Silent Tree Screams

by Mark Forman on April 29, 2017

Maybe this is inane in it's obviousness but I'm so spellbound by red in the world around me. I like other colors as well but red always grabs me. Got to be true to what you feel I guess. This shot was taken in a part of my city-Taichung, Taiwan that is going through some major changes. They are adding many new roads through this are a because the railroad line used to run on the ground-now it's been elevated so it allows the city to add many new roads. I guess I like the newness and the chaos. So we're working on a red chaos theme here at BBluesman today... 😀 There is also a big temple in this area on the other side of the main market in town which is in the process of moving to new area on this side of the old tracks as well. Lots of upheaval and changes in the name of progress.

Taichung like all of Taiwan's cities was designed by its former Japanese colonial master. Hence the core and original flavor of Taiwan's cities is very much like Japanese cities-government buildings all built in the colonial style of architecture which is very early 20th century European in flavor. The other key element of Japanese cities are the train station is the hub and the city flows out from it. That still exists here but it is being altered here in mealtime with elevated railway line and new MRT line being built and ready to start running by the end of the year. This is kind of exciting for me to witness. I didn't see nearly this much infrastructure development during my 60's/70s youth in Brooklyn.

Check out this classic jam from back in the day-I reconnected with it on Spotify last night. I've actually been listening to music with the earbuds in each night before I drift off into my own private David Lynch movie.


The Grandmaster

by Mark Forman on April 17, 2017

There's a couple of streams running in parallel inside my head at this moment: The Grandmaster by Wong Kai War and Damn by Kendrick Lamar now also known as KungFu Kenny. The former is a movie directed by Hong Kong's famous auteur and the latter the newest release by perhaps hiphop's greatest rap artist alive. While the Grandmaster is not Wong's greatest or most iconic film it is stunningly beautiful even beyond his other films because of the classical Chinese element present in the story-line and how it guided his cinematography (Academy Award nominee: Philippe Le Sourd) and styling. The visuals take preeminence over the story telling although as one who has lived in Asia for 30 years I know that the more minimal storytelling is consistent with Asian's preferred sparseness with words feeling that there are elements that everyone already knows so don't need to be restated. In any case it's a beautiful work so if you haven't seen it make sure you do. The KungFu and martial arts elements are presented in a more classical and beautiful way than most KungFu movies. The main character in the Grandmaster is Ip Man the master/teacher of superstar student: Bruce Lee and many others.

Damn has been percolating in my head over the last few days. I have even been listening with earbuds on which I haven't done in quite some time to try to better absorb K Dot's dense rhymes and their nuance while simultaneously enjoying the lush arty production and his excellent vocal contortions which bring his aural characterizations to life. My son introduced me to Kendrick a couple of years back. Initially,  I didn't really make time to get acquainted with him in as the conceptual nuanced artist that he is. It probably wasn't until I watched the GQ interview conducted by Rick Rubin (video below) that I realized this young guy is really bright and has something to say and the means to say it. So Damn is his first work that I'm experiencing as it dropped while being on KungFu Kenny's bandwagon. I would agree with the assessment of his more committed fans that he is the only rapper. If you value substance over style Kendrick and Damn are certainly worth giving some time too. If you want both substance and style-Kendrick and Damn are it.


What’s Up With That

by Mark Forman on April 13, 2017

Sitting here reading my Feedly and came across this Lefsetz post where he's going on about how some things take time or maybe better said."happen in their own, right time." Perhaps it's what we call luck or kismet or whatever but much stuff happens that way. What really struck a chord with me and I will share now:

But if you give people what you think they want not only do you die inside…

You’ve really got no idea what people really want.

That's his pearl or 2 of wisdom that struck me in my heart/head/soul today. We all get caught up in wanting to be good politicians pleasing everybody and kissing all the babies. The truth is most of the art and brilliance man is able to garner and exhibit doesn't happen by consensus or planning. Specifically on creative endeavors it's always best to be faithful to your individual muse. Some will love it and some will hate it and some will be neutral. I long for extreme reactions because that is a good barometer of being inspired and offering something of substance. I don't have any problem with many people not getting my photograp0hy because it looks like a snapshot of strangers to them. Where's the pretty girl in the bikini or the cute cat, etc. ?

Life is short-we don't need to be doing things that make us "die inside" especially because we never truly know with any consistency what people really want. I have countless experiences loving a photo and posting it knowing it will blow up. It didn't. Some other image which I posted and thought was ok does blow up. Whatever. They're all good and all flawed but all real. real people shot by a real person trying to capture some of their essence and say something about this moment on Planet Earth.

Mundane Detail Report: The foods pictured above from lower right to left-The big wheel and wedge cut pieces to the left of it are 大餅Big Scallion Loaf, 1st metal tray:水煎飽 Fried Bao and to it's left 蔥油餅 Scallion Pancake. These are some of my favorite snack foods in Taiwan.


Saying Stuff on the Internet

04.06.2017 by Mark Forman

Was probably attracted possibly subliminally to this shot due to the Supreme skateboard t-shirt. First time I heard of the iconic skateboard/street brand was from my son. He started work yesterday and was processing some other apparel goods including surf wear and skateboard shoe brands. Congrats to my son on his 1st day in new […]


Riddle Me This

04.05.2017 by Mark Forman

My favorite line from the Batman TV show uttered by the Riddler of course. He was played by Frank Gorshin and was one of my favorite villains. Still really connecting well with new IPhone as camera and App post-processing as default photography mode. DSLR not very heavy but when compared to the IPhone it weighs […]