vienna, austria.

three friends who share an affinity for carl sagan, archaic odds and ends
and dressing like eighty year old men
got together for a quiet weekend in vienna.

vienna, austria
mark wainwright, vienna flea market
vienna natural history museum, naturhistorisches museum wien
gregory manalo
mark wainwright
veanne cao
veanne cao, mark wainwright, gregory manalo
vienna christmas market
 

there isn’t a narrative; i’m just picking out a few of my favourite images.

veanne cao
gregory manalo, mark wainwright
 

but our entire weekend can be summed up in this one video.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BN5BuIFgekh/

currently listening to:
the trip was inspired by an anthem from my 20’s.

in london for the week

remember that one time i missed out on the reception at the palace
because i got food poisoning from raw oysters and ended up stuck in my hotel room all night
because i didn’t want to accidentally poop myself in front of royalty?
yeah, i do. because it’s happening right now.

fergus says, “how did a lowly peasant like you get invited to the palace?”

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“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.
 

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