Wednesday, 20 August 2014

JAPAN~TOKYO X SAPPORO X FURANO!!!

Helloooo!!! Today marks my 4th month here in awesome Korea~ week 20 in the Land of the Morning Calm (said in that guy's voice from Big Brother)!!! Time is flying by!!! 
So earlier this month I returned from a dreamy Summer holiday in beautiful Japan!!! I'd been counting down the days as I had a jam packed mini adventure planned!!!I flew into Tokyo, which will ALWAYS AND FOREVER be one of my all time favourite cities in the world!! WAHHHH was so excited to arrive!! I stayed in the same teeny, tiny, traditional ryokan in Asakusa that I've stayed in a few times over the years...and strangely ended up in the same room yet again! I'd missed the smell of tatami as you go to sleep, it reminded me instantly of my little bedroom during my time living with the Takahashi Family in beautiful Mino!!!
It was evening when I arrived so I was greeted by the awesome sight of Sensoji Temple all lit up and twinkling~ Asakusa is my favourite neighbourhood in Tokyo....totally magical...so much old school charm and character!!!
I was only spending a couple of days in Tokyo before jetting far up north which gave me enough time to do some HARDCORE shopping, catch up with a couple of old friends, do spot of temple hopping, drink buckets of matcha, go on a 
mega yukata mission and pick up some glorious craft supplies and fabrics!!!!
It was a mega whistlestop-neighbourhood hop but, managed to take in a bit of Akihabara and Shibiya and of course a major Harajuku session followed by an after-shopping unwind in pretty Yoyogi Park!!! Had time also for a rain soaked evening out in twinkling Shinjuku as well as a mince around Ueno and plenty of midnight hours wandering the streets and temples of Asakusa!!
My time in Tokyo whizzed by and before I knew it I was hotfooting it back to Narita airport, filling up my bags with a mega stash of these AMAZING Matcha- Sakura KitKats!!! Eeeep what a JUICY find!!! And it was onto phase 2 of my Japanese Jaunt!! It's been my dream to visit Hokkaido since I was about 15...when my Japan obsession first kicked in by way of endless books and I have been desperate ever since to check out Japan's north island FOREVER...eekers and the time was finally here!!!! Wooo!
I flew up to Sapporo which I would be using as my base whilst exploring a bit more of Hokkaido island! Sapporo felt totally different to anywhere else I've been in Japan...in fact it felt more like Europe with it's wide avenues and general architecture...it kind of reminded me of Budapest but, with signs in Japanese and the occasional bit of neon... strange! My main reason for heading so far north was to go and visit the towns of Furano and Biei which lies a couple of hours drive away from Sapporo......
So this was my reason for wanting to go to beautiful Furano and Biei .... to see the phantasmagorical, striped flower fields of Farm Tomita and Shikisai No Oka...OMGGG it was amazing...and so worth the million year wait to get to see it in real life!! Neverending rainbow coloured flowers, rows and rows of fields full of the most glorious smelling lavender EVER!!
One of the highlights of 'Farm Tomita' was their gourmet Lavender ice cream whipped up with crops fresh from their rainbow fields!!! I also had a cheeky slice of lavender cheese cake washed down with lavender lemonade...total lavender fest!! My Grandma would have loved it if she was still around as she was always obsessed with Yardley's Lavender!!! AMAZINGGGGG!!!!!
Shikisai No Oka was particularly magical as the colours of the fields were super vivid and the stripes went on for miles over the hill so it was a really impressive sight!!! They also had some glorious sunflower fields and cute characters made from bales of hay!!!
Really fun~ so glad I made the haul so far up north as was beyond worth it to see these magical little towns!!!!!
The rest of the time I spent checking out Sapporo and also popped to the Hokkaido Shrine...did a spot more shopping (of course!!!) and before I knew it, time was up and it was time to head back to Sunny Seoul....!!!!
Such a fun trip, a one I will never forget...got to see so many lovely things, take a break from work...collect some new ideas....and with all that travelling and sitting on various modes of transport I had time to catch up on some reading and write some Tolstoy length journal entries....!!! It was so good that the ridiculous amount of miles I racked up ended up killing my shoes and I had to leave the hologram beauties shimmering in a collapsed pile by the trash en route to Chitose Airport!!! The amount of souvenirs and lavender flavoured candy also caused my bag to break?!?!
Anyway, I shall leave you with a few more snaps from the trip of dreamzzzz!!! For now it's back into the swing of things with life here in lovely Seoul...so I shall be updating on other happenings soon!!!!
Ok... so a few more photos for you whilst I crack on with my homework for my Korean class in the morning!!!!
Sayonara Japan~ Until next time!!!!!
Love Emma xxxxx


Friday, 11 July 2014

LLL+ Official Launch!

