Saturday, July 26, 2014

Test subject

I have been granted the Papua New Guinea work permit! This ends stage-2 of this bureaucratic obstacle course and now I just need my entry permit to get processed to put to an end this long-drawn process. I will then be that much closer to my first 4-week paid vacation after 28 days of work. I think a September departure is still a reasonable estimate seeing how things have gone so far.

Now that the news-update section of this post is out of the way, I can move on to the topic of the day. Over the years, I have been used several times as a guinea pig by photographers trying to test out new concepts, lighting techniques and to polish their editing skills. As I was digging through my archives, I found these three test shots I did for a travelling photographer when I was vacationing in Bangkok (how I missed that city... when will it be peaceful enough again to visit I wonder). You can clearly see the reflective board placed under me in one of these shots which indicates that this is not the final product. You might also notice the  shipping container-like background and flooring photoshopped into one of the edits which again is part of the photographer's experimental process.

You might think that the camera-holder is always the one doing all the work but posing can get quite challenging at times. Two of these shots below involved placing the body and hands in strategic places just to provide enough cover. Freezing the entire body in that tense position with all muscles flexed yet trying to make it look natural by keeping the face relaxed is not easy. For people who have done nude physique modelling before, you will understand the difficulties involved. I can't recall the number of times looking at magazine photos of clothed models and feeling how easy their lives must be! It is precisely this reason why I have intentionally avoided being a nude model for painters especially after being told that subjects are required to stay in the same pose for hours on end!

Being a test subject does have its perks because you tend to be able to provide more of your own input and make it a more collaborative experience. It can get very enjoyable when the chemistry is just right between the artist and subject. There are still tons of concepts I want to explore but I do know that time is finite in the face of relentless aging. Therefore I am also very realistic in terms of what I can actually do before my used-by date comes up. I have never really worried about aging but I must admit that the thought of growing old and dying before realising my goals have surfaced quite a few times in the recent months. Well at least I am taken now and I don't need to fret over becoming frail and ugly alone.
Whilst I still have the goods to deliver, I will strive hard to grab every opportunity to make myself look as good as I can. If not, all the work I put in as a model plus the countless hours in the gym would be wasted. From all the pictures I have posted on this blog for the past six years, I believe I managed to achieve that. Don't you think so?

PS: Here are the labels the photographer has tagged these photos with for his own reference (I thought some of them are hilarious): 30-34 years; Asia; Asian; Indo-China; Southeast Asia; abdominal; abs; adult; adults only; artist's model; backlit; beautiful people; beauty; black and white; black background; black hair; body; bodybuilding; chest; contemplative; defined; ethnicity; fine art; idyllic; illuminated; lighted; male; man; masculine; model; muscles; muscular; naked; nude; nudist; nudity; one person; one young man only; pec; pectoral; person; photography; physique; pose; sensual; sensuality; serene; sex; sex symbol; sexual issues; silhouette; slim; studio shot; temptation; torso; weight-lifter; well-built.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Musical journey (48)

One of my favourite Asian male singers is Eason Chan (陳奕迅) and over his musical career, he has produced (and still is producing) countless hit tunes, many of which I really like. This month's musical offering would be a cover of his "富士山下", a Cantonese piece with extremely well-written lyrics. I have done covers in the past but I have decided to now do it in a different way by superimposing my singing onto the original MTV. I hope you will find the result not too jarring since you might be expecting the original singer's voice instead of mine.

Well I do covers this way partly also because I yearn to have my own professionally-shot MTV one day with one of my compositions (the closest to that I have so far can be found here and here). By the way I am going to star in a sexy MTV soon as one of the two male models (ie. eye candies). Shooting starts at the end of this month and I am super excited about this new project. More importantly I have started a conversation with the MTV's singer to see if I can start a collaborative relationship with him along the lines of compositions, performances and recordings. I have sent him some of my work and he was quite impressed. After a meeting we kind of decided that me doing background vocals for him might be the best starting point going forward.

Although things are progressing in the right direction, I will approach this practically as I know that a lot of these collaborations end up in nothing seeing how hard it is to enter a music market as a foreigner and how disengaged I am with what's currently in and sells in the industry. Nevertheless I will keep pushing for something to happen so you should all watch this space in the upcoming months. OK that's enough dreaming for now. Here's my cover of Eason Chan's "富士山下", a song that is not that easy to tackle. Hope this doesn't cause any copyright issues.