provoke!

provoke!, an exhibition which was recently inaugurated in viennese albertina, is one of the most powerful exhibitions i’ve visited since i moved to vienna. for some reason, it is still in my head.

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provoke was an experimental small press Japanese photography magazine founded by photographers yutaka takanashi and takuma nakhira, critic koji taki and writer takahiko okada in 1968. it was viewed as “a platform for a new photographic expression”. provoke magazine was born around the idea that even though images cannot completely represent an idea as words can, photographs can provoke language and idea. hence provoke’s subtitle “provocative materials for thought”

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only three issues of provoke magazine were published on 1 november 1968, and 10 march and 10 august 1969, each in an edition of 1,000 copies. however, it had a profound effect on photography in japan.

the photographers of provoke magazine captured what cannot be expressed in words, such as massive protest movements active in japan between sixties and seventies, as well as the search for a new japanese identity.

the magazine wanted to be a provocation to japanese society and its photographic culture, european-style photojournalism and straightforward commercial photography. they also sought to awaken and refresh the aesthetics of existing photography and question the increasingly commercial visual language of japanese society.

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exhibition shows around 200 photographs. these images represent both an expression of this political transformation and the renewal of aesthetic norms.

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i guess that the powerful thing which kept me thinking about this exhibition for some time is how little i know about that era in japan. sixties were quite turbulent period on a global level (civil rights, feminism, space race, and so on). ever since i saw these photographs i keep wondering how it was to live there in that turbulent period.

for all of you living in vienna (or if you’re planning to visit in the next months), do not miss this exhibition. it will truly give you an insight in that particular period of japanese (and global) history. the exhibition is open until 8.5.2016.

coat story

i’m not crazy about winter & cold weather, i spend most of the winter days counting how much we have until spring.. it’s mainly because i cannot stand cold (my hands & feet get immediately so cold) and it’s quite difficult to stay stylish.

well, i was quite fortunate during the last 10-ish years.. first i spent four winters on +30 degrees (in malaysia) during my studies.. and then for the next seven years i was enjoying mild italian winters. so, by moving to austria i got to experience what winter is really like.. and so far, i’m not enjoying it so much.

however, there’s something which keeps me in a better mood: my super-cool grey coat with super-cool pink hood!

it’s a product of one of my favorite brands, sandro. just like the rest of my favorite brands, it’s french.. and super chic!

what i like about this coat is that it’s form is totally simple and classic.. and yet, with the hood (which can be removed for the classy occasions), gives it that “bit” which makes it really unique.

i have it for a year now.. and i’m still totally crazy about it.

what do you think?

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all the photos in this post were taken by tarik, during our winter holiday in lovely geneva (december 2015.)

a year on -> recap [australia #14]

this time last year we were in australia. well, we had just arrived and the whole adventure was still ahead of us. and when i say adventure, i really mean it.

so, this is where i end my australian trip, even though it is not where it actually ends. after visiting hobart, we flew back to melbourne, where we would spend a couple of days. we hang out with some of our friends and finally did some shopping (on boxing day, of course!).

then we headed back to sydney. the weather was truly amazing then, so we finally decided to visit one of sydney’s famous beaches – manly beach. the waves were really strong, but we decided to go with the flow – we always wanted to get destroyed by the waves, but never had a chance!

we visited blue mountains, which were very disappointing – for the amount of people encountered there. we really didn’t expect them to be so touristy. of course, we visited the famous three sisters, but we decided not to stay there too long. sydney was far more interesting; especially since we had discovered some new neighborhoods, such as paddington, surry hils and darlington.

and then, there was the new year’s eve – which we spent in sydney harbor, watching the unforgettable fireworks. and i really mean that.

