Friday, 10 February 2012

Photo Journal: Toronto 09.2011

The Royal Ontario Museum with a queue.  The Wednesday afternoon free admission has been replaced by new tiers of concession tickets.   We hope that the phenomenal waiting crowd is not a thing of the past.

(photos from

Incidentally, Daniel Libeskind’s recent work in Dresden – The Museum of Military History (photos above) stirs up a tiff in Toronto.  People here argue that Libeskind is repeating the same formula in Dresden and that the originality of the beloved ‘crystal’ has been compromised by the architect himself.  There were heated exchanges in Toronto Star between the local critics and the architect on his professional ethics and design ability.
My sympathy is with the Torontonians for a different reason.  Libeskind’s design language, distinct but repetitious, suits well on a project with a tormented theme.  The Jewish Museum is a perfect match and the military museum in Dresden comes close .  ROM simply picked the wrong architect for the job.

(photos from

David Hockney’s exhibition ‘fresh flowers, Drawings on the iPhone and iPad’ was held in ROM.  Without intellectualizing on the subject of transgression between the LED screen and pictorial plane, the drawings offer a lot less on the painter’s artistic development than his recent East Yorkshire landscape paintings.  

It is highly debatable that the tool has added value to the artistic content Hockney provides.  (The fact that no photo-taking was not allowed runs in contradiction with the spirit of information technology).

The three kings of hell at the oriental section of ROM.  It was said the deities had their origins in the ancient city of Vaishali, India, and from where the cult was spread to China.  Having said that, these guys could be generic examples of facial and costumes studies for drama students.

The arcade structure by Santiago Calatrava (1951- ) at BCE Place of 1987 has a certain timelessness.  The tree canopy, the skeleton of a giant whale or whatever that draws you, has a cathedral-like serenity that surpasses architectural fads.

A straightforward piece of ironwork reminds everyone how water nourishes the people of this city through the rivers and lakes from the north. This is Evergreen Brick Works – a thriving arts and educational community set in a defunct brick mill.

The Distillery District, a second visit in 6 years, has been shifting towards a more commercial orientation than an arts district as originally envisaged.  Luxury condos have sprung up all over to cash in on the genteel environs.

Lakes, waterways and idyllic living in Gravenhurst, Ontario.

Most ingenious and sustainable farming - this is how cranberries are grown in Muskoka, North of Toronto:

Before they are ripe and ready for harvest, massive water from a nearby river is flooded to the bog.  Cranberries are afloat for farmers' collection once shaken off the stems by long harvesters.  After this process, water is drained away from the vines so that they can bear fruits again.

True carnivorous dining of North American portion at CopaCabana!.  The authentic Samba dancing and heart pounding music were the highlights of the evening.

The gas station, an iconic image related to the US and Canada, has taken a transformation from those depicted by Edward Hopper.

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