Johnny DB Walker Bourget – Professional Singer

I would like to introduce a good friend of mine Johnny, he is originally from Canada, he now lives in Vietnam and sings amazingly, I have enjoyed quite a few of his shows and look forward to catching up with him in a month or so, during my trip to Vietnam.

Check out one of his very relaxing performances, in Vung Tau, Vietnam.

Johnny not only sings but also acts, including action hero roles, he is popular in Vung Tau for his smooth and high quality singing voice, as well as his charm and wit.

We have had quite a few beers and meals together me and Johnny, when I was living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, I would sometimes retreat to the closest seaside resort, which is Vung Tau, not the most idyllic to be honest, but it has clean air, seafood, plenty of places to stay, the sea and of course my very good friend Johnny.

Thanks for reading, Sam.

Preaching – after 20 years

Who else doesn’t enjoy being preached at, I was brought up as a Jehovahs Witness, but at the age of 21 decided to leave, now I’m 41 years old, and yet my mother continues, to this day, to preach at me, yes this is a rant, I am being patronised, nagged, despite very clearly vocalising my reasons to no longer be a JW for continually over the last 20 years, still the loop continues, is this some form of compassion, a mother trying to save her son from armageddon, or a selfish act of saving herself.

Why does it bother me so, as a person who is no longer indoctrinated in the JW religion I have a choice, between many religions, I choose non, though Buddhism is the most attractive, but I prefer an open paith and listening to my own inner voice and well being for myself and others, Buddhist teachings are a helpful voice in this process.

Why did I leave the Jehovah Witness organisation in the first place, perhaps the why and how is the same thing, I stopped attending their meetings, I no longer heard their constant propaganda, I connected with people outside the religion, I realised that what I had been taught by the Jehovah Witness religion, from a baby was a lie, the religion is not the “truth” it’s just the same as all other religions, people not in the religion are not bad, the organisation has made many mistakes, families are torn apart by its policy of alienation and ostracization and against higher education.

So anyway that’s about it for this vent, not quite my normal post, but I feel it’s also good to be vulnerable at times and share life’s ups and downs, and hopefully encourage others through similar experiences, if you have had similar experiences feel free to share.

Thanks for reading, Sam.

Lanyang Museum

What an interesting building this museum is, out here in the middle of the countryside, it looks like a building that has fallen over, but looking closer I noticed next to it in the lake, there is a rock, which also looks like that, I guess this inspired the architect.

With such extreme weather, rain and winds, it makes sense, a structure that is more angled and less vertical, but I guess it’s more about the aesthetic as it is a museum after all. It is impressive I’m sure you’ll agree.

Lanyang Museum is focused on local heritage, the people and land across the ages. The area can be simply described, as mountain and plaines, one wild, one farmed, as far as we people are concerned anyway.

The natural history was interesting, such diversity in the County of Yilan and it was great to read through the displays and learn more about this area. I learn a lot from these visual displays in museums, with their snippets of written information and pictures, I do like the pictures, but really the 3d exhibits are what catch my eye.

What really caught my attention at the museum though, was the timeline of immigration periods, as this is something that has been intriguing me on a personal level, as an immigrant myself and having spent the past 6+ years living in Vietnam, China and now for a time, in Taiwan.

I often consider if we as humans are naturally nomadic, or perhaps we are meant to simply switch between nomadic and settled life, when the conditions for survival are prime to stay and conditions no longer meet that need we leave, adaptability, but then we latch onto the idea of ownership and identifying with an area and stuff, and more recently nationality.

I guess this makes sense, when great effort and blood has been spent obtaining and making a land livable, for ourselves and a certain identified community. But when a stranger appears, sometimes we feel a sense of attack, of risk and the fear of lose, at first anyway, I guess this is our natural survival instinct, to defend that which means our best chances of survival, and that includes the community which helps us survive, but I wonder what if our best chance of survival is to give up our identifying with a place, when we become so identified with and own a piece of ground, how difficult it can be to give it up, and the idea of nationality, perhaps that is the most difficult of all, as it seems to permeate everything about us, our appearance, language and even likes and dislikes.

Identifying ourselves with a certain piece of land and community, or allegiance towards those who control it, and their influence, the advantages gained from being identified as such, whilst not physically being there, though, I knew a person who after getting a US passport through marriage, no longer identified himself as being Bulgarian and instead he was now an American.

I would say that actually this made good sense, as he was running an English teaching school in Beijing, and as the Chinese prefer native speakers, this would have given him that extra incentive, simply for better survival purposes.

I think it is very helpful to be able to switch from one label to another, as becomes better for our survival, this is perhaps far more wise than sticking with a label for fear of losing a part of who we are. I have considered what would happen if I changed my nationality, I do have a sense of being British, but the main objection, besides being able to go back easily, is that I can also travel away easily, that is still an ongoing query in my mind, my Britishness, and sense of identity.

So anyway let’s look back at Lanyang Museum, and my main focus, which was the immigration timeline, focused on Yilan County, here are the nationalities of people who have immigrated here.

So we see first the primitives, then the Kavalan (I guess nationality had become a thing by then) the Han (Chinese) I notice they have 2 boards, for practically the same thing, and also that the word used to describe their (the current majority of people in Yilan are of Han Chinese ethnicity) use of the land has a more positive sound to it, i.e. cultivating, compared with us Europeans and Japanese who colonized it, or the Ping Pu who invaded.

Maybe I am somehow biased in my feeling towards certain words, but I would say the Han seem to explain things in a biased way, nothing wrong with that really, it’s just interesting, as they also colonised, invaded and occupied, and no doubt treated the existing population no better than any other arriving people’s have done, such as the Europeans towards the Native americans and Aboriginals in Australia.

How groups of people treat the outsider, I guess, is the same as how we individually treat strangers, as a threat, with fear, to have superiority over or to exploit, our habits as a native or immigrant reflect those of the culture/country we come from, but what if like survival depended on changing what we identify with, nationality, ideology, religion, etc, my Bulgarian/American friend did exactly that, its an interesting thing, what do you think?


Music video – Persevere

Here is an animation project I worked on a little while ago, alongside the illustrator Ignasi Pi Sunye, based in Barcelona, we made this film for a band called Kings Will, they have music on the Itunes store if you like what you hear. When animating for music videos you really get to hear a tune hundreds of times, and I have to say, despite hearing it so many times, I still enjoy this track.

Persevere, a cooperation with me animating, Ignasi Pi Sunye illustrating and music by King’s Will, check out their music on the Itunes store.

I am available for animation projects, let me know if you have music that needs a video, here is my showreel with mixture of the different projects I’ve worked on, to give you a better idea of what’s possible, we can have a chat and see what can be done.

Thanks for reading, Sam.