Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The watcher


The watcher

Some say the watcher came from another time
Others mentionned space
Most rarely say anything at all
What is sure 
Is that no one knows
Where the watcher came from
Or if it ever 
Existed at all...

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Shishir bakery

 
"What do people need here? " I ask my nepale friend?
"Knowledge, we need to learn how to make things. The building and all is good, but what we really need is teachers with knowledge. " he replies.
As the country is rebuilding the best it can, the real problems still are their for those that have eyes to see. The problems run deep, very deep. And if the building is a great step, the real issues are still hiding in the shadows of the past. Education, the caste system, the extreme corruption, the bank loans, a 3rd world country, Nepal is Nepal, and to help Nepal, one has to first spend some time in order to understand the country. The buildings are great, but really, what is needed is... teachers.
One of the ways to get knowledge is through books. Books contain stories, information and much more. So, Funky Buddha Hands got a few books for the Shishi bakery.
Let me tell you a bit about Shishir bakery...

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

For better and for...

 
A week, maybe more, I don't know. The days pass and I sit in  a room. My sprained ankle slowly recovers and every day I walk a little further. Outside it's hot, sticky hot, impossible to move anyhows under this type of heat. 40 degrees, it beats the last 3 years heat records. So I sit, I watch a few science fiction movies, read a bit, mystify some, listen to some tunes with a joint. I relax and watch the fan ceiling turn around and around. The room is filled with a few nothing, a couple pair of pants t-shirts, a bunch of art supplies, paper, pencils, a set of water colors, a tattoo equipment box. Lying around, incapable of walking for a few days,  I thought I would get some writing done, but instead of this, I sit, I study, and I digest the new changes happening in myself. I sit and I enjoy my quiet space, my silence, only going out for coffee and some food socializing. In the afternoon, I listen and watch the rain drops falling on the lake.
I am in Pokhara, Nepal, I sit on top of the world... and I watch it crumble...turning into... well only the future will tell...

Monday, June 08, 2015

Lotus seeds.


According to the Buddhist tradition, there are 3 types of people.
The 3 types are like lotus seeds.
The lotus is a flower that comes out of the mud, going up to the light.
It is the rose of the east, it represents the eastern belief in illumination...

Sarangkot

Mountain punks
Sarangkot, Nepal

Monday, June 01, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

This was then...this is now


 
"Life is getting back to normal", " we will rebuild stronger and better", this is the words we tell each other, this is the words we say to keep going. But life will never be the same again, everything is changed, and we need to face and accept the fact. Normal? What was normal life in Nepal? If some new comers to Nepal come and discover the country on top of the world, those aware of the local situation know that the problems here are nothing new. If many people are still in need of urgent help, the actual re-building will take many years. So for those that feel that time is running out, stop worrying, worry does not help anything. There is plenty of time, same same but diferent as they say here. The shelter and the food situation is just the visible part, the questions are much much deeper than mere food and shelter, even if food and shelter is always the basic start, it is just a start. The people that are in most dificult situation now are the same that had the hardest life yesterday. "Aphno manche" the nepale moto of working only with one's own group is put on trial by the current events...

Friday, May 22, 2015

A month after...

 
3 weeks later, and it's almost a month since the shake. Every day we say "slowly life is getting back to normal"... normal, whatever that used to mean. But nothing is the same, everything is changed. Here, nothing will ever be the same again. No one knows what tomorrow will be, because today is simply enough to deal with. Keep the mind cool, outside it's hot, sticky hot. moonssoon is coming soon, the skin is sticky...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Friday, May 08, 2015

Sankhu: siddhas and nagas


Steps to the temple...
 
Sankhu, 1 hour bus ride from Kathmandu. After the patatoe production of the area, a chai in the old town, we climb up the hill to arrive at the temple. The pagodas welcome us, looking at us from their ancient and silent eyes. The carved wood, the metal work, the fountain, all reminds us of a far away past when the siddhas used to come meditate in the near by caves. The wise ones used to come here, such as Nagarjuna, considered to be one of the greatest buddhist philosophers after the Buddha Gautama and the Great Padmasambhava, the Lotus Born, who introduced the tantric tradition to Tibet. Sankhu is filled with ancient legends, kept alive with the temple on top of the hill and the quiet town where nothing has changed for many centuries. From here, the past whispers mysterious mantras to those that can feel them...

Thursday, May 07, 2015

...and life goes on...