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so, why aren’t i writing separate posts about these events? the reason is simple: i have no photos. the photos from hobart are the last ones we transferred to external disc, before heading to cairns -> and in cairns, only 4 days after the incredible new year’s celebration, our camera (and so many other valuable things) with the remaining photos, got stolen.

so, a year after -> what can i say about our trip to australia. as i already said, it was an adventure. we didn’t stop talking about it. even about the last week, when our most valuable items were stolen, and the return trip back home (without passports!).

while solving these problems, i learned several valuable lessons:

  1. do not tell people more than what’s absolutely necessary – you might confuse them, which can create further problems;
  2. go one step at a time – if you try to think too much ahead, you’ll go crazy;
  3. it is nice to travel in a group (well, we were in a couple, but it still helps) – everyone has its own problem-solving method, and that is very useful in this kind of situations.

i hope to go back to aussie. it is one of the most beautiful countries i visited so far, and every time i think about it i feel extremely emotional. i know i will continue to compare all of my further trips to this very special one.

charming hobart [australia #13]

our trip to tasmania was focused on its wilderness, about which i’ve written in previous posts (fraycinet, bay of fires and cradle mountain); however, we had to stop by hobart, tasmania’s charming capital.

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hobart is australia’s second settlement (sydney being the first), it was founded in 1804 as a penal colony. ties between these two cities remain strong until today – one of australia’s most important events is sydney to harbor yacht race – starting in sydney, in its spectacular harbor, on 26th december.

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hobart was founded on the waterfront, just like its “big sister”, sydney. its most important site is still the harbor, which is composed of  two docks – victoria dock & constitution dock. constitution dock serves as the arrival point of the yacht race.

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when in hobart, one must visit salamanca place, the site of a pulsating sunday-morning market, as we were told. unfortunately, we were staying in hobart for a very short while,  but even without that, we found the old stone warehouses atmospheric and appealing. there you may find a lively arts centre as well as the usual selection of galleries, bars and cafés.

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what i loved about hobart were its warehouses (we were staying in a hotel which used to be a warehouse), galleries, colonial architecture, and of course, the most amazing oysters (and seafood in general).

the following pictures show only a tiny fraction of many hobart’s beauties.

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we were told that the view of hobart is the best from mount wellington, but we never got to it. we had to leave something for the next time :)

cradle mountain [australia #12]

the first sight of cradle mountain, emerging up across the dove lake, is often compared to the first sight of sydney opera house. it was definitely one of those magical travel moments -> i remember seeing its picture, but i was still blown away by the real thing.

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the cradle mountain, a part of the unesco heritage site tasmanian wilderness, undoubtedly offers numerous walking tracks, the most beautiful ones in tasmania (and some would say even the world!). it is a starting point of the overland track, australia’s most famous hiking trail, a 65km & six-day traverse of tasmania’s central plateau, through the heart of the cradle mountain – lake st clair national park.

when planning our trip, we could spare only a week for tasmania altogether (meaning: fraycinet & bay of fires, cradle mountain and hobart were to be covered in a week), so it was impossible to squeeze in the overland track into our jam-packed schedule. instead, we opted for shorted walks, two of which were listed as 60 great short walks.

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since we arrived in the afternoon, we decided to go immediately for our first short walk, dove lake circuit, a 6km track around dove lake and beneath the peaks of cradle mountain. the dove lake circuit took us also through a magnificent cool temperate rainforest known as the ballroom forest.

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on the shores of dove lake stands the often-photographed boatshed, built by the first ranger at cradle mountain in 1940.

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the boatshed was also a starting point of our second hike, a bit longer and more difficult one – cradle mountain summit, which we planned for the following day.
it was a sunny day, but we were cautious, since the weather forecast was not quite the best -> it was supposed to rain in the afternoon.. but we still didn’t want to miss the chance to climb the cradle mountain.

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the start was quite easy, track was boardwalked for much of the way.. and there were a lot of people around. since aussies are very friendly people, we chatted away with a lot of them. one lady was so nice to offer to take picture of us. it is not maybe the best picture, but it’s the only one we have from cradle mountain.

