China Goes Global 2014
Zhouzhuang water village, China

CHINA // EVOLVING BUSINESS LANDSCAPES // VIAJES

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

Wilted, at Zhouzhuang water village, Jiangsu, China.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

As if apologetic that all I’ve experienced this time in Shanghai in terms of weather was rain and grey skies, the weather took a turn for the chirpier on the day I was to visit Zhouzhuang, deciding to turn on sunshine at full blast. This was not so much seen as already felt in the early hours after sunrise. Standing under the concrete shelters of the hotel, I had already begun to swelter.

China Goes Global 2014
Visit to ZTE Corporation, Shanghai

CHINA // Globalized Knowledge Economy // INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS STUDIES

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ZTE Corporation, Shanghai, China.
Text & Photo © C Lattemann, JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

Founded in 1985, ZTE Corporation is China’s first dual listed company. Listed on both the Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock exchanges, ZTE is a giant of a corporation hidden in plain view with its revenue in 2013 hitting a cool 12 billion USD. And it is growing rapidly yet. The telecommunications equipment and systems company that plays a principal role in supporting China’s massive constructions of 4G networks, surpasses the more renowned Europe based Siemens, Ericsson and Philips in patented innovations, reporting a sustained triple digit profit growth in its nine month forecast in 2014.

China Goes Global 2014
Warm rain and gelato in Shanghai

CHINA // EVOLVING BUSINESS LANDSCAPES // VIAJES

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Along Panyu Lu, Shanghai, with Esther Dijk, from Canada.
Text & Photo © M Salman, CM Cordeiro 2014

It’s been a few days of royal tropical downpours in Shanghai, the warm kind of rain that leaves little room to deny a hot chocolate and a scoop, or three, of ice-cream.

After initially checking into the wrong hotel, and lamenting the fact that I will need to forgo both the hot chocolate, and one particular ice-cream parlour near that hotel that I had become somewhat addicted to when last in Shanghai, I was delirious happy as a butterfly on nectar, to have found this outlet just three minutes around the corner and out the door of where I am currently staying.

August crayfish 2014

Culīnaria // SWEDEN

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Crayfish. Often consumed, under the “soft August moonlight” (Swahn 2004:248), is popular in Sweden during the late summer months.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

From saving Middle Ages monks from starving too much during the long period of Easter Lent, and in 1522, being prescribed as a remedy for cholera, to later being seen as disgusting to eat because they were thought to be scavenger creatures that fed particularly on human corpses, the humble crayfish has seen its ups and downs in terms of reputation:

Swedish west coast Harbour Festival, Donsö 2014

EVOLVING BUSINESS LANDSCAPES // SWEDEN

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“What do you mean this is not antique?”
Donsö hamnfest 2014

Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

So autonomous are the archipelago islanders that closest neighbours, living in the same summer house, agreed to visit the harbour festival each at their own time and convenience, coming back to discuss, “So, what did you think about the harbour festival? Did you like it?”

Most noticeable this year was the lack of an urgent and pushy crowd, witnessed only a few years ago at this annual hamnfest. The change in general behaviour could perhaps be attributed to several factors, though two that come across as most likely are, that the festival this year seemed catered much more to children’s summer activities with a mini-Libseberg of sorts going on, and the other being the establishing of online communities of trade that the islanders had initiated, rendering trading in goods and services between themselves an everyday affair where the harbour festival provided a bolstering physical meeting point.

Blåbärskräm | blueberry cream

Culīnaria

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Blåbärskräm or cream of blueberry.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

“Wow, this is fantastic! What was it you said that goes into making this blueberry sauce?”

“Pieces of chess – chessmen – as how you lay them on a chessboard. It is not one ingredient or another, but a combination of factors that includes time, over two decades.”

It was blueberry cheesecake topped with a luscious, syrupy blueberry filling, softly oozing down the sides of the cake as it was placed in front of me at a café in Singapore, that had me at hello darling – what are you, and where have you been my entire life? I was fourteen. It was the first time I was having a baked cheesecake topped with blueberry filling. It looked good.

But even then I realised that I needed to take that blueberry filling home with me somehow. By ‘home’ it was meant, anywhere in the world that I was. If there were blueberries to be found, then there was this to become swiftly of them. I knew at first sight, I needed the recipe to this mouthful of creamy deep blue-purple heaven that wasn’t one bit infused with any sort of chocolate. Yes, what insight into my own culinary visions.

Uttervik waves, Swedish westcoast archipelago

Life // SWEDEN

At the Swedish west coast archipelago, Styrsö.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

“It seems like the more I read, the less I understand of things and how they work.” was the exasperated comment.

