Umbrella Movement Art and others at AVA Graduation Show 2015.

We visited this year’s BA Graduation Exhibition of the Hong Kong Baptist University Academy of Visual Arts (AVA)  students.

Let me share my impressions as i found quite a couple of works that made me think and made me glad to see how today’s upcoming fresh minds dealing with the issues around them. Let me highlight the most critical ones. :)

Warming-up with a light/cute and humorous one, who offers solutions for common urban/social interaction problems:

dumb_stamp lasergun_earring stunner_spiral

 


Amongst many interesting works, the one that impressed and educated (!) me the most was the following one by a young local sharp mind, who is definitely aware of the issues of Hong Kong. Who else could have make impact and changes in the present or future if not the ones who are the most frustrated by the ongoing governmental corruption, injustice, ..et cetera?

 

Szeto Chun Hei
The Same Kind of Rice Provides for Hundred Kinds of People

“The inspiration of this work comes from the Umbrella Movement, which was a protest joined by all walks of life in Hong Kong in 2014, demanding free election and a higher level of democracy. The demonstration awoke about the distorted change of Hong Kong. 

In this work, i tried to redefine the definition of home and criticize this monstrous household.”

The Same Kind Of Rice Provides for Hundred Kinds of People

His works are informing us through clever typography. Minimalist, fine ‘mutations’  in some specific chinese characters which are closely related to some sources of the artist’s frustration and dissatisfaction caused by the wrong direction of local political happenings. In my opinion it’s another well articulated and stylish token of the Umbrella Movement’s collective attitude.

20150621_174254_resize The Same Kind of Rice - description, inspiration

It’s worth to take a few minutes to check these ‘customized’ chinese characters with the artist’s explanation. It lets us to dig into a mind which is facing with daily pulses of the present HKSAR related injustice fabricated by governmental and other controlling powers.

afraid fear centipede fate lonely tolerate

For more info and works can be gathered from the artist here: fingerandfish@gmail.com

 


An artist “developed” a traditional chinese medicine for Hand, Phone and Mouth Disease. :)

20150621_181728_resize 20150621_hand_phone_and_mouth_disease 20150621_182558_resize


 

Another artist deals with the HK media & politics as well.

20150621_181240_resize 20150621_181345_resize 20150621_181356_resize 20150621_181402_resize 20150621_181408_resize

We have no time and energy to mention all who is worth to be mentioned here. Competition is tight, right? :)  All my support to you guys and a wish you to succeed in making great impact and/or positive changes in Hong Kong People’s (and anyone who needs that) mind!

Evian, true water, my friend?

Water is irreplaceable

Water is a definite building source of us (~65% of human body) thus a source of Life, probably no one would start a debate with me over this, right?
As our Globe is getting more and more polluted, water quantity and quality is apparently getting more and more important to us. It’s another sad, indisputable fact. I just watch, how all of us slowly become aware of water-quality’s importance in our daily life.

picture source: http://bbs.boingboing.net/t/co-town-without-water-12-days-and-counting/59542/19

image source: http://bbs.boingboing.net/t/co-town-without-water-12-days-and-counting/59542/19

(badass) environmental Dependency

Let’s take my example: yet i live in Hong Kong, before i lived in Shanghai. Both are huge metropolis, not the cleanest parts of the Earth, right? Right. Hong Kong government usually states, the city’s tap water has an outstanding quality. Yes, i can believe, Hong Kong’s water-treatment system does a really careful and pro job. However.. we can find facts about the real worries based on the rusty and “ancient” waterpipe / distribution system. Some article – i just linked one sentence ago – is more than 15 year old, but i don’t think the situation changed significantly since then. Please correct me (with a comment) if i’m wrong!
That’s a sure “pain in the ass”, because it seems to be a massively slow, laggy process to “refresh” the system. I’m not sure there is capacity for that at all.
Time is working against “us”.

Hunting, Collecting..

I believe i can adapt to most of my new environments sort of successfully (without feeling significant inconvenience on the long term) because i try to collect the most proper sources of the important food, drinks, building-blocks, nutrients, vitamins, lifestyle, wherever i am. It is a bit like going back to the prehistoric times, before humankind started to deal with agriculture, and was solely dependent on hunting and collecting. Most of us definitely doing this day by day. If we do it with FULL AWARENESS, we make a huge difference, and can greatly reduce the violation and inbalance to which our body (so thus our Mind and Soul) is exposed to by default.

