Samantha Culp

Leica x Swire Hotels Photo Contest: Beijing/HK

(by Madi Ju)

It’s not too late to submit your most striking snapshots of Beijing or Hong Kong to the Leica x Swire Hotels photography contest. Organized by my frequent collaborator Juliana Loh, the project invited four of greater China’s most talented young photographers (my friends Madi Ju and Xue Tan among them) to shoot Swire’s main hotels in Beijing and HK – the Opposite House and Upper House, respectively. They will then be judging public photo submissions for prizes like Leica cameras and hotel stays. Also important to note: “Entries from all over the world are accepted as long as they fit into the theme shot in Beijing or Hong Kong, photos do not have to be taken with a Leica Camera.”

Full details here and on their Facebook page, and hurry up to get your snaps in by November 30.

Terms and conditions:
-One photo entry per person, 300dpi, 1280 x1024, send to
-Name + email address + contact number + Facebook / 微博 username.
-Photos have to be taken in either Beijing or Hong Kong under respective city’s themes.

(by Xue Tan)

(by Han Chao)

(by Mandy Yeung)

View the full set here

Mild Gathering – Madi Ju & friends exhibition in Shanghai

Madi Ju has brought “Wild Gathering” to Shanghai but it is now a “Mild Gathering” – in the wake of recent bleak times in Japan, Yunnan, Beijing and beyond. Let’s gather, mildly, for some beautiful photographs and humble creations from Madi and friends, from April 7 at Aegis shop in Shanghai.

MILD GATHERING – art, music, photo, conversations
6-9pm, April 7th
at our friend Winston’s shop – Aegis
777 Julu Lu, near Fumin Lu, Shanghai
5403 9869

Featuring photographers Madi Ju and Peter Sutherland, and Japanese fashion designer Hiro Sawatari


3 friends
3 professions
3 countries
3 exhibition parties

Closely linked by photography, music, art, design and now – some sadness about Japan, China and Thailand earth quakes and their people’s difficulties and pains.

3 shows will happen in 3 years…

Show 2010 was Wild Gathering in Beijing, 350 people attended our party, we partied happy and wild, looked at artworks, listened to our djing, spoke about everything and nothing.

and as were planning show number 2 in Shanghai – Wilder Gathering on April 7th, because of the sadness and grey mood around us, we have decided to continue, not call it Wilder, but simply call it MILD GATHERING.

Click here for (more…)

Modernist Ghana: Sound and Vision

Design Observer takes a look at the relics of tropical modernist architecture in Ghana with the subtly beautiful slideshow “Listening There: Scenes from Ghana“. Authors Mabel O. Wilson, and Peter Tolkin traveled through the country in 2008, documenting the surviving architecture of the post-colonial period (starting in the late 1940s). See the slideshow and read the full article below.

“These mid-century buildings were mostly modernist, designed by architects from Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Lebanon, Italy and Ghana; they had been reviewed in contemporary architectural publications, as part of a lively debate on what became known as “Tropical Modernism.” Until recently, their legacy had all but disappeared from the historical canon; and with their absence we’ve failed to understand how critical the African continent was to the discourse of modernism. Our trip was motivated by a desire to see how these buildings had fared in the half century since their construction, and to explore how they functioned in today’s increasingly urban and global contexts…”


Yo Yo Ma is Cool

From the annals of unexpected graffiti, this gem. (via Eyeteeth)

Patrick Tsai “Hot Water” exhibition, closing Oct 2

Photographer Patrick Tsai has an exhibition of his typically striking work at Cultivate Gallery in Tokyo – unfortunately it’s closing on October 2, but the finissage party will feature a performance by Moon Mama, the solo project of Afrirampo‘s Pikachu. (Wish I could hop a plane to Narita just for that!)

HUH. Magazine recently interviewed Patrick about the show and his shooting process:

Q: You very rarely shoot landscapes without people and people are almost always the central focal point of your images. What is it about people you want to store on film?
A: People are more interesting than trees or buildings. I always thought that. Basically, I think travel photography tends to be boring. That’s why in the My Little Dead Dick series we didn’t really take photos of the exotic people around us when we traveled to Tibet and Nepal, but focused more on ourselves in these places, I think that’s what made those photos a little different. For “Hot Water”, I decided to try boring.

Read the full interview here, and more from interviewer Cameron Allan McKean here

More on the closing event here for folks in Tokyo…

Cultivate Hot Water Closing Party

Hot Water by Patrick Tsai : Closing Live Event!
Pikachu, the drummer of former Japanese band “Afrirampo”, will play an acoustic live at Cultivate gallery under her solo name “Moon Mama”. We hope that her intimate, raw performance accompanied with Patrick’s bright photos will leave you happily shaken. Enjoy!

10/02 (Saturday)
Doors Open 5:30/ Start 6:00
Ticket 800 yen (Reservation or Door)
Maximum Capacity: 25 people

Paul Robeson, Anna May Wong & Mei Lanfang Vintage Photo

(full size image here)

An amazing photograph from 1935 of Paul Robeson, Anna May Wong and Mei Lanfang standing in front of Claridge’s hotel in London. One can only imagine how cool their tea-time that afternoon must have been.

Courtesy of the “Room 26: Cabinet of Curosities” blog, which features new acquisitions, unique documents, and visual and textual curiosities from the collections of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.


Photos from Short Stays: the Making Of

Click below to play a slideshow of the Short Stays film stills and making of…

Link to set on Flickr.


(Daido Moriyama, “How to Create a Beautiful Picture 6: Tights in Shimotakaido“, 1987)

Before I headed to Tokyo, I did a Google search for “Shimotakaido,” the neighborhood where my friend Patrick Tsai lives and where he was graciously allowing me to crash. One of the first results was this awesome 1987 photo-series by renowned Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama – fitting, as Patrick is also a photographer and a big Moriyama fan.


Words of Caution for All Us Dilettantes


“No Dabbling.”

[Sign on decorative waterfall/pond, PVG Airport, Shanghai]

Bangkok Days (From the Snow to the Sweat)

When I lived in Hong Kong, the flight to Don Muang (and then Suvarnabhumi) was a frequent and familiar one… but since moving up north, far less easy to wrangle. Luckily I got to head back for a bit recently. I didn’t realize how much I had missed it.

Beijing was still covered in snow when I left, and grey when I returned. Just like “The Wizard of Oz,” BKK remains the Technicolor in the middle.

Full photo set here.

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Happy New Year 2008


Happy New Year 2007


Happy New Year 2006