The New Silk Road

Marion Hera Gorr is a New Zealander who lives and operates her textile business in Australia .She enjoys textiles and garments as an art form, and expresses her feelings for nature and beauty using these wonderful silk fabrics and colour dyes. She has been making her own clothing from about 10 years of age and also working to provide her school book money and so on. Her mother had a tailoring business and so Marion Hera Gorr earned a love of textiles early on.  Textiles kept coming to her, and despite many business ventures not really taking off, her textile trading has been a good sustainable business. Marion Hera Gorr trade textiles in Australia mostly Asian origin textiles, India and China being her main supply line.  Currently she serves her customers mainly online and in her spare time she does a small farming hobby, growing South American fruits and organic vegetables.

How did you start your brand- Beautiful Silks? What inspired the vision behind your brand?

I have a very good friend and mentor in New Zealand Susan Holmes who is a wonderful artist, she suggested I start selling silk at some textile events she was attending, and silk was not being offered at these events.  Her advice is always worth listening to so I decided to try it.  I took along a suitcase full of silk pieces that I had and people appreciated this, and bought the silks.  When people spotted me at my little stand they would exclaim, ah Beautiful Silks. Therefore the name Beautiful Silks was gifted by my very first customers.  Of course I diversified to all natural textiles now, so it is known as Beautiful Silks and Naturals.

I did not have any money at the time but after a year or so Peter Lucena, who had been trading silks in New Zealand for many years and had supplied me when I was a dress designer in that country, invested in my business in Australia and so I bought stock with his guidance and that really gave me a good start.  Not long after that, I had been away trading silk and another textile trader suggested that I attend an auction being held that day.  I happened to have money in my pocket from trading and managed to buy a lot of smoke damaged silks at the auction for very little money. I then dyed and printed those silks and sold those at a profit and this really did give me a boost.  Having the skills of dyeing printing and making has always stood me in good stead as I can develop products myself without huge investment of money to do so.  Plus I can advise my customers and help them, as they have technical difficulties etc.  So for anyone going to start a business, it is a great help to like what you trade with and also to know a bit about it.  Also my husband is a lawyer and his guidance with government compliance and insurance, tax etc has been invaluable. Without his help, I would have had to outlay money with lawyers accountants and other expensive professionals to set up.

What’s it like to work with silk as a material? What is it about silk that appeals to you personally?

Silk is a material that has been used by humanity for at least 6000 years.  It is warm yet it can breathe and adjust the body temperature according to the weather, so that on a hot day, after an initial warming, the body and the material adjust accordingly.  Also the silk worm cannot have pesticides close to it so it is protecting the environment for us as well.  We do have to kill the pupated silk worm to obtain the silk in industrially produced silk, however in India you produce ahimsa silk and this is available for people who cannot abide by any violence to any creature.  All parts of the silk are used, and the pupa is very high in protein and other enzymes, often there is nil waste and no pollution from the silk.  It is very light on the earth. Having said that however some silk worms of course get through to reproduce and silk husbandry is a huge science.  The silk worms have co-operated with humans now for millennia and in doing so some of them get to reproduce so cleverly they have decided to go along with us in giving their all to us.  Also their DNA structure means that most other moths, silverfish and other pests do not find silk palatable so silk will last, as long as it is not kept in strong sunlight and away from rats and mice it will last for many hundreds of years.  Some silk has been found in caves and is said to be over 2000 years old.  The history of silk is immense romantic and the textiles are alive and wonderful to match all this history.

Where are Beautiful  Silks products dyed and made? Can you describe the process?

