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Tropical Solitude


30 October 2009, Chaaya Island

I’m watching Banglavision soap operas and Aljazeera news and some sport channels are still showing the Copa del Rey humiliation of Real Madrid - their worst game in the 104 years of the club history. I’m bathing in the turquoise sea. I’m reading Hertha Müller’s Even Back Then, the Fox Was the Hunter, Bret Easton Ellis' Lunar Park and Simon Montefiore’s Sashenka. I’m eating alone the breakfast, the lunch and the dinner watching cute Korean honeymooners, tanned Australian surfers and overweight American middle class families in the other tables. I think the waiters watch my solitude with pity. It’s my last day in this boring paradise and tomorrow I travel back home via Male, Colombo, Frankfurt and Madrid. I’d love to say that I’ll never travel again, or at least for a long time, but after a week at home, I’m flying to Helsinki. Last week I was buying summer clothes for the Maldivian heat and now I have to buy winter clothes for the Nordic icy weather.

Raining In The Paradise - Paradise By Jan Bruegel


28 October 2009, Chaaya Island

When the Christian missionaries went to Siberia they tried to make the people to fear the hell, an oven-like torture created in the Middle East, but the Nenets and the Enets thought it sounded at least as good as sauna. Sometimes I feel that I'm living somebody else's life and now I'm in somebody else's dream resort that to me is like Devil's Island Penal Colony. It's raining in the paradise, as Manu Chao sings.

I did today my T-shirt painting workshop for the surfers that are competing here. I wanted them to paint slogans on the t-shirts but the results are terribly poor. One of the surfers made it clear: he would like to paint a t-shirt but he has nothing to say. I heard ne surfer speaking about something else than waves, he gave his opinions about the global warming stating that it's bullshit.

Your Dream Is My Nightmare - Chaaya Reef Resort


22 October 2009, Cervera de los Montesk

Everybody keeps telling me how lucky I am because on Saturday I'm going to Maldives. Maybe it could be true if it were vacationing with my wife and daughter but this is just one more business trip, this time with an unusual destination.

The worst is that I stay in a n all-inclusive resort on a small private island - that has no public space, no street, no bar, no bazaar. Everything is controlled by the private security. Sounds like a paradisiac dystopia.

My work there consist of a workshop I do with the world's best long board surfers that participate in some competition. I'm going to ask them to paint slogans on t-shirts. Sometimes the football players lift up their shirts after goaling revealing a message, either political or personal, on their undershirt. My proposal is to ask the surfers write messages they would show after cathcing a perfect wave. All this is part of my collaboration with the French surfing garment brand Oxbow and should result as a series of mass produced t-shirts next spring.

I suppose that I'll have a plenty of free time there, too, but it sounds terribly boring. My super white skin can't resist any sun, I don't like fishing and I'm so bad swimmer that I can't do any water sports. On top of that, Maldives is a strict Muslim country applying a local version of sharia and I think it's difficult or at least very expensive to get any drinks there. At the Male Airport they X-ray the baggage at the arrival and confiscate all the alcohol.

All Purpose Cultural Ol - Ofiice Lady


18 October 2009, Cervera de los Montes

I've been three weeks home after coming back from Beijing and Berlin. Basically, I've been building Lego towers, vacuum cleaning the car and preparing lasagnas. I haven't stepped in the studio, all the work I've done has been boring OL stuff. I've been, once again, an office lady sending e-mails, filling forms and planning production of the next projects. Sometimes the paperwork makes sense: I've been awarded with the a monthly grant of €1558,55 from the Arts Council of Finland for the year 2010.

Anyways, the most important thing has been, after the two-month absence, taking care of my daughter and my pregnant wife. This week I'll try at least organize my studio and do a couple of A4 drawings of the fantastic materials I brought home from China. And today I'll play more with my daughter and the Lego because it's the last tranquil weekend before the frenetic traveling begins again: for the next 30 days I've planned trips to Maldives, Malaga, Helsinki, Bordeaux and Lisbon.

