Muses

Revelations I

It always seems impossible until it is done. — Nelson Mandela

Find the thing in you that is different, that's as sharp as a diamond and jagged as a razor. Hone that, because that's the thing with which you'll cut the world. — Clayton Cubitt

Facing the unknown is daunting. It's so much easier to let things be, even when you know you shouldn't. When you feel that resistance—that almost overpowering, bone-crushing force—you have to push back...that is when you really find yourself and figure out where you're supposed to go. — Alison Sudol

...your only real responsibility as an artist is to get lost in and follow your obsessions as far as they go, because anything besides that is copying someone else or doing something that's not true to yourself. — Sam Beam

I'm not currently satisfied because that would mean I'm not hungry, and you have to be hungry to make interesting work. — Alison Sudol

As photographers, we always want to travel and go to exotic places...but sometimes there is so much magic happening right in front of you. — Andre Wagner

What I'm doing is not a sprint: it's a marathon. I'd rather focus on what's meant to be, what's organic and real. — Clayton Cubitt

You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you. — Maya Angelou


Tea Solemnity

When I brew tea, it is much more than to hydrate or to have an alternative to coffee. It is a period of reflection—I envisage the past, the present, the future, and being at home within myself is restored. It is a rumination of self-improvement, contemplation, and quietude. To achieve the correct flavour, the correct colour, the correct consistency, the act of brewing tea requires artistry, patience, technique, and a precise scope of practise—it is an art. 

Loose leaf tea flavors are authentic; the petals and leaves are less processed and bear such transcendental beauty. From the moment my eyes fall upon their intricate textures and I inhale deeply, filling my lungs with their ambrosial redolence, I am carried away to another world and I fall gently into a field with tall grass, graceful flowers, and balletic leaves that dance with the wind.

A beguiling synthesis of Japanese Sencha and the enticing spirit of rose, accented with an embellishment of rose petals. It possesses a breath of grace and mystery. The chartreuse leaves of Sencha, fragile with accents of oceanic and verdant notes, harmonise with the lush fragrance of rose. // An exhilarant tropical brew of Chinese green and subtle Jasmine teas swathed within a haze of lush rose, marigold, and passionfruit. Reminiscent of an afternoon rain and the fever experienced with the rush of young love. // A refined and distinguished concoction of white peony tea and French lavender with revitalising notes of bright grapefruit. At once casual yet opulent, it dons its derivation lightly, floating delicately from morning until night. // A beautiful, herbal amalgam evocative of a summer grassland. Lemongrass and verbena mingle blissfully with lavender, rose petals, mint, and sage. Airy and inspiriting.

Each tea tells a story. Each one is a circadian reprieve of peace amongst the chaos—my solemnity.


Deconstructed Rose Study

White flowers embody purity, innocence, humility, deep reverence, and signify a fresh start, a beginning. This photo set features roses from a beautiful twelve rose bouquet given to me by Ren at the start of 2015. I was touched and utterly taken by surprise. As one who fancies preserving flowers, I saved the roses for a fairly long time and it was when I was sipping at a cup of mango green tea and my eyes fell on the delicately wilted roses that it dawned upon me the inspiration for this small study.

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Christmas + Ren

This Christmas is unequivocally memorable. It was the first time I could spend it with my best friend, who I have known since high school. We do not see each other often, so we were ecstatic to celebrate—we both know that every time we spend time together, it will always be brimming with culinary adventures. 

We began our Christmas day sharing hot cocoa with homemade cloud marshmallows and a touch of peppermint while exchanging gifts. Ren utterly surprised me by bestowing the handsome Kickstarter limited edition Lomo'Instant camera. It is described as "the world's most creative instant camera system" and since I am an avid camera collector, I was beyond rhapsodic.


Bluestone Lane Coffee - This café is absolutely charming. It serves artisanal coffee and fresh Australian-influenced wholesome fare—truly delectable. The granola with yogurt and fruit, smashed avocado on toast, pumpkin fritter with smoked salmon, pickled beet root and arugula were delightful. The friendly service, in particular, is what won us over—the servers and baristas were so amiable, one of them was practically dancing around our table. This place definitely took us by surprise.

Breather - We escaped the cold for a bit and took a "breather" in this quiet and lovely space admist the chaos of the city. We enjoyed the minimalistic décor and their quirky books. I will surely return to explore more of their spaces.

Totto Ramen - I wanted to take Ren to an authentic ramen shop because he has never had authentic ramen before and I knew Totto would be open on Christmas. Sure enough, there was a seemingly never-ending line when we arrived; our wait was approximately an hour (in the cold), but it was worth it—so savory. Ramen shops are my favourite places to eat, especially in the heart of winter. Ren had a blast and noted that it was the best Christmas he ever had which was incredibly heartwarming and made me smile. I did not bring a camera, so I hope this iPhone shot will suffice.

Wollman Rink - It was so wonderful ice skating in Central Park with all the city lights at night. I have been skating for a while, however this is the second official time Ren went ice skating so it definitely was a fun experience. He was even sneaking a "how to ice skate" search on his phone, which he tried to hide from me. We sure had a good laugh.

The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory - For some late-night dessert, we chose the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for their award-winning green tea ice cream on sugar cones. It is a popular tourist attraction so we just wanted to try it out. We had ample green tea ice cream in the past, but their green tea flavor is certainly unique; we loved it. I did not bring a camera so here is a quick iPhone snap.

Sometimes, it is best to immerse yourself in the moment and cherish it with your heart instead of a camera.


A New Beginning

I have always had a predilection, not only for medicine and science, but also for writing and photography. Ever since I learned to read, write, and use a camera, I earnestly documented my meandering thoughts, feelings, and musings in an intricate collection of little diaries and journals. I am intensely moved by words and I am continuously enlightened by music, poetry, and prose, especially those that embody the tenuous nature of existence or are emotionally driven. By writing and taking photographs to create visual stories, I feel I can express to a greater extent—it is truly cathartic.

I originally started a similar aggregate on tumblr, and for quite a while, I utilised it only as a portfolio and shied away from the concept of recording reflections online. However, since I am a bit of a writer, I could not refrain for long. After a week of intense html coding, a new platform was born. This space will act as the heart to all my work and my new Journal—a new beginning.