About 75% of my products originate in China and 25% from India. Most of the products I import to Australia are undyed.  This is because of the objection I have to dirty dyeing practices that have ruined water around the globe for many people.  For instance the cheap clothing being made for the Australian market in Bali has contaminated water and I have heard this has happened here in India as well. A lot of my customers are natural dyers and come to me for good textiles to do their dyeing on.  Some of my customers use synthetic dyes as indeed I do myself on occasions but if it is done carefully with no runoff minimum pollution occurs.  In fact if silk floss is used as a filter at the end of the process you capture any salts etc in that filter. The discovery about silk filter was made by professor Zhang at Zhejian University in China which is one of the main silk growing areas near Shanghai.  Beautiful Silks also has a small production unit where we and I personally get behind the sewing machine design and make garments in house.  These are always limited edition and we do them when we have time, for example in the winter when it is too cold or wet to work on our dye plant gardens, or on the too hot summer days. I also hire designers and sewing people to come in from time to time to do small productions for us, a picture of that unit is attached.

What would you describe as the most significant development in your work as a fabric collector over the years?

The interest of textile artists and workers to understand the process of production and to care about the people making the textiles, and the move toward natural dyeing as mainstream practice, this has dictated to me what to focus on, and has been a symbiotic transfer, as knowledge became available through for example the very important book by India Flint, called Eco Colour, we were shown the way to a cleaner way of practicing our craft and our art.  Also with the revolution in information we now hear about bad practice and the impact it is having on our environment, the animals and human lives, we want to avoid harmful actions. I agree with these principals and therefore have driven the business along this path steering away from negatively impacting all others.

India is the only country that produces all the four commercial varieties of silk. However we have not yet been capable of making any significant impact in the global silk market. Your thoughts?

Price is the core value. Firstly, Indian silk is quite different from Chinese silk in that it is not organized through one organization.  In the days of Chairman Mao silk was via one arm of the government, and any person buying silk in those days had to get a permit to visit the production houses. This of course has changed now but with the opening up of China many of those units have co-operative and privatized with high tech weaving equipment, also silk husbandry is efficient whilst silk is still grown at the commune level, the eggs are delivered to the farms, cocoon are grown in small units, then taken back to central processing.  Processing is centralized and highly efficient. Roads and transport are highly organized - Costs are low and shipping costs from China are also very competitive.

One of the reasons I have got onto a flight and come to India during my usual holiday time is to meet my suppliers so that we can communicate on a one to one basis and sort out difficulties.

My main difficulty with my Indian supplies is keeping up the consistency.  Quality can vary from shipment to shipment - often vastly.  A global market has to be able to rely on the consistency of dealings with people. Business people all look for reliability in our trades.  We understand that a natural product varies a little, but weight size etc is something we can adhere to. To capture the global market Indian silk must be marketed for what it is - an artisanal product handmade and grown at the village level. It is friendly to the environment and absolutely something to own and to treasure.

Silk is a sustainable artisanal textile with durable healthy properties.  There have been too many cheap and nasty silks on the market for too long, silks that are frail. Businesses making a quick buck with frail silks made into garments that fall to pieces in 5 minutes. These types of production damage the image of a fine product; there is no brand of Indian Silks that the market recognizes.  So people don’t understand the wonderful qualities of for example hand loomed Indian tussar and they won’t until they are told about it.  I think if India wants to capture more of the global market, resources have to be put into the right areas to make people aware of what Indian silk actually is.  A lot of people are very ignorant in terms of textiles and do not understand the health benefits of wearing clean and naturally dyed textiles, this must be publicized.

Films of people harvesting, reeling, spinning and weaving, of the real people in the silk story, need to be made and this story needs to be promoted on social media and in documentary form so that globally people are educated about this resource. Health benefits need to be explained. Dermatologists have to be interviewed about skin diseases and why people wearing plastic textiles suffer fungal skin diseases for example. Making silk cheaper than China is not going to happen; the Chinese are too advanced in their efficiencies. India is a different place with different products those products need to be promoted. India needs to focus on what it does well, it makes wonderful films, it makes textured marvelous silk textiles, it has amazing cultures and people, this story needs to be told to the global audience, and resources have to be put toward it.  For too long the textile workers have been down trodden and taken for granted.  Until Indian itself sees what it has got, it will not appeal to the global market either.

What advice would you give to upcoming textile designers that want to start their own brand?

