Archive for March, 2008

Japan: many views through one lens

March 7, 2008

This morning I helped my friend Jean-Pierre Antonio hang photos for his exhibit, “Japonisme today,” which runs March 7-25 at Sawa Restaurant and Gallery near Granville Island, Vancouver (1538 W. 2nd Ave).

Japonisme Today photo exhibit
Jean-Pierre has lived in Japan for close to twenty years (he was a great help with research for my novel, Manga Touch). Taken together, his photos create a kaleidoscope of colours and images ranging from the blurred action of summer revelers in Maruyama Park, Kyoto to the larger-than-life performances of television personalities; from the serene and mysterious faces of old statues to the lively, self-conscious poses of university students. The photos are bright with life and movement, depicting a Japan that still has one foot in the “old Japan” that has always intrigued the Western imagination, while the other foot leaps ahead (and sometimes side-ways) into an ever evolving, reinventing present.
images from exhibit

(Some of my favourite photos of Jean-Pierre’s are not featured in the exhibit, but are included on notecards available for sale at the show. The food at the restaurant is worth a stop as well!)

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Countdown to Earth Hour

March 6, 2008

On March 29, 2008 people and cities around the world will be switching off their lights for one hour to reduce energy consumption and draw attention to climate change.

Last year 2.2 million people and 2100 businesses in Sydney Australia turned off their lights for the first Earth Hour. This massive collective effort reduced Sydney’s energy consumption by 10.2% for one hour, which is the equivalent effect of taking 48,000 cars off the road for a year (wow, just think of the difference people could make if we switched off lights more than one hour one day –and switched off our cars as well!). The action drew attention from the world. This year, millions of people in some of the world’s major capital cities, including Copenhagen, Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, Melbourne, Brisbane and Tel Aviv, will unite and switch off for Earth Hour, 8pm March 29.

If everyone switches off at 8pm, viewed from space, spots of light will be going dark in a wave moving across the globe as the Earth turns. It would be great if all the lights in Vanouver were turned off, and we could actually see the stars!

starry sky

Teetering on the edge…

March 4, 2008

… between winter and spring. Rain one day, sunshine the next, relapse into snow, then sunshine again.

A haiku moment from last week:

sheltering from rain

under the Granville St. bridge

raven calls echo

ravens under bridge

And from today:

a single crow flies

aross a wedge of bright blue

between skyscrapers