South Africa for December 2012

September 29, 2012

finally a photo of me on my blog. taken by Sam, in her parka.
Yes, as stated on the title, I am going to travel to South Africa this December for about a month! In case you're wondering, this is not a family trip, I'm not going with any of my family members, it's the same programme as the one to New Zealand two years back - a youth exchange programme.

Many people are surprised when they hear that it's a youth exchange programme. I always get lots of questions related to the programme when I mention it. So here is it, it's an international youth exchange programme under a service organisation called Lions Club. Malaysians should be familiar with it because we have Leo Club in most of the schools. (Leo Club is only for youth while Lions Club are for the adults) Sadly they don't have Lions Club in Singapore, or do they? I have never heard anyone who came Singapore for the exchange programme. It just so happened that both my parents are very active Lions Club members, so 2 years ago my mom encouraged me to take part in this programme since I would be having a half-year holidays after my SPM. I did and I loved it.

I think some people might be interested to know more about the programme, so here you go:
  1. It's only for youths from 16-22 years old. That's why I'm planning to take part again before I reach 22, because after that I wouldn't be able to join anymore! Italy would most probably be my next choice :)
  2. You'll be having a test and interview, you need to be selected to be able to take part. But it's not very hard to get in, especially if any of your parents is Lions Club member, they do prioritise Lions Club members' family, unless you choose countries other than Japan, Japan is the most famous choice among the Malaysians and they have limited slots, so it's harder to get in.
  3. You'll be staying with a few host families when you're in the selected country. The families are usually Lions Club members, they have to apply to host an exchangee too, so no worries it's not some random families that would be hosting you! 
  4. The host families would be taking care of you, bringing you out, cooking for you, etc. Basically you just do whatever they do and follow them wherever they go. Most of the time they're very nice people, they'll always take time to plan before the exchangees reach and bring them to some famous attractions nearby.
  5. All you need to pay if the flight tickets, insurance and medical fee. But of course you might need to pay for some tickets or entrance fees when you're in the other countries, you can't expect them to pay everything for you! But I was extremely lucky that my host parents back in New Zealand were nice enough to pay most the things for me, buy me christmas presents and treat me like one of their daughters. I miss them so much. 
  6. The price varies depending on which country you choose. The cheapest one from Malaysia is Japan, it costs RM2k-3k if I'm not mistaken. New Zealand is more expensive - around RM7k, while for South Africa, it'll be around RM8k if I'm not mistaken. It may sound expensive, but remember that you'll be there for a month! You learn and see things you can never get from books, it's totally worth it to me.
  7. Other countries that are famous among the Malaysians include Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy, France, Belgium, Finland...
  8. More informations of the programme, here's the official page of it.

So many people might be curious - Why South Africa?

cannot find the source, please let me know if you know whose image is this.

It's interesting how people react when they know I'm going to South Africa this December. Some might turn "Really? Kahying? South Africa?" To people who don't know much about the country, you might be surprised to hear that some cities in South Africa are as developed as Kuala Lumpur.

While the activities and weather might not look so appealing to some of us, I insist on visiting the country at least once in my life. I believe there are some trips that would really open your eyes and change the way you see your country, and I believe this would be one of them. And so there are lessons that you can't get out of a book at the other end of the flight. Enough gorgeous views and only gorgeous views of nature, it's time to see something different, eat different food and experience different cultures. Plus, I like animals, wild animals. My sister and I often wished we were like Tarzan, staying in a jungle with all the animals that somehow won't harm us (which is not possible...)

Anyway, I haven't got the full details of the trip yet. What I know is I'll be traveling from Johannesburg (largest city in South Africa) to one of the east coast town (Port Elizabeth or Durban) and then to Cape Town! Honestly, I can't wait for it already. I'll make sure I take lots of photos and share with all of you about the trip!

Didn't expect this post so be so words-heavy. Not sure if anyone would actually finish reading it, but if you do, thank you! :)

New friend - Kindle

September 23, 2012

Meet my new friend - Kindle! I am quite certain that many of you are clueless about what Kindle is. At least for what I know, it's not so popular in Malaysia or Singapore. If you think it's a phone or pad, no, it's not. 

