Category: Side Project

Tiger Translate 2010: The Wellington Showcase

The Opera House in Wellington is truly a fascinating place.


The night before, it hosted a recital by famous schizophrenic pianist David Helfgott.

The following night, it played host to Tiger Translate Wellington: an artistic showcase featuring live bands playing, DJs spinning and an art collaboration between Asian and local NZ artists on two huge 2 x 6 metre canvasses.

How do you convert a century-old heritage building from a hangout place for old farts, into a hip and exciting invite-only party venue?

Well, you add special effects lights.

You add a kickass stage for the bands and DJs to perform.

You serve icy cold Tiger Beer in abundance.


Then you sit back and watch the crowd trickling in non-stop until the place is absolutely JAM PACKED with people.

As the crowd slowly built up outside The Opera House, quiet Mongolian artist Oggy was inside gearing up for his big debut outside his homeland.


Despite it being his first time in a foreign country, he wasn’t feeling the least bit nervous. Oggy has already got himself psyched up. He even came to the live show with a traditional Maori tattoo motif painted on his face.

Oggy was to be paired up with UK-born painter Drypnz.

Meanwhile, Chinese comic artist teamed up with local graffiti artist "Eeks" Joe Blak.

There’s a lot of language barrier between the two pairs of Asian and Wellington artists. They have spent many hours in the days leading up to this live show discussing what to do.

And judging from this draft sketch, I had absolutely no idea what they’re up to.

At 9pm, the doors into the Opera House opened.

Song Yang, Joe Blak, Oggy and Drypnz started drawing on the two big canvasses as weird and wonderfully dressed independent bands entertained the crowd.

And what a crowd Tiger Translate managed to attract! Despite it being an invite-only event, THOUSANDS of people turned up to support this underground arts and music event.

It’s difficult to imagine that this is the very same venue that David Helfgott played classical music the night before.

Many thanks to readers in Wellington for turning up to say hi!

My birthday away from home wouldn’t have been as awesome without you guys!

It was 2am by the time Song Yang and Joe Blak completed their collaboration. The pair experimented with Eastern and Western painting techniques to create this piece.

Joe’s jellyfish creatures attacking Song Yang’s "Bad Girl" represents an invasion of Western ideals into Eastern cultures.

On the other side, Oggy and Drypnz’s collaboration offered a more unique insight into the theme "Metropolis".

Faceless, greedy politicians forcing an increasing suffocated public into the mechanical metropolitan world. In a Metropolis, restrictions are everywhere, creativity is stifled and life goes in endless circles.

For the Mongolian national and the Wellington resident, it’s obvious they see big cities as challenging places to live in, preferring to live their carefree small town lives.

To sum up a fascinating 6 hour long event into 120 seconds, here’s a music video I made myself.

Looking forward to the next Tiger Translate, wherever it may be!

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Tiger Translate 2010: Meet The Artists

Wellington – the heart of New Zealand’s politics, arts and culture.

Lonely Planet lists Wellington as one of the Top 10 cities to travel to in 2011, describing is as "the coolest little capital city in the world".

Wellington is a small city about the size of Kuching. Despite its tiny stature, the city is crammed with more bars, cafes and restaurants per capita than New York city. This ain’t your typical Canberra or Putrajaya. The capital of New Zealand is both interesting and inspiring, and it has such an aura of creativity, that I feel like I could draw just by being in here.

Meet Jon, nicknamed "Drypnz".


Jon’s artwork is not something you would see in a typical high-brow cool gallery. Born in England, Drypnz is a mural painter/street artist who moved to NZ 5 years ago to push his work to a more "understanding" community.

Jon’s signature is fat cat-like characters he called "Drypppls" – a representation of the decay of human beings in the modern society.

You’ll find them painted on building walls in the back alleys of Wellington. And heck,  – sometimes, even on the roof top.

While exhibiting his works at an art gallery for underground artists called Manky Chops, Jon met local street artist Joe Blak. And the two bonded over their interests in street graffiti.


Now meet Song Yang from China.