Start small start local. You will learn more about yourself this way. 

Listen to what your customers ask you and always keep your promises about deliver on time, appointments you must be reliable. 

Keep out of debt as much as possible. This gives you power over your destiny even though going into debt is promoted as something you have to do, it is not true, it takes your power away.

Be creative with labeling packaging and so on.  For example newspaper looks wonderful when it is used creatively, I have seen designers do block print on newspaper and use it as wrapping. Cheap brown paper looks amazing with a simple print put on by you.

Save money on all expenditure eg- hand make swing tags and look at your waste stream - textile scraps see what you can reuse for labels etc.  This will display your authenticity, and in today’s world, the customer is looking for that.

Spend money on good equipment and keeping up the quality of your work. Good equipment can be second hand, and inexpensive if you persevere and look for it.

People like to see creative work.  If you need people to help make sure they can do the work to your standard.

Don’t expect miracles overnight it is a lot of hard work and setbacks will always come it are common to have challenges.

Look for wealthy customers who might help and support you.  Ask them to give you an order and always get paid up front, this is especially true when dealing with wealthy people. Some people use the power of wealth to belittle others; do not let people do this to you.

It is very important to teach yourself how to ask for money and be strict about that.  If people don’t have money to pay you today they are less likely to have it next month.

Produce a line of items that are lower in cost, eg so called ‘bread and butter’ items that people can buy as gifts and so on. It could be a small bag or a scarf made from recycled saris, for example.  Friends can then buy those from you and be able to help you.

Finally enjoy being a creative artist in your field that is the true success in all business, if you can enjoy what you do, and love your work, it will show and you will find a good life.  If you have money to invest use it wisely, we all have luck and chances happen from time to time, make the most of what comes along to you.

What are your future plans for Beautiful Silks?

Beautiful Silks is a lean well run organization, after the retail sector slowed down in Australia I built my own warehouse on land I had bought many years before, and spent money on our current website. That means my overheads have dropped significantly and I can reduce the mark up margin on items.  Mail order is sent out daily and we have over 8000 customers, 10% of these are offshore from Australia.

We are developing a range of products for babies with sensitive skin, some we are making in house some we are importing, from wool silk and hopefully Indian Organic cotton.

We are also looking for ethical producers to work with as we change and grow and meet our customers’ needs.  Unlike other businesses we sell product we hope will last, some of our linen sheets etc are designed to last 30 years plus of hard ware and washing.  So when we sell we are looking to provide earth and human produced items that not only are reasonable price but don’t cost the earth.  Already I am visiting my Chinese supplier’s factories regularly, work conditions etc need to be of good standard and in fact they are higher in many cases than factories I have seen in USA.  Wages are also of a good standard.  I would like to develop those sorts of relationships in India and it takes time. India has its old culture hierarchies I don’t understand and so I have to be aware that I am not imposing my own standards on systems that work well for people on the local ground. Hopefully a younger generation will take on the Beautiful Silks business and develop these ideas.


Seeing the world from a bicycle seat

Allan Cascante Bejarano from Costa Rica has been riding his  bicycle for over a 3 years, almost 40 000 kilometers and 42 countries so far and the list is growing. Recently he gave a lecture organized by the Indo Hispanic language Academy at the International Kolkata Book Fair 2017.

What made you decide to see the world from a bicycle seat?

Green energy, no pollution, its free!  As  you move slowly  in your bicycle, so you have time to see many things that many travelers won’t be able to.  Besides you work out a lot.

How is travelling on a bicycle a different experience to a more conventional method of travel?

Its more challenging, you must be ready for any kind of surprises, like mechanical problems, weather.  You also have to deal with the traffic as well. People will see you in a different way.   Some are not used to see somebody from another country riding with such a big bicycle carrying many things.

Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?

For some countries I had a little idea about them. I have heard things, both positive and negative, but once you reach you realise the reality.  For example Georgia, I had no idea about this wonderful country.  I was thinking about spending just 2 weeks.  I fell in love with this country and I decided to ride and see many things, eventually I ended up spending up almost 3 months.

