“lovebug”

my friends at monogold got ahold of a vhs camera
so a bunch of us hung out in 1991 for the day
and they made this music video.

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autumn is my favourite season.

autumn, central park

(also, i should note that this is cristina, not me, in the picture. but we’re so similar anyway…)

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san francisco summer

this city,
brimming with tender memories,
but clearly we’ve outgrown each other.

san francisco fog

impervious to blue

i’m rather fond of this summer.
a bit reluctant to say goodbye.

shoe tossing, shoe telephone line, shoe powerline

coney island

“what should we do today?”
“i want a hot dog.”

coney island

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inchoate

london for two weeks.
jack and i shot part 8 in the series of short films.

a few behind the scenes stills by the brilliant leanne dixon.

inchoate script
victoria jane appleton, inchoate, veanne cao
veanne cao, inchoate
ryan cloud, inchoate, veanne cao
inchoate, veanne cao
victoria jane appleton, inchoate, veanne cao
 
i still use the chalkboard slate from my first film ten years ago
because it’s humbling and it reminds me that story and actors first and foremost,
before all the fancy equipment, before everything else.
 

cornwall, england

pancake lens on the 5DM3.
which is the equivalent of like, installing beer can speakers in a cadillac.

polruan, fowey, cornwall
polruan, fowey, cornwall
polruan, fowey, cornwall
polruan, fowey, cornwall
polruan, fowey, cornwall
 

lyndsey baked these delightful scones.
except we call them biscuits.
but in the u.k., their biscuits are our cookies.
and jaffa cakes are basically cookies, except they’re called jaffa. effing. cakes.

1828

and their argument goes, “we invented the language.”
and my response has always been, “well, we’ve streamlined it.”
to which their replies have always been, “oh fuck off.”
 

oliver and jonny.

jonny kaldor, oliver howell
cornwall, fowey, polruan
 

currently listening to:
my favourite love song this summer.


 

wired

before moving to london in 2013,
my friends and i would compete annually against other teams around the world in the 72-hour film shootout.

72 hours to write, produce, shoot, edit… make a five-minute film based on a common theme,
which, if you know anything about filmmaking, is pretty absurd
and you have to be a little crazy to attempt such a feat.

so now i’m back and our goal remains the same:
make each other laugh, hopefully make audiences laugh.

our little comedy placed 2nd.
i was just happy it actually made it into aaiff (asian american international film festival)
and we got to see it on the big screen. :)

austin, texas

corey and i got inked this 4th of july weekend. the amen break.
i have the first two bars, corey has the last two.
because our 16-year friendship all started with the mutual obsession of this drum loop.

raw sound wave, straight from the original sample:

veanne cao

produced, shot, edited.

in collaboration with rice creative for marou, faiseurs de chocolats and national gallery singapore
– a chocolate/design/art project using a 500 year old hand-made printmaking process
that utilises all natural resources, originated from a small village in the north of vietnam.

an excerpt.

entire video here with article.

savannah, georgia

oak trees suffused with spanish moss and muffled trumpet melodies.
this past weekend down south defined my nabokov happiness
– “a sunny, simple happiness and not an altogether common one.”

wormsloe, savannah, georgia

currently listening to:

new york city

been wandering around foreign countries for the past couple years
and now that i’m home,
i’ve been doing all the little things i’ve taken for granted,
like checking out new restaurants with my funny friends,
movie nights in the park,
summery late evening walks through lower manhattan

and amazing live shows at intimate venues.
i got to see born ruffians, one of my favourite bands, perform the anthem to my entire last year of london.

“away, away, a way to always belong. belong, belong, won’t be long until i am gone.”

i also met luke afterwards.
that was pretty cool. :)

sunday with alena.

veanne cao

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saturday night in dumbo.

2016 is proving to be a rather charming year.

manhattan bridge, brooklyn bridge, dumbo
 

currently listening to:
all the other kids with the pumped up kicks you better run, better run….

henri turned seven years old

and in the past year he’s lived three different lives:
sir henri of east putney who tried to herd sheep in the english countryside
(if you look closely, he’s the little white speck hopping behind the sheep),
ong-ree of saigon who likes sightseeing from my backpack on the scooter

and now mr. muffinhead is back in his hometown of new york,
in our little corner of soho after a trek through the city with his old shiba inu friends.

1812

home.

new york city buildings

tahoe, california

ending 2015 with a trip to the mountains with two of my best friends.
we were the last ones on the slope.

northstar tahoe ski lift
lake tahoe snow mountains
(vi chugging her vodka-filled water bottle before the big drop.)

snowboarding in zero visibility and fresh powder is the closest thing to flying;
i couldn’t think of a better way to say goodbye to the year (and such).

currently listening to:
if you keep your options open there are places you will go.


 

i miss my dog.

i’m concluding my six months in asia.
and i somehow managed to schedule five days of video shoots my last week here.
a few frame grabs.

DAY 1
during the french colonial period,
the cyclo/xích lô (bicycle taxi) was the primary mode of transportation in vietnam.
with the advent of scooters and cars, they’re now restricted to only a few tourist areas.
within a decade, they’ll be obsolete.
a story rarely told is that of the cyclo drivers,
who are often seen as a nuisance, scoffed and rudely brushed off by tourists.

back in august when truc-anh and i were shooting b-roll in bùi viện for the soul archive video,
i met, by chance, a cyclo driver named nghia.
there was a sincerity about him; i wanted to hear his story.
so vu and i spent tuesday with him.

bui vien

i’ll share the video later next month,
but really, despite numerous cruel adversities and heartbreaks… such a kind, resilient soul.
 