EVIAN VS. VOLVIC ..TASTE-TEST

I deal more and more with the quality of Water i drink and OF COURSE have doubts about the information provided on the water bottles (just as about information provided everywhere else ;P ). Let’s take an example: I caught myself buying EVIAN water more and more often, since i tried it and i definitely felt the difference in taste comparing to other popular bottled waters (later i explain the difference in details). In Hong Kong, nowadays Evian and Volvic are the more
expensive, kinda “premium” bottled waters that we can find almost in “every corner”, at every convenience store. So for sure i started to google about them to see what (other people think & write) i get for my hard cash (30$ Hong Kong Dollar / 1,5L bottle = almost 4 USD = 3,5 Euro) .
The price difference is about 7 HK dollars between Evian(30$) and Volvic(23$), but after i made my strict “taste-comparison” at same (cold) temperature, Evian turned out to be the winner to me.

evian_natural_spring_water_logo

 

W’s Evian inspection

In the next step i hit up google, and took a re-search on the topic. It took a few days. At least 20 hours net time of read and note. 😉 It was hard to stop it. I found opinions, analysis from both sides, hot and cold.. Then i put all onto my scale (scale of logic and instinct) and the final output, my overall feeling about this water is still: rather worth to buy Evian, than not.
SO, at this moment i am relaxed to encourage you to save up heavy bucks for it. 😉
Warning: /Unfortunately/ this is not a paid product advertisement. 😉

Here we go with the details of my “hobby-inspection” process:

If the ingredient label is true..

The contents of Evian Bottled Spring Water

As i learnt so far, the main point that makes the Evian slightly better than other bottled-water products in HK-convenience stores nowadays is it’s high volume of minerals and proper pH-value:

“The taste and “mouthfeel” of water is affected significantly by two main factors: total dissolved solids (calcium, magnesium, fluoride, silica etc), and pH (acidity). Every spring-water has a different cocktail of dissolved solids. And most are close to neutral pH. Human fluids are around 7.4 pH. Evian is 7.2, filtered (distilled) waters around 5.5, and tap water is often near 8 to protect city piping systems from acidic-water damage.”

“Acidic water will taste crisp and clean, but tooth enamel degrades at pH 5.5, so the mouthfeel will be rough. High pH waters will taste “flat,” and balanced waters will taste “smooth,” because the pH is close to the same level as your mouth.”

“The mineral content affects taste as well; Evian contains about 15% of your daily calcium needs if you drink two liters per day. Calcium creates a somewhat “milky” flavor, which contributes to its smooth character. (W: Here let me note that the highest calcium-content bottled water is Acqua Della Madonna with 288mg/L, second highest is Badoit with 190mg/litre (According to my latest Google findings). Daily adult calcium requirement is about 800-1000 mg)”

“Evian is one of the few waters in mass distribution that meets the World Health Organization standards for drinking water quality, which states that water should have 200-400 ppm dissolved solids, a pH near 7.0, calcium of 60-80 ppm, and magnesium levels of 20-40 ppm.”  – Replied ‘Lyric Duveyoung, Mad scientist.’ on a relevant Quora.com question.

ok.., that all sounds dope, but how can we be sure that it’s really true?

Here comes the tricky part. First let us try to prove that the whole Evian quality-thing is false and worthless. Here is a valuable -and on top of that, funny- article about an investigate project where a team set-out straight to visit the claimed source of Evian spring-water: Évian Les Bains area, France, they sniffed around, whether they find anything weird about Evian there.

source: http://en.rocketnews24.com/2012/06/18/are-the-people-of-evian-naive-enough-to-buy-evian-bottled-water-we-investigate/

source: http://en.rocketnews24.com/2012/06/18/are-the-people-of-evian-naive-enough-to-buy-evian-bottled-water-we-investigate/

The main interest of the “expedition team” was that if the Evian high quality spring water is available to everyone, free of charge, anytime from the local drinking fountains for the whole local population, (“do people in Evian drink Evian?”)  why many of them still buy it from the local stores instead of just collecting to containers from the fountains?!

The answer:
“Usually I just get it out of the spring but it seems like some people buy it. In my case, I don’t like tap water. So, sometimes I buy it if I’m too lazy or it’s too far to get it from the spring. My friends are like that too.” says a local hotel staff member.

“A cashier at a local supermarket gives a different viewpont, “I buy it because it’s only 50 cents. There really aren’t that many people who get from the spring though. We also sell Volvic. [laughs]”

“So free water is flowing 24/7 all over Evian, but is it really Evian water?
It’s all coming off the same flow of water from “the heart of the alps”, but the places that town folk collect their water are not the same places the bottler uses.  Therefore it’s likely that the water is of at least a similar quality, but difficult to say if it’s exacltly the same.” – writes the author of the article.

Evian Les Bains spring water fountain

source: http://en.rocketnews24.com/2012/06/18/are-the-people-of-evian-naive-enough-to-buy-evian-bottled-water-we-investigate/

This report somewhat released my skepticism, since at least it let me see that the resource-area exists. That’s already a remarkable step forward in today’s chaotic galaxy of well crafted fake-stories and never existing famous persons and places in contribution to invent and produce “top-quality”, “world-class”, “unique” and “premium” etc. products for hundreds or thousand years.. . .  .    .

