I've been hearing this term since freshman. My school is especially known for being good at this job hunting, and sending students to big and famous companies and institutions. Therefore, shukatsu is part of our school life and at the same time, what people don't want to face.

"Although I got a steady job, I would never do this again."

My senior told me when I was starting to know what this word actually means. Job hunting is something very important and affects your life. But for shukatsu, it is a whole different thing.

First of all it starts in middle of your studies. Japanese uni is for 4 years and this shukatsu starts from the middle of the third year when you actually getting used to your studies and when you want to study deeper. People have to skip classes since the seminar and interviews are on weekdays when the companies are running. Professors take it for granted that shukatsusei( students who do the shukatsu) are not attending classes. People usually apply for more than 30 companies, sometimes 50. My senior applied for 80.

Any business meetings, or seminars, of course interviews, you have to wear the shukatsu suit. In England, not many people wear suits. However, in Japan, they have the shukatsu suit which doesn't look sexy at all. ( Sorry I am a big fan of guys wearing suits) I call them onigiri, or konbini onigiri. They look plain and ready to be cooked in a big factory with all the other onigiris.

Well, why am I writing this horrible shukatsu story?? Because I might be one of them and it is not avoidable if you are seeking a job in Japan. Especially my friends who are in the same grade are facing this. So I decided to write about it.

It continues....

Monday, 4 February 2013

Money and Friend

I am quite surprised that I am still continuing my blog. There are lots and lots to write about but so few times that I actually try to write about them. No excuse, I have plenty of time, I just don't try to focus on matching the ideas together.

So, today I want to talk about how I have been living these days. January, I almost freaked out of looking at my bank account. I don't spend a lot in shopping or sightseeing. Although the balance was way too small. Did I get robbed? Is somebody using my credit card? No, I was the only one using it. I spent too much on eating out. People always told me that I have to bear the British cuisine. That's a big lie in London. Since there are so many Asian and European delicious food. You just have to avoid the real British food,haha. All my money went into my stomach.

So I decided to save up by not spending them. Yes, this means that I have to cook by myself. It's not my first time to do this, since I was living in a dorm in Japan, too. But it's definitely not my cup of tea! ( I shouldn't say this in Japan, or else I wouldn't get a husbandXD)

It went very well and I am now living with 6 pounds a day in average. That will be 850yen a day, including the weekends. I try not spend a penny in the weekdays and more in the weekends. This was not a easy thing to do, as most of the students know. It means that you have to cancel some parties, drinking, meetings, lunch and dinner. And what helped me a lot are my friends. I chose to hang out with people who are good at saving money and have the same idea, standards about them. Since then, I started to realize that the relationship between money and friend is quite important which means that it is hard to become best friends with someone who have a different standards. In Japan, this didn't really happen because most of the people didn't spend that much in my school. But in London, that cannot happen. How they spend on clothes, food, livings and travelling, really shows how different status they have. The gap is quite big unfortunately. That is when I realized how important friends can be.

However, I don't believe that you should stuck with the same friends all the time. You need variety of people to enrich yourself and understand the different circumstances. But your best friends are the ones who share the same idea and don't feel uncomfortable with it.

In another way, if you want to change your lifestyle or your way of thinking, changing your friends is a big step. Don't do it obvious because it is awkward.  It sounds harsh but actually in most cases, people are doing it unconsciously. Why did you stop hanging out with him? It's because you have changed or wanted to change. Friend is the reflection of yourself.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

POSH AND SNOBBISH, there you are!!!

