John Tang

Apartment Themes & Already Vegas on the Plane

Posted in Sketchbook by Jt's Item Roster on April 2, 2010

Apartment Themes

King has an apartment made for men. The theme is simple: Convenience. There are four places where paper towels lay around. (a) Of course the kitchen on the granite counter, (b) Beside the couch on under the sofa arms, (c) On the dinner table, and lastly (d) the bathroom–and I have to agree they are more convenient than tissues, in terms of thickness and roll-length. Also, every room is equipped with a thirty-two inch plasma screen with Full HD:1080p. Now the kitchen is convenient as well. Along the counter are plastic cups, bags of chips, cookies and bread. There are cooking appliances, but they are hidden behind the snacks. Then at the end of the counter is a refrigerator, on top a neat supply of alcohol. 

Compared to my brother’s room in San Jose, my brother has a different theme: Convenience for the artist. He splits the apartment with two friends, but he treats his room as a lab. In the middle of the room are three tables–one removed so he could get out. Now each table has its own purpose: The front has a laptop for personal usages, the table against the wall has a desktop where he does work, and the one by the windows is a drawing board, usually tilted with piles of black and rundown sketchbooks.  His entire personality is caught in this ring. Then outside of the ring, in the corner, was a thin mattress with two comforters and a pair of pillows–one being a memory foam and the other full of feathers. In the kitchen, which was connected to the room, has his bookshelves of art books and literature. My brother averages a sketchbook a month. You can find his work at: It’s always a treat to visit.

Is convenience a masculine trait? I wonder.

Here’s a sample of Tim’s work: “Study of Rembrandt on the Nintendo DS.”

With DS’s small screen, you can learn how to simplify the image.


Already Vegas in the Plane

Walking down through the passage between the plane and terminal, the cold air rushing, there was a group of strangers. One was a young Asian boy who dressed in all black (leather jacket, denim jeans,  bag filled with gear) standing by this group of white people. The woman was a nurse, as you saw in her scrub, but the two men were difficult to discern, since they were all traveling to Las Vegas. One man had blue hair which flared and was untamable. Strangely, he knew the Asian boy was a martial artists, asking if when was his performance in Vegas. Perhaps he knew from the gear hanging from the bag on white shoestrings, the pair of shin guards. The boy didn’t speak English so well, as the man finished every thought supposedly this boy must have felt.

“So do you compose yourself every set like this,” he stood up straight and bowed, like people have done in movies. He further rambled, difficult to say, when the wind and the plane engine stirred the evening. After his little spiel about martial arts, he saw the woman appeared a bit bored with the conversation. She was leaning on the rail, a hand on the waste. Her blond hair was frazzled and dry.

“So are you sure you’re not on drugs.” The nurse must’ve asked him earlier.

“Guess what kind of drugs I’m high on?”

“I know, high on life.” 

“Did you want to remove the dye in my hair?” He tilted his head to her and pointed. “First thing we’ll do when we get to the hotel is bleach this thing. You want to do that? Come to my hotel and dip my head in a sink of Clorox. It’ll be fun. You must dye your hair often, don’t you?”

“I’d love to help. It must be the bleach he’s high on.”

The Martial artists and the other man, rarely noticable, laughed at the man’s hair and comical gestures, as if there was a polished sink and three-sided mirrors all around. Aside from his unusual hair, his ensemble suited the persona. He wore an a blue windbreaker jacket with the American flag printed on the arms, something out of the olympics in 1994. Accompanying was a pair of pressed and black slacks, Italian leather shoes he was careful in not scuffing nor ruining the noses in every step. He told the boy to look at them.

The cabin door to the plane opened, whistling,  with a stewardess greeting that first group with a set of wide-eyes.

“Welcome. Welcome.” He said. “Remember when you get to Vegas, don’t forget to remind the taxi drivers to take the shorter route–not through the tunnel.” 



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