 Meanwhile, in Pokhara, Lake side, life goes on as usual, except for a few détails. It's full season and there is very few people. The streets that usually carry plenty of tourists going paragliding are now empty, only a few cars and local buses passing once in a while. The restaurants are almost empty and in the sky, no body is flying. The trekking shops have no treekers around. In the next 2 weeks, the few tourists that stayed will soon leave. Few will come in. A new grafiti appeared on the wall and the days pass to the sounds of the speakers and the frogs. This year, it's going to be a very quiet season on this side of the lake...

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

What next?



"For how long can people give kilos of foods? I gave what I could, now I need to work and money to keep going" says my nepale friend as we talk about the current situation. They all know it will be a rough year for everyone here, the futur looks uncertain, even more than usual. This is the real question, how long will volunteers show full support, how long can people donate? For now, the kilos of supplies keep packing up direction the mountains. For now the kilos of food, tents, blankets, medical supplies keep on coming, but for how long is a question to ask. For now, it's wonderful to see all get together and help as best they can. But once the tons of supplies are distributed and once the donations slow down, the work will keep going on for a long time after. For those that know Nepal, we know the difficulties of the country, and they are deeply rooted in the political and religious system of the country. If the maoiste revolution threw out the last Hindu King (from muslam family, but shhhtttt, it's a secret;), since the revolution which was 10 years of civil war, the new governement did absolutely nothing of what it promessed during the revolution. Does this story sound familiar? Seems history has a tendency to repeat itself...same same...but diferent this time...

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Nepal tattoo

 
Rise Nepal.
 

On the 25th of April, I took the bus from Pokhara to Kathmandu for the 5th Nepal International Tattoo convention. Since the first one, I only missed one convention. In the tattoo world since a couple decades, I am not a convention type person. I only went to the Paris Mondial du tatouage a couple years ago, and to the Kathmandu conventions. I'd rather be in the privacy of the shops.
I remember the first one years ago. Thanks to Mohan Gurung's team, it was a week and more of nepale artist meeting each other for the first time. As tattoo is ancient tradition in Nepal, the modern tattoo world is just discovering it. Each year the convention becomes a meeting of old time freaks, long time travelers and of course plenty of tattoo artists. They meet in the Yak and Yeti hotel, a superb 5 star hotel on King's Road, filled with old photos of Once upon a time in Nepal. If the convention is filled with many buddhas, shivas, ganesh and other popular god figures, the modern touch shows it's way. People like Alchemink and Kenji Alucky with Black Ink Power represent amongst others the modern and ancient tattoo scene mixed together in the best of ways. The london based KaliTattoo studio has been present every year, with the scarcification and silicones implants. Many names pass through every year, and it is always a time to meet new friends and to enjoy some time with those that came from far to visit for the occasion. April is freak time in the city of a 1000 gods, Kathmandu, and this year sure was a special one...

Swoyambuh and mutu

Buddha eyes

 Swoyambhu: the Self made land.
According the legends here, the Kathmandu valley has already seen a few civilizations come and go. We would be on the 3rd one, some scriptures say. Each time, Manjushree, a god form being all of Buddhas wisdoms, takes her large sword and makes a whole through the mountain, letting the water out of the valley. The legends say that Swoyambhu is the first one to rise up from the lake. Geologist find the same result in rocks study. The valley has been Under water a few times already and rises again. Manjushree is the protector of the Kathmandu valley, and one could think it is a form to give to earthquakes that have regularly been shaking the valley 1000's of years. Swoyambhu sits on top of a hill, the damages are very serious. So bad, that a couple days ago, during Buddha's birth, death and enlightment day celebration, the temple was closed to the devotees.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Durbar Square

 Siva Parvati temple still standing

Kathmandu's heart is broken, with it goes a part of nepale heart. This is what's left standing of Durbar Square, the ancient administrative center of the capital. Once upon a Time, we all sat on the step of temples enjoying a cup of chai, chit-chating with friends. Sitting on the red bricks steps, surrounded by so much history and beauty was simply daily life. How much of this UNESCO heritage will they be able to save? The buildings are cracked, very cracked. Much, way too much, will have to be destroyed in order to be rebuild. Once upon a time...

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Asu nepal

A pagoda
 
It's been a week since the Big Shake. As the fashion media effect is buzzing down on Nepal situation, the people are still there. It will take a long time to rebuild, to heal from this trauma. The political situation will also do it's own growing due to the events, but I'll keep politics away for now, as the immediate need is to organize the help. There are those that need help, and those that give help, but mostly everyone does what they can with what they can. Those that usually do nothing, still do nothing, and those that usually are active are double active. Seems that through life drama, we get to the chore of people...