Yes, I went to Cambridge for the first time last Sunday. I knew a person who was living there so she showed me around. The city was full of CAMBRIDGE UNI-SMELL. There were many colleges merging into the town. Very quite atmosphere, I guess for the students to study well. Living in London, I hear the sound of the ambulance almost every day. I cannot imagine London as a quite city. However, Cambridge had few nightclubs and places where student can fool around ( Sorry I didn't know well, but I can guess from the sight). To enter the colleges, they required some money even though we were not going into the building. Cambridge owns many houses around the city, too. They even own some houses or flats in London to run their business. Yes, it was a perfect place to study and calm down and think about philosophy, but at the same time, I couldn't imagine this place without spending so much money. We students in London might pay for going out at night or eating junk food or paying the bill of our flats and dorms. But this was a whole different story. Every old building, statue, field, book, garden, gate, and so on, there was money and pride behind it. And then I realized that it is a hierarchal world. The educated must have money. Because of the diversity of the students in SOAS, I sometimes forget that UK is still a class divided society until a came to Cambridge. This was representative of the wealth or the future wealth. That is when the word posh naturally came into my mind. I enjoyed Cambridge and was fascinated to see another side of education, but I was relieved when I came back to London and saw the redbus rushing into the streets, people dressed whatever they wanted, dirts on the streets, and of course noisy sound of the ambulance. For me, this was the real world where people are living and suffering and all those feelings are just squeezed into one small space. The big city, London. Welcome back, me! ( And I have to say that, for each person, their Real world is different and I understand that, its just Cambridge was not my type:))

I went to the house of the curator of TATE. I guess he is dead already but the house remained as a gallery. It was creative and beautiful. My dream house was there. I enjoyed this moment the best.

Here are some pictures of Cambridge uni colleges and TATE curator's house...


Monday, 21 January 2013

How important are Japanese lives?

Seven dead Japanese were announced in the news yesterday in Algeria. It was a surprise since the news were telling there were some hopes for them. The Japanese workers in Algeria were held hostage for about a week and then found dead. This became a big news in Japan and so many people were sorrowful about this. 

I heard this from my friend in Japan and quickly searched on the website called Asahi is one of the major newspaper companies and I regularly read their news online when I am abroad. I prefer this company because it is slightly left but almost the middle, if you know what I mean. 

Then I was more shocked to see the headlines and the words written.

" The Seven dead Japanese told by Japanese PM"

"Seven Japanese dead, three non-Japanese dead."

I was shocked because of how they reported the news. It was as if the Japanese lives were more important than any other nation's people's lives. Of course I felt sad and horrified by the news but it looked like I have to feel this way because I was Japanese and they are Japanese. Other people's lives were mentioned as Non-Japanese's lives. Non-Japanese was my translation and actually they wrote "gaijin" which literally means alien.  They were only the numbers of the dead. But for Japanese, it was more like our siblings or families were dead. 

I understand that the government have to take care of their citizens first but why do we have to care only about our country? We can never compare the lives of people to determine which is more important. However, people are unconsciously doing this. 

Globalization is accelerating and we often realize how we cannot think nationally any more in many cases. However, we are still trapped in the nationalistic ideas at the same time. Don't take it for granted that you need to care only about your nation. The real problem is behind that.

May all the people who suffered from this incident rest in peace. And I wish the missing people to be found as soon as possible. 

Saturday, 19 January 2013


Today I went to TATE again. My friend's friend came to study and work here for a month. So I met him for the first time and showed TATE around. It was freezing outside and we needed a place to stay for a long time.

His occupation was concerning medical issues which was not my field at all. I tried to ask as many questions as possible because I can't help knowing what I've never studied before. It was interesting because we came to a point that helping developing countries which I want to do in the future, and helping the patient was kind of a similar job although they look so different.

After our deep conversation, we headed to TATE to enjoy some art pieces. The two exhibitions were Daido Moriyama and Klein's photography and The bigger splash. I enjoyed Daido's art pieces the most. I like how he doesn't hesitate to take pictures. His works are like the sliced cheese which is eaten at the best moment. I don't know if I made myself understood by saying this, but well... I just was attracted to his works.

Also I couldn't help taking the photos of people watching or not watching the art. I wish there was no sound on my ipod touch! The perverted Japanese should be responsible for this you know!!!!

Sunday, 13 January 2013


 The killer smile
 The attractive
 The brave
 The trigger
 The unknown
 The Chinese speakers
 The believer
 The story teller
 The peter pan
 The honest
 The reader
 The dreamer
 The happy
 The hippy
 The Dinwiddies
The rainbow
The distance

Saatchi Gallery

I went to Saatchi Gallery today with my friends. The pieces were from Moscow and most of them were depressing. But I found out that I like to go to museums because I like to see the people looking at the art works. They are sometimes, fashionable, crazy, sophisticated, and unique. I took some pictures which I thought I can share with you.