The creator of Chinese comic icon "Bad Girl" is also the most prolific comic artist in China.

How did Song Yang become so popular?

To curb the "problem" of Chinese youngsters going craze over imported Japanese manga, the Chinese government suppress imports and promotes Song Yang so much that he became popular throughout China. So much so that he even diversifies into fashion design, producing music videos and recording his own album.

The 29-year-old has done just about attempted every artistic endeavour possible, except one thing – street graffiti.

So when Jon and Joe invited him to paint a graffiti with them, Song Yang turned up like this.

Clearly, somebody got lost in translation.

Song Yang joins the 2 NZ-based artists and Oggy from Mongolia to headline tonight’s Tiger Translate at the Wellington Opera House.

Oggy is the winner of of the Mongolian leg of the Tiger Translate competition.

Unlike previous Tiger Translate events I attended, the direction these 4 artists take heading into the main event is slightly different.

Rather than starting on a big piece of work and complete it over one week, the four collaborating artists will be starting and finishing their artwork over 5 hours on the night itself at the Opera House.

This way, the audience gets to see how the artists get to transform blank canvases into masterpieces.

Since they met 4 days ago, the artists have been practising their collaboration non-stop in art galleries and building walls around Wellington.

From left to right are characters by "Eeks" Joe Blak (NZ), Oggy (Mongolia), Song Yang (China) and Jon "Drypnz" (NZ).

Street graffiti done Tiger-style.

The most overdressed graffiti painter in the world.

Can’t wait to see what transpires tonight. Whatever these four are gonna come up with, I’m sure it’s gonna be better than my Wellington "Tiger Sheep".



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Tiger Translate 2010: Road to Wellington

I’m writing this blog entry whilst en route to Wellington.

The administrative capital of New Zealand also happens to be the arts centre of the country. And this 26th November, it shall play host to the third and final leg of Tiger Translate in 2010.

This trip also marks the third time I’m attending Tiger Translate, after London 2 years ago and Copenhagen last year. But even after two years of attending this unique arts exhibition back-to-back, the freshness is still there and the anticipation still lingers.

This trip is particularly special.

New Zealand is the venue of the original Tiger Translate. It was 5 years ago Tiger Beer gave birth the concept of a unique arts exhibition that brings together established artists from the West with emerging young artists from the East. The event became so successful that it now occurs in cities all around the world.

Every Tiger Translate showcases the best Angmoh + Asian collaboration – from graffitis, to paintings, to live installation, to interactive multimedia and all the different genres of music.

The fact that Tiger Translate is the melting pot of arts and culture is what makes it so fascinating. The fact that very few people get the opportunity to see what the underground artist community is doing is what makes me want to put it on my blog.

Wellington’s Tiger Translate themes are Double Vision / Metropolis.

Metropolis is not gonna be unfamiliar for comic artist Song Yang, who hails from the Chinese metropolis of Beijing. But for Orkhontuul B (or Oggy), he’s gonna be in for a wild ride.

Oggy from Mongolia is perhaps more used to painting on animal skins in the countryside. He is discovered when he won at Tiger Translate Ulaanbaatar earlier this year. Because of that, he is invited to collaborate his New Zealand counterparts and showcasing their work in Wellington.

But what happens when a Mongolian painter who painted stuff like this…

… collaborates with a New Zealand graffiti artist who created pieces like this?

And how will New Zealand – the backdrop of Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth – inspire these collaborating artists?

Most importantly, are they gonna be turning the sheeps of New Zealand from this…




… to this?

Let’s find out in a week’s time.

ADV: Level Up Fitness Featured On Project Alpha

By now everyone would have heard of Project Alpha.


Project Alpha is a TV show hosted by Jojo Struys about Malaysian bloggers. The show started filming last year with a cast that wasn’t even supposed to include me. Reason being, I was WAY too busy with work. I couldn’t even peel my butt off the seat for one second to travel to KL for the filming.