He looked up from the daily broadsheet, his expression curious and silent.

“For example, if people knew about Gravesian theory, would they then choose to not intervene without first understanding the larger circumstance of society, how it worked in that context, and with that, the consequences to follow, following certain actions? Would they not know? They should know, no?”

He smiled then and nodded, “Things, go in waves. So I’m a little more optimistic than you are in that sense.”

Sandvikshamnen, Styrsö

SWEDEN // VIAJES

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

On top of a granite boulder that has been softly rounded by the Scandinavian Ice Sheet during the last ice age, ca. 11,000 BC at Sandvikshamnen, a guest harbour found at the Swedish west coast archipelago, Styrsö.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

The landscape of the Swedish west coast noticeably lacks sandy beaches. In place of sandy beaches are granite rocks, shaped by thousands of years of mostly cold winds and rains. These rocks have been around for quite awhile and have been smoothened round by the moving glacial ice sheets of the last ice age to render soft looking mounds, set against the horizon of the North sea. But appearances can be deceiving as the granite composites are anything but soft; comfortable only in as much as you can make on them yourself with brought cushions and fluffy beach towels.

Sailing schools with wind in their sails

SWEDEN

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Styrsö

A touch of Spain along the Swedish west coast: scarf, from Barri Gòtic in Barcelona 2011.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

For the first time in more than a decade, I stayed home during the summer, as in, remaining in Sweden during the warmest part of the year.

These evenings, we are often greeted by the monotonous rumble of high powered pleasure crafts going up and down the western archipelago, of people seeking yet another hip place to spend the night (where there seems to be as many rock festivals lined up along the Swedish west coast as you can anchor), alternatively, an absolutely silent and secluded natural harbour, where you will be lulled to sleep by the soft evening breeze to wake up to the curious pecking of some sea fowls finishing off your evening meal carelessly forgotten out in the open.

Dichotomy in language: the nought of ‘love’

Cross Disciplinary Perspectives // Vídeo

Most of the world’s philosophers and religions have spoken in some form or other, about love. But language is characteristically evolving as a process of communication and relativistic as a tool of communication, which leaves it sometimes grossly inadequate in expressing our thoughts and understandings of the workings of the world. How would people for example, describe a state of (perceived) psychosis of one that is not in psychosis but of an alternate reality, inaccessible by others who are themselves limited by their own senses? And to what extent is that alternate reality, alternate? Would it not just – be – in a world of 96% unknown from biology to quantum science [1,2,3,4]?

Some of the most influential and renowned minds have tried to use the inherited apparatus of language, to explain their perspectives, of their understanding of life, of how things are. But due to the nature of language that is sometimes slow to evolve in order to iterate depth of insight, they have had their thoughts literarised because there are few more efficient means to communicate thought than through language. Subsequently words become signifiers for what is, and what is, is also relative to each individual’s expression circumscribed by culture. With time in language, conflation leads to confusion where in the literary canon, ‘love’ has come to accrue other meanings, in connotation with other concepts ranging from ‘god’ to ‘nature’.

‘Love’ percolating through the vocabularies of the world, the word, its concept and meaning, fracture.

Many people would most of all attribute love as something grounded in human emotions, that is most often seen in a dichotomous distinction from ‘hate’.

Polenta banana walnut bread

Culīnaria

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Polenta banana walnut bread.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

My current baking muse project is the banana walnut bread, where I’m trying variations of this recipe:

100g butter
100g brown sugar
2 eggs
450g bananas (mashed)
1 tsp vanilla essence
225g flour
1 tsp baking power
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
150g walnuts (chopped)
4 tbsp plain yoghurt

Food market at Järntorget, Gothenburg

Culīnaria // Italy // SWEDEN

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No overcast sky would discourage the long queue for this warm lunch
served at the most popular stall at this food market.

Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2014

I love marketing. And what better way to market than to chance upon these tented food stalls at Järntorget in Gothenburg during lunch hour?

Despite the overcast sky that threatened a tropical rainstorm, it was a decision to head towards Järntorget for lunch that landed this serendipitous find of a food market, courtesy of Tentazioni of London.

Marriage as legal construct and social policies on cohabitation: a Singapore – Sweden perspective

OUTLOOK // Singapore // SWEDEN

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In the highly globalised city of Singapore, strong conservative social traditions continue to prevail when it comes to cohabitation and partnership. Here, as an example of old meets new, East meets West, the ornate roof tops of Singapore’s oldest Taoist temple, the Yueh Hai Ching Temple meet the modern glass walls of skyscrapers in Philip Street in Singapore’s Central Business District.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

“Being married is so great, it’s so fantastic, it would be such an achievement to be married.”