I have no plans, I take care of them on the way. People on the road advises me .I do a little bit of research about some attractions and then trace my route to get to those places. I am just ready for anything. I expect anything from anywhere. For instance, I visited Kolkata, and had no idea about the book fair. Coincidentally , the theme country was Costa Rica. It’s been wonderful.

Do you have any funny travel stories?

Many, I have done a lot camping back home, but mostly in safe places, like national parks. After, I left home I’ve done wild camping several times. The first night I was a little afraid.  Once i heard many noises coming from out my tent, like people walking on dry leaves, I was confused, so I just waited and after half an hour I came out of my tent and I saw many armadillos babies just walking with their armadillo mother. Soon, I  got used to the sound of nature. Now, I can recognise many of them. People have invited me for parties, birthdays, and celebrations and of course and many places that mean, alcohol, music dancing, sharing experiences, etc.

What has been the scariest moment so far?

Many times I see drivers over taking in a really crazy way.  They even don’t look at me.  I must pull over and just move away.  I really hate that.  Many cyclists around the world have been killed because of stupid drivers.

Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?

That bucket is full of countries and places.


Raising A Glass To Low Histamine Wines.

Sebastiano Ramello from Piedmont region Italy, grew up in one of the most important high-quality wine territory in the world, "Langa".Iin the last 10 years he has spent more than 200 days a year around the world, from America to Europe to Asia as a spokesman for high quality Italian wines. As wine expert and international Italian wines consulant, taken him to select high quality Italian wines. He also collaborated with many of food - wine magazines in Italy and abroad, Hong Kong, USA, China, where his role has always been to introduce Italian wines and wines territories and explain how to approach them.

In the last 6 years, he started  a search about food intolerant related to wines, first in the world of its kind, working closely to some of the best Italian wine maker, wine test laboratories recognized by the Italian Government and doctors, and thus giving rise to the selection certification brand "Low Histamines" certifying wines with histamine content of less than 0.5 mg / liter, wines due to their uniqueness, as stated by many doctors, can be recommended to wine sensitive and histamines food intolerant.

In October 2016 he received the highest award, the gold medal, by the “Israel Master Chef Academy" as one of the best selectors of high quality Italian wines in the world. His selector brand "Wine Selection Sebastiano Ramello" is known in the main continents. Sebastiano is currently traveling with his partner Franca Demaria (international Italian food consultant) in South India, to deepen our culinary culture, Indian wine production and as a spokesman for high quality Italian wines, early to late February is back in Kolkatta before continue his trip to Hong Kong and China.

Where did your interest in wine start?

My interest in wine started right away at an early age, when my grandfather (my mother‘s father) "Jo" started taking me in the cellar and teach me how to make the wine.  At the young age of eight years I got to taste it. My grandfather owned a small winery in Piedmont region Italy. One the most important region for high quality wines in the world. For me as a child, the arrival of the harvest was always a big party, my grandfather gave me half a glass of wine and explained to me how to appreciate it. I grew up with a passion for wine, the desire to discover the world, the passion for communication and the great passion of the different cultures, taught to me by my father Francesco, who works with me in the wine. (My father is the president of an association that promotes Italian wine and wine region in the world which is called " Piemonte Sweet Home"). As soon as I could, I put together all my passions, it is I've done my job.

What's trending in wines for 2017?

The Barolo Docg continues to be the most important Italian wine in the world, but also the demand for organic wines in general continue to increase and the every month, there are more request and interest on "Low Histamines". Also this year will see me again in my travels across the North America, Europe and Asia, where I will be present at the main wine fairs and the most important salons of the industry. The year 2017 is also the year that will see me more in India, country that I love and that I decided to devote more time.

Any exciting new things wine producers are doing?