Oooeeee  안녕하세요 that's HELLO in Korean!!!( Annyeong haseyo!!!)
Now I've started my Korean classes I'm trying to whip out the lingo at every opportunity!!!
So just a quick one...as you know I've been recently involved with Malaysian fashion store LLL+ which is an international creative venture by KL based boutique LAH'LAH'LAND. LLL+ is a guerrilla concept store that brings together brands and design talent from all over the world including the UK, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Ukraine and Hong Kong.
The store inhabits a 2200sq ft space located in Sungai Wang Plaza in Kuala Lumpur's Bukit Bintang district with the focus of introducing independent designers to the Malaysian fashion scene.
It's been awesome working with these guys as they are doing some awesome projects that support and promote indie artists and designers so it's really fun to be involved! I have a collection of garments currently in LLL+ including some exclusive pieces designed especially for the space! At the weekend the LAH'LAH'LAND crew hosted the official launch party with sponsors, Tony & Guy and Heineken, and as part of the launch, presented an opening runway show... So some of my pieces were included in the show and you can see above a photo by Streething featuring my 'Puffycakes' jacket! Love the way it was styled!!!!!!!!! The show looked awesome and I'm really excited to be involved in the LLL+ venture! There's still some juicy pieces available to be snapped up if you are in KL~!!!
As I said, just a quick'un....rice cakes are calling~ 
Love from Tropical Seoul!!!
Emma xx

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Seoul Summer Special Stuff!!!

OOOoooOOO HIYA from TROPICALLLL Seoul!!!
YIKES....time has TOTALLY flown! I can't actually believe that I've been here in magical Korea for 2 months already! Seems only 5 minutes ago that I was seizing the final opportunity to stock up on Cadbury's at the airport and buying a last Boots Meal Deal! At the same time I feel as though things have been so action packed here that it's almost as though I've lived here for an eternity! Everything has continued to be super busy...when I'm not working, I'm taking advantage of every precious second that I have here in glorious Korea and trying to see and experience as much as I physically can! Korea amazes me every single day and I still have to pinch myself to believe that I am actually living here in GLORIOUS Seoul and surrounded by so much phantasmagorically awesome inspiration every day!
So I guess the settling in process is something that takes a while...I'm still grasping the finer details of things like operating my toaster oven in Korean...collecting points cards for supermarkets...buying potting compost instead of accidental bags of horse manure etc...!!!
My apartment is starting to feel like home...especially now that I have a windowsill full of plants (namely basil plants as I made the mistake of planting the whole packet of seeds at once instead of staggering the crops!)...and I also have some pets... 3 teeny, tiny baby fish who I have named; Britney, Liberace and Puffycakes...they have their own little tropical rainbow paradise complete with palm trees! 
In other news I will be starting my super hardcore Korean classes  in a couple of weeks so hopefully it wont be long until I can unleash a bit of lingo which will make life sooo much easier!

 
The past few weeks have been a total whirlwind...it's been awesome to catch  up and hang out with old friends and meet lots of new people and talented souls whilst taking in the abundance of amazing exhibitions and creative events that Seoul has going on as well as visiting a bunch of new places....I'm also doing a load of new research and getting involved in the skillzzzzzz of Korean embroidery and quilting! A lot has been happening recently...many a scenario...so I'll sum it up in a nutshell otherwise we could be here a while.......
found many awesome painted backstreets in Iwha-dong...ate about a zillion tteok (rice cakes!)...sampled many varieties of bingsu (shaved ice with an array of magical toppings, condensed milk, cocopops, fruit cocktail...)...picnicked around the many wonderful parks of Seoul....dodged snakes in Seoul forest....faced my fears and delved into a butterfly house... got sunburnt by the horrendously scorching rays THROUGH my denim dress...!!!
Experienced some beautiful Korean countryside... got over excited by the joys of the underground optical market and bought yet more glasses...went on some out of town adventures to Gangwondo, Chuncheon, Heyri and Suwon...took the trek out to Incheon to visit good old Art Platform....hung out in cat cafe's....drank Hello Kitty Sakura smoothies....tracked down some mega falafel...had my palm read at a weird private view/ studio bash bonanza...saw people in North Korea working in the fields from the Odusan Observatory in Paju, S.Korea...climbed a couple of 'mountains' and by that I mean cruising around Namsan and Naksan in inappropriate footwear...!
So all in all you get the idea....next time I will be more organized and update more often rather than this bombardment of info and snaps!!!!!!
Got a few fashion orientated updates which I will save for my next post...so for now I will leave you with a few photos from recent jaunts and adventures!!!!
Love and Sparkles,
Emma xxx