Kindle is an e-book reader. Why can't I read books from phones/pads if I want something convenient, you ask? 
  • Because Kindle offers something that neither phones or ipads could do - it uses e-ink electronic paper display that simulate reading on papers while not hurting your eyes. Unlike the usual display of phones which emit light, electronic paper displays reflect light like ordinary paper. I sometimes feel like we're all staring at weak light bulbs when we stare at our phone or computer screens, but it's not the same for Kindle. It is a lot more comfortable to read on it than conventional displays. 
  • Moreover, it allows you to store an enormous number of books in such a small device. While I love the idea of reading real books so much, sometimes it isn't very convenient for me to bring all of them everywhere.
  • It has built-in dictionaries (both U.S and U.K version the Oxford dictionary) that allow me to search the meanings of the words that I don't understand easily. There's no need to exit from the books you're reading to search the meanings, all you need to do is to move the cursor to the words you don't understand, a small window with the meanings will pop up. And if you want to read the full definition, you can, too. This is extremely helpful for me because sadly, I vocabulary is very limited at the moment.
  • Besides that you can also bookmark, highlight and add notes to relevant contents! 
I haven't used it long enough to be able to give a complete review of it, but so far I love it! It's not expensive too. I'm confident that it will make me read a lot more books that I always wanted to read because of how convenient and comfortable it is to read from it :)

p/s: I was trying nuffnangx conversation, for some reason I decided to change it back to the original blogspot comment system, so all the comments are gone, sorry :(

What am I studying?

September 21, 2012

Here are some instagram photos of my life and what I'm doing lately. 
Sorry the first two images are not relevant to the course I'm studying. haha

1. apple crumble together with brother in SG       2. peking duck crepe together with Sam
3. Pattern drafting of a shirt     4. Technical drawing of a designer's coming collection

So, a lot of people - including my friends/teachers back in Malaysia have been asking me "So what course are you actually studying?" So many people have asked that I need to create a blogpost just to talk about it. Honestly, I had never expected myself to be doing what I am doing right now. I first came to Singapore to study Fine Arts Photography for my love of conceptual photography. But, halfway through, after a lot of thinking, I decided to switch to Fashion for my growing love of fashion photography, illustrations and the glamour side of the fashion scene, but I hate to tell people that I'm studying "Fashion" because it's kinda misleading to people who are not in fashion schools, they'd most probably think that I'm going to be a fashion designer, which I have no desire to, at least for now. 

Here's the course that I'm taking - Fashion Media and Industry, we normally call it Fashion Communication, although right now, we have to learn some basic sewing, pattern drafting and dressmaking techniques (which are more towards Fashion Design). 

So what is Fashion Media & Industry about? I heard you asking.
"The programme focuses more on the business side of the fashion industry and the areas of media and communication relevant to the consumption of the fashion image." (taken from LASALLE webpage) 
You might still be confused. So is it business, communication, or fashion? The answer is - everything. Right now we have to do machine sewing as well. At first I really had trouble dealing with the industrial sewing machines, it could be scary before you get familiar with it. But, after putting in more effort and time, I'm happy to be able to see the difference and improvement.

left - first try (few weeks back)    |    right - last night

Currently we're not only learning technical skills like machine sewing, we do fashion photography, technical drawing (you can see the image on top), digital visualisation (it's similar to technical drawing, but using Adobe Illustrator, we create digital flat pattern that factory workers could understand in order to make the clothes out). For what I know, we will start learning more about different types of layout of magazines next week.

I realised it's so much easier for me to show what is it about by showing part of my works.

Also, we do fashion illustrations. (I didn't draw any of these, it was just quick demo by my lecturer - Jon) Fashion illustration is a lot more expressive than technical drawing, which I adore from the deepest of my heart. One thing you should know about me is my obsession over beautiful faces, thus the love of fashion photography and illustration, makes sense, yes? (Here is one of the works I posted some time ago) For the past weeks we have been drawing nude models - but note that fashion illustration is very different from fine arts life drawing. Instead of drawing realistically, we elongate their legs, necks to make them look perfect.

