Central Market in Tepoztlan, Mexico

Tepoztlan is a small town of about 24,000 people nestled in a small green valley 1.5 hours south of Mexico City. The town is one of the federally designated “Pueblos Magicos“, a status it earned for its natural beauty, it is held as the birthplace of Quetzalcoatl. On the weekends the town fills up with day tourists from Mexico and surrounding areas, as well as those who own one of the many weekend retreat homes … >> read more

columns and arches repeating

Churches of Cholula, Puebla province, Mexico

We spent a day being tourists in the tiny town of Cholula, just outside the city of Puebla. The village is known for the largest pyramid in the world as well as the smallest volcano in the world. It has many churches, several appear in this post. Cholula is also full of restaurants, shops, galleries, and street life.

Playing in the Waves

A diagram of beach wave motions inspired by the waves at Varkala Beach located on the southwest coast of  India.

Curvy, spacy community centre, Onishi, Japan

The architecture of the spacey Onishi community centre seems to mimic the winding river of the valley that cradles the small town. It was a delight to find this large and modern complex in the centre of the small and friendly town about two hours north of Tokyo. Can you imagine hosting an event or exhibition here, or filming some scenes, or performing music or theater?Many large and small rooms are now seeking programming proposals. … >> read more

Shanghai highway underlit with blue light

Shanghai blue highway

Photography of a stretch of highway in central Shanghai that is underlit at night for a long length of the concrete structure to a dramatic effect.

Onagawa artists’ residence, Japan

Photos from the small house that acted as the residence for 6 artists in the August 2013 edition of the Onagawa artist in residence program.

Selection of Japanese snacks.

First meal in Japan, featuring grilled chicken cartilage skewers

Selection of Japanese snacks.
Japanese tapas, grilled skewers, and Cobb salad, a “very famous American salad” for our first meal in Japan, eaten on the bullet train from Tokyo to Sendai.

For our first meal in Japan we picked up a selection of snacks in the bewildering selection of food stalls under the Tokyo train station just before getting on the bullet train to Sendai. A tic-tac-toe tray of tapas, a Cobb salad (the only fresh vegetable type thing in site), and a selection of grilled meat skewers. Breading and mayonaise were well present, as well as seafood. Also cured meats.

Click through for the grilled chicken cartilage skewer closeup (not recommended for vegetarians.) This is the first installment of our Noteworthy Japan Snacks series.

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Taxis parked outside the train station.

Planes, trains, and automobiles: 24 hours of travel to Japan

Screens on the backs of seats in a dark airplane cabin.
Air Canada Flight 1, Toronto to Tokyo direct. They did a good job simulating an overnight flight. This is what it looked like for most of the 13 hours.

We left home at 11:30 am on Monday, 19 August 2013, about a half hour later than ideal. We rolled our bags to the Christie metro station, a short 10 minute walk. From Kiplling Station we took the airport express bus to Pearson International Airport – total cost of $3 each and travel time of 40 minutes. Pretty much how long a cab would take, and about $40 cheaper. Exactly what public transit should be. The rest of the trip had much more epic proportions.

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We Dematerialise Our Lives, with photos

This  poem was written during an extended period of travel and is  illustrated with photos from those travels. I did a lot of writing and photography during that period, from 2005 to 2011, and this piece is an attempt to fuse the two. Click on the image to fill the screen.

Yuuki Flower with other art from the Field Trip Project on display in a temporary gallery made from shipping containers in Onagawa temporary housing, Miyagi, Japan.

Field Trip Project at Onagawa temporary housing complex, Japan

Yuuki Flower with other art from the Field Trip Project on display in a temporary gallery made from shipping containers in Onagawa temporary housing, Miyagi, Japan.
Yuuki Flower by Marc Ngui + Magda Wojtyra (centre) with art by (left to right) Douglas Walker, Emelie Chhangur, Michael Toke, and David Trautrimas displayed in the market funded by the musician Ryuichi Sakamoto in Onagawa temporary housing, Miyagi, Japan. Photos by Daisuke Takeya.

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We Dematerialise Our Lives

We dematerialise our lives. Launch into a dreamtime of tropical climes, alien sunrises, and fresh horizons of the mind. We innoculate ourselves against capital. Live in the ruins. Berries fill our basket. We gather wild flowers for the table; Keep feathered dinosaurs. Eat their eggs. We carry our lives Like a snail it’s home. We take our time We make it our own.