Category: Editorial


(March 22nd, 2015)

Having grown up in Singapore, I am somewhat disappointing that I have never experienced this festival there. My first visual introduction to it was in Chris Kattans’ Bollywood Hero.

The Holiday technically fell on March 6th. But March 22nd was when local radio station Masala Radio sponsored an outdoor celebration.

The ground was still wet from the heavy rain the day before, but at least the humidity was low and the temperature was acceptably cool enough. I was warned that while strangers will be respectful and not douse you with colors, one will most likely not leave the festival grounds dry. Indeed, there were plenty who came in all white for that one purpose, to be blessed in technicolor.

The older folks wants to make sure you are properly celebrating with hugs of colors, and the children were more interested in splashing you with water (there were plenty of high powered water guns for sale….). The other “young and mobile” revelors were more interested in the dancing and making sure their friends were walking paints, as they should be.

I was informed on good authority that this 8th annual Houston Holi is way more intense than what you can experience even in India. With an estimated of 18,000 folks participating in an park area, I can believe that.

more images at: http://forestphotography.smugmug.com/Events/2015-Solils/20150322-Holi-Festival/48196334_vfdj6K

(Feb 24th, 2015)

Caught up with the Southwestern Trail Riders at Rosharon TX on their way to Houston for the rodeo parade.

Established in 1973. Mainly African American Women Trail Riders. A 102-mile ride from Angleton, Texas to Houston. Like many of the groups that converge in Houston for the festival, they pick up small groups and individual riders along the route to form those very impressive caravans by the time of the parade.

“Black Cowboys”, a concept I was vaguely aware of, due to occasional sightings of them tending their horses north of Houston on 59N by the airport. It is a way of life, a very distinct culture.

While the Houston Rodeo Trail Ride started mainly to promote the festival on 1952, this annual tradition has continued as a tribute the the culture and a way of life that is still vibrant despite the onward of time.

And yes, I finally got to ride on a horse. One check off the bucket list.

More images at: http://forestphotography.smugmug.com/Events/2015-Solils/20150224-Trail-Riders-Rosharon/48100445_N7L6Fr


(Feb 28th, 2015)

It is rodeo season in Houston, TX. A month long festival that features livestock show, competitions and musical acts in front of audiences that rivals performing at the halftime shows in stadiums. The Houston rodeo, was in fact, held in the Astrodome before moving next door to the state of the art football stadium.

One of the most interesting aspects of the rodeo is not the festivities held there. It is the annual gathering of trail riders from all over Texas. Some groups will ride out from 3 weeks away to be in town for the parade before riding back home. Along the way, they would pick up smaller groups, which is how thousands of riders and horses appear downtown during the parade.

It is a lifestyle that is still being practiced, especially among “Black Cowboys”,  and has no signs of going away due to modernization.

We caught up with the trail riders who had been camping at Memorial Park. They are dressed and on their way downtown Houston to the Parade. This annual trek along the Parkway among townhouses is quite impressive, especially while the 5K run is also happening. The colors are surprisingly vibrant.

more images at: http://forestphotography.smugmug.com/Events/2015-Solils/20150228-Trail-Riders-on/47816024_pQCV9b





[Editorial] CNY @ Viet Hua

(Feb 22nd, 2015)

Chinese New Year in Houston, TX gets bigger every year. Perhaps not as intense as a traditional 15 day celebration in some parts of Asia, there are at least more than a few events for a good three weekends all around town — concerts, parades, celebrations, cultural activities etc. Dragon and Lion dance troupes are invited everywhere to help welcome the new year.

On assignment for the Folklife program, we visited Viet Hua. It has become a place to be the last few years for Chinese New Year celebrations. It host a 2 day event that features just about all of Houston’s Lion and Dragon Dance troupes and a new year market.

Below are a few images from a 2 hour window we were there on the 2nd day.

Gallery at : http://forestphotography.smugmug.com/Events/2015-Solils/20150222-CNY-Viet-Hua/47731790_BQcjbD 

 



(Jan 18th, 2015)

The brilliance of this installation is that you have to experience, all at once, the static and movements of lights and change of colors.

more images at: http://forestphotography.smugmug.com/Events/2015-Solils/20150119-Bruce-Munros-FIELD-OF/47037525_wKk3G 

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From Discovery Green website:

Field of Light
Discovery Green is proud to host Field of Light, a dazzling art installation by internationally-acclaimed artist Bruce Munro. The vivid, temporary, site specific installation is now on display along the Brown Promenade through (NOW EXTENDED) Feb. 22, 2015 and it is illuminated from 3 to 11 p.m. daily. The prime viewing hours of the exhibit are after dusk.

The art installation is free to view but we respectfully ask that you do not touch the artwork.

