Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Mixed metaphors of the lighting world

Photo Essay: "How to decorate a modern Chinese apartment using ten different lighting schemes"

(Alternately titled: "I really gotta buy some new light bulbs"):

Exhibit A: A fairly modern Chinese apartment:

Our apartment is rented fully furnished and aside from the paintings on the walls, cushions and sofa throws, it was decorated entirely by the landlord (who, by the way, is an interior designer). The decor scheme is modern-minimalist, yet completely falls apart when it comes to lighting- the Chinese LOVE fancy grandma-style lights.

Exhibit B: The living room

This beauty is above the coffee table:
This is in the entrance way:
This one is above the dining table:
In addition to these three there are 20 small spot lights built into the ceiling:
However they were literally BUILT into the ceiling and when the globes blow they cannot be removed. The landlord's best advice: "I don't know". These spot lights are supplimented by coloured flourecent tubes built into the three panels of the dropped ceiling to create a little more "mood lighting". I'm still not sure what "mood" they were aiming for.

Exhibit C: The bedroom

Above the bed:Beside the bed:

These "flowering beauties" are built into the wall either side of the bed, which means that the bed cannot be moved to another location in the room, and yet the switches to turn them on and off cannot be reached while one is lying in bed. Also note the lovely plastic covering the white upholstered bed head, which the landlord refises to let us remove in case the white fabric gets dirty.

Exhibit D: My studio

These lights are hardly condusive to producing art in a poorly lit room, so I usually supplement with two of Phil's photography soft box lights:
To save your eyes from the pain, I haven't include a photo of the broken Mickey Mouse Clock/Light combo built on to the wall... again built in so well that you can neither replace the blown bulbs or used clock batteries.

Exhibit E: The bathroom:

Note the pink and blue PLASTIC ceiling... mmmmm. There is another light in the exhaust fan over the bath- if you can even call it a fan: it barely lifts the slightest breeze.

Exhibit F: The kitchen

Souless flourecent lighting positioned to cast the shaddow of your body over any worksurface you chose- peeling potatoes in the sink is like a game of russian roulette between your fingertips and the peeler.

The kitchen window looks straight across an airshaft into our neighbours' kitchen, hence the 'curtain'.

All in all there are a total of 98 light bulbs in our 110 m square apartment. And we wonder why our electricity bill is so high.


Comic Mummy said...

Who knows? Maybe you'll produce some of your finest work as a result of being in such a bizarrely lit place (I'm no artist, but doesn't it all come back to light?) and in your memoirs fifty years from now, we'll read "ah yes, and I would never have even discovered xxxx, my masterpiece work, had it not been for the twelve different lighting set-ups in my home."

Here's to many lightbulb moments!

Mignon said...

And when you look in the mirror, all you see is a shadowy ghoul with cellulite on your face? That's what flourescent lighting does for me in department store changing rooms.

Louise said...

Comic mummy- the problem is that my lightbulbs are not flashing alight with brilliance, they are fizzling out!!

Mignon- I do believe that it is one of the greatest mysteries of the world that the worse the lighting is, the better illuminated the cellulite becomes. My biggest fear in the world is swimsuit shopping- and I REFUSE to shop in places that don't have mirrors INSIDE the cubicles- walk out and parade my white jelly belly and cellulite thighs in front of everyone?? I don't think so.

Mia said...

Damn that's a lot of lights!

verniciousknids said...

You should bring another 2 into the apartment to make it an even 100!