How David Hockney, sees the world, with the use of technology

My Notebook

David Hockney: A Bigger Exibition

San Franciscans are indeed blessed with many opportunities of appreciating interesting art shows.  Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco  (de Young Museum) ‘s “David Hockney, a Bigger Exhibition” is closing today, January 21, 2014. I finally had the chance to see it yesterday.  David Hockney is one of the best known living artists, renowned for his mastery of drawing, oil painting, printmaking, art design, photo collage, and the use of camera and video-making, with the help of technology.

I had seen a PBS interview of David Hockney back in October, 2013 when the show just began. I would like to share with you this video from PBS to get an overview of this exhibition and then two articles of art review…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern (3) – Terracotta Warriors and Patterns – Exhibition at Asian Art Museum, San Francisco (Part III)

This is my third post  in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge – Pattern.  This is also Part III of my post – the Terracotta Warriors.

If you have not seen my video, I highly recommend you to take a look.   I am re-posting the video here since many of you have missed it.

The patterns on these artifacts are very impressive. They demonstrate the advanced technology already used in China 2,700 years ago.  I found some interesting  information from the Asian Art Museum docent website and would like to share with you here. IMG_3406

“石甲 Suit of armor Qin dynasty (221–206 BCE) Limestone Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology Catalog #91 in China’s Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy H. 77 cm (30 5/16 in), W. 50 cm (19 11/16 in) This suit of armor, one of probably thousands still being found, consists of more than six hundred stone pieces laced with copper wire. Stone armor was too heavy to wear into battle, and was made instead for burial. Combat armor was made of leather or metal. This limestone armor and the helmet are constructed from fragments found in 1998 and 1999, in a pit thought to be the armory and located not far from the First Emperor’s tomb mound. The pit is estimated to cover 13,000 square meters. Excavation is ongoing, with more than 130 stone armor suits discovered to date. Only one-eightieth of the pit has been excavated.

鳳鳥紋瓦當 Roof tile end with phoenix motif Warring States period (475–221 BCE) Low-fired ceramicIMG_3434 Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology Catalog #61 in China’s Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy Diam. 15 cm (5 7/8 in) Many roof tiles that include a phoenix reflect religious beliefs. Qin people believed that their primary ancestor was the “heavenly bird,” a reference to the phoenix. The bird represents a deity, corresponding to yang energy and the cardinal direction of the South. Phoenix roof tiles probably emerged in the early Qin period. According to ancient documents, a duke who died in 621 BCE built a Phoenix Tower for his daughter, who played the flute there for decades in dedication to “heavenly birds.” In return, it is said that the phoenix accompanied her as she ascended to heaven.

卷渦雲紋瓦當IMG_3435Roof tile end with swirling clouds Warring States period (475–221 BCE) Low-fired ceramic Qin Shihuang Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum Catalog #70 in China’s Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy Diam. 15.3 cm (6 in), D. 2.4 cm (15/16 in)   IMG_3429

青銅鳳鳥紋扁盉 Ritual wine kettle with phoenix-shaped spout (he) Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BCE) bronze Excavated at

Bianj iazhuang in Longxian, Shaanxi, 1986 Longxian Museum, Shaanxi Catalog #7 in China’s Texacotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy H. 14 cm (5 1/2 in), W. 15 cm (5 7/8 in) Spouted kettles were used to serve drinks, mostly grain wine. A bird with a crest and hooked beak serves as the lid and also appears on the spout and each flat side. This sacred bird is referred to as the phoenix, and was regarded by Qin people as their primeval ancestor. Several kettles, including this one, were discovered in an old Qin capital near the northwestern border of Shaanxi.”

All the above description are quoted from the  the Asian Art Museum docent website.

Do you like the patterns on these artifacts?  I do.

Remember they were made 2,700 plus years ago!

Weekly Travel Theme – Dance – Cinderella, San Francisco Ballet – Wonderful Opening Night!


This is in response to the Weekly Travel Theme – Dance

I like this theme very much because I do have lots to share.  I have many dance pictures or videos which I took from my travels.    I may have already posted some of them, but  I may re-post them for some of my new readers.  What I want to share today is the new Cinderella ballet performed in San Francisco last Friday.

This year’s run of Cinderella is all sold out.  We are lucky to have secured our seats for Cinderella as  San Francisco Ballet subscribers.  We saw the Cinderella on Opening Night, May 3.   I think it is a  must-see dance event of the season: the U.S. premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s magical new production of Cinderella!

