1888 is an outdoor mural (8 metre by 5 metre) which I created for London, to celebrate the heritage and vibrance of its Chinatown. It was unveiled on 18.08.08 (18th August 2008). Today, it is 3 years old!
It is composed of 1888 photos which are related to Chinatown, donated by the public. ‘8’ is a good figure in Chinese numerology – it symbolises fortune, so a triple eight is especially good. The number one, in Cantonese, sounds like the word for ‘every day’. When I created the mural, I wished that it would bring good fortune to Chinatown every day.
It started as an art competition, which I only discovered 6 days before the submission deadline. Even though I am an architect, I have never really entered anything like this – but I felt strongly about it and the ideas just kept coming. 1888 combined my passions (food, photography and event organising) with my attachment to Chinatown. The final idea came to me very quickly. And I won! Continue reading to see how the mural was made (video) and more >>
For the Chinese, a peach symbolises longevity. The God of Longevity has always been depicted with a Chinese peach in his hand. Traditional Chinese birthday cakes (sau bao 壽包) are created in the shape of peaches. For my dad’s 60th birthday, I decided to make him a peach with 24 Carat gold.
I have never done gilding before but at the time I just happened to be designing a house that features gilded panels. So I thought I might as well give it a go. Here is how I made things up along the way:
I used Super Sculpey which is a modelling polymer clay that only hardens when baked. This allowed me time to mess about without wasting any material. I could always touch up and remake until I was happy with the form. Continue reading >>
Dearest Li Ching,
It is hard for me to believe that you have left this world. I still remember vividly the last time we said goodbye to each other (when I visited Singapore)- you and your husband, together with your child in the middle, walked hand-in-hand to see me off to the stairs of the complex you lived in. We just had lunch with your family. You showed me your wedding photos and I laughed at your cheesy poses. I did not expect that was the last time we saw each other.
It is even harder for me to believe that you took you own life. I had heard that you had complication with the birth of your 2nd child when I started searching for you. But I did not expect that suicide was how your life was ended.
You will always be the bubbly Li Ching I once shared the hall of residence with. We did not study in the same universities in London but fate led us to stay in Cartwright University Halls. You were the bright student who was awarded a full scholarship to study Economics at LSE. You were so clever that you did not seem to need to study much. Remember the night when you were due to have exam the next day, but you kept chatting to us? I had to physically move you back to your room so that you would get ready! Of course, you passed everything with flying colours. (Even after you graduated, you passed all the 3 grades of financial analysts in no time.) Continue reading about the remarkable Li Ching >>