My Favorite Fashion Patterns - Us Woodland


14 October 2009, Cervera de los Montes

French Lizard (Benin), Brown Lizard (Zambia), Desert Lizard (Cameroon), Vertical Lizard (Sudan), Three-color Lizard (Chad), Semi-arid Lizard (Northern Alliance), Greek Lizard (Cyprus), Purple Lizard (France), Hellenic Lizard (Greece), Portuguese Lizard (Cape Verde), Grey Tigerstripe (Philippines), Desert Tigerstripe (Singapore), Tamil Tigerstripe (Tamil Tigers), Red Sparse Tigerstripe (Taiwan), Green Tigerstripe (Taiwan), Tigerstripe with Palm Leaf (Vietnam), Flames Tigerstripe (Ecuador), Asian Tigerstripe (Australia), Salamander (Czechoslovakia), Two-color Ameba (Kuwait), Puma (Poland), Panther (Poland), Frog Skin (Honduras), Frog & Leaf (United States), Duck Hunter (India), US Urban (Brazil), US Universal (Ivory Cost), US Woodland (Liberia), US Three-color Desert (Iraq), US Six-Color Desert (China), Eggshell (South Korea), Fried egg (Hungary), Scrambled Egg (Egypt), Bamboo Leaf (East Timor), Oak Leaf (Germany), Palm (Germany), Plane tree (Germany), Seaweed (China), Cactus (India), Potato (Germany), Parsley (Romania), Bleeding Vines (Indonesia), British Lime (Central African Republic), Greyish Lime (Kenya), Lime Woodland (Vietnam), Patriot Woodland (Colombia), Elm leaf (Cuba), Oak Leaf (United States), Clouds (Czechoslovakia), Sky Cloud (China), Smoke (Germany), Six-Color Desert(Djibouti), Oman Desert (Philippines), Desert Jigsaw (Belgium), Red Desert (Slovenia), Desert Night (United States), Rocks & Sand (Somalia), Safari Sand (Iran), Three-color Tundra (France), Splash (Zimbabwe), Squiggle Splinter (Bulgaria), Moons and Balls (Belgium), Brushstroke (Palestina), Russian Green (Kazakhstan), Bulgarian Grey (Bulgaria), Snow White (Japan), Pink Choco Chip (Philippines), Bomba (Malaysia), Ragged Stripe (Burkina Faso), Swirl (Nepal), Urban Bricks (Philippines)

Le Big Mac In Louvre - Le Big Mac


09 October 2009, Cervera de los Montes

Fear and loathing in the European art world: McDonald's (the biggest fast food chain in the world) announced that it opens next month a branch in Louvre (the most visited museum in the world). The snobbish French art people hate this because they see it as American cultural colonialism and introducing something extremely low to the pinnacle of the high, Louvre and La Gioconda. Europe becomes a museum owned by the Chinese and decorated by the Americans but some people just can't assume it.

It would be naive to think that Louvre, originally a royal palace,  has something to do with art or culture - it's all about power. In 1672, Louis XIV moved to Versailles leaving Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal art collection. After the revolution in 1789, the First Republic continued showing there the collection, now as a trophy and owned by the nation. Some years later, Napoleon renamed it Musée Napoléon and the collection grew through successful military campaigns.

In 2009, the global capitalism has conquered the world and the Frenchmen love French fries and Happy Meals. France is McDonald's second biggest market in the world. Obviously, Ronald McDonald wants - and has the right - to show its triumph in the same place where the previous rulers did it. This is the Free World.

Soldiers' Angels - Somali Militia


06 October 2009, Cervera de los Montes

Sure you might not be here on the front line... your heart going a mile a minute, not knowing what's coming next... But, what you all do with those cards, care packages, cookies is just as important.

When you adopt a soldier you are committing to sending a card or letter each week, and a minimum of 1 or 2 care packages a month. This is one of the most important things that can be done to help bring home a healthy hero; it is so very important for each of them to know they are loved and supported, and your letters and care packages prove just that.

Now you can choose ro adopt a soldier from the following armed forces and militias operating in Somalia: Rahanweyn Resistance Army, Puntland Armed Forces, Transitional Federal Government Forces, Islamic Courts Union, Popular Resistance Movement in the Land of the Two Migrations, Galmudug Army and Hitzbul Islam.

My Favorite Weapons - Female Militia


02 October 2009, Cervera de los Montes

ZTZ99 main battle tank, ZTZ96A main battle tank, ZBD2000 amphibious fighting vehicle, ZBD-97 infantry fighting vehicle, ZBL-08/09 infantry fighting vehicle, ZLC2000 airborne infantry fighting vehicle, ZSL-92 anti-riot infantry fighting vehicle, Type 05 155mm self-propelled howitzer, Type 07 122mm self-propelled howitzer, PLL05 120mm self-propelled mortar-howitzer, PTL02 100mm tank destroyer, PHL03 300mm multiple launch rocket system, HJ-9 anti-tank missile system, Type 95 self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery, HQ-7 surface-to-air missile, HQ-16 surface-to-air missile, YJ-83 anti-ship missile, YJ-62 shore to ship cruise missile, HQ-9 surface-to-air missile, HQ-12 surface-to-air missile, ASN series tactical unmanned aerial drones, DF-15 short range ballistic missile, DF-11 short range ballistic missile, CJ-10 land attack cruise missile, DF-21 medium range ballistic missile, DF-31 intercontinental ballistic missile, KJ-2000 early warning aircraft, KJ-200 early warning aircraft, Xian H-6 bomber and tanker, JH-7A fighter-bomber, J-8F interceptor fighter, Chengdu J-10 multirole fighter, Shenyang J-11 multirole fighter, Changhe Z-8 transport helicopter, Harbin Z-9W attack helicopter, Hongdu JL-8 Jet Trainer, Type 022 stealth missile boat, Type 052C destroyer, Type 054A frigate.

All these super-duper weapons were paraded yesterday in Beijing in the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.