Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Look, mum.


Something I designed last year for University of Ballarat.
There's a funny, short story behind this job. The first ad you see on the inner jacket is an abortion ad with the headline: UNWANTED PREGNANCY?
End of story.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Documentary of things.


Objectified is the second installment of Gary Hustwit's trilogy in documentary about design. His first was Helvetica, which elevated him(and all other legendary designers) to somewhat an authoritative figure in the design world. Perhaps I'm detached to the product design field, but I failed to connect with some of the designers. At some point, I thought 'so is this how people feel when I talk about design/advertising? Like I'm a total self absorbed nut bag?' The biggest difference is that Helvetica was a documentary about a font that changed and impacted the design world; Objectified on the other hand, tried to explain product design as a whole. That's why it felt like an ordinary documentary compared to its predecessor. I probably would feel bored watching a documentary on design or typography and excited with one that focused on the importance of Alessi's juice squeezer. I bought Helvetica even though I had to order the DVD from the UK. I downloaded Objectified, and felt like it was a right move.

On foreign property investors.

Anyone who've applied or are currently applying for permanent residency in Australia can attest to this: it is not easy. If you agree, then you will not object my next point that the department of immigration has actually put a lot of thought into establishing the system. From the health check to skill assessment to police check, it's a pain in the ass. If any of you have had the experience of visiting the department of immigration, you'd know when I say the process and treatment given to applicants are sometimes degrading to some extent.

But I get it, when a system is set up, there's bound to be abuse to the system. Not sheltering the fact the applicants are here to share the fruit of culture and living standards of Australia. The fire hoops we had to jump through are understandable. But how high? Well, for any foreigner who wants to enter the country by being, let's say a hairdresser, it will cost at least 80 thousand dollars and 3 years. (An international student applying as a doctor will have to fork out 400 thousand dollars and 7 years of his/her life.)

A month ago I was watching this report about foreigners (mainly yellow) being the main cause of the insane property boom. Interest raise or tighter loan pre-requisite is useless because they are buying the houses in cash. So Australians suffer to get their first home and foreigners keep laughing their heads off with cold hard cash.

So my question is: If so much thought was put into establishing a system to filter migrants into Australia, why isn't the same being done for foreign property investors? If an international student needs to prove their intention to stay and produce for Australian society, why not Mr.Chan from Shanghai?

I think all foreign investors should at least pass the IELTS test. To show that they can at least speak English and not buying a property to launder dirty cash. I don't think it's too much to ask. In fact, the Australian government should see this as an opportunity to make more money. Make them go through all the process, applications and point tests just like applying for migration. I know business is business, and I'm not saying don't let them buy it, just make them bend over more.

Because, I cannot see the logic behind a medical student having spent half a million dollars and still have to work hard to get a home loan; while a money laundering tycoon from Taiwan can buy her way into being a citizen by being illiterate and ignorant about Australia.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I'm actually a carebear.

For the past month I've been emailing back and forth with a friend regarding the prospect of having a wedding shoot in the States. And I decided to back out in the last minute because I wasn't sure if my work is worth all the trouble due to the increased air fare and I wasn't sure if I could deliver the value. And he wrote back:

"By emphasizing that Leslie-Ann and I care a lot about our wedding photos, we are not
at all worried about your "performance." Loving photography and having ridiculously high standards for a photographer are two different things. We love photography. But we do not have unreasonable expectations. We both can take 5 minutes to look at your flickr account and know that we will get great photos. And shit.....even in the 0.0001% chance that something terrible happens and you fuck everything up....at least we tried, and I get to see you again! hahahah... seriously man, our wedding is a small party. As a challenge for a photographer, it is nothing more than a small party. It's a practice round for your wedding portfolio, and you have a rare opportunity to have free reign on a wedding armed with digital and film Nikon (again: "Nikon, right?") gear, with a couple of people (me and LA) who are not tightly-wound douchebags who will get all bent out of shape if their photos are not exactly perfect. We will love whatever you do. I promise."

I am usually pretty sarcastic, calculative, insecure, timid and afraid to fail Asian, but times like this I'm really glad that I know the people I know.

I really hope I get my visa.