Who is this guy? Again, surprised by my interest in this type of music. I listened to some of his other tracks but this one hits the spot for me. Rich Chigga. One guy said that he says ‘nigger’ without it sounding like it.
This video came across my screen while I was working and was immediately caught by the deep bass, the smooth laid back style and soothing voice of this young Korean lady. I am not normally attracted to this hip hop style of music, but this was something special.
MOXIE is extremely pleased to showcase An Tôn Thất’s latest MV L’appel du vide, a seductive and haunting video by the artist, director and composer.
L’appel du vide translates to ‘the call of the void’. His journey brings him to a place of solitude within the seeming emptiness of life. There is deep longing in this composition, one of looking back in one’s life with questions. Shot in empty parking lots, alleyways and night streets, the barren landscape and scenery lend itself to the mood and thrust of the music. Dancer WeiHan Li’s movements are lyrical, fluid and filled with lament –‘ empty page, gaping hole…’. The lyrics are by Bibbe Hansen and brought to life and movement through An’s music. For those unfamiliar with Bibbe, she collaborated on many films with pop artist Andy Warhol.*
Particularly matched is An’s melancholic voice, never too strong and somewhat reticent. Musically, this track is one his most accomplished efforts, combining a mix of selective instruments… the electric guitars, drums, synthesized punctuations that are cleverly combined to create a vacuous sense of space in the song. The cello at 2.57 is wonderful, introduced so eloquently, evoking a deeper side of ourselves. This has to be one of An’s more memorable pieces to date, as one can easily hear the music long after playing it. The pace is never rushed, allowing for the viewer to sink deeper into its world.
Many of An Tôn Thất’s compositions have sadness, confusion and feelings of tragedy infused into both the music and video, personal takes on what he is feeling and absorbing in his daily life. What is sure though, is that An’s artistic ability has gone beyond those of many, and his artistic direction in L’appel du vide demonstrates his vision to even greater detail and emotion. Is there a chance for healing from the pain? There is no resolve in the video, and to that, it succeeds wonderfully.
Aaken – An Tôn Thất’s website
*MOXIE has an exclusive interview with An Tôn Thất’s in the next magazine issue of MOXIE 03, where An talks about his serendipitous meeting with Bibbe Hansen.
1. Where to scout for guys? I do not scout for guys at the bars or clubs; I think it comes off as a bit sleazy and a bad excuse to actually be picking them up. I prefer using the internet such as facebook or Instagram. Some other photographers I have spoken to say they have no problem walking up to guys but they seem to rarely become models for me in the end.
2. The Exception to the above is when someone you know at the bar or club introduces you, then it is acceptable. Hence, it’s good to have your work out there so people begin to recognise your work.
3. Name Cards. In the event that you do meet someone at the bar or outside the internet, have some business cards handy. Just pass the guy your card and ask them to contact you. It friendlier, and you hope for the best.
4. The Initial Meeting. Set up an initial meeting to talk in person about the shoot. In the meeting discuss what they are comfortable with shooting. Nude? Semi-nude? Covered? Also, talk about the model release and that they need to sign at the end of the shoot.
5. Sincerity. Be sincere in what you say and do. If you are out there to just meet hotties and using photography as a way of getting into their pants, they will normally see right through it.
6. Be professional, although you are an amateur. The goal of the shoot is to try to get really good images in the way that you imagined it to be. Professionalism when it comes to photographing nudes basically means one thing: NO SEX. So you need to stay away from the thought of getting it on with the model.
7. The Oil-Down. Yes, a bit of baby oil (mineral oil) does wonders on the skin. It is okay to offer the model some help in the application but ask first. There have been instances where the model has preferred to do it by himself. Usually, I oil only the back and help with the legs. Yes, you have to learn to resist yourself.
8. About the oil. The normal versions seem to be better than the light version in my opinion. I don’t prefer organic oils since they tend to be too viscous, and they get absorbed into the skin too fast and you’ll have to reapply (of course, it’s not necessarily a bad thing).
9. Too much excitement. For some guys, they tend to get excited just by the thought of being undress, let alone being nude in front of another guy. Well, this is a good thing and a bad thing. I usually will stop photographing and ask if they want to continue or wait awhile until they calm down.
10. Music helps. Assuming that the shoot is in a studio or home environment, play some music to get you and your model into a good mood. I usually play ambient type music with no vocals.
11. I work alone. I normally do everything from setting up the lights, the backdrop and oil-down. I shoot alone because I find that a helper/assistant a distraction. Unless the model is more experienced, then they might not mind if another person is helping in the room, but I find that I get more of the real person to come out if I’m working alone with him.
12. Process. I start out with clothing, and then progressively remove clothing. It is better this way since it allows you time to warm up and vice-versa.
13. Duration. How long does a shoot take? Normally, a shoot will last between 2 – 4 hours long, depending on how many ideas I have in mind.
14. Experiment with lighting arrangements and don’t be stuck to strobes. Although many professional photographers shy away from tungsten lights, I have found that it is extremely nice for shooting male bodies. A tungsten light and softbox were all I needed for the majority of shoots I did.