The most important innovation in the wine world is bringing forward by the Winery "Veglio Michelino & Figlio", a small, historic, family winery (5 generations of producers), situated in the heart of the Langhe wine territory in the region of Piedmont in Italy, in the municipality of Diano D'Alba, who along with researchers and the group “Low Histamines", followed directly from my person as the person that start the search food intolerant related to the wine, after 6 years of research has succeeded in producing the first wines DOC and DOCG "Low Histamines" with content of histamines less than 0.5mg / liter (normal red wines have a histamine content that varies from 4 to 20 mg / liter), wines that due to their uniqueness, as declared by different doctors and nutritionists can be recommended to wine sensitive and histamines food intolerant (mean at all those people who drink wine, especially red can create headaches, migraine, colitis and other allergies). To do this, the wine maker Veglio Osvaldo managed to find out how to control mold and bacteria that produce histamines in a totally natural way. This is for sure the greatest innovation in the world of wine production in the past 30 years. You can found more information on the website

Some countries around the world produce great wines. Any countries that are front runners in your opinion?

The driving countries in the world for what concerns high-quality wines are Italy (the largest wine producer in the world) and France. The two countries who have years of wine history. Italy is  more then3,000 years that produce wine. And the most important Italian wine region are Piemonte and Toscana. But it is good to see that in recent years many countries as also India have started to improve in wine production.

What are your tips for those who are new to the wine on how to get the most out of their favourite variety?

My advice is to taste as many wines as possible and different wines from different wine region. Trust in wine experts that came from a wine territory, who can give elementary notions of how to taste and appreciate a wine. Also I suggest taste the wines with food. The best way to appreciate a good wine is paring with a good meal. For example I suggest Chicken Biryani rice, combined with a Dolcetto d'Alba DOC, or with a Dogliani DOCG, both a great indigenous red wines from Langa area in Piemonte region.

What do you think is the most common mistake most people make when it comes to wine?

It is to follow the famous labels and not the personal taste. I always suggest if can to do a short wine course, even elementary, and follow your own taste. Wine is pleasure.

There are a lot of myths and “facts” about wine. Is wine healthier than we think?

The wine, if done well by following the right rules, is a very healthy product, a food, but we must always remember, however, that contains alcohol, and should be drunk in moderation. Currently thanks to research, certainly, among the healthiest wines there are those selected "Low Histamines", as they are sensitive to the problem of food allergies, which are increasingly growing in the world. In my area, where I live in Italy, always the wine is seen as part of the daily diet, many wines contain important principles such as polyphenols, that are good for our body.

Is Wine a smart Investment? If we were to invest in wine now, what should we be looking at?

Since many years I teach my clients worldwide as investing in wine. The wine can be good source of investment and profit. But absolutely it is not easy, to do this we must rely on experts, consultants, that completely understand the product, the trend of the international market and the production of individual vintages. The only Italian wine on which you can invest is the Barolo DOCG, as it is a wine that can be storage for 40 years, and that improves over time by increasing the price, especially for those exceptional years that you sell and consume quickly. I suggest you invest on the vintage 2016 as in the Piedmont region has been a wonderful year.


The Body, Heart, And Soul Of An Artist.

Susanna Goho-Quek's first picture book, God is Hu? shows her love of painting, nature and telling stories to children. A grandmother herself, she loves working with children. Susanna has also established herself as one of the most respected names in the antiques and collectibles market. She was also an interior decorator, art exhibition planner and fashion designer. Recently, she was here for the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival.

How do you get inspiration for your stories?