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so, we went on.. all this while we admired the lovely scenery.
however, out road soon turned to be rocky. and i mean – really rocky!
fortunately it was a granite rock and it was not very slippery.. but still, i started feeling a bit uneasy.

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when we were 60-70m below its highest peak, i decided i can’t continue. it already started raining, the rock was getting a bit slippery and people were going crazy a bit.. and i was simply too scared to go on. i found a cosy spot and waited for tarik, who went all the way to the top.
he managed to find a nice fellow who took a picture of him, on the highest peak of the cradle mountain.

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after an hour or so, tarik returned and we started our descent. now it was raining really heavily and we started rushing back to our car. on the way there he was telling me his impressions from the summit and was completely mesmerized by cradle mountain. well, who wouldn’t be..

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once we arrived to the boatshed, the starting point of the hike, we hopped into a car and continued our trip. we  headed to hobart, where we would stay for two days. on the way there (it was quite a long drive) we talked a lot about what we saw while climbing the cradle mountain. i also started to regret my decision..

i hope i did the right thing (who knows, something could’ve happened to me), but somewhere deep down i hope to go back to cradle mountain.. the next time i will go all the way to the highest peak.

end of summer

we can all agree that we had a long and very warm summer.. it was even warmer for us who stayed in the city. i thought that, by moving to vienna, i would no longer experience such warm weather (summers in milan were really unbearable.. just like the weather during an entire year in kuala lumpur). but i was wrong – vienna welcomed me with the warmest summer ever.

however, it came to an end. the weather these days announces the arrival of autumn..
i spent the last day of summer in the garden of palais liechtenstein, its summer palace to be precise, which is quite close to where i live.

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later i had learned that the liechtenstein summer palace is home to one of the most significant and largest private art collections in the world. the collection of the prince of liechtenstein includes treasures from the early renaissance to the high baroque, such as masterpieces by rubens, rembrandt, van dyck and many others. however, the art collection of the palais liechtenstein is visible only at events or booked tours. public tours are offered regularly and their timetable is exposed at the garden entrance.

since there were no tours offered at the time, i decided to stay in the garden (but i wrote down a note to myself to check out the timetable). i found a free bench, opened a book and enjoyed the last day of summer. i was so taken by the book that i forgot where i was. after some time, i looked up and saw a beautiful garden filled with flowers.. i decided to put down the book and take some pictures. i finally started practicing using my camera the way it should be used, so i thought i could give it a go..

..et voilà!

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some photos may need improvement, but it’s a good start.. don’t you think so?

tasmanian wilderness, no.181 [australia #11]

tasmanian wilderness, australia’s largest conservation zone, satisfies all four natural criteria for world natural site. its rocks represent every geological period, the wide range of plants are unique to the area and it is home to some of the oldest trees and the longest caves in the world. one fifth of the island is designated as a unesco heritage site; it has been on the list since 1982.

the insularity of tasmania has contributed to the uniqueness of the region. tasmania was cut off from the mainland australia by the flooding of the bass strait more than 8000 years ago, causing isolation not only of the aboriginal inhabitants, but also of its flora and fauna.  the vegetation has as much in common with cool, temperate regions of south america and new zealand as with the rest of australia. in addition to climatic factors, the vegetation has developed in response to fire. the fauna is of world importance because it includes an unusually high proportion of endemic species, the most famous being the tasmanian devil (whom we didn’t get to see!)

tasmanian wilderness covers the area of the cradle mountain, lake st clair, franklin-gordon wild rivers national park and many more. on our week-long trip to tasmania, we managed to see the cradle mountain only.. nevertheless, we captured some examples of tasmanian wilderness..