That line came from a young woman who sat in a café that served French baguettes and kaffe latte to brunch not just two weeks ago, in Sweden. She grew up in Asia. She was highly qualified in academic credentials and currently has an ascending career in finance. But she’s in her late twenties and it was the general vibe from all back home in Asia, that it was about time she settled down and got married. Her parents were willing to engage a matchmaker to arrange a marriage if that was what it took to get her ‘settled down’ and feeling accomplished as a woman.

Orange almond cake, petite madeleine Escribà Barcelona

Culīnaria // Spain // VIAJES

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Spanish orange almond cake: a variation of the sémola bizcocho de almendras.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2014

It was the search for that perfect xocolata calenta in Barcelona 2011 on a weekday morning that found me wandering the streets of El Raval in the neighbourhood of Ciutat Vella, also known as Barrio Xinès or Barrio Chino, close to the quarters of Barri Gòtic, that landed me tasting the most wonderful variation of the Eurasian semolina almond cake, infused with orange.

Working on the batter of this cake, I can’t help but return to the words of the protagonist in Proust’s Swann’s Way, the first of seven volumes to À la recherche du temps perdu (published between 1913-1927), on when the petite madeleine, crumb soaked in tea, touched his lips:

Eriksbergshallen in ultramarine

SWEDEN

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Eriksbergshallen, at Quality Hotel 11.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

Summer is here and I don’t think any form of soft or coercive persuasion would keep Swedes on office grounds unless absolutely necessary. My years working in executive education also taught me that holding organisational seminars outside of office grounds could prove more productive for project work. The change of environment provides a welcome break in everyday routine that encourages the workings of the creative. It was for this reason that I found myself standing in the lobby of Quality Hotel 11 at Eriksbergshallen this morning, looking to congregate with the rest of my colleagues whose main focus is research in the European context.

SNEE 2014 conference in Mölle, Sweden

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS STUDIES

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Helsingborg, Sweden
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2014

The Swedish Network for European Studies in Economics and Business (SNEE), held its 16th annual conference on European Integration at the Grand Hôtel in Mölle from 20th to 23rd May 2014. The focal point of discussion was the ongoing developments in the area of European integration, specifically issues related to policy influencing economic developments in the region.

Mölle, Sweden

SWEDEN

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Scenic Mölle.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2014

I pondered the transportation mode from Gothenburg down south to Mölle.

“You could take a train, but it’s a little complicated to get there after you get off the train.” so I was warned.

Forty-five minutes by car backed with an excellent knowledge of the intricate network of roads (GPS will do too) from Helsingborg C train station is what it took to get to the once fishing village of Mölle, that today is nothing short of a Scandinavian riviera resort cum holiday-spa getaway.

The view of the harbour, is breathtaking.

Around since the Stone Age, the first mention of the place came from a Danish handwritten letter in 1491 now archived in Copenhagen, the author writing of a town named Myllæ. Since the 1500s, the town was a fishing village where in 1569, it consisted of just ten ‘fishing houses’. About a century later, the number increased to twenty-two and then in 1800s, there were sixty-six such fishing houses.

Swedish west coast | azure

PHOTO

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

Warm azure.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

It’s been clear blue skies and intense sunshine for some days now along the west coast of Sweden.

“Ah no! It’s not supposed to be like this now. It’s too early! You know, it’s like this now, then later in the summer, you know it’s going to be miserable. It should be bad weather all the way to Midsummer, then after that, you have good weather. Now that’s a good summer!” ~ A neighbour.

May 24th, 2014

Louis Vuitton Murakami Multicolore Petit Noé blanc – the balance in a new paradigm of luxe and anime

EVOLVING BUSINESS LANDSCAPES // LOUIS VUITTON // Moda

Louis Vuitton Murakami Multicolore Petit Noé blanc

Louis Vuitton Murakami Multicolore Petit Noé blanc. Datecode: CA1015.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2014

Of all collaborations Marc Jacobs had done in the past decade till 2013 for Louis Vuitton with Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami , Richard Prince and Yayoi Kusama, the Murakami range remains one of my favourites in terms of the execution of precision chaos in art if there ever was such a thing.

Not particularly attracted by poparstic works per se, what draws me to the Murakami Vuitton range is the result of the unusual synergies between traditional handcrafted work grounded in rich European travel history with all its roundness of sensory experience, and the contrasting surreal ‘flatness’ of animations of a completely different era in pop culture, from Japan. If these two worlds can come together in any sense of classical physics and philosophy, then almost anything else can come to be of other areas of unlikely synergies. And the results are a certain finesse of execution in design that is not symbolically regressive Mad Max grunge that comes across in Sprouse-Vuitton collaborations or Gaudí organic progressive reminiscent that comes across in Kusama.

