Saturday, 28 January 2017

The Year to be Chicken? No! The It's the Year of the Rooster!

Gong xi fa cai! Or - Gong hai fatt choi if you're Cantonese! And also 'Xin nian kuai le'. Technically, the Lunar New Year Day was yesterday but with celebrations continuing on until today we can keep saying to to each other then. It's not just the Chinese who celebrate the Lunar New Year (of course) the Vietnamese and Koreans also have excellent celebrations! But as I am most familiar with Chinese celebrations (and that is often the sort happening in the main CBD). 

Usually I like going into the city to see the customary lion dancing in Chinatown in front of all the businesses who are hoping for a prosperous year ahead. Lots of firecrackers and drums - it's always been my dream to be a drum bearer haha. 

You can see what's happening in Melbourne on the Chinese New Year website here
or else just wander into the city and have a spontaneous celebration! 

I like the Lunar New Year because it's a time for family and food (and very loud firecrackers)! 

If you're looking for a way to celebrate yourself at home why not cook up a feast for you and your family and friends! 




Perhaps if you've got a young one learning Chinese (or you just like the pictures) 



Alternatively if you're interested in learning about Chinese Customs...



Saturday, 21 January 2017

Tennis Time!

It's an exciting week of sport in Melbourne with the Australian Open already in full swing! The weather is somewhat milder than in previous years and some big upsets already is going to liven up the finals when they roll around next week! I really do want to go for a day but it is as equally addicting to watch game after game on TV... Check out the schedule of play here

Who's your favourite player?  

Well, funny we're talking about tennis because we also have tennis books! One of my favourites is the Roger Federer Infographic book is pretty awesome. 

As is the Margaret Court Autobiography. She is phenomenal! She won 64 major grand slam titles of which 24 were individual singles titles. Will Serena surpass her that is another question. This one only came out last year so plenty of life left in it still! Much like Ms Court herself

And of course because we love Federer, another one about him (but a little newer this time) FEDERER AND ME by William Skidelsky. A poignant look into a fan's obsession with the tennis great.  


Saturday, 7 January 2017

Hey Hockney!

If you've got some spare time lying about - or even if you don't you should check out the DAVID HOCKNEY CURRENT exhibition that's currently on at the NGV. It's a lovely celebration of colour and life. I didn't realise until I went myself but a large number of works on display were actually created using an iPhone or iPad. When you see photographs of Hockney who is approaching (or already) his eighties, there's something wonderfully fun about his artistic methods. It also allows him to become about a billion times more prolific. As I was looking at the works, it increasingly felt like a new kind of impressionism as he builds up lines dabbing with his virtual brush. Even more so because the iPad is so mobile, quick and mess free, a sunset through the trees can be captured in an instant. Quite amazing was watching the video replays of his paintings coming to life as each stroke can be captured on the device. It may seem that it's easy to 'paint' on a tablet but the animations show the complexities involved and the buildup of layers. I'm still astounded!

If you'd like to expand your knowledge, we have books on Hockney! Such as 


Or perhaps you aren't quite so keen to head into the city, we can also stock the official NGV record book of the exhibition!

And let's not forget Hockney's book with Martin Gayford - A HISTORY OF PICTURES an excellent look at the history of pictures (as one would expect)!