MEXICO: Dia de Muertos in Oaxaca

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The Day of the Dead is about giving respect and honouring our loved ones who passed away, but here in Mexico they do it in a festive and colourful way.

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On a dia de muertos tour arranged by my amigas, I went to the southern part of Mexico in a place called Oaxaca (wa-ha-ka). Packed in a small bus, fellow travellers and I were brought to a local public cemetery. 

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There was a stage with loud blaring speakers, a street market selling food and souvenirs, people offering us pan de muerto (a special bread during the day of the dead) and hot chocolate de oaxaca for free.

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There was a bit of pushing and shoving to get inside the cemetery.

Once inside, a sensory overload!

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Friends and families gathered around elaborately decorated graves, the air a mix of marigolds and smoke from burning candles, mourning melodies sang by hired musicians accompanied by their guitars.

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It’s like one big fiesta for the departed.

It feels good to be alive!


MEXICO: Skulls & Bones

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In Mexico, death is not something to be afraid of, here it is celebrated.

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Marigold is the “day of the dead” flowers in Mexico, used in offerings to the spirits.

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I made a shoutout in 2011 about me being in Mexico for the Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), years after I’m finally here.

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Dia de Muertos is a big event in Mexico, it’s as big as the Christmas celebration in the Philippines.

Everywhere I go, I see skulls and bones in all shapes and forms. Papier-mâché skeletons, candy skulls, aylavett!!! I want to hoard everything!

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I have a fascination for L’art Vanite, and in fact on my very first art exhibit – T.R.I.P (To Rest In Peace), someone saw my artwork of a hand-colored photograph of a cemetery and said it reminded him of the cemeteries in Mexico. I have a knick knack collection of crosses and skulls. I also make it a point to visit cemeteries wherever I travel, and so Mexico is the ultimate place to witness and experience all that.

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UP NEXT: Dia de Muertos in Oaxaca

Ancient Traditions in Modern GINZA (Tokyo, Japan)

From Akihabara, Kanna and I went to Ginza, to ra ra ra, sis boom ba 😀

Ginza (and not Cindys) is the place to be for major luxurious shopping! It is here where you can find flagship stores of famous fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, Burberry and not Secosana.

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Every weekend, from 12 to 5, they close down the streets to make way for shushaling shoppers like me 😀 Okay, show me the ukays!!!

Continue reading “Ancient Traditions in Modern GINZA (Tokyo, Japan)”

POP ART TOKYO: Yoshitomo Nara & Andy Warhol

Yoshitomo Nara’s characters has witnessed 5 years of my ups and downs.

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I bought Yoshitomo’s postcard booklet in a museum shop in Paris a long time ago. I was drawn to his wide-eyed, deceptively innocent characters. The postcards were too cute, I couldn’t let it go. So each time something important happens in my life, I write myself a postcard. The character on it should match the mood.

The first postcard i sent was when i got frustrated finding musicians to collaborate with during a performance in Paris, that was in 2009 I believe. From then on, i will bring the postcard set in my travels and write down my impressions and experiences in that country. A few got lost in the mail but it was nice to receive it weeks after my travel and then read and relive that moment.

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To continue the tradition, I searched for Mr. Yoshitomo’s cafe that he designed here in Tokyo. It’s called A to Z cafe. So from Shibuya, I walked all the way to Minato-ku. I saw interesting things and nice shops along the way.

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I got a bit lost looking for the place. I asked the people around if they have heard of the cafe but nobody knew. I finally found the 5-storey building, hidden at the posh side street of Minato-ku. It would be difficult to stumble upon this place, you have to come here and know it.

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Continue reading “POP ART TOKYO: Yoshitomo Nara & Andy Warhol”


jk docu


Life is filled with paradoxes. To truly know yourself, at some point, you need  to lose yourself. To see the best in someone, you need to see first that person at his or her worst. To be able to go back, you must first take your leave. All these paradoxes, Multimedia Artist Jazel Kristin has chosen to live as she revisits the city of her dreams, none other than Paris, with her father, whom she considers as her greatest influence.

As a child, Jazel has been enamored with all things Parisian—a passion that now fuels her desire to create art. During her several sojourns to the French capital, Jazel has landed a residency at the prestigious Cité internationale des arts, and has mounted exhibits throughout France.

Her art, itself, is a paradox—cut-out elements from various photographs she has captured, not only in France, but also in her homeland, as well as other parts of the world, juxtaposed to create a whole picture. Each artwork is a harmonious universe crafted from various, even seemingly opposite cultures.

In her latest trip to Paris, she brings her father, a former photographer of a television network. His photography had paid for his own studies, and eventually allowed him to provide for his family. But as the years passed, his interest in photography had faded. To infuse him with renewed creativity, Jazel decides to treat him to a European escapade—to discover with him new sights and cultures, and to show him the Paris that she loves.

In a touching documentary that Jazel Kristin shot, wrote, and edited, viewers will witness the story of not only a man reviving a dying passion, but also of a father reconnecting with his headstrong daughter, who, in turn, is also struggling to meld her childhood fantasies and life goals.


clip from the documentary