Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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2014/10/14-19 Oslo, Norway

Conferences at the University of Oslo and the Oslo School of Architecture and Design allowed a day to visit the Norwegian Folk Museum and the Astrup Fearnley Museum.
On my second trip to Oslo, my schedule happened to coincide with the third Innovations in Information Infrastructures workshop at the University of Oslo, so I registered.  The Department of Informatics is in Ole-Johan Dahls Hus.

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The building houses its own Art and Computer Science collection, which comes with a catalog.   Here’s Trigger, a 2011 work by Vibeke Jensen where the eyeball follows people moving about.

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The primary reason that I was in Oslo was for the Relating Systems Thinking and Design 3 meeting, over a the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.  In the courtyard at AHO, an new installation was just being put into place.

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Saturday was a free day, so Peter and Patricia and I went over to the Norwegian Folk Museum.  The Gol Stave Church dates back to 1212 A.D., moved to the current site in 1883.

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The Astrup Fearnley Museum, in the temporary wing, has The Rock, a 2014 work by Tori Wranes, hanging near the entrance.

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From the second floor walkway, the movement and sound of The Rock was more apparent.

Walking back through Aker Brygge is a famous “man on stilts” sculpture.  It took a bit of searching to determine that the sculptor was Marit Wiklund, who created “Utferstrang” — which translates as “Wanderlust” in 1989.

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Oslo is a relatively compact city that can be viewed in a few days.  It’s been nice to travel with friends to see the sights.

[See the album of 132 webphotos of Oslo (with a slideshow option)]

2013/07/04-05 Suzhou

A 24-hour stopover in Suzhou allowed enough time to visit Jinji Lake and Pingjiang Road, but rainy weather deterred us from visiting the classical gardens.
On our 26-day journey, we only scheduled 24 hours in Suzhou.  The city is on the main train line between Beijing to Shanghai — actually only an hour east of Shanghai.  We arrived at Suzhou North Railway Station, and had a long taxi ride to our hotel west of the Jinghang Canal.  Thus gave us an experience of suburban Suzhou, with Yushan Lu station nearby the shopping mall.

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With Jinji Lake a destination sight, we rode the not-very-busy subway at rush hour through the city centre to the east side at Dongfang Zhimen (Gate of the Orient) station.  The building outside that subway stop looked to be a concert hall with no performances that day.

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Jinji (Golden Rooster) Lake is manmade.  Knowing that, the concrete shore is less surprising.

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After dinner, we walked along the shore in the dark.  Vendors featured lit-up toys.

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Looking westward, the higher buildings in central Suzhou were prominent.

Continue reading2013/07/04-05 Suzhou

2013/06/29-07/03 Beijing

Four days of family vacation in Bejing included the China Ethnic Culture Park, the Ming Tombs, Great Wall at Badaling, Forbidden City, Xidan, and the 798 Art Zone.
In the ultimate family trip, we started a 26-day journey of China and Vietnam in Beijing. By the end of the trip, we would have 8 people in the group. On our first stop in Beijing, five of us flew together.

We picked a hotel near the Olympics site.  We knew the location was by the Beitucheng metro station in north central Beijing, but hadn’t appreciated that there would be a pond just east.

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[See the album of 23 Pearson-Beijing webphotos (with a slideshow option)]

The pond east of the hotel is on the west side of the Chinese Ethnic Culture Park.  Headed out for sightseeing on our first morning in Beijing, we thought that we might spend an hour or two in the culture park, and then move on.  Once inside, we rediscovered the park was much larger than anticipated.  The existence of the park focused on ethnicity is itself a surprise, as the vast majority of the country is populated by Han Chinese.  The south end includes reproductions of buildings in the Uyghur style, as would be found in the Xinjiang northwestern region of China.

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On the east side of the Ethnic Park was a large bridge depicting the She (Hakka) region in southwest China.

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From the Gelo house, we could look at stream depicting the Maonan ethnic minority, both from the southern China.

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Prominent in the middle of the Ethnic OPark was a reproduction of the triple pagodas, as found near Dali City in southwestern Yunnan, Continue reading2013/06/29-07/03 Beijing

2013/06/15-18 Hameenlinna, Haltia, Espoo (Finland)

The Co-Create 2013 conference was the motive for travelling to Finland in the summer. I spent more time in Hameenlinna than Espoo.
In contrast to my winter visits to Finland, the timing of Co-Create 2013 conference meant an opportunity to visit in the summer.  Minna and Petri now live in Hameenlinna, which is cottage country 100 km north of Helsinki.  As a way of beating jet lag, Minna suggested that we bicycle along the paths north by the lake (Vanajavesi).

