My Journalist self follows fabulous people into fabulous places.

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Exclusively to QC :D A temporary post for Dave, Mary, Laam and Dan as my challenge :D

Hey guys, here is the post of my choosing 😀 😀 but wordpress is not showing me formatting options or embedding videos! oh no …

You’d Like To Be Gio Black Peter


An artist who estranges us, then restores us

“Tea with Gio Black Peter” took place in Islington last month where cappuccino machines were provided for a seminar-full of the London gay art scene regulars. Myself sat in the back row who couldn’t resist taking a couple of cheeky pictures of the charismatic and quick-witted artist. The talk was centered around censorship, something that the artist confessed has been battling ever since the beginning of his career from the legal scope to frequent myspace and facebook deletions. As a friend of Bruce LaBruce, he is credited and has appeared in numerous films under LaBruce’s direction, one of which LA Zombies was banned at Melbourne Film Festival, an incident that made headlines.

Identifying his most miserable time as when he worked as a graphic designer in a corporate company, a job to kill for if you ask the local hackney baristas, he clearly comes across as a challenger, a mischief or depending on the audience, an offender.

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No one has the right not to be offended, from Andres Sarano’s “Piss Christ” to Bjarne Melgaard’s “Racist Chair”, I’m shocked and disheartened to hear people get offended by a close-up shot of a penis or anus. The sad truth about what appears to be an embracing act from the gay community inevitably leads to an artist who depicts the male body and male sexuality as well as all the subtexts that could be read between the strokes labelled as a “gay artist”, a term that carries incredibly harmful connotation which not only alienates the rest of the world audience but insults the artists creativity. Essentially, if a piece of art like Black Peter’s COMMUNION/Glory Hole Portrait on Wood is only read as a “Nice cock”, it exposes the crudeness in the gay communities art literacy. Has our imagination gone with the wank?

COMMUNION II : Portable Glory Holes 2013 Acrylic on wood (pine).  7.25"w x 9.25"h x .75"d. 3 Dimensional object can be hung or stand up on its own.

COMMUNION II : Portable Glory Holes 2013 Acrylic on wood (pine).

“My photographs or videos are not meant to arouse, but if you are aroused that’s fine.”, the generous artist consults. Maybe a bit of censoring is needed when it comes to self-censoring the libido from the conscience. After all, any type of artistic expression manifests within a narrative that we as an audience create. What you think of a work of art reveals more about you than it does the artist. Should your narrative extends only to a moment of a discharge of bodily fluid, if you could keep your inner art critic in your pants as well. It gets slightly frustrating when I read book reviews or features in gay publications when the interviewer compliments the artists for their hotness. Have I become so cynical that I don’t recognize a kind gesture of breaking the ice? Compliment on the work please.

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Black Peter, a native New Yorker who had been traveling back and forth into London in his earlier years as his own artist has gone through various stages of transformation. Explaining to the tea goers, he acknowledged the inclining work load on the visual art side than live performing. As a recording artist, Black Peter has released several singles and videos, many of which feature himself engaging in intercourse. His latest work “Box” was featured as the opening segment for “Performing Dreams” at London LGBT Film Festival. The clip is written and directed by Black Peter, compared to many of his previous works, many of the themes such as race, sexuality, angst, emancipation and himself are seen with more coherence and subtlety, as well as a sense of maturity, a shift that could resonate his journey in life, which generates a great amount of melancholy.

This is meant to be a video, wordpress is not working :(

This is meant to be a video, wordpress is not working 😦

[vimeo 84907824 w=500&h=280]

Talking to Advocate Magazine in 2011, Black Peter expressed his views on censorship.

“My biggest problem comes with the censorship monster. But I am going to stand my ground. Sure, it would be more lucrative if I dedicated my time making nonconfrontational work, but I will never conform. There is nothing wrong with nudity and sexuality. We live in a sick society that embraces war culture and promotes and glamorizes violence. The latest battle came with my new music video Revolving Door (New F*ck New York) which was directed by Bruce LaBruce. It took longer to upload then it did for the video to be taken down and banned from the Internet. The saddest part was when it took me half that time to find a video on YouTube of two idiots punching themselves in the face until they were bloody pulps. What does this say about our society? “

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should also be a video 😦

[vimeo 21327273 w=500&h=280]

To censor is to hide.