Halfway through their filming process, suddenly I received a phone call from Nuffnang. Apparently, the show’s main sponsor, adidas Action 3, insisted I must be on the show. I felt damn paiseh because the crew squeezed a normally 3-day filming process into just half a day.

Next thing I know, the show went on to garner HUGE publicity throughout the country. It won accolades not just from bloggers, but also from traditional mainstream media like Hitz.FM, Hitz TV and heaps of local celebrities.

This is Amber Chia asking you to watch “Project All-fur, the show about Malaysia’s top broggers.

Season 2 of the show sorta naturally fell into place right after that. Not only did adidas Action 3 returned as their main sponsor, Malaysia Airlines and P1 W1Max threw their support behind as the show’s official flight and broadband sponsors respectively.

It’s great to see a project you supported from its early days doing well.


With a bigger budget this time round, instead of flying me over to KL, the entire cast and crew of Season 1 hopped on a MAS flight and came to Kuching, just to pay a visit to me and my fitness centre.

Obviously, I am very honoured! I am very proud of my hometown and my fitness centre. I couldn’t wait to show the KL peeps personally where I live, eat and work.

Here are some of the Project Alpha episodes when the Season 1 Bloggers came to Kuching for a mini reunion.

The cast and crew touched down Kuching. Jojo almost could not get past immigration because she’s Malaysian PR and she didn’t bring her passport!

MAS Travel Tip: You can use your Malaysian IC to enter Sabah and Sarawak. But if you are not a citizen, be sure to bring your passport!

MUST WATCH this episode! The bloggers came to visit me at Level Up Fitness – Hilarity ensued when Audrey attempted Dance Aerobics with instructor Busman.

The bloggers took a stroll around Kuching’s Main Bazaar. Meanwhile, I showed them a traditional Sarawakian viagra called "The Gambir!"

Adidas Action 3 Grooming Tip: Girls don’t like guys with bad B.O. A deodorant spray up the underarms every morning will take care of that!

The bloggers travelled by looooong distance bus to visit a Bidayuh longhouse.

P1 W1Max Blogging Tip: If you travel long distances regularly, make full use of your travel time by subscribing to a mobile internet service. Getting productive on-the-go is the way to go.

Anyway, I’m not gonna put all the videos up here because there are heaps more interesting episodes online at Whatever you do, be sure to watch Niki Cheong and Xiaxue’s trip to London!

Cheesie talking about how she ended up choosing blogging as her full-time career.

This is me talking about how I met Cheesie.

(Btw, this was shot last year when I was wayyyy overweight.)

I must say one thing though.

Jojo Struys made Level Up Fitness look good!

My ‘Secret’ Project

So this is what I have been working very hard on over the past several months.

It’s still not 100% completed, and I’m losing a lot of sleep over it because we’re supposed to open in exactly two weeks from now and there still seems like a lot to be done.

In any case, if you are in Kuching right now, then please head over to my roadshow at The Spring from today till this Sunday.

I’m also planning a special preview session for Kuching bloggers on Sunday next week, so if you wanna take a sneak peak of my place before it officially opens to the public, just drop me a mail at and I’ll add ya to my invite list.


Pardon the short blog entry.

One of these days, I’m gonna tell the story about how a comment from a blog reader eventually led me on a crusade to create from scratch – the largest fitness centre in Kuching city.

Meanwhile, I gotta hit the sack to catch 2 hours of nap before I turn up to my own roadshow a complete zombie.

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Malaysian Dreamgirl Season 2 Grand Finale

And then there were three.

Seems like only yesterday these three walked into the Malaysian Dreamgirl audition room as ordinary-looking girls looking for their big break into the modelling industry.

They got through the auditions, we locked them in a house. Twelve weeks later, we transformed them into these.

Dawn Lim, the confident 23-year-old economics graduate from KL, best remembered as this season’s bubbly perfect all-rounder who stayed out of trouble throughout the entire competition.

Pinky Liew, the feisty 20-year-old make-up artist from KL who surprised everyone with her versatility when she stripped herself of that stereotypical Chinese girl image.

