In Focus: Water Puppet Theatre

September 4, 2009 § 2 Comments

Water puppetry is 100 times more fun than the normal thing.



In Focus: Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea

August 11, 2009 § 6 Comments

In recent years, mainstream animation has shifted from hand-drawn to CGI. As I am a fan of traditional animation, I find this to be quite disheartening. While CGI animation is certainly impressive, it lacks one important ingredient and that is the artist’s touch. This is something that can’t be replicated with technology.

I do not know what it is about CGI animation that has led to the inventive and artistic void. Perhaps, it has to do with the limitations of the technology which often render the characters lifeless and uncreative. The fact that making animation with a computer program is far from equivalent to doing it with pen and paper might also be a factor. Technology tends to discourage creativity and obstruct the artist’s vision.

Unfortunately, my opinion is in the minority. Most people are trend-loving; they tend to favor things that are more current. This explains why CGI animated movies fare much better than traditional animation in box office performance. As a consequence, movie studios are phasing out traditional animation at a blistering pace. Animation as I know it is dying before my eyes.

Fortunately, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. My love for animation is once again renewed when Walt Disney Studios announces its support for the theatrical release of Hayao Miyazaki’s newest animated feature titled Ponyo. As Miyazaki is one of few animation directors who remain faithful to traditional animation, this is fantastic news. In fact, the Ponyo movie was 100% hand-drawn with no CGI effects. This movie involved the collective cooperation of a number of artists (including the master Miyazaki himself) resulting in 170,000 separate sketches.

For those who may not know, Miyazaki was the director of numerous award-winning animated movies including Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and the iconic My Neighbor Totoro. Below is the trailer for the latest movie. As one can see, the movie’s art direction is as perfect as it could be. The animation is outstanding as well. The movie opens in the United States on August 14, 2009.

[Simon N.]

Simple Art: Origami Crane

July 27, 2009 § 6 Comments

One happy origami crane family…..


[Simon N.]


Simple Art: Origami Hat, Newspaper Hat

July 6, 2009 § 4 Comments

latest origami fashion: reusing newspaper 😉


[Simon N.]


Simple Art: Origami Boat and Ship

June 22, 2009 § 4 Comments

origami ship and boat



The Art Critic: Picasso’s Weeping Woman

March 16, 2009 § 5 Comments

The Weeping Woman (1937)
Author: Pablo Picasso
Technique: Oil on canvas
Genre: Cubism, abstract, portrait

The setting of the featured work is the Spanish Civil War. The lady in the painting is Dora Maar – one of Picasso’s most beloved mistresses. She is portrayed to be weeping profusely, in remembrance of the many innocent lives perished in the bloodshed.


The Art Critic: Van Gogh’s Sunflowers

February 23, 2009 § 6 Comments




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