Blackened Lights: Art in Suburbia

The suburbs of the city tend not to have an abundance of art shows. One thing about the city is that there’s always something going on for art- though sometimes it’s masked by a stiff facade. The further you get away from the city, the fewer exhibitions there are.

A friend opened an art show in the suburban area I grew up in. During summer, I am back in the large vacuous suburban house- and am able to visit a rare occurrence such as an art exhibition.

The opening hours were showered with people and a pleasant chatter. Pictures and eyes tapped at the art;  people of many ages fluttered around.

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It centered around art made for the black light- or perhaps the black light was made for the art. Brilliant neons and depths gave the black lit room a warm glow.
IMG_8917The signatures of the artists in the show were very stylized.  I was reminded of a Chinese name block stamp with the edges sharp enough to carve but soft enough to please the eye.
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I had forgotten his dedication towards art. His idea to bring the vibrant and modern art scene of the city into the suburbs is refreshing. The thump of the DJ helped fold everything together. The footprints gleaming orange under the blacklight gave it that final touch.
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The Campbells soup I wore popped out during the show with vivid color. I saw the lights and life of a suburban Saturday night in restaurants around the block of the gallery as I pattered in the rain before returning home.

Obon Festival

It’s a slow summer in the suburbs of the city. I contemplated taking the mask everywhere, but I tend to carry bags far too small to fit more than the staples. Friends from the city came to me, and we attended an obon festival.

Japanese folk dancing to Taiko drumming tuned the sunset and turned on lanterns. I found it a simple but very fulfilling festival with booths and a dance area with a yagura, or raised stage, in the middle. The festival, to try and sum it up, is a celebration and remembrance of the good will and sacrifices of ancestors. One can learn more about the story of the festival here.

Dancing around the yagura were people young and old, some learning and others wise to the melodies. I found learning the dances to be a strugglebus, but enjoyable nevertheless. I entered the temple and bowed more meaningful bows. I spoke with strangers and saw diversity in mixed faces.

I enjoyed it.

All I have left are pictures and memories:

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And so you wonder what I’ve been doing the past 8 months, since as far as anyone’s concerned I put a hiatus to my existence. I should reflect, but I’m also moving forward.

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Weekender

Friday spent itself half mourning over microeconomics and half volunteering for a photo gallery. A week of photography is ending, but I can rinse and repeat come next year’s November. Photographers come in many colors- some for the sophisticated suit-style while others try things more diverse with inked arms, patterned knit jackets, or large bell-bottom jeans.

It’s been awhile since I’ve held a decent camera, but when the time comes, I think I can finally make use of the inspiration stemming from experiences such as this week of photography.

Usually when a girl is seen in the city at night with a short dress, make up and heels, she is going clubbing. Whenever I don the attire I fear judgement since I still look rather young. But have no fear, for I am volunteering. The closing party for Fotoweek DC sported formalities, a gallery of distinct pieces from Latin America, and a band in full motion.

“I am on top of Statistics”

Tights and Shoes

Cultural events are extremely interesting to volunteer for. The last day of a week for enjoyment of photography comes to a close. Now excuse me while I entertain my right brain.

A Week for Photography

*I cut my left foot out on purpose

This week, a city wide homage to photography has commenced. I volunteered with them last year and will again this year. They said that college kids who sign up are more likely to flake out, but I’m out to prove them wrong. Besides volunteering for them, I’m actually quite unaffiliated to the organization. I tend to choose volunteer opportunities that veer towards arts and culture.

This week in my city is entirely dedicated to photography. I enjoy it as a hobby, but the camera i currently own I unable to do much at all- it takes pixelated photos, has a five second shutter speed at best, and the exposure is always off. It’s better than no camera though. I trust Samsung with most appliances, but not digital cameras.

I did notice a few visitors at the event I was volunteering at who wielded a Leica camera. Let’s just say just looking at one can make the wallet cry. The Leica Camera is like an apple in the Garden of Eden.

Native and Teal

Let the towel hanger behind my head distract you

Late Fall has arrived, and I have to adapt to the weather. In the city, its hard to see proof of fall. Trees aren’t in abundance, and the few that are turn brown and wither instead of stepping through the hues of red, orange, and yellow. My dormitory is placed on a more ‘suburban’ style neighborhood in the city, so unlike many who don’t live where I do, I get to see the candlelight in the leaves before they fall.

