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Balloons Galore!

The Integricity office was transformed for a day. When we came back from lunch yesterday, the room was filled with 140 red balloons. The bad news? It wasn’t for me. The good news? It was for our Art Director, Ser Young, sent by his wife, Rachel. Talk about a loving Valentine’s surprise! Alex, please take note!

Rachel had handwritten notes and had it tied to every single one of the balloons. Well, Ser Young was suitably embarrassed, to say the least. The funny thing was that he said he actually went with Rachel to choose the balloons! She said it was for some company event… sly!

I have to thank Rachel too, because I borrowed a ‘bunch’ of balloons for my shoot yesterday evening. And when I left the office yesterday, some colleagues were posing and taking photos with the balloons. Thanks Rachel for making our day interesting too!

Chinese New Year Musings

I am always really happy whenever my family gets together and is complete. Chinese New Year is one of those times… when my brother comes back from the States and we can all sit together, enjoy a Starbucks coffee or o-chien and laugh over silly things. This year, he’s only in Malaysia for a week. The problem about time is that it just flies by so quickly. Soon, it’s time to say goodbye. Unwillingly.

Speaking about goodbyes, my entire family, including my brother’s friend Ariel who’s visiting from the US, helped to clear up our Malacca house over Chinese New Year. Some say that it’s pantang or bad luck to do that during CNY, but to us, it’s about being practical. I wrote about my home in Malacca some time back. This Chinese New Year, we cleared a lot of things, and said goodbye to many items that held memories. Some things will be kept purely because it’s sentimental, but lots of stuff will just need to be put aside, just like these plants that were left to fend for themselves.

My mom’s collection of recipes. Sadly I did not inherit her cooking skills.

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Of life and relationships

As I sit in hospital looking at my mum sprawled on her bed, looking so fragile, I can’t help but think of the countless times in the past when this same scene played out before me. First, the stroke when I was 13, then the heart attack years later, then the heart bypass… in the midst of all that illness, my mum found her faith in Christ.

When Pastor Kee came over to pray for my mum the other day, he read from Psalm 121, one of the Psalms that I truly love.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

My mum’s roommate is this old Indian lady who has a rare colon disease. She has been in hospital for the past 3 weeks. I see her elderly husband sitting by her side on the uncomfortable hospital chair, day and night, keeping her company. She doesn’t talk much, her medication keeps her drowsy, but her husband just sits by her side, in silent comfort. It must be really tough and tiring being in the hospital for that long. I am just so inspired by this man’s dedication to be by his wife as she goes through this illness.

My dad, when he sees my mum in hospital, shows his care by asking her if she has eaten, if she is comfortable. I can tell that he is worried for her. At home, his Alzheimer’s kicks in, and he asks my sister, “Isn’t someone supposed to be here?” (points to his bed).

I can’t help but feel a little saddened by the many sick people I see in the hospital. I guess it’s easy to just ignore when things are going ok, when you are just out there, doing your own thing, living your life without any interruptions. Not everyone, like the old Indian lady, has family members who care.

It’s time to stop, reflect and show some love.

My mum and dad, taken during my family portrait session in 2009.

Welcome to the Stories family!

As we are sad to see Shu Wan leave, we are happy that we have a new family member in the Integricity / Stories family. We’re glad to introduce you to Weiming! He will be our new resident Digital Artist. Here’s a little write up about Weiming so that you can get to know him as well!

Weiming How graduated from Multimedia University with a degree in Film and Animation. This has helped him in the laying of a strong foundation in design, visual, & cinematography knowledge. In his years of studies, he always had a keen interest and great passion for photography. It is beyond his wildest imagination that he is pursuing his dream and working with one of the best in the industry. Every day is a learning experience for him. Being an avid photographer himself and having a strong foundation in multimedia has been a real help to him in working as a Digital Artist in Stories. He is interested in creating special moments on digital images and creating shots that can be transformed into magical stories that linger in lives.

Weiming, I am sure we will have lots of exciting moments ahead, shooting under heat or rain, or shooting for many hours without food (you already did that with me last week! Haha), rushing for datelines or just creating works of art for all our clients. Welcome to the family!

All the best, Shu Wan!

After almost a year of working with Integricity Visuals, our digital artist Shu Wan has decided to move on and explore the world – not necessarily on a plane, but in various aspects of life and career. Shu Wan was the main person who did all the photo touch ups, album designs, animation and video editing for most of the work that you have seen on our blog the past few months. She is a really talented individual and we are sorry to see her leave. I enjoyed having her company as we traveled from shoot to shoot, and just talking about anything in life. Outwardly, she seems like a quiet, unassuming person, but she really is a focused, passionate person – especially about the things that she cares about.

Here’s what Shu Wan has to say…

It’s too soon for me to say goodbye here. I know. I never think it’s coincidence that I was here. From the day I met Grace, my life was changed. I was actually planning to take my step into the animation industry. But then I thought, I wanted to learn different skills, so in the end I decided to join this family.

Time has proven that I made the right choice. Throughout my days with the Stories team, I learnt a lot of new things… ranging from photo editing to video shooting. Grace has been a really good mentor. She taught me patiently and shared her knowledge with me generously. As she hold firmly to her belief in education, I have been given opportunities to attend conferences and training camps so that I can grow better. Looking at what I am today, I must say it’s because of God’s amazing Grace! :)

This was certainly an interesting journey. I am glad to be in this company of awesome people. Really nice meeting all of you who are lovely and kind to me along this road. Thank you for walking together with me and leaving me with tremendous memories! I truly appreciate it. Hereby I end my journey here with this blogpost as I am heading off for a new adventure! There are dreams to be fullfilled before it gets too late. So wish me luck k? =)

Ohyaaa, did I tell you that I love my title very much? :P It’s because I long to be an artist but too bad that I can’t draw very well. Haha. So now I could tell people, “hey I am a artist, digital artist!” :P