Interests

Here I outline some of my general interests, which tend to shift around a bit, but are currently centred on the following:

Art permalink

My interest in art is in the making of it – drawing and painting – and also goes beyond that into the philosophy and history of art. Ultimately what I’m interested in is the purpose of art and how it links to life and living.

Blog posts that are tagged under "art"

Reading permalink

When I was a kid and the world was simpler, my mum used to leave me at the book shop when she went shopping, where I would entertain myself with favourite authors like Enid Blyton and Lucy Maud Montgomery. As a teenager I read an embarrassing amount of Chinese romance novels from Taiwan, which built me a strong foundation for the language, but probably filled my head with all sorts of nonsense which I fortunately grew out of. In my twenties I force-fed myself with a lot of academic reading, with most of that decade spent within academia. Reading was more an instrument for getting information and I didn't read that much for pleasure anymore.

A few years ago I realised that I was consuming a lot of junk online through social media and Reddit, and made the decisive step to cut them all out and go back to reading books. Rediscovering reading for fun has been hugely rewarding. These days I read anything that is well-written, fiction or nonfiction, and see reading as an indispensable way to keep my mind active and growing.

Blog posts that are tagged under "reading"

Languages permalink

A quote that I like, by Turkish writer Elif Shafak, is “When you master a language, you are given the key to a castle. What you find inside depends on you.”

The main languages that I have been learning more or less consistently are Japanese and Spanish, which I’ve been able to use in practical situations such as hitch hiking in Japan or going to the post office in Spain. Of late I’ve been learning Farsi as well, because one of my best friends is Iranian and I want to someday be able to read Persian poetry. Other languages that I’ve been fortunate enough to have as part of my upbringing are English, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Malay, and a smattering of Hokkien Chinese.

Blog posts that are tagged under "languages"

Music permalink

I’ve a bit of a complicated relationship with music. Thanks to an early childhood of learning the piano, I’ve got a pretty good ear and sense for music but it also took me some time as an adult to discard the negative association with regimented music practice from young. At the moment I’m learning the ukulele, the guitar, and may pick up piano again when a keyboard comes my way.

Blog posts that are tagged under "music" (nothing here yet)

Dancing permalink

Haha. Just kidding. I'm wooden as fuck.

Random stuff that comes my way permalink

This is a bit of a catch all, and it captures all the things that have held my interest for however brief periods of time – be it learning how to solve a Rubik’s cube (and forgetting it almost immediately), making my own creams and balms, learning how to make an AM radio, or making a solar cooker, to name a few. Sometimes it is hangat hangat tahi ayam (shortlived interest), but sometimes I can be really into it for a few years and then lose interest (like taichi, or gardening).

Every time I take them seriously, until I don't. I've learnt to let the inspiration fairies come and go. Treasuring the learning highs when they're here, and when they leave I pack up the trail of notes and books left behind and file them back into the shelves, waiting for the time when they come back to say hi again.

Blog posts that are tagged under "random interests" (nothing here yet)