Juanita Francis, the hard-headed 21-year-old accounting student from Johor who happens to be the most inexperienced yet most determined of the lot. Also the only contestant who was never once in the bottom three throughout this entire season.



I think all three finalists are really talented. What made this season’s finale even more interesting is that artistically, these three models are so distinct from one another, yet they command almost an equal number of fans and supporters.

If you want elegance, Dawn will razzle and dazzle you with her sparkle.

If you want casual, count on Pinky to flash her most vibrant smile.

If you want aggression, Juanita can give you the biggest ass-kicking you’ll ever see.

But not in this photo though. Here she looks like some grandma who forgot to button up her pyjamas before she walked out and screamed, “OI! KEEP QUIET LAH! OLD PEOPLE TRYING TO SLEEP LAH!”

Different girls with their different appeal to different demographics.

The final photoshoot was broadcasted online at Needless to say, it was their WILDEST to date.


I thought it was bizarre initially why Svenson was sponsoring this photoshoot. And then I remembered that the snake has no hair. “Svenson… hair growth for snakes.”

As much as I like the positioning and colours of this piece, Dawn’s face was kinda blank. It’s like… she was not using the snake as a prop. The snake was using HER as a prop.

Dawn scores 8 out of 10.


Exotic and seductive. If I didn’t watch any of the online episodes, I would have thought Pinky was handling it like a seasoned pro.

After watching them, I’m pretty sure she had already frozen to death. I won’t be surprised if she remained in that exact same position, 3 hours after they removed the snake from her.

I rate her 9 out of 10


This photo shoot is tailor-made for Juanita. Even her hair and attire seemed to suggest like she just came back from the African safari and decided to pick up a snake to use as scarf. Look at her so confidently staring in your eyes saying, “Don’t mess with me, BITCH.”

I love it. As much as I think that Juanita lacks versatility to do anything else apart from those “act garang” photos, for this one, I am gonna give her something unprecedented – 10 out of 10!


Everybody is welcome to attend the Malaysian Dreamgirl Grand Finale 7pm this Friday, 15th May at The Curve, KL.

Who will be the last girl standing?

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Malaysian Dreamgirl Final Five

Even while I am away, I have been keeping up with my weekly dose of Malaysian Dreamgirl drama (read: catfight) whenever I get an internet connection.

Two girls were voted out last week, leaving Ming, Juanita, Natasha, Dawn and Pinky. With only a few weeks left till MDG is over, tension between the final five is so thick that you could cut it with a knife.

In my capacity as an official online judge though, I am not gonna give my marks based on who’s right or who’s wrong with the ongoing Ming-Juanita-Natasha drama. I’m just gonna judge the girls purely on how well they did in this week’s photoshoot.
This week’s photoshoot is prepared by Shawn Cutler and Wella, so it’s all about the hair, which means less smiles, more high-fashion, more fierce, more oomph.

Say what you like about Juanita. One thing I am certain of, she’s a pro.

That stare on her face is giving me goose bumps. Maybe’cos she’s been practisingit on Natasha. Regardless, this is the kinda photo that would fit perfectly well on a billboard.

There is no reason for Juanita to feel insecure. This Johor girl packs more than enough punch in her fists to take home this competition. She is that damn good and she totally deserves to be in the Top 3.
8 out of 10

I think Shawn Cutler did a great job on Juanita.

But I cannot say the same for their work on Dawn.
I mean, the first thing that came to mind when I saw her photo was this:

It’s none of Dawn’s fault really. It is just way too difficult to give her a high score for something that looks as funny as that.
6 out of 10.

A lot of people, me included, fell in love with Ming for her uniquely Oriental features. It is that different look of hers that sets her apart from the others.

Unfortunately, the make-up crew have taken the whole “Oriental” theme a little bit too far.

They turned Ming into a panda.
Again, it’s none of her fault. She is still one of my favourites in the competition. Truth is, I have seen her pulled off much better photos than that. But for now, I can’t look at that photo without feeling the urge to feed her bamboo.
5 out of 10.