Thursday, April 30, 2015

2072 nepal

 

They knew it was going to come. The big One they called it. Every 80 years or so, the earth shakes the ground as the mountains grow a bit. Every year in Kathmandu, it shakes a little, just a little, but no damage done. We get used to it, that's life, kie garne (what to do) they say in nepal. But this year was diferent. The scientist say that it's not over, but nobody knows when, it could be soon, it could be in a decade, no body knows, but it's enough to think deeply about life.
The day before the quake, I went to Kathmandu for the 5th international tattoo convention, which I have attended since the begining. Kathmandu was full of people, it's season time, and festivals bring much people during that time of the year. It was a normal morning, a normal type of day. We were having morning tea with a friend in Thamel, when the shaking started. Survival instinct kicks in automatically. As part of the roof falls in front of us crushing a passing car, we run inside next shop. A chinese couple holds each other, the lady cries, my friend and I hold each other hand, no panic, we stay put and let it pass. Nothing we can do, legs are like paralized by the tremors. A few seconds laters and the earth stops shaking, but our legs and hearts still shake. The car is empty, totally crushed, the driver ran out in time...

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Jiddu

 
"A mind that is unafraid is always alone, not isolated, but alone. It is only the mind that is frightened, anxious, guilty, greedy, envious, that is always seeking company, afraid to be alone."
 
I remember the first time I laid my eyes on Jiddu Krishnamurti. I was in my early 20's, living in San Fransisco. At the time, I was enrolled at the Community College, where I ended up getting a Bachelor of Fine Arts, now called a Bachelor of Science. For the arts classes, I mostly registered in the courses offered at the Fort Mason campus, by Fisherman's Warf area. The small campus was by the ocean and that alone was enough to make me happy...

Monday, February 16, 2015

Tattoo: the 10th art?

 
Panam, the old Paris. Quaie Branly Museum, Tintin, the famous Hell's Angel of the tattoo world, organized a retrospective of the tattoo arts. I put Grouch on my headphones and walk the quais. The sky is as blue as blue gets, the river Seine shines, it's morning time, the museum opens it's doors. The quain Branly Museum is home to the traditional arts, the old forgotten stuff that makes us dream of the once upon a time. In a square modern building, the sculpted bones, shamanic masks and ancient fabrics take us through a journey back in the river of time.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Submission

 

"Women don't have to be intelligent, in the sense that we give to this word: she must be an expert in the pleasures of the flesh and in good caring. Here stops her role, even if she lives with men, and that is why the liberation ideas of which we get our ears full at the moment seem to me absurd."
Joris-Karl Huysmans


This sentence by Huysmans, the inspiration for the book, could resume the scandale of the moment in the french literary world. Welcome to Submission from the loved and hated writer Michel Houellebecq. If some scream to the current politically incorrect anti- islam, this book appears to me as a question between man and woman relations, which are seen as the base of human resources economy. Islam in this book, is nothing but a timely escuse to discuss religious notions in general, and of the totalitarian systems that religions can create. The real subject at the center of the debate is the dificult relationship between men and women. Decadence of the modern world, politics, the limits of individualism with it's multitude of identity crisis, a little sex and a little god, some good wine and a good meal, Houellebecq is at his top.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Speaking with walls

"What is it?"
"It's a wall"
"But what does it mean?"
"It's art."
"But what is the meaning?"
"It's for nepale blind dwarfs."
"Ah ok. Ramro cha."
So, we took a wall, a long and grey wall. The wall smells like piss, the ground covered in garbage, it's a favorite spot of the many glue kids of Thamel. Here they gather, squat next to the street dogs, hide under their caps and sniff the glue hidden in plastic bags. Glazed eyes watch life pass, the days are glued together by the sticky goo that takes them to oblivion. The kids look at us bring paints, spray cans and notebooks. We're not here to beat them, we even speak with them. Instead of rocks in our hands, we have paint brushes. So we chose a wall, a long and grey wall. Gonna put colors on this wall, gonna bring some art into the streets, gonna share a dream, gonna make some art. Gonna be like the dogs that piss on the wall to mark their territory. We're crazy artists, no body will stop us, we are ghosts, we pass through and only leave colored shapes behind us. For no reason at all, we play with kaos and give it forms we like...

When the earth sleeps


All is quiet
Covered in white, crystals reflect
Flip flop
Melting water drops under the sun
Flop flip