Sunday, 8 June 2014

EMMA BELL X LAH'LAH'LAND X HANGER MAGAZINE!!!!

oOOOooo HIYA~ HAPPY SUNDAY from Sunny Seoul!!!
So just a quick one to fill you in on some stuff that's been in the pipeline for a few months now~ So a while back I got involved with the crew from LAH'LAH'LAND~ an contemporary fashion boutique in Malaysia which was mega exciting as they are a talented bunch of creatives working on some really awesome things!!! They have just launched their brand new creative initiative~ LLL+ a concept store and fashion space in Kuala Lumpur and I'm SUPER HAPPY to be onboard as one of the international designers featured at LLL+!!!! They have a bunch of exclusive and limited edition pieces currently installed so I shall be updating and giving you all of the juice on that soon!!!
In the meantime, thought I would give you a sneaky peek of a brand new editorial by LAH'LAH'LAND X YAA SUI for 'Hanger Magazine', Malaysia which features some of my pieces shot in Tokyo (team credits below!!). So check out the special preview and I shall be unleashing the rest of the shoot and details soon!!! Also be sure to follow Lah'Lah'Land on Instagram for all of their news: LAHLAHLANDKL
Also I promise to update all of the latest gossip from my antics in Seoul ASAP as lots of fun things have been going on!!!
Love and Sparkles,
Emma xxxx

(Image Credits:)
Photographer: Look Chee Chung
Stylist: Sun Khiew
Hair Stylist: Leo Wong
Make Up Artist: LaineWong

Clothing: Emma Bell/ ShopFloorWhore/ Yesah/ Lah'Lah'Land. 
Models: LINDA HAO/ LAINE WONG/ BEEYIN TAN/ BRANDON ONG/  SUN KHIEW.
Location: HITACHI PARK- TOYKO, JAPAN.  

Monday, 26 May 2014

Yayoi Kusama at Seoul Arts Center!!

안녕하세요~ANNYEONG HASEYO!!!
Morning from sunny Seoul!!!!!!!!! So as promised, I was going to give the Yayoi Kusama exhibition it's very own blog post just because it was simply soooo AMAZINGGG!!!! I've been a MASSIVE fan of her work for years~ more so since having the chance to first see some of her work in the flesh when  I attended the Aichi Triennale in Japan a few years ago... So I was SUPER SUPER SUPER EXCITED when I heard that she had a solo show opening here in Seoul!!!
The exhibition, 'A Dream I Dreamed', opened on 4th May at the Hangaram Art Museum in 'Seoul Arts Center' and will run until 15th June 2014~ so if you are in town it's more than worth a visit!!! She is showcasing a medley of more than 100 pieces including: film, sculpture, installation and painting~ it was really incredible...I'm hoping to whip back for round 2 before it closes because I just need to see it again!! As part of the exhibition you can see her 'Obliteration Room' as well as the awesomely, magical mirrored infinity rooms!
Aaahhh...it was phantasmagorically wonderful...not much more I can say apart from share a few photos that I took during my visit~ her work is phenomenal, her thought processes alongside her aesthetics and expression BEYOND amazes me ...was incredible to see such a GLORIOUS abundance of it in one place at one time!!! 
So I shall leave you with a few snapzzz!
Love and Sparkles,
Emma
xxx







Monday, 19 May 2014

Relocation, Relocation! OHH HEY From SEOUL!!!