“Disgust always bears the imprint of desire” says theorist Julia Kristeva. Were you disgusted by the above image/video? Censorship is ubiquitous in what we practice. A gay man staying in the closet is the censorship of self-image, writing on dating sites saying “no skinny, no fatty, prefer non-asians, no girly” is a censorship of your inbox, “top only, fisting is sick, bottom only, no smokers, 18-35” is censorship of pleasure. Humans are the best curators of bad habits, and for that reason, works of art estrange you from the known pit of shitty preconceptions so you’d come back a different person.

One of the tea goers I remember mentioned that a growing trend for artists who identify their sexuality as gay are making efforts not to be seen as “gay artists”, implying some sort of shame or embarrassment to be seen as somebody who are only able to produce homo stuff. On some level, it is within reason for not alienating the broader audience, but in the realm of art, remember “Death of the Author” has passed on the responsibility of art and literature to the audience. Authors are dead, you shouldn’t be. Why judge the work by the identity of the artist? Gay people are a lucky bunch who are enlightened at birth, knowing that no value can be taken for granted, shouldn’t we enjoy the “gay” point of view? By saying “it’s really gay”, you mean “you are really gay” to see it as that.


On that note, “Stranger by The Lake” has posters all over London buses and tube stations, I wouldn’t imagine straight people after seeing the film would call it “really gay” so let’s not do that ourselves.

– hope I did all right :p all right, challenge number 2, 3am! lets do it 😀


You’d Like To Be Wesley Hartwell – an interview I did in 2012

Survival tactics or creativity driven, this generation of young professionals sails out of the economic downward spiral and finds haven in London’s East End. Branding strategist and global marketing consultant Wesley Hartwell talks about the new waves of creative industries and where they all began, the East End. Report by Nate.
“they come because they hear it’s popular, and not because they are part of it.”

Hartwell in his then office in New York, 2007. Photo by Hartwell

Hartwell in his then office in New York, 2007. Photo by Hartwell

Since when do cafes repair bicycles? the muscley redhead bike specialist plucked a bicycle wheel right above Wesley Hartwell’s head who was having a beautifully made flat white. this is one of the first few, said Hartwell, speaking of “Lock-7″, a bicycle cafe, a recent trend of combining a cafe and bike store in one. looking outside from Lock-7 into the main street of Broadway Market, mustaches are talking more than lips do, trainers are walking with more pride than Louboutin platform heels. there’s definitely something in the air, that smell of rebellion against beauty, modernity and evidently traditional business models, bikes are being sold with coffees and sandwiches.

For newly moved-in young professionals, they are not doing too bad for themselves collectively in East London, which finds itself in contrarary to the big economic picture post Global Financial Crisis in overall london. it may have been the rebelious nature of generation-y professionals’ creativity that enabled the waves of business and styles.

The sucess story that has touched continent of north america, europe and australia-oceania, branding strategist Wesley Hartwell and the people like him function as key figures to make such businesses exciting and doable. Hartwell, founder and brand curator of the global branding consultancy firm SELF-FULFILLING PROFECY offers his opinion on the revolutionary IT deveopment’s challenge on traditional business models, “Online streaming of fashion shows and social media sharing of information of people’s prestiges in taste are tied in closely with technology. the sense of now and immediacy that people need wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the development in social media.”

Geographically speaking, the against all odds economic boom has literally taken on a movement, from the digital media/technology flocked old street, “silicon roundabout” to further east and north, making hackney, brick lane, dalston haggerston the areas to be. “Post GFC(Global Financial Crisis) is the best time to realize your dream if you dream is to start a sucesfful business, clients wouldn’t want to lash out massive budgets but to use more cost-effective methods such as social media marketing cleverly, which is free” said Hartwell.

The historically immigrants absorbant East end would not have been able to come accross as trendy without the uprising of the creative industries. and that extends from  new waves of marketing technology sector to fashion and style as well as the hospitality industry. within 10-min walk from the “shoreditch triangle(where shoreditch high street, great eastern street and old street intersect)”, you will come across some of london’s uncoventional bars and restaurants and what would have been perceived as “edgy” shops and galleries.

When the hip and trendy sweap over neighbourhoods such as the ones that were never properly appreciated on the eastside, the stylish invasion may not be well received by the locals as the prices of housing going up and cultural clashes becoming more evident. However, the branding strategist sees the bright side of this, “east end of london is where people go to express themselves to create fashion,” commenting on the positive effects that east london is producing for the fashion industry.

“when you talk about the west end of london, regent street and covent garden, it’s always where the flagships are, where the labels show off their seasonal collections to shoppers,Hartwell explains the conventional linear model in fashion where style has been set by the mainstream shops and consumed by shoppers. “east end of london is about people who are more willing to take risks, wearing something they want to wear, putting it together in their own kind of way knowing that other people around them are doing the same.”