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the next entry will focus on the cradle mountain only.. our ascent and some of the breathtaking views..

short visit to milan -> part three: expo 2015

the third post is dedicated to the largest event milan hosted this year (or maybe ever): expo 2015.
even though i was quite tired from wandering the streets of milan and visiting the fondazione prada, i decided to go for the evening visit. i am still planing on going again to expo (i have purchased tickets well in advance), but i didn’t want to miss a chance to see how is it.

i was sad to discover that major number of pavilions were closed (or very crowded) by the time i got there, so i managed to see only a couple of them. however, i decided to prepare my top 5 list – for now, at least. i may write a longer entry after i spend a full day at expo.

5. brazil – “feeding the world with solutions”

brazilians use network, as a metaphor for flexibility, fluidity and decentralization in order to demonstrate the relationship and integration of different topics which need to be combined in order to provide food for world’s ever growing population.
in their exhibition space, brazil offers visitors a view of all the possibilities being explored and implemented to increase and diversify food production, satisfying food demands around the world and using advanced technologies in a way that is truly sustainable… while having fun!

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4. malaysia – “towards a sustainable food ecosystem”

malaysia pavilion takes the shape of four seeds. the curves of the design and the weaving patterns on the structure reflect the versatility and dynamism of the nation. the design drew inspiration from the humble rainforest seed. the seed, a symbol of growth, signifies a beginning of a journey, and the potential within.
okay, maybe i am being a little bit biased here.. having spent very important part of my life in malaysia, i tend to be very nostalgic.

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3. uae – “food for thought – shaping and sharing the future”

uae explore challenges that arise in feeding the planet, particularly in the interwoven topics of land, food, energy and water.
uae pavilion is created by a series of tall rippled walls. these impressive 12-meter structures evoke both the narrow self-shaded streets of the uae’s historic settlements and the magnificent open sand dunes of its deserts. too bad the pavilion was already closed when i arrived, but i am definitely getting in the next time!

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2. austria – “breathe.austria”

with the moto “breathe.austria” austrians underline that air is an essential component to the health of food and humans and it is an indicator of ecological balance. the pavilion creates a small scale austrian forest that provides 62.5 kilograms of fresh oxygen every hour, without filters or conditioners, which is enough for 1,800 people in an ideal climate, providing wellness and absorbing CO2.

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i thought this pavilion to be very different from the others (and i’m not saying that only because i live in austria now). it was so refreshing.. in every possible sense.

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1. united kingdom – “grown in britain and northern ireland”

under the theme “grown in britain and northern ireland” wishes to raise global awareness of and provide innovative solutions to one of the most pressing challenges of our time – how to feed and sustain an expected rise in the world’s population to nine billion by 2050.

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the uk pavilion chose to follow the journey of the honey bee to highlight the role of pollination in the global food chain and ecosystem. it also describes how the exchange of ideas, skills and knowledge is an essential part of human activity and future.

this pavilion blew my mind. it is true work of a genius.

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so, that’s my top 5. what did you think of pavilions at expo2015? and, more importantly, which ones would you recommend for the second tour?

short visit to milan -> part two: fondazione prada

even though i was planning on publishing this post several days after my first post on the short visit to milan, my computer had other plans.. it had simply decided to stop working :( it took us some time to find the new one.. however, i am back.. finally!

the second post is about fondazione prada, which opened in the humble neighborhood of largo isarco, only two streets away from my former apartment. of course, i couldn’t miss the chance to visit the newest contemporary art museum in milan, as well as my ex-hood :)

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the museum itself is a former distillery, dating back to the 1910s. the transformation lead to an architectural configuration that combines pre-existing buildings with three new structures. the result is a campus of post-industrial and new spaces with the inner courtyard, open to the city.

the following buildings make part of a museum and they each host different exhibitions: haunted house, podium, cisterna (tank), deposito (warehouse), nord (north) and sud (south), with other facilities such as biblioteca (library), bar and cinema.

i started my tour in the haunted house, the golden building which immediately captured my attention. this building also belonged to the old distillery; however, its structure was reinforced, while its external surface was glided. the interior is as interesting as the exterior, its large windows create a strong relationship with the surrounding, yet the sequence and size of single rooms preserve the intimacy of the inner space. haunted house hosts permanent exhibition of robert gober and louise bourgeois.