Louis Vuitton Trianon Sac de Nuit GM

LOUIS VUITTON // Moda

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Louis Vuitton Trianon Sac de Nuit GM (grande model)
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2014

The first thing you’d notice about this bag is how weighty the canvas and sturdy the construct of the bag is for its satchel size, where even in GM, it was clearly meant as something more fashionable heritage narrative than a luggage carry-on.

The Trianon Sac De Nuit was created and produced in limited edition in conjunction with the celebration of Louis Vuitton’s 150th anniversary, paying tribute to Vuitton’s early days of 1854 – 1892, when Vuitton began selling light weight flat-topped trunks covered with their signature grey Trianon canvas. Prior to Vuitton’s flat-topped trunks, most trunks for travelling had rounded tops so that water would run off, the disadvantage being that they could not be stacked. It was Vuitton’s Trianon canvas, airtight flat trunks that allowed stacking with ease, for voyages.

“Rose Rose I Love You”

Singapore // SWEDEN

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro 4666 590

The First of May 2014.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2014

The symbolic flower for the month of May is the Rosa Chinensis or the China Rose, which shares the same name / title to one of my paternal grandfather’s favourite songs, “Rose Rose I Love You”.

That song was first recorded in 1940 by Yao Lee and then by Frankie Laine in 1951 with the lyrics of the latter unrelated to the original.

What I found interesting in Laine’s version is that the song references a girl, possibly named Rose, as a “flower of Malaya”. This reference brought me back to the origins of Clifford Pier in Singapore, built between 1927 and 1933 and named after Sir Hugh Clifford, Governor of the Straits Settlements at the time. The pier was one of the busiest embarkation and disembarkation points in Singapore that belonged to the Straits Settlements Crown Colony during the early 1900s, from immigrants to the trading of goods. That Customs House at Collyer Quay stands in close proximity to what was once Clifford Pier today is testament to its history.

Brian Cox: quantum theory and the universe

Cross Disciplinary Perspectives // Vídeo

Brian Cox. Transcript on supernova explosions in the distant galaxies and the use of analogies to daily activities such as the baking of bread to explain the Hubble Law. How the use of analogies and metaphors in language can help in the structuring and understanding of a concept for those outside of the discipline of quantum physics.

[16:22]

now these are rare / you get one supernova per century per galaxy / so very rare / but there are a lot of galaxies / and this is a beautiful picture / i think again / from the hubble space telescope

The End of Space and Time? by Robbert Dijkgraaf

Cross Disciplinary Perspectives // Vídeo

Robbert Dijkgraaf’s lecture given at Gresham College in 2012 that focuses on string theory, quantum gravity, and the interface between mathematics and particle physics, bridges ideas from the various disciplines of science and arts, could be said to be have played a pivotal role in influencing the manner in which I saw the Individual in relation to space and time. Dijkgraaf takes on an evolutionary perspective to space and time, that are “near to their end”.

From the transcript of the lecture:

“If you go back in more recent history, for instance, Richard Feynman, the famous particle physicist, he has said that if you really do not know mathematics – and do not be worried, there will not be many equations today – but if you do not really know mathematics, you cannot get across the real feeling of the beauty of nature.”

“Not only did we have this unification of space and time but the next ingredient was that space, the stage, so to say, is not rigid, it is flexible, it can curve, it can shape, and it does so under the influence of energy and mass, and that is the phenomena that we call gravitation. So, anything that carries mass or energy will curve the space and time around and thereby space and time became no longer the stage, but an active player in the game. Space and time are something which has physical properties and a future in physical laws, and in fact, it is the influence of this curvature that describes the motion of particles under the influence of gravity.”

“I think the evolving universe, the Big Bang, is part of our culture, and in fact, these images and the discoveries that are made are getting more and more exact and precise. We are living in the age of precision cosmology,…”

Louis Vuitton Monogram Manhattan PM

LOUIS VUITTON

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Louis Vuitton Monogram Manhattan PM.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro-Nilsson 2014

I generally dislike totes. Personally, the very purpose of carrying a bag at all is to be able to go hands-free of carrying the goods, either by slinging it over the shoulder or in rucksack fashion, carrying the goods weighted on your back square between the shoulder blades.

But there are always exceptions.

The Louis Vuitton Monogram Manhattan PM is one such exception.

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