About the Art
Munro originally conceived the idea for Field of Light in 1992 during a trip through the red desert of central Australia, when he sketched a landscape of illuminated stems that would wait like dormant seeds in a dry desert, to bloom at night. The idea remained in his sketchbook until 2004, when he finally had space and resources to execute it. It has since been specifically re-imagined for sites across the globe. The Discovery Green Field of Light comprises 4,500 radiant, frosted glass spheres atop slender stems connected by illuminated fiber optic. The spheres and stems wait quietly until dusk and then bloom with gentle rhythms of colored light as darkness falls over the park.

About the Artist
Born in 1959, Bruce Munro completed a B.A. in Fine Arts at Bristol Polytechnic, England. Shortly thereafter he moved to Sydney, where he learned about design and lighting, inspired by Australia’s natural light and landscape. Returning to Southwest England in 1992, he settled in Wiltshire. He and his wife Serena have 4 children. His work has been exhibited by the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Waddesdon Manor, the de Rothschild Foundation, 
Buckinghamshire; and the Guggenheim Museum, New York. In 2015 he will exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

Bruce Munro is noted for his immersive site-specific installations that employ light to evoke emotional response, often in an outdoor context and on a monumental scale. His practice is a mediation of memory and of moments of shared human connection, and incorporates a fascination for components and an inventive urge for reuse.

Artist Statement
“I discovered light as a medium first in my professional career, outside of fine art. I had been a painter in British art schools but needed to earn a living and found myself doing that in Australia, manufacturing display signs using a glowing ultra violet plastic whose properties I just loved. When I decided to work in light, I chose it very carefully because I felt that I had too many thoughts and ideas about everything and I needed some kind of focus. I thought that by working in a medium that was very pure and true I could then have the opportunity to express lots of different ideas that filled my head.” – Bruce Munro

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(Dec 16th, 2014)

Have always enjoyed this tradition. It is a wonderful thing that MECA does this every year. Not unlike walking through the neighbourhood with lanterns during the Mid-Autumn Festival when growing up in Singapore.

La Posada is a community-based reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Posada festivities traditionally begin on December 16th and continue through January 5th. In this reenactment, a procession with lit candles and seasonal songs approach the doors of neighborhood houses in the Old Sixth Ward. A musical fiesta ensues with traditional food, drink, and a piñata for the children.

more images at: http://forestphotography.smugmug.com/ThroughTheDoorsofMECA/Exhibitions-and-Performance/20141216-La-Posada/46717047_SJDCJ9

 

(Dec 24th, 2014)

Festival of Lights adventure continues. This year we explore a new subdivision in Pearland, TX. The folks over there at Green Tee Terrace takes Christmas decorations very seriously.

more images at: http://forestphotography.smugmug.com/Events/2014-Solis/20141224-Festival-of-Lights/46558853_mMzJ7m

(Dec 13th, 2014)

A new event for me. Festival of Lights by the ocean. 51st Annual Boat Lane Parade at Kemah Boardwalk.

One would think that if you own a $50 million mansion size boat, and you are participating in a Christmas Themed Boat Parade, you would be very inclined to go all out in lights and decoration. Alas, some decided that it was just more fun to show up with no lights or minimal effort decorations.

It was a good thing that the parade attracted more than 100 participants of boats of all sizes, and more than a few decided to really make it worth the poor public’s while.

Special mention to Boat #25 who outshined the even the biggest boats with their lights.

 

more images at: http://forestphotography.smugmug.com/Events/2014-Solis/20141213-Kemah-Christmas-Boat/46374683_SsVLMX

 

(Nov 23rd, 2014)

Buffalo Bayou Silos Series finale and closing party for Transported + Renewed at Silos III: Comunidad & Matriz(x). Silos III featured artists Ramon Barela and Jonathan Jindra’s art projected onto the 60-foot silos and artist Sharon Engelstein’s whimsical sculpture Whatever Floats. In addition, Danza Azteca Taxcayolotl and FrenetiCore Dance will join forces for a series of dance performances; numerous flow artists including members of Mental Dexterity Special Operations and Agents Cilantro, Ms. YET, and Nigel created a party atmosphere with roaming dance and illuminated float arts; and the band Satellite d’Homme, presented by Lunaface Promotions, performed their unique hip-hip, soul, prog-rock, psychedelic tunes.

more images at: http://forestphotography.smugmug.com/Events/2014-Solis/20141123-Silos-III/46369334_srPGqZ

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(Oct 19th, 2014)

Got a chance to hang out with graffiti artists Angel Quesada (Art Kungu) and Daniel Anguilu, while they were installing new art at Frenentic Theater in Houston’s East End. Performance artist YE Torres also came by to add fire to the process.

“Articulated Energy”. Yin and Yang Dragons.

more images at: http://forestphotography.smugmug.com/Events/2014-Solis/20141019-Painting-Dragons-and/45123057_nNZQvx 

Also did a Stop-Motion Time-Lapse video of the whole process.