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my next stop was the cinema, where i watched a never shown documentary “roman polanski: my inspirations”, featuring a film review of movies that have inspired his work: citizen kane (1941), great expectations (1946), odd man out (1947), hamlet (1948), the bicycle thieves (1948) and 8 1/2 (1963).

then i went to what would become my favorite part of the museum – podium. it hosted a very interesting exhibition: serial classic – multiplying art in greece and rome, which aimed to represent and revive lost originals with an empty pedestals, on which are placed summaries of the ancient sources describing them. i have taken picture of several replicas along with their descriptions: praxiteles’s sartyr, myron’s discobolus and scopas’s pothoi.

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what i loved the most about this exhibition is how they managed to combine the art of classical period with the contemporary art and how they made me think they truly belong together.

the following three exhibitions would not capture my attention as the first three, but they are still worth mentioning: in part (which took place in the northern part of the museum: nord), an introduction (in the southern part: sud) and deposito.

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and finally, there’s bar luce, the lovely café, designed by wes anderson (director of “grand budapest hotel”). the café itself reminds of galleria vittorio emanuele, one of milan’s landmarks, especially with its vaulted ceiling and the motifs on the upper section of the wall.

when i went to the café, i was truly sad it was not open at least a couple of months earlier, so i could get my morning coffee and breakfast here.

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and then, i took a walk around the museum. great museums can be found all around the world, but an architectural piece like fondazione prada are only a few.

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short visit to milan -> part one: mercato metropolitano

last week i managed to organize a short trip to milan, the city where i lived for the past seven years. i had some administrative stuff to settle, but also i wanted to see what’s new in town.

although i moved only two months ago, a lot of things happened in that short period and there were yet again a lot of things to explore. aside from expo2015, brand new museum, fondazione prada, was opened in my ex-neighborhood, so i decided to pay a visit to it. but my very first stop was mercato metropolitano, a lovely marketplace in porta genova area.

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therefore, i dedicate the first post (out of planned three) to mercato metropolitano – “a place where you may buy and taste good food under the stars”. it is located in the former train depot of porta genova. an area of 15.000 sq.m. in the famous neighborhoods of tortona and navigli district was rearranged and made into this amazing marketplace. the farmers’ market itself is a part of project “expoincitta” (expo in the city), dedicated to promotion of the city of milan during the world fair.

even though the existance of mercato metropolitano is intended only during the expo, i.e. from may 1st to october 31st, there’s a hope that this area (which is so atypical for milan!), would remain open even after the expo ends.

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as soon as i arrived to mercato metropolitano, i got instantly reminded of queen victoria market in melbourne, about which i have already written on my blog. since qvm (short for queen victoria market) was one of my favorite places in melbourne, i had no doubt i would love mercato metropolitano. i loved the idea of a place with a laid back atmosphere, full of people who are chatting over a coffee or a brunch,  live music & plenty of street food stalls. oh, and herbs and vegetables planted all around the market complete this wonderful journey.

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an then i thought.. what a great way to reclaim an abandoned area into a market with clean stalls selling everything from appetizers to desserts, through breads, cheeses, salads and meats.

numerous food stalls offer variety of fresh and organic food, starting from locally grown fruits & vegetables. then, there’s a bakery offering freshly baked bread, focaccia and piadina. if you happen to be up to the real meal, don’t worry – there’s plenty of choice of pasta, fish and meat. of course, coffee and ice cream are inevitable (and my favorite!) part of any meal.

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so, if you happen to go to milan (until 31st october), do not miss this place. the address is via valenza 2, and it is easily accessible by foot from navigli & darsena. it is open daily until midnight (workdays) / 2am (weekends).