I found the costumes particularly beautiful. To give you an overview of the design of Cinderella’s costumes, here’s a video posted on

” Inspired by the Brothers Grimm and Perrault fairy tales, this wildly imaginative co-production with Dutch National Ballet features something for everyone: dramatic music by Prokofiev, spectacular sets and costumes by Julian Crouch (renowned for his designs for Metropolitan Opera and the Broadway musical The Addams Family), and ingenious puppetry by Obie Award winner Basil Twist.”

The performers of Cinderella are on rotation.  On the Opening Night, the Principal dancers who played Cinderella was Maria Kochetkova, and the Prince was played by Joan Boada.

Here are two short videos about them.

I found everything beautiful and fantastic, from the choreography to the performance of all the dancers, and  from the set to the costumes.  The critics in general gave it a very good rating although they often offered a few things that they would like to improve.  To me, it was a perfect performance….except that I could not get another ticket to see it again this Season.

For the readers who would like to read the review from art critics,  here’s  an excerpt from  San Francisco Chronicle :

SF Ballet review: ‘Cinderella’ charming

S.F. Ballet weaves an imaginative odyssey with Dutch troupe
Allan Ulrich
Published 4:51 pm, Sunday, May 5, 2013

“The project, San Francisco’s first “Cinderella” in more than three decades, is a co-production with the Dutch National Ballet. Given the verve and wit on display in this American premiere, you’d think it had been custom-made for the local team of all-stars, most of whom seemed to be dancing somewhere in this performance.

All “Cinderella”s should look and dance as well as this one. But they would require a choreographer like Wheeldon, who sees the comic possibilities in even the most dire of situations and possesses both a feeling for the fantastic and a penchant for self-mockery. Friday’s performance may have stalled early in details of the back story in Craig Lucas‘ libretto (the choreography doesn’t really suit Prokofiev’s score, at this point), but once we are introduced to the mature Cinderella, her father, stepmother and hideously funny stepsisters, this ballet floats on a cloud of invention through a stunning Act 1 closer and beyond, to a breathtaking ballroom act.”

Read more:

I am sorry if you don’t  have the chance to see Cinderella this season.  I am waiting for the second round too!

A Word A Week Challenge: Music

IMG_0820This is in response to A Word A Week Challenge: Music

When I saw this Challenge, I became excited. Music is a very important part of my life. I did not study music in particular, or play any musical instruments, though I did learn to play piano when I was a child. My interest in music has recently been enhanced by my newly developed hobby–video making.  It is all because of my new iPhone 5 which I got around November last year. I brought it as my camera and video camera when I went on a trip to South America.  I took many pictures and video clips with my iPhone.  When I came back, I started to learn about creating videos from a number of video clips.  For some of my readers who  follow my other travel blog My Notebook, you may have seen these videos before.  For South America, I created a total of 17 videos which show the different sites that I visited.  One of the reasons I really like working on these videos is the audio that I chose for each video.  I like particularly to mix the original sound and noises with the music that I added.

I am so glad to see this challenge today, because I want to show a few of these videos that I created, in one post, so that you all can appreciate them.  As I have got some new readers on this Blog, I’d like to share with them.  I only chose a few. If you are interested viewing and listening to all of them please check out My Notebook.

After seeing and listening to my videos, please let me know which one you like best and least, both the music and the pictures.  I have used Tango, Samba, and classical music like Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, Sleeping beauty and Swanlake, Strauss ‘s Die Fiedermaus, Bach’s Air on the G String, and the popular song Corcovado?  I hope you like them.

Sea Gulls on board Cau Cau – Bariloche, Argentina, December, 2012

Caminito and La Boca – the inspiration of the Argentine tango music “Caminito”, December, 2012

Sambadrome – Venue of the Rio Carnival – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – December, 2012 

El Calafate – Excursion at Lake Argentino, December, 2012

Christ the Redeemer, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, Brazil – December, 2012 

Sugar Loaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, December, 2012

Magellanic Penguins on Isla Magdalena, Chile, December 2012

Finally, the following video was shot in Alaska before my video days.  I only took a short clip. After learning how to add music etc, I re-did this video with Beethoven’s  5th Symphony, mixing with the loud comments of my brother and the sound of the waterfall!

Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls, Alaska, September, 2012