INSPIRATION as described in the dictionary...I checked and found half of the words applied to me. I would like to think that an idea took root and could not shake it off, or I did not want to shake it off and slowly but surely it enveloped my whole being. You open your eyes be it to the "Cockadoodle doo " from the  rooster in neighbouring school or the "kroo kroo" from the grey bird with pink feet and beak or sounds of children, laughing, shouting , running in the neighbouring school or Thunderstorms with thunder rolling  and lightning streaking across the skies. And a grandchild waking up in fright. With arms around her, you soothe her brow and tell her a story “God and his band of angels and saints are so busy answering the laden baskets of requests. Still have tigers in the wild They wipe their sweaty brows and mutter under their breath."ENOUGH guys" said God “Let’s have a break. (Even angels need it..Right?) Off they went to the bowling alley in the sky..."BAAM  BOOM BAAM"..a strike!!!!
"Don’t worry darling child”. Wiping her brow "Dont be afraid, its only God and his band having a little fun". My idea of a God that is funny and fun loving ,full of colours(look at the sunset, clouds purple blue and pink a wee bit cheeky  (different shaped animals and birds with pink feet )fruits of different shapes I could go on and on. I attended a lecture about God and religion. I went because my best friend asked and was driving me there and back and supper too. Oh yes I am a "Pampered Pooch" The priest talked about religion and he mentioned God and Creation. In my mind’s eye I saw a huge man wearing a white paint splattered smock . He was jumping around with a huge brush in his hand painting mountains, sea and sky. Trees and flowers took shape...a wee spray of perfume, butterflies and birds, animals big and small on the seas and fish, striped, polka dotted and spiky ones too. Ha GOD is an ARTIST that was when “GOD is HU" took shape. I pondered over it and the images came and words too felt God gave me a special gift I wrote and self published GOD is HU. 

Bookshops don’t take self published books You need a publisher and distributer (of course Ii did not know it then) so it languished under my opium bed Son bought me a computer and at about 9 at night I read an article by Mr Ramachandran  (Director of National Book Dev Council Singapore)We encourage writers etc .So I wrote to him  a very terse note I wrote a book and published and NOBODY wants to stock it..!!  10 o clock he did not reply 10 .30  still no reply  So i went to bed muttering  (don’t ask me what).Then I got up for the loo at around 11ish 12  and peeked at the computer.. Lo and behold He replied”: Dear Susanna , how wonderful, do bring your book to the National library  and meet me tomorrow “  I could not sleep when I arrived, he stood up and somehow I knew this was the man he helped me arrange a launch  and the rest is history. Of course, I also helped curate the illustrator’s gallery where they hold the AFCC yearly God is Hu Launched at ARTs house Singapore.

Take us through the process of illustrating a book; how does it go from an idea in your head to a finished work of art?

ln Oct 2015 a gentleman walked into my gallery bought a book and brought back to England Turns out he was Father McBride of Redemptorist publications based in Hampshire UK and he wrote and wanted to use my illustrations for cards. I signed my first agreement with them1 Dec 2015 and now this year they published a diary with my paintings too. Now i am doing the final few sketches to make into a colouring book So it’s a long long tumultuous journey NO?? In 2014 Fun at the Opera Launched in Delhi at Alchon Int School 2nd book FUN at the OPERA was inspired with my growing years After my father (SC GOHO died, we became rather poor(so, to preserve his name my mum did not want to fight for the inheritance) and my mum got together a Chinese Opera troupe and they toured  Singapore, Malaysia , Indonesia, Vietnam and even USA..
Her adopted son my brother was learning to be an Opera singer, and I wrote a little about our experiences  with the Cantonese Opera.
Mostly a true story of our growing years where my mum adopted a whole bunch of kids and how rambunctious we  were. We still are when the whole family gets together. Not an easy task as one in Switzerland and another London two in Singapore and children all over. Mostly all true story also  written in Chinese In 2015: The Teddy Bear Activity Book: It’s a colouring and storytelling book I sketched and sent to 28 of my friends and family and they penned a few words(not allowed more) as then kids can colour, add their animals or birds or people whatever and colour and write and tell their own stories .It’s a book where children, teachers , parents, grandparents and friends can enjoy together, storytelling or--singing a song or just snooze In 2016 three colouring books published by OYEZ  Books Teddy bear tales...teddy bears Underwater world... fish and under the sea Happy days..Kids running around I also have illustrated for a few writers. But I am crazy and picky. I must have my own way. But to do somebody’s work you have to get under his/her skin and have the same beating heart and they must TRUST U. Then I can give my ALL and MORE.