OOOOOHHHH HELLO FROM SEOUL!!!
So my lack of blogging recently has been SHOCKING! Mainly because there have been some MASSIVE changes which have meant my time has been super limited over this past couple of months....but, in short, to fill you in on the gossip... I HAVE MOVED TO MAGICAL SEOUL!!!
It is an adventure that I have actually been thinking about for a good couple of years and after my experiences here in Korea last year during my artist residency with Incheon Art Platform, this kind of cemented my decision to uproot myself and give life a try in Korea.
Obviously it was a huge deal to pack my bags and move to the other side of the world but, it's such a dream come true and I'm SUPER happy to be here!
Hence my reasons for being so rubbish with updating my blog of recent because the last few months in the UK were CRAZY busy with wrapping up a load of work and projects whilst planning and preparing for my big jump to Seoul! 
As you may have noticed my time here in Korea last year had a MASSIVE impact on me, not only in a work sense~ I totally fell in love with this place for so many reasons mainly the people, the way of life, the cultural heritage, the contemporary art scene, the dedicated work ethic, the food, the fashion, the colourful streets, the pride that the country has in it's own cultural identity and of course the fact that the visual aesthetics of Korea are like gold to any creative person... so in short I pretty much love everything about it here... ( well, except from the oversized bugs and spiders of course!) and the idea of totally throwing myself into the experience of living and working in an environment that is such a dramatic contrast to my norm is possibly the most exciting thing in the world! I find nothing more awesomely exhilarating and phenomenally inspiring than totally immersing myself in alien situations with a whole bunch of new challenges, people,  experiences and influences surrounding me!
So the past couple of months were mega hectic in making this happen and I touched down in Korea just 3 weeks ago~it's been a whirlwind of paperwork and preparations in the run up to the big departure.... and one of the most major aspects.... I HAD TO GO AU NATUREL with my hair?!?! FIRST TIME IN A MILLION YEARS!!! I figured that in the long term the upkeep of bleaching my roots in Asia was going to be a nightmare and not as easy as I'm accustomed to... so it was farewell to pastel, pony hair and now I'm officially a brunette which is WEIRD!!!
As I mentioned, I arrived 3 weeks ago so I've been mainly focused on settling in, making my new home all pink and sparkly, adjusting to my work commitments, catching up with old friends, checking out my favourite haunts and basically seeing what's going on in the wonderful city! So after my previous experiences of rural-vs-urban Korea last year, much as my time on little Baengnyeongdo gave me the most intense and close up peek into Korean life and true community spirit that I could have ever wished for.. well... I think we have established that I'm more suited to city life.... so Seoul was my city of choice when shifting over here!!! 
I'm living in a nice little neighbourhood in Eastern Seoul~ which has a nice mix of greenery and neon as well as a tonne of little cafes, shops and restaurants sitting right on my doorstep... (it is also only a short walk to a multi-floor Daiso and a wonderfully aromatic market arcade full of colourful fruit, vegetables and various other practical finds!) I have a cute little apartment which is super cosy and I'm gradually turning it more pink and plastic by the day!!! I'm also located right by a metro station which is perfect for getting out and about around the Seoul and beyond...I'm only a few short stops away from the fabric markets which is AMAZING!!!
There are so many things I'm excited about for the upcoming future....I figure this is an awesome opportunity to learn so much through living in this new situation...there's so many things I'm looking forward to experiencing, researching and considering... I'm also excited to try and learn Korean (I've spent the past few months learning how to read and write in Hangul and now I'm trying to build up my vocab and practical conversation...so I will keep you updated on my journey with the lingo here as it's MEGA TRICKY!!) I'm really excited about working here and the new people I will meet~it's the perfect time to expand some of my skills and learn new things which is pretty exiting! I also want to perfect the skill of making vegan kimchi and also want to learn how to cook Baekseolgi (백설기) !! I love how there is so much going on in this city~ TONNES of exhibitions and events going on and it's also great to just wander around this huge expanse as you never know what you may find around every corner!
I guess I've got so much to talk about but, I need to wrap up this post and save some juice for next time!! Last week I got to go and check out the Yayoi Kusama exhibition which was BEYOND AMAZING so next post I'll spill the beans on that as it was so awesome it deserves a post of it's own...and I also need to update on some of the fun projects I've been working on over the past couple of months including a joining of forces with super cool LAH'LAH'LAND in Malaysia and a couple of fun new shoots that have been in the mix..but and right now lunch is calling!!!
So here is to Seoul and the magic it may bring!!!
Love and Sparkles,
Emma
xxx