It takes money to makes art

fun with cash

Recently, for a commissioned painting my client paid me with cash. He paid the full amount with brand new $100 bills. As I looked at those bills I was attracted by the colors and design and each one is a hologram image. They are the new plastic bills.
This got me thinking,: now a day with credit, debit card, pay pal, and online banking I hardly handle cash any more. I decided to have some fun with those bills, I went to the bank and exchange for more bills, $5 and $10s and started to play around with them, make them into paper sculpture and took photos of them.

Oh, I felt so rich!
the color of money


A brief encounter in a big city


christmas lights at brookfield place

Last night I was at the financial district near the Brookfield place, I decided to go inside and check out this year’s Christmas lights display. The Brookfield place atrium used to call BCE Place (named after a bank) for me is one of the most beautiful indoor spaces in Toronto. The light display was as stunning as I expected.

I took out my camera and started taking photos. No sooner, a well dressed middle age man, likely a lawyer or banker walk up to me and ask if I know what it means? Being a long time Toronto residence I know this is a rarity because Torontonian do not start conversation with total strangers. Although I been to this building countless times and knew the history and the building designed by the great Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Knowing he must think I am a tourist and he wants to share his insight of this building with me. I answer “No”.

He said, the cascading lights represent the forest and the arched dome is the Cathedral. I thanked him and wish him a good evening. He walk away and head home..

Five free things to do in Qingdao, China

There are many interesting things to do and see in Qingdao. Here is my recommendations for five free things to do while visiting Qingdao.

1)      Mayfour square

kite flying at mayfour Square

qingdao at night s

The name came from the May four resistance movement in Shandong province. This vast open square with the giant red sculpture (wind of May) it is the symbol of the modern Qingdao.  It is a place one should visit both day and at night because it offers a completely different feels. During the day, it is a great place to relax take photos, walk along the harbour, shop at the souvenirs stales among the board walk, people watching or even kite flying on the square. At night the square is lively with the sculpture lighted up. There were venders selling snacks and singers entertain you for your spare changes. One should find a seat experience all these activity and watch the spectacular backdrop of lights up buildings by the harbor.

2)      Qingdao city museum

qingdao museum

The entry is free for this wonderful museum; it offers both art and history exhibitions the first floor of the museum with two large gallery devoted to the history of Qingdao. The bilingual (Chinese/English) descriptions are very informative. The second floor galleries there are display of Chinese paintings, ceramic and craft. On the main floor also houses a compact book store and a gift shop also worth a visit.

 3) Old stone man bathing beach it is less crowded than the other one bathing beaches in Qingdao. The water is very clear and the sand is very fine.

old stone man beach

4)  Qingdao Olympic Sailing Park.

sailing at Olympic park

harbour by Olympic Park

Qingdao hosted the 2008 Olympic sailing event since then this area been turned into a public park. There are many restaurants, shops around here. On the weekend is very busy with tourists. One can take one of the tour boats to tour Qingdao harbour as well.

 5) St Michael cathedral

st michael cathedral

who is the fairest of them all

This German Cathedral is the only Catholic Cathedral in Qingdao it was built by the German in 1934. Although it is not open to the public but still it attracts a large members of tourists during the day. As for me, the real attraction was the wedding couples. During the day, teams of newlyweds would arrive with their wedding photographers and stylists. Each would dress in their wedding finest posing for the camera. Many like I would just sat on the steps opposite the Cathedral to watch.

The German Architecture in Qingdao, China

German architectureGerman architecutre

Qingdao is the most EuropeanChineseCity I had traveled to, especially with its architecture. It was a former Germany colony and the first European colony in China. Although it was to be a rather short stay for the German occupiers (for thirty three years up to 1949) but it left a distinct mark on Qingdao. They planned and built the first streets, a railroad and made improvements to the harbor, safe drinking water and institutions of the city we see today. They would also continue to establish their Christian presence through the construction of churches. They were able to construct a brewery, the world-famous Tsingtao Brewery. Many German period buildings in the old town area been preserved as Qingdao heritage are major attraction for tourists.

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