The concept of individual style, anti-mainstream would not have been new to many urban populations. in fact, there has been global movement in stealth sprung in many major cities in the world, with the East End being the representative of London, AKA, the hipster movement.

“Hipster is a term that’s a global term with a long history. it comes from hip and hep in the jazz era and the hippies in the 60s. it’s all to do with anti-mainstream culture.” said Hartwell. “The culture has become a youth movement that’s adopted, homogenized and packaged eventually.” And for exactly that reason, the hipster culture has created business opportunities among their peers – the people who would think out side the box to package their businesses in either avant garde(bizarre) or retro respective.

Fin and Flounder, a lovely fish shop that came to mind

Fin & Flounder, the tiniest fish monger on broadway market which carries no more than 5 kilos of mussles or 2 squids daily, has proven to be smart marketing against major super market chains. The shoppers would be getting the Fin & Flounder shopping expereicne as oppose to the best deal on fresh salmon. the selection is very small but beautifully decorated which gaves the feel of exclusivity. the friendly and definitely above average looking staff would not be wearing bloody and smurged aprins and butcher/chef hats, instead, they are wearing vintage jumpers and headbands. what normal customers expect such as variety and low pricing are put to shame by the shops disclaimer of their support on the sustainability of the UK fish stocks. As their website states “we hope to provide all our customers information on our where and how our fist is caught”, each fish has a story in Fin & Flounder.

Some people might call it survival tacticks, others like Hartwell call it contemporary style. “[East London] is where contemporary style is, a big mix of high and low, polished and raw, young and old, established and fresh.” However, the East London sprung, like any other cool things that would be call has-beens now may be short-lived. “When something becomes too popular it moves, like the 90s Soho in New York changed into the East Village then the Lower East Side and now further out, definitely in London it moved from shoreditch to hackney dalston stock newington. part of that is when it becomes popular, people come because they hear it’s popular and not because they are part of it. the prices like rent will all going up, so people would have to move further out.”

Hartwell, 39, a local Bethnal Green resident has felt the pressure of the rising in housing price, “I look on real estate websites in between sending important emails as my way of taking a break from work. I might have to move to dalston if the price keeps going up like this.”

Follow Wesley on Twitter

You’d Like to Be a BuzzFeed Post Vol.1

As much as I hate the shallow vacuous and image saturated “blogs” or “news sources”, I gave my best shot at creating a narrative with images. It’s been fun writing on BuzzFeed but that’s not exactly what makes me tick. Here’s the last post I wrote on Ian McKellen.

Ian McKellen Tells Gay People To Come Out The VICIOUS Way

McKellen embraced COMING OUT at Buzzfeed Brews, subtle and powerful but his character as an elderly GAY man on the ITV show VICIOUS would have done it VERY differently!

1. This is what Sir Ian said…

.. but It’s not that easy!

2. There are men who are gay but … they get married and have kids!!


… we know…

3. They live like vampires …

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4. They do coz they feel like they have no choice … and we are listening

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… do go on

5. … hours later, we realize they are scared to hurt the people they love

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6. Or they think they’d be disowned .. “DISOWNED”

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Disowned, meaning family that they thought would love them unconditionally would want nothing to do with them IF they INSIST on being gay, which makes it all THEIR fault coz they CHOOSE to hurt their families. Faced by the possibility that they won’t be loved (by the family) again, they give in.

7. … so, largely, it’s … fear

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… fear to live in an honest life and therefore, they try to convince themselves that they are HAPPY!

8. BUT, Sir Ian McKellen knows best!!

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… it’s fine to cry a little

9. The fact that you’ve been lying all your life to yourself and worse, the future innocent and ignorant wife and kids!

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… sorry, a bit too harsh … i take that back… it’s true, you need to be ready and face tremendous risks

10. but when you ARE ready

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11. AND we will be like …

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12. compared to your “girlfriends”, you realize …

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13. we say: “Would you mind if we touched your gorgeous buttocks?”, and you say

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14. You’d be dancing shamelessly to Kylie Minogue and Madonna

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You are Spinning Around, You are doing the Locomotion, You Get Into the Groove, you are a LUCKY STAR coz being gay is FABULOUS!!

15. For any of you that wants to join the big family and help the less fortunate battle their struggles and political conditions by COMING OUT


Love Yourself and Live an Honest Life! Thank you Sir Ian McKellen!!!

So, what did you think? I honestly don’t have the intention to do another one of those. Please don’t throw away your weekend Guardian Magazine. See ya!