DAY 2:
jewellery making with charmés.

charmes jewellery
charmes jewellery
 

DAY 3-5:
marou and rice for the singapore national gallery.
a flight to hanoi.

west lake hanoi
 

then an hour drive east to a little village called đông hồ
to produce a video on a 500-year-old printmaking tradition
using pattern carved wood blocks,
seashell, stone and plant fibre based ink.

dong ho village vietnam

last day in saigon to settle affairs and then onwards to the next chapter.
 

soul archive

a video i produced, shot and edited while in saigon.

more details on the project here:
soul-archive.com

hong kong

hong kong causeway bay

teresa teng warmly reminds me of grandma and grandpa.
from the taxi cabs to the intercom at the mall, her songs murmured,
which made for a sentimental week on the island.

i had one free day from shooting and mac said we could do whatever i wanted.
eat through the city, duh. six restaurants in one day.
we went from the most extravagant portuguese barnacles (apparently men risked their lives to fetch our lunch)

portuguese barnacles
 

to the most humble spam and egg sandwich.


 

(and dim sum, dumplings, everything yummy hong kong had to offer in between.)
this guy mac, he’s all sorts of good people.

mac ling
 

somewhere in soho
i stumbled upon an antiquarian shop called indosiam that specialised in rare books and paper goods
and picked up these huge 2×3′ maps from the 1920’s


 

and a book on french colonial territories in southeast asia, published in 1930.



 

amid heaven and earth.

window seat airplane
 
currently listening to:
the most appropriate teresa teng song for this post.
香港 香港 和你在一起

wayne wang

director of joy luck club
and JLo’s fatuous romcom, maid in manhattan.

wayne wang

siem reap

how magical would it have been to have wandered deep into the cambodian jungle centuries ago
and stumbled upon these extraordinary ruins enveloped, hidden in foliage.

angkor wat.

angkor wat, cambodia
angkor wat, cambodia
angkor wat, cambodia
 

it was a bit eerie seeing the majority of statues missing their heads,
was told they were hacked off during the siam invasion.

angkor wat statues no heads
 

ta prohm.
if brooks had been there, he would’ve been screaming, “OMG tomb raider!”

ta prohm, cambodia
ta prohm, cambodia
ta prohm, cambodia
but all i kept hearing in my head was this.
 

angkor thom.

angkor thom, bayon temple, cambodia
angkor thom monkeys, cambodia

in saigon, again.

two things.
1. people can be cruel, life can be quite unfair.
you can play victim and whine incessantly about how the world owes you something, spreading negativity
or you can just not.

2. the term “việt kiều” is used to describe vietnamese from overseas.
dad once told me there were generally two types of việt kiều who return to vietnam:
the first, to brag.
the second, to make the country a better place.

i’m not the first of either, but i will try to do both the latter.

veanne cao
[shooting from a dippy little truck with rice creative and truc-anh.

belgium part ii

i promised thomas we’d go to bruges
before he moved back to the states to settle down, find a nice girl and start a family
and before i do whatever it is i’m supposed to do.

bruges, belgium
bruges, belgium
 

but our daydreams of a little fairy tale town felt more like a disneyland cesspool of tourists.

bruges, belgium
[picture by thomas]
 
but we did try to recreate the picture he drew for me.


[picture by jason]
 

blankenberge.

jason bickley, cristina munteanu, thomas loder

 

brussels.
our last day there, jason had to spend some quality time with his family

jason bickley
 

so cristina took us around the city for the day.

brussels, belgium
(brussels from an elevator, via iphone.)
 

we’ve named our squad #teamhoodies


 

and sometimes #teamchucks.


 

seriously, how can you go to belgium and not try a waffle?
it’s like going to new york and not eating a pizza or philly for cheesesteaks.


 

a cute goodbye.


 

you take me by the heart when you take me by the hand

doel, belgium.
an abandoned ghost town taken over by graffiti artists and a playground for photographers.

doel belgium
 

cristina, thomas, jason, little annabelle and i scaled walls, hopped fences and crawled through cracks
– the second most perfect way to spend a damp, dreary saturday.

doel belgium, cristina munteanu
doel belgium
doel belgium
doel belgium, thomas loder
doel belgium
doel belgium, jason bickley
doel belgium
doel belgium, cristina munteanu
doel belgium
doel belgium
doel belgium
doel belgium
doel belgium, jason bickley
doel belgium, cristina munteanu, thomas loder, jason bickley

ce-cil-ia, how i can’t wait to fu-feel ya

lux bought out lighting magazine and revamped it into this slick…
it looks and feels almost like a coffee table art book.

lighting magazine
 

i think it happened one afternoon during production of the first [re]issue
when ray asked me to hand-sketch some installation diagrams for him.
and now once a month,
i get to escape my computer screen for a few hours,
blast born ruffians in my headphones and zone out.

i’ll never not get excited seeing work in print, even if it’s just a bunch of doodles. :)

lighting magazine
lighting magazine
 

also, from this photograph,
i discovered the most amazing, abandoned asylum just an hour south in surrey

lighting magazine

and decided i would trick mark into taking me there this bank holiday weekend
for what could possibly be the most awesome picture taking adventure,
only to be heartbroken when i discovered the building was demolished last year. :(
 

currently listening to:
been singing the same song for months.


 

park saturday

it’s finally starting to feel like spring in london.
had planned on going to st. james to see the daffodils,
but decided on hyde instead so henri could chase his squirrels.

hyde park london
hyde park london
hyde park london
hyde park london

i can’t believe my saturday afternoon was determined by a funny little animal with a stupid haircut.