The factory Exists (‘Good job, guys’)

After a half minute google search i found the address of the Evian bottling plant, anyone can book a visit it from May to September (who comes with me?:)  that makes it clear that the factory is there which makes me even more relaxed at the moment. It’s hard to imagine that the factory stands on the leg of the alps and they import water to bottle from a random, far-away polluted area. Doesn’t sound a cost-effective and logical idea, however it would be a hilarious hack (we already know enough examples..).

The Evian® water bottling factory – Amphion

“The birthplace of the world’s most popular mineral water. Discover the entire bottling process. Located in Amphion, the Evian bottling plant welcomes visitors. Following a historical and geological video presentation, the visit continues on to a glass gallery that allows visitors to observe the complete bottling process: manufacturing of the bottles, racking, conditioning and shipping.

Visits
Group visits: from Monday to Friday, at 9 and 10:30 AM and 2 and 3:30 PM, reservations required. Tel: +33 (0)4 50 84 83 23. Free.
Individual visits: from June to September. Reservations required at the Evian Mineral Waters Ltd information hall in Rue Nationale. Tel: +33 (0)4 50 84 80 29. Free visit. €2 fee for the bus transfer / Free for children under 12 years of age.”

Evian bottling factory map between Thonon and Evian

Right on the alps, at French-Swiss borderline. source: http://travel.michelin.com/web/destination/France-French_Alps-Amphion_les_Bains/tourist_site-Evian_water_bottling_plant-r_Nationale

Well done, my next Evian based article i will post right from the core of that Factory.

Some interesting facts against Evian

Evian – Naive

First of all, there are hundreds of comments from people who successfully “explored” the “hidden message” by spelling backwards the name Evian is: “Naive”..

here is an example:
“evian” is “naive” spelled backwards. Water is water, and unless it can produce any kind of scientifically verifiable health benefits, water is water is water.”(http://www.mydiet.com/6-lies-you-always-believed-about-bottled-water/)

Even the third party retailer caught some ‘lucrative’ opportunities on this business:

naive snapback capaddress

“Naive” T-shirt and cap. If you want them so much, you can just buy it from here..

 

Again, it’s good to know, that Evian is the name of the place where the water is reaching the surface, so there is low chance for tricky-wicky game with words to make fun of the masses of “stupid posh consumers”.

China rejected Evian from it’s market

In 2011 400+ imported food and cosmetic items declared substandard by chinese foodquality authorities. (full article about this you find here)

“Evian bottled water was a marketing disaster when it was introduced in China about 3 years ago. Evian has since pulled out of China entirely (W’s edit: because of “too much nitrites in it”). A bottle of Evian was 25 yuan (US$3.60) while local bottled water was 1 to 2 yuan (US$0.15 to $0.30). No one bought the Evian because Chinese people aren’t stupid.”  (full article: Yahoo Answers)

Finally..

opinions pro and contra – but more ..pro

Hundreds of opinions with and against every bottled water brands, however i found the Evian liker’s opinion far more scientifically profound and mature than the “spitters’, anti-Evianists’ judgements.

check this:
“I can’t decide whether it’s funny or sad that people think bottled water is healthier than tap water. Most bottled water IS tap water, and contains more harmful substances because of flimsy regulation (and even worse enforcement). They all claim to use fresh mountain spring water, but they’re just filling bottles from a municipal tap. But feel free to spend several thousand percent more on your water, for nothing special.”

“Your half right. SOME bottled water is bad. Like Aquafina, Dasani, and other cheap waters. But Evian is in the top 5 best drinking water in the world. Tap water is terrible compared to it. Google tap water catching fire if you don’t believe me. Have you even tried Evian before? After reading your comment, I get the feeling you havnt.” (read the full discussion here:  This website has quite many Evian enthusiast comments though.)

+ found more than plenty of Evian-praising comments from still the same website:

“Evian is the best water I have ever drinked. Tap water is nothing like Evian.”

“Great article.. I never knew Evian was an actual place.. I’m so dedicated to that water.”

“Ive been drinking two 2 liters of Evian a day for a little over a year now. I couldnt live without it. If i had one thing to drink for the rest of my life, it would definitely be Evian.”

even some extreme ones:

“well it sure seems that i have tried every bottled water and now i am so sensitive that in less than a day of drinking anything but evian i’m running to the bathroom every 5 minutes as well as a major burn during urination and in the vulva area. now i am trying to figure out what i will do during airport travel days. guess just not drinking anything which isn’t good either but better than the burn. i am talking with our grocer in costa rica and trying to get a case of 24 large bottles each month, large bottles. maybe this is an option for those of you who cannot find it regularly. it is expensive but what can i do? i just give up buying something else. “

hm.., one more:

“Evian water has given me a perfect month. I’ve drunk no other water but Evian during this period and I feel like a normal person again. No burning urine, no urgency or frequency no need for urogenital gel of any kind. I’m at peace.
I feel as if its my best friend and I’ll never drink another water again.
I thank the ICN for tipping me off to it just a few weeks ago.”
(source of the comments and article: here)

Some article against bottled waters as a whole.

blind taste tests

There are many of them, i show one here:
Evian sorta failed at taste-test conducted by a New York based team. It resulted that the 10 types of water they tried all had better overall taste then Evian. Even U.S. tap and filtered water scored higher points. Personally i can’t get it. I never tasted NYC tap water, but maybe i should then. One thing i’m sure about: Evian probably beat the Hong Kong tap water ..both in taste and ingredients. Please, kick my ass hard (= leave your comment below) if you think i fool you.
(here you read the article from beginning. And the part for Evian. )

 

by the way, the claimed history of evian:

In 1789 during a walk, the Marquis of Lessert drank water from the Sainte Catherine spring on the land of a M. Cachat. The marquis, who was allegedly suffering from kidney and liver problems, drank the water regularly while he walked, and claimed that his health improved. Encouraged by Lessert’s advocacy of the ‘miraculous’ water, local doctors began to prescribe it as a health remedy. In response to the growing success of the water, M. Cachat fenced off his spring and began selling the water. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evian#History)

 

W’s final conclusion on all these

At he moment i feel convinced that drinking Evian is better to me than not doing that. Feel free to make your own decision and further research. I hope i helped and motivated you about your life-awareness and importance of our water quality.

Here is a good brief summary about the different categories of bottled-water.

Later i will come up with further inspections, probably continuing the list with some great (and mostly unexposed) Hungarian mineral waters..

 

 If you have anything to add, ideas, impressions, correction, constructive critics, please feel free to add it as a comment right now!

Blood donation in Hong Kong – EPIC FAIL

On World Blood Donor Day..

Today is the official World Blood Donor Day, which is inspiring enough, so i decided to grab my sweet people: Katherine from Hong Kong and Ollie the Aussie Brother and go check how is the blood donation in Hong Kong for foreigners is happening in this special day.

First we went to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University Blood Center but we got no welcome there at all. There was no one there to welcome us. We got surprised by the GHOSTED, PERFECTLY EMPTY clinics building despite of they told me a few days before that “Sure, you can come on Sunday, sure, it will be the special World Blood Donor Day, so we may be crowded, but you just dress in red and you even will get some gifts!” Yeah, i took my only one red t-shirt but we got no gift, but got surprised FOR SURE……….. At least we managed to shoot some reasonable Rock N Roll photos in the stunning campus park. YO! No destination without Purpose! XD

First we went to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University Campus to do the blood donation, but we got surprised by the GHOSTED, PERFECTLY EMPTY clinic building despite of they told me a few days before that "Sure, you can come on Sunday, sure, it will be the special World Blood Donor Day, so we may be crowded, but you just dress in red and you even will get some gifts!" Yeah, We got no gift, but got surprise FOR SURE........... At least we managed to shoot some reasonable Rock N Roll photos in the stunning campus park. YO! No destination without Purpose! XD

W’s Air Guitar Solo in HK Poly Uni campus garden. F-YEAH !

 

Okay.. let’s try Causeway Bay then..

Straight after that we headed into the Hong Kong Causeway Bay Blood Donation Center to give the second chance. We arrived around noon and it was packed with filipino, other indonesian and local people, which was quite elevating to see!

HK Causeway Blood Donation center 2015-06-14

Causeway Bay Blood Donor Centre at full capacity

After i filled out the forms, we waited around 30-40 minutes to get to the blood check table, had a brief basic fun chat with the nurse about blood donating in other countries (she asked: “is there this kind of blood check before donating in your country too?”… :)  for that moment i felt like Europe is kinda slipping down straight back to the ‘Third World category. 😛 )

W and Olie Bro at Blood Donation

Yet with full confidence in that we will get ‘harvested’ very soon..

After it  followed by another waiting period i got into the doctor’s check-room, where she suddenly realized that i am not allowed to donate blood because the fact that i spent more than 5 cumulative years in Europe. According to the fear of “Mad-Cow” disease or SARS, etc. can hit back again, Hong Kong and some other countries adopted the Overseas Travel Deferral Criteria to try to protect their patient population from infections. Then NO ONE can donate blood in Hong Kong SAR who “meet” this ‘5 year Europe’ criteria. That’s sad, BUT i can respect, since they face enough challenges to keep Hong Kong out of any epidemic breakout. The rate of the precaution cannot be high enough.

Summary of the day:

If i want to keep my Blooderhood project running on track, i need to find another country nearby where i allowed to donate or just need to fly back to Hungary every 2 month to donate it, ahaha..  At least i should get the Hungarian Red Cross organization as a sponsor for that..  😛