where's neri
  19 Oct 2012, Friday  
The Very Best
  4 Dec 2012, Tuesday  
Behind The Scenes
  30 Apr 2013, Tuesday  
Chelsea and Marylebone, London
A Day in London or 8800 Steps

During a short business trip to London, my friend Victoria Li photographed me.

Here are the snapshots of all the 8800 steps we took that day.

For more photos, visit Victoria Li's tumblr page http://viikiirolls.tumblr.com/

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  25 Apr 2013, Thursday  
Bosphorus, Istanbul
In Full Bloom
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  21 Apr 2013, Sunday  
Bosphorus, Istanbul
Judas Tree

Istanbul's Bosphorus is in full bloom and more beautiful than ever right now, as the pinkish purple Judas Trees change the city’s colour into a regal purple. Judas trees will be in all their splendour until the end of the month. Time is short to catch these beautiful blossoms, and I was very lucky to go on a private boat tour and marvel at the gorgeous coloured Bosphorus hills. 

What makes this tree particularly interesting is that its colour was used as a mark and symbolism by three empires – Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman. The Byzantine Royal Family considered it as a symbol of power and affluence, and only emperors would be allowed to wear the Judas-tree colored clothes. In fact, the cloaks of all the Byzantine emperors were the regal purple. In the Ottoman culture, these blossoms held a special place as well. Emir Sultan, the son-in-law of Ottoman Sultan Yıldırım Bayezıd, would travel to Bursa with his retinue every year to see the bloom, and festivals were held every year until the 19th century, in honour of his arrival. The flowers of the tree also feature in traditional Ottoman cooking and have been used to add colour as well as flavour. 
For those who wonder where the tree takes its name from, there is a myth that the Judas tree used to be white, but after Judas, a disciple of Jesus Christ, betrayed him and hanged himself from a tree, ashamed of what he had done, the tree’s flowers turned pink and then red to signify the shame. Hence, its name. 
 There are only a few weeks left until the Judas tree will astonish us with its blooms. If you live in Istanbul, or happen to be visiting, make sure to admire and enjoy the blossoms in all their splendour.


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  17 Apr 2013, Wednesday  
An Art Class

As we step into first days of Spring, let your creativity blossom by visiting exhibitions and art galleries. Here is my top picks for art exhibitions from around the world.

1. Saloua Raouda Choucair, Tate Modern, London 17 April - 20 Oct

It's the world first major museum exhibition of Saloua Raouda Choucair, a Lebanese artist. Through painting and drawing, architecture, textiles and jewellery, Choucair worked in diverse media pursuing her interests in science, mathematics and Islamic art and poetry. Many of the works, made over a period of five decades, have not previously been seen outside of Lebanon. A rare female voice in the Beirut art scene from the 1940s onwards, Choucair’s work combines elements of western abstraction with Islamic aesthetics.

2. Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, Tate Modern: Exhibition, 21 February – 27 May 2013

Lichtenstein: A Retrospective is the first full-scale retrospective of the artist in over twenty years. Co-organised by The Art Institute of Chicago and Tate Modern, this momentous show brings together 125 of his most definitive paintings and sculptures and reassesses his enduring legacy. A must see – especially as pop art is the Spring trend for fashion.

3. Manolo Valdes, Pera Museum, Istanbul 8 May – 21 July

A leading figure of Spanish Pop Art, Manolo Valdés will be at Pera Museum between 8 May and 21 July 2013 with a selection of works that extend from the 1980s to the present. Organized in collaboration of Marlborough Gallery New York, the exhibition is comprised of a selection of the artist’s paintings and sculptures. Renowned particularly for the diversity of his media, his large-scale works, and quests in form, Valdés is hailed as one of the great masters of contemporary Spanish art.

4. Dalí, Reina Sofia - Madrid, April 27 – Sept 2

In collaboration with the Centre Georges Pompidou, this large exhibition devoted to Salvador Dali collates the artists work in effort to contribute to the reappraisal of Dali as the creator of the unique vision he had of the world, as well as being a thinker and writer. The work that Dali created during the surrealist period takes centre stage here, placing special emphasis on the ‘paranoiac-critical’ method he developed he evolved in order to transform and subvert reality. Expect to see some of his greatest works.

5. John Singer Sargent Watercolors, Brooklyn Museum, April 27 – September 2

The Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston collaborated in putting together a collection of watercolors by America’s pre-eminent early 20th century painter, John Singer Sargent. This is first-ever survey of its kind, offering stunning scenes of Venice and studies of Bedouin herders. A must see if you are in NYC.

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