Oh this girl is so fierce when she fights.

But how come the ferocity in her doesn’t translate into the photos? I dunno. Elaine Daly says “give me FIERCE” and Natasha drops to a frown. It is a very average photo, and didn’t blow me away as much as I hope she would.
Hey at least, she performed better than the two fan favourites, Ming and Dawn.
7 out of 10.

So, the cookie-cutter Chinese lala girl broke out from her mould and ventured into high fashion.

And she nailed it.
Before this, I had doubts that with Pinky’s looks, she could do anything more than just handing out brochures during PIKOM PC Fair. But this is such a kickass photo of her that I am now forced to swallow my own words.
This is Pinky’s best work yet.
9 out of 10.

I must admit, I find this season of MDG so much more addictive.

My favourite part of the show is always the phone conversations the girls have with their loved ones. Never since Cindy Tey’s call with her dad has MDG been so entertaining.
Two moments from MDG stuck out for me thus far.
Firstly, Pinky. If Pinky doesn’t win the Chevrolet, at least she can find comfort in receiving’s Award for Most Confusing Girlfriend.

Excerpt from Episode 10-5.
Pinky: Please let me gooooo…
Ah Fai:Stay for another week or something. This week I voted for you also.
Pinky: DON’T LAH! DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY! Don’t vote again.
*The following week in Episode 12-4*
Pinky: Eh you know yesterday I was one of the bottom three!
Ah Fai: Then? Do you feel like going home?
Pinky: Then you stop voting me already ah?
Ah Fai: I don’t know… I don’t know whether I should vote for you or not.
Pinky: You know yesterday I was so sad! When Elaine called my name I was shocked. Then I really thought you stopped voting me already. And then I cry you know!
Ah Fai: Really ah?
Pinky: *cry* I know last week I said I dun want to be here. But now I want to be here already! *sob* *sniff* *WHEEZ*
Ah Fai: ?!?!?
If you think Pinky’s conversation with her boyfriend was weird, wait till you hear Ming’s phone call with her Dad in Episode 9-3. After watching this, I now proclaim myself Number One Fan of Ming’s Dad.

Ming: Hello Mommy! Tomorrow elimination already you know so today have to vote vote vote!
Mom: I know, you talk to Daddy first. I am washing my stove har, you hold on!
Dad: Hi Ming! How are you? Tell you something har. In your blog har… WHOA, OH MY GOD man!
*blabbers on*
Dad: You want to talk to Mommy for a while? I am bathing now.
Mom: Hello Ming!
That is so weird. Somehow, I have this image in my head that inside Ming’s house, the stove is located inside the bathroom.

Either that, or Ming’s dad was taking his bath in the kitchen sink.

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Malaysian Dreamgirl Final Eight

It’s that time again.

Time that I put on my judge’s cape and lay the smackdown on the contestants of Malaysian Dreamgirl.
A quick explanation for the benefit of those who don’t know what’s going on: Malaysian Dreamgirl is an online reality show broadcasting at, where we put 12 ordinary girls in a house over 3 months and mould them into professional models.

This season, I am the online judge together with JoyceTheFairy. Each week we’ll alternate between ourselves giving judgment on which contestant we think should stay and go.
We get a lot of shit for doing this. My rationale is that these girls joined a competition where we are the judges, so we should be allowed to be forthright with our opinions.
Joyce and I would like to state in real life, we are very nice people who do not pass judgment on those not contesting on Malaysian Dreamgirl.
Without further a do, here’s my judgment on this season’s final eight and their “Futuristic” themed photoshoot.


This 17-year-old is my favourite Malay contestant since the start of the show.
I think she photographs exceptionally well. Like Joyce said, Farah’s best feature is her stunningly sharp and flawless face that could melt the audience like butter on pancakes.

5 weeks into the competition, suddenly this girl gets emo and depressed and lonely and wanted to home. What lah! Don’t waste the opportunity, Farah.
The modelling industry is not all beds of roses. Toughen up or go home.

4 out of 10 for this photo.