15. Keep moving. For me, I prefer it when the model is constantly moving during the shoot. The movements are not wild and erratic, but small. They are small shifts in the stance, their head direction and position of their hands and legs. Professional models are usually very good at this, although I have seen some become really awkward when they have to pose nude. It’s a challenge.
16. Talk to your model. I have always thought that the best shoots were more like a dance than a conversation. The dance or synergy is between you and the model, an exchange of giving and receiving. What do you talk about? Literally, anything that comes to your mind, but usually, we are talking about the shoot and meanwhile, I am directing the guy at the same time.
17. Follow up. After the shoot has finished and you have processed (post production) the images, you should follow up with sending him the photographs as outlined in your agreement. (See Part 1 ).
Sometimes, I have very little idea of how I am going to approach the shoot. I have a very general idea of how things will go. I do not usually work according to a theme. The element of surprise is rather more interesting.
Finally, have fun and enjoy the shooting.
Every year since 2001, I think about the horrific events of 9/11, the day when 2 planes struck the World Trade Centers in New York city, setting them ablaze, and eventually witnessing the collapse of the towers. I recall seeing the first tower on little television screens at the gym, thinking how did it happen and how they would put out such a huge fire. It didn’t seem quite real. Later that evening I turned on the television set and saw repeated reruns of the tower’s collapse. My first thought was of the ones that died from the crash, both from the plane and the strange surreal disintegration of the buildings. To simply vanish from existence, just like that. I was trying to imagine the situation if I were one of the persons in the plane, or perhaps more profound, one of the persons working in the building, not even knowing that a plane was heading towards you and then suddenly disappearing, dying in an instant. How does that feel like? To not even know that you have died because there wasn’t time for you to think or perceive that you were gone from this earth. My mind felt confused and numb as I watched the news from my apartment in the Mid-levels.
My apartment was in chaos, boxes strewn everywhere. I was preparing to move to a large apartment in Sheung Wan, a day perhaps before 9/11. The actual move itself is a blur. I cannot remember the movers nor the packing. I do however have a clear memory of everything sitting in my new apartment. It was spacious and large. I had spent nearly a month preparing the apartment, knocking down several partition walls and repainting the place. It was going to be home for nearly 8 years.
I unpacked the tv and found a temporary box to set it on, which was to become my source of news as I continued to immerse myself into the tragedy that was unfolding live. The news came forth saying that some special intelligence (maybe it was CIA) said it was the work of Osama bin Laden and then another report came in saying they found the passport to one of the terrorist hijackers. It did not make any sense. How could they have found one of the passports? Or was this particular hijacker not on the plane. Quickly though, I gave it a pass, as there were much more serious events happening. I thought that if this was indeed terrorist action, then there must be something far deeper than what the news reporters were saying; however it never quite dawned on me that the reporters could have been given misleading information amongst the chaos and destruction.
The towers looked like a planned demolition, I told my friend. I have seen it on Youtube and it looked exactly like a controlled demolition. As an architect and knowing a little about physics and structures, it did not seem plausible that an airplane, although big, could cause such damage to those buildings as to bring them down. And even if there was structural failure of some of the core columns, it would only be partial damage to the upper floors. But I was not an engineer nor some kind of forensic scientist, and eventually, I would wane away from the events that day, thinking that it was beyond my knowledge. They eventually would figure it out. I thought.
Today is August 13, 2017. And for some reason, I have been somewhat obsessed with the events of 9/11 for the past few days. Normally, I may gloss over the conspiracy theories, and case studies from various legitimate organisations trying to reveal the truth to the public, but this particular year, I got lead into the videos more intensely, and felt there was something that needed to be said from my own personal perspective of a guy so far away from New York but hidden away in the small industrial neighbourhood of Chai Wan, Hong Kong, exactly half way around the world.
Could it be that there is a global awakening in the form or personal interior awakening to the events surrounding me and to others? The events of 9/11 seem clearer to me without the necessary requirement or condition that government bodies come clean. How can the powers that be reveal anything beyond what they have already have installed or claimed as their own truth? Perhaps the knowledge that the facts are not even being addressed is enough.
I have never really seen politics as something I find interesting to me, but the last few years have been uncompromising. The events surrounding 9/11 was the only time I felt close, as it did with so many people around the world. It was close and emotional because it did not seem possible. Then looking back over the past few days have brought me right back to the day it happened, but with the added information that was not revealed. Time has come to be.
There is strong evidence, not conspiracies, that indicate that the twin towers were destroyed by using nano-thermite, a relatively modern chemical compound used by the military for propellants and explosives. There was an independent study done endorsed by over 2,200 architects and engineers on Tower 7 of the World Trade Buildings, which came down without any plane colliding into it. The cause of its collapse, as reported by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) was attributed to fire, giving rise to a global collapse of the entire structure. http://www.ae911truth.org/
One of the fascinating theories is by Dr Judy Wood, whose intense research who draws the conclusion that the building was dustified by free-energy technology, a type of field effect. As an example, think of how your mobile phone works and where the signal comes from. http://drjudywood.com.
Why is the truth on how the buildings came down so important? It is because knowing how the buildings collapsed that gives rise to enormous implications to who really pulled these buildings down and the many lives that perished as a result. There is a snowball effect that leads from one thing to another, in a chain of accountability and of the individual persons behind it all.