What do you love about writing and illustrating for children?

Well, I lose myself in the story, for that period, I am not myself but the character. When the child or grownup reads to themselves or to kids, they become young at heart and playful and smile and sing and dance, If that happens I would have succeeded.

Which is your favorite book the you illustrated?

Suppose, every book I write or illustrate,  I go in" body heart and soul" I can go without sleep or food because I get engrossed. I have written 3 above and illustrated WATER..2013.. collaboration with author Christopher Cheng Published by AFCC Publications NATIONAL BOOK DEV COUNCIL in celebration of International Year of Water Cooperation A SINGLE TEAR 2010, Collaboration with Prof KK Seet The ICEBALL MAN and other poems by Margaret Leong IMPART arose from a Christmas party (refer Art with Lots of Heart star hill) Because I hold classes teaching ART at National Geographic store.
The team at YTL and National Geographic asked me if I wanted to help organise a Xmas party on a budget of 2000 Ringgit WOW I thought, how generous. Asked a few friends and they gave me numbers to call. First orphanage said sorry we are booked for a few parties already second said, sorry we have an outing Third said, sorry the kids go home for Xmas, single parents Ah well I thought no party then. But saw a friend who organises a school for  Myannamar Refugees and I asked her YES YES YES she said but I had a budget for 1 party and she had a huge number of kids went to meeting to discuss party and found that Santa Claus would have  cost 1000 so we eliminated Santa bought 4 Santa hats for 10 dollars and we had two parties for the kids Presents donated by Mak Samad (a gorgeous big hearted lady who encapsulate us in her heart the cafĂ© cooked food friends donated more food we had Van Kleef  and Arpels balloons (left over and donated by manageress) But, the kids were happy but so what? What more can I do for them?

So my friend Mink picked 4 kids and another friend Dr Hartini picked another 4 from the street children organization and I taught them to play and in the process become art teachers, using my very simple method and they go back to their centres and teach the other kids. My friend Phik Yin who owns Pelikan offered to sponsor the materials. So very kind and forever grateful to her Art with Lots of Heart star hill. Children are innocent creatures they are curious and usually ever willing to absorb and play along with an idea. I can’t say I have a favorite book that I illustrated (the books will cry..You mean that one is youur favorite?) They will gang up against me no? God is Hu,my first born Fun at the Opera 2nd born Teddy tales third born. Like a child in the womb you talk to the child, sing to the child, scold it a little when it kicks, discuss with the child pray with the child, joke with the child, laugh with the child, cry with the child dream with the child. The book is your child and after it is born and distributed to the world that is when you share it and set it free "Now you belong to someone else, make them happy."

Are there any upcoming projects that you would like to mention?

Tentatively,TIGER I own a collection of woven Tiger Rugs (not the real skin)Held this exhibition at Muzium Negara (The official  Museum of Malaysia in year 2000 Plan to launch it again  in 2017. It’s a huge project as there are 13countries that still have tigers in the wild and there are only 3000+ tigers left roaming in the wild. We will talk about their habitats, Symbolism, folk tales Legends, Horoscope, characteristics etc Curators whom I will pick from the various homes will be trained by me(CSR).GOD IS HU the journey of this book from rough sketches to  hand painted copies with a box a book for the visually impaired..Tactile and Braille printed copy Cards..,Redemptorist publications Diary............." colouring book yet to be published Art exhibition  :my paintings  perhaps with another artist from London  to raise money for charity. But with wired installations of the human body, will show a drawing. A few others in the wings.

What advice do you have on writing and illustrating?

 None really. I who do not listen to anybody, am in no position to give advice. Who knows you better than yourself? It’s a bloody tough road out there If you work hard and pray someone likes what you write, pray for luck, pray for patience, pray for whatever. After all how many JK Rowling’s can there be? As long as you are happy I guess, do whatever you like!!!!!!


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