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In town, the Finnish sense of humour shows up at the HAMK University of Applied Sciences with a milk pier, for which the design is patented.  It’s outside the dairy.  Students produce products which the local neighbours enjoy.

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Petri and Minna have a big back yard.  The weekend was warm enough for brunch under the gazebo, but not warm enough for shorts.

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One tourist attraction open on Sundays is the glass outlet in the town of Iitala.

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At the Naïvist Art Gallery at Iittala, was a showing of Tinga Tinga paintings — some on bike parts — from Tanzania. Continue reading2013/06/15-18 Hameenlinna, Haltia, Espoo (Finland)

2011/07/22-25 London, UK

London was on the way home after the meeting in Hull, so we scheduled three days for some family touring.
Routing back from the ISSS 2011 meeting in Hull, Diana, Adam, Thuy and I stopped over for a few days in London.  From King’s Cross, we rode the underground to go to the hotel in Earl’s Court.  I might have checked the map more closely, as the West Kensington or West Brompton stations would have have been closer.  Our luggage is on wheels, but we had a long walk.

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[See the Earls Court album of 9 webphotos (with a slideshow option)]

Our sightseeing started around Pimlico, where we unexpectedly found a summer show of graduate works at the Chelsea College of Art and Design.  The installation by Minji Lee was one of the more intriguing.

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[See the Chelsea School of Art of 15 webphotos]

Across the street, at the Tate Britain Gallery, we encountered voices in the upper gallery, so we timed a response to oooh back at them.

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A body movement artist mimicked anyone who entered her range, so Adam tried to challenge her with less conventional poses.

[See the Tate Britain album of 6 webphotos]

The Borough Market offers a wide variety of fresh local produce and meats.  We moved from place to place to dine al fresco (i.e. standing up).

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[See the BoroughMarket album of 12 webphotos]

The Design Museum has features notable objects, both everyday and unique.  Guitar Hero is part of the everyday.

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[See the Design Museum album of 3 webphotos]

The Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern was vacant on this visit.

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[See the Tate Modern album of 7 webphotos]

From the South Bank, we crossed over the Millennium Bridge, to walk towards Piccadilly Circus and Chinatown.

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[See the MillenniumBridge-Picadilly-Chinatown album of 13 webphotos]

DY and I saw the Saatchi Gallery on Boundary Road in North London, and I visited the gallery when it was in County Hall on South Bank.  This was our first visit to the location at the Duke of York’s HQ near Sloane Square.

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[See the Saatchi Gallery album of 24 webphotos]

Dav and LJ joined us for shopping at Petticoat Lane Market, and then Indian cuisine at Brick Lane.

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[See the PetticoatLane-BrickLane alboum of 28 webphotos]

We arrived at Camden Town late in the day, so most of the temporary stalls either closing or closed.

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[See the Camden album of 8 webphotos]

We budgeted a few hours to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum.  The venue is mammoth, so we tried to be selective, wending our ways through the mazes of hall.

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[See the Victoria & Albert Museum album of 12 webphotos]

To close the loop on some history of science, I had contacted the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, and scheduled to visit their offices in East London.  This satisfied a personal curiosity, since I had visited the old site near Swiss Cottage in 2009, .

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[See the Tavistock and Chinatown album of 3 webphotos]

I travel through London regularly, know the city well, and am comfortable getting around.  Travelling with the family at tourist speed is a luxury.

2011/03/01-09 Harajuku, Aoyama, Enoshima, Kamakura, Yokohama, Mizonokuchi

My fifth visit to Japan included not only a tour of familiar sights, but also a day trip to Enoshima, Kamakura and Yokohama.
Since Tokyo is so many time zones from home, I arrive a few days and go sightseeing to beat jet lag.  On my fifth visit to Japan, I was the first of our meeting to arrive, with the group gradually gaining mass.  I checked into the usual hotel, in an high rise tower overlooking the tracks by Tamachi station.

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On a mission from DY, my first destination was Harajuku.  I went looking for crafting supplies at the Daiso (100 yen) store.

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The products aren’t made in Japan, but the variety is wider than in other branches internationally.

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A few blocks further east, the Design Festa Gallery changes its installations rapidly, with emerging artists showing their work for nominal costs.

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The variety of work includes paintings, photographs and sculpture by mostly Japanese artists.

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While most rooms are barely large enough for an overnight stay — Design Festa also offers artists accommodations from late evening to early morning, when the gallery is closed — this week featured a wall where artists could claim an 80 x 80 cm display space. Continue reading2011/03/01-09 Harajuku, Aoyama, Enoshima, Kamakura, Yokohama, Mizonokuchi

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