What else, we have a class called 'the fashion product', where we learn more behind-the-scenes of the fashion industry, analysis of coming trends, forecasting trends, etc. To be frank, I had never thought about what goes behind fashion. To a girl who came from a small town like me, it's something very new, I find it very interesting. Besides, we also study fashion history, it turned out to be so much more interesting that I expected, it's not dull at all! Also, we learn about the design process - where we're taught about different techniques to get inspirations, and turn the ideas into something else.

These are what I'm currently doing. What else are coming? We'll learn art direction, fashion journalism, styling, marketing, fashion retail branding, fashion curation, basic advertising principles and so on. What jobs will we be doing, you ask? Examples include stylist, fashion buyer, fashion writer, fashion photographer, fashion critic, fashion curator, creative director, fashion editor, personal shopper, trend forecaster to name a few. I hope by now you have a better insight on what Fashion Communication is about! Basically it's more about images, text, magazine layouts, plus some business side of fashion.

To be honest, I'm really surprised by where photography has brought me to, and I never regret, I enjoy the learning process so much. So thankful for my parents who give me the right to make my own choice and decision, and trust that I would do well though I was uncertain of what to expect to be studying in an art/fashion school at that time. Also feeling grateful for the good friends and classmates to make school such a nice place to be. I feel blessed.

"Wow everyone come and check this out, see this excellent, fantastic work."
"If I show this to the lecturers, they'll just...die, you know."
The lecturer continued - You could have easily gotten an excellent mark Kahying, too bad you aren't well prepared :(
Was totally surprised by the lecturer's reaction when he saw my illustrator work, so motivating and... flattering, too bad I have very bad time management skills - always doing things at very last minutes. I need to change that or I'll disappoint myself in the future. Like deep inside you know that you can produce some really good works, you know your works could stand out, but in the end they don't, because you do not put in enough effort, time and love. It's such a waste.

It's already Week 7 in school. Time really flies.

Neutrals. Lights. Space.

September 13, 2012

What I'm craving right now - more light, more space to breathe, more time.

Just came across the latest blog post of Alice, the young talented lifestyle photographer from NYC. She said while she very much welcomes the idea of living abroad for few years, she knows that NYC is the place where she wants to end up. And she ended the post with "Are you currently living in the city/town where you want to end up?" It makes me think. Sadly this is not where I want to end up. While I am actually a girl who gets home-sick pretty easily (especially when I'm stressed) and that my family is an extremely huge part of my life, I can't wait to travel and stay in different countries for a few years, and find out where I want to end up.

You? Are you already living in the country/city where you want to end up?

Something new for the fingers

September 9, 2012

  1. New everyday-rings. I like small & simple accessories. 
  2. Times flies during weekends, Monday is coming again, I feel like there's a heavy rock in my chest, I need to plan and manage my time better. And be focused. I'm so easily distracted :(
  3. This is random, but I miss New Zealand. Although school has only started for a month, I long to travel and have a getaway so so much.

Queen & Mangosteen

September 2, 2012

I didn't intent to make this a food post, but I realized all the photos were taken at the restaurant. It was Windy's birthday yesterday - she's one of the very first friends I knew during foundation in LASALLE,  we were classmates. Slowly she became my go-to companion to have lunch, dinner, watch movies, IT fair... nearly everything. Can't believe it's only been a year! Now she's in interior design while I'm in fashion. One thing you need to know about her is, she can stand not eating and sleeping for 2 days, superwoman. 

Anyway, what attracted us into Queen & Mangosteen was actually the name of the dessert - Kate & William's Royal Wedding Dessert. how cool it is? It was quite a refreshing way to end a meal - fresh berries served with vanilla sauce, whipped cream and Grand Marnier (which is a kind of liqueur, if you're wondering) The restaurant has a relaxed setting with beautiful night view of Sentosa, it's a good place for people to have casual conversations after a long week at work. Oh it's located at VivoCity. The chocolate cake isn't from the restaurant, it's from Awfully Chocolate, bought by another friend of Windy :)


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