I’ve seen a few Native prints out and about these days, and am able to bring out a couple of my own ‘statement pieces’ (That’s what all the youtubers call pieces of clothing with an egregious amount of pattern, color, or design. I know egregious is not the right word)

I noted the cardigan in an earlier post- how it matches earthenware from the southwest natives- here’s a pair of pants I own that might touch on that feeling. (except with egregious amounts of pattern)

Close up of the pants

Shoes: Steve Madden “Olympiaa”

I attended Anime USA, a convention in my city, just this past weekend. (I obviously should have studied for my Chinese exams instead) I asked one of the dealers in the Dealer’s Room (I’ll post the name later) if they happened to have ear cuffs since they sold so many items with a ‘steampunk’ or ‘raw metal jewelry’ vibe. He had one that his sister was experimenting with but he had no idea how to display it and thus I decided to buy it to save him the trouble.

I will now introduce to you all my obsession with ear cuffs.

Metal Ear Cuff and Earring

By the way, I don’t have my ears pierced

A Night of Computer Gaming

Perhaps it is a lesser known fact- my love of computer games. I’ve been playing League of Legends for about three years now  and have seen the popularity of the game skyrocket. There are not many at my university who play computer games as the majority of students are not engineers and since the university is in a city, the students do not look at the internet as the sole reliever of boredom. I, however, enjoy playing computer games. Even though I suck.

A friend of mine who also happens to be a gamer had a birthday party of sorts. Essentially, it’s a gathering where everyone plays League of Legends together. the picture above is of the outfit I wore between evening and morning (the ‘party’ lasted from 10pm-4am). I wore fingerless gloves, a paint splash panda shirt from Threadless covered with a black button down shirt, gray shorts, violet tights, and technicolor Adidas. I could switch the shirt and tights for a more sophisticated look [black-gray-white color theme], but I’m going to a gaming party. Because I should obviously care about fashion when I’m going to be sitting in a corner on my butt for six hours.

The Adidas shoes up close. I bought the design in Hong Kong, so I’m not sure if they can be attained in the US.

We played about 8 games of League before calling it a ‘night’. I recently became quite the fan of ‘The Proving Grounds’ field map. Games on the proving grounds really help to build skill level in terms of  player versus player. The layout of the game tends to be ‘ARAM’ or All Random All Mid. I do enjoy the ability to choose my champions though.

For the few who blog/read blogs and happen to play League of Legends, I main as Heimerdinger- a mad mechanic/scientist with a will to destroy.

On another note, the international tournament for League (aka. LoL) had a grand champion prize of $1,000,000. The amount of tuition for school I could pay off with that money is ridiculous.

Morning in November

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It is 6am in the morning in my city. I am working on a paper due at 9am. It was completely my choice to work in the wee hours of the morning as I took a nap yester-afternoon. I am quite a fan of the cardigan I am wearing. It has a nice earthy feel with the dark orange hue and tan color. To an extent, it reminds me of the patterned clay pottery of the southwestern Native Americans.

So I am pulling an ‘allnighter’ since I slept a while during the day. It would be nice to have a regular schedule to stick to, but alas I am a college student (I know that’s no excuse). I had a sleeping schedule until hurricane sandy. Things have been hectic since her fury cancelled school for an extra couple days.

My three day school-week is now at a close. It’s been fun having a little extra time to myself, albeit the one time I ventured outside into the storm my university ID blew away. Maybe nature means something by this crude action. I am irked. It is cold outside.

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Like a professional ‘fashionista’ I shall zoom up on the ‘detailing’ which is what they all call it. The wood colored buttons balance out the cardigan’s color theme. The brand is ‘coincidence & chance’.

And So It Begins

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A hurricane tracked its paint along the shores of Northeastern US. My city was lucky enough to be grazed by the storm without significant damage. A day after and the weather has turned a cold ear. I ready myself for Halloween with orange stockings and black mini dress  The weather told me the more layers the better, so I top it with a black cardigan and a dark cotton jacket.

I pranced about the city with friends, and switched into a frolicsome  personality to match my unicorn head.

The Days Before

The move is not far and I have traveled into the city many times in my life due to my home’s close proximity to Washington DC. This will be my second year of university study with what I predict to be a stressful first semester of the year. I hope to still have an active and exciting semester though. Tuition is through the roof and in order to combat the imbalance of my tuition and my life’s potential I have to go ‘through the roof’ with my daily festivities (whilst trying my darnest to save money). Before I delve into a new year, here’s what I did last year:

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A pillow fight with fellow volunteers I worked with for a charity convention cafe

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My friend dancing while the other five in the room studied for midterms

An artist and adventurer who has since disappeared

Friends and I hanging out in a dorm room’s corridor before spring break

About the City

Washington DC holds more than prominent politicians and national monuments. As a student who lives and studies in the city, I have found an eclectic community of thinkers, wanderers, and deviants. Of course, I will try and see all ‘colors of the spectrum’ so that others may choose whatever path they wish to take when in DC. Some days may be simple and fashion conscious, whilst others are  frolicsome and free.