I don’t get it. Why is Denezia still in the competition?
For a girl who’s known for starting the warfare in the house, calling people “psycho” and breaking furniture in a fight, I think Denezia should be more suited joining World Wrestling Entertainment instead.
Then she can break all the furniture she wants.

3 out of 10 this week.


Pinky is a pretty. Tall and slim too. Put her in a crowd somewhere in 1Utama, I guarantee you she’ll stand out.

Put her in a house with 7 other girls all vying for the title of Malaysian Dreamgirl? Suddenly she becomes very ordinary.
Don’t get me wrong, I still think she’s one of the better ones in the game. But there are other girls with bigger heart, stronger drive and better discipline than she is.

At this level of competition, her work this week just wouldn’t cut it. She gets 6 out of 10 from me.


Shasya who? I’m sorry but she was just way too forgettable since the beginning of the show.
Regardless, I thought her photoshoot this week is quite spectacular.

Reminds me of some superhero character from Batman or something.
7 out of 10.


Ming did not impress me initially. I thought she looks flat (her face, I mean, not her… y’know) so I had reservations about how well she’s gonna perform.
But the 21-year-old graphic designer from Malacca has made me eat my own words when THIS particular photo came out.

Don’t you this is such a kickass photo?
She was definitely the best out of all the girls in that Wacoal photoshoot. Ming has the look of a classic Oriental lady that is just so intriguing in an industry cluttered with those cookie-cutter cutesy types.

I like that she is such a dedicated student to the fashion and modelling industry as well, proving that she’s more than just a pretty face, but a determined soul too.
I guess Ming would probably look out of place in a car show or a men’s magazine. Put her in a fashion spread and I bet she’d steal lots eyeballs.
She faltered in this week’s photoshoot unfortunately.

I hate to give her a 5.5 out of 10 for this photo only.
Still, I got high hopes. This girl definitely got potential.


Hot DAMN, did you see her fight with Ming in that episode?!
My goodness, the fierceness in the tongue that girl. The way she fought is like all my ex-girlfriends rolled into one scolding me at the same time. You can’t even get a word out to defend yourself!

Joyce likes her though. (I think Joyce’s exact words to me during the auditions were “check out those boobs.”)
I beg to differ. Apart from the impressive makeover and her huge set of eyes, the 18-year-old Eurasian has yet to really blow my mind.
Drama aside, I thought Natasha was kinda bland in her latest photoshoot.

I seriously dunno what kinda pose is that. Too many similar poses. Like the same pose photocopied five times. Totally not dynamic at all.
5 out of 10 for this photo.


This ordinary-looking girl went to Shawn Cutler for a makeover and walked out looking like THIS!

Who’s that girl? RIHANNA? No, it’s JUANITA.
Out of the final eight, it is this Johor girl carries herself in front of the camera best. Watch the way she speaks. Not only is she classy and articulate, she’s capable in producing the most professional-looking photos like these.

Looks like Destiny’s Child latest album WITH TWO EXTRA MEMBERS.
8 out of 10. If there is one girl that can come up from behind to claim the first place in this competition, it’s Juanita.
Keep your eyes on her.


Clearly she’s the leading favourite at this point.
Judging by the comments on the official MDG blog and the participation of her Facebook fan club, there is no doubt this 21-year-old will be safe from elimination for a long time. Dawn has distanced herself from the drama happening inside the house, and the support from her fans has been nothing short of phenomenal.

Does Dawn deserve all the fanfare? Of course. She has a great potential.
Her photos are consistently fabulous, her body well-toned and she has dimples on her cheeks so deep you could bake muffins in it. I’d even go as far as to say her photo this week is arguably the best we’ve ever done.

I wonder though, is Dawn over-rated?
Maybe. She has to watch out though. One slip-up and either Ming or Juanita could easy usurp her as the leading girl of the pack.
But for this week, Dawn gets a 9 out of 10 from me.

That’s it from me. Now it’s your turn.
Who is your favourite Malaysian Dreamgirl?

No, Elaine Daly doesn’t count.

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