Tuesday, June 12, 2012

SF: e.g. Conference Day 1

12th April 2012

 My daughter Yi was invited to speak at a conference in the US in April about her art after the YouTube video of her painting basketballer Yao Ming with paint and a basketball went viral in February this year. Mike Hawley, scientist, pianist, founder/co-founder of several major research programs and projects, formerly an MIT professor and researcher, and ex-roommate of Steve Jobs (they worked together on NeXT), had found out about Yi on YouTube. Hawley is the director of e.g. Conference, the 'premier gathering of and for innovators,' held in Monterey California every April which is commended by people like Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple. Presenters range from innovators in architecture, art, entertainment, medicine, sports, technology and lots more. Read about e.g. Conference here.

We arrived in Monterey, about 1 1/2 hours away from San Francisco, the night before the conference started. Excited because we'd never been to such a conference and didn't know what to expect.


We had to be registered by 8 am so Hub and I ran out to grab breakfast. We hadn't had a Taco Bell burrito in years and it was a welcome change to bread, and cheap too at USD2.49 each.


After registration, we went up to the hall and saw a giant poster of Yi (with red hair...) hanging together with those of the other 59 presenters. The title for this year's conference was 'Rebooting the Future' and so the presenters were illustrated as futuristic characters.


I was nervous to be there since I knew nobody except my daughter and Hub and they went their own ways. My camera was my security blanket.


At 8:30 am, the conference started with Kina Grannis singing a lovely song playing her guitar; great start. The conference was limited to about 500 to 600 people only. The entrance fee was USD4000 each; USD2000 less than TED Talk but still, gosh. Live streaming was available at a very affordable price of USD100 but of course that's not the same as being there and meeting all the people.


We had a break, with finger food served by waiters in the hall, and then it was brunch. The food for the 3 days was excellent, and I was very pleased that it was all all-American food.


Hub didn't quite get why this was served. It's like serving humjim bang I suppose.  But it's very American, I told him. Notice that mini to Americans is regular size to others.



New folder1
L to R, top row: Yi chatting with singer songwriter Kina Grannis (she's gorgeous, in and out, more beautiful in person than in photos, and when I told her I love her voice and wholesome image, she said that she'll never do the sexy nude stuff so I love her even more), with Ren Ng, founder of LYTRO and his wife, and with Pixar executives. Bottom row: with Tang, a conference attendee and artist Alexa Meade, with Tang and talented violinist Charles Yang and with cyber illusionist Marco Tempest and his friend.

Ren Ng, btw, was born in Malaysia and migrated to Australia at 9 and spent about 10 years there. He then went to America for university and did all his degrees at Stanford University. His doctoral dissertation, digital light field photography, earned him the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award (ACM is the world's largest and most prestigious scientific computing and educational society). Ren is the founder and CEO of Lytro, the inventor of light field cameras which may one day change the way all cameras will be made. Light field cameras take images without focusing so that capturing images, especially fast moving ones like hyperactive kids, can be faster than conventional cameras. Focusing can be done during post-processing, and you can choose which parts of the photo to be clear and which parts to be blur. No more struggling with bokeh effects.I enjoyed Ren's presentation and immediately wanted his camera! The Lytro cameras, shaped like square-sided kaleidoscopes, became available early this year and retail for USD399 and 499. Before you rush to order one, know that the pictures can only be offloaded on Apple computers. Computers on Microsoft Windows have to wait. News is that Lytro camera app might be available in future iPhones. Ren and his wife are a very nice couple and I felt very comfortable with them.



This seafood and asparagus rice was delicious but it was very cold out, temperature in the 40s, so I didn't bother taking photos.


A photo to prove to Eric of Toronto that I really did get MythBuster star Adam Savage's autograph for him. Adam was nice and very obliging with autographs and photos. He told Eric to "Stay Curious!" and my son Wey to "Read Everything!".


I was so excited to meet Amy Tan the writer! I wish I had brought the hardcover copy of Joy Luck Club that CY had sent me when it was first published. I pat myself on the back for grabbing some postcards of Monterey for autographs:)

Here's Yi's latest work btw:


Fuji said...

Your daughter is so talented. How did she end up being an artist? Has she always been so creative? You must be so proud of her!

Michelle Chin said...

Ah, red is one of my many role models.



Hi Terri

So how did you find the conference, overall? Was Yi nervous? I like the latest work she did with the books. Amazing!

Fooman said...

Wow! Must have been an amazing time

Kelly Siew said...

It must have been quite inspiring experience to attend one of these conference. Well done to Hong Yi of course. Have been sharing each of her videos on fb and constantly amazed by her talent. :)

And wow that's a lot of CARBS in the spread! I get what you mean about all-american haha. The hamcipeng reference is hilarious too.

tina said...

Yi as usual is amazing. Good to know that you are having a great time there with hubby and Yi!

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Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

fuji: she has always been very driven, very hard working n goal-oriented. and creative. she won an art competition when she was about 7 and tt spurred her on. i sent her to art classes, told her about my fave artists n their art n so on.

miche: :D

brook: oh in 3 days i felt i was a diff person, totally enriched by the presentations, the ppl i met and the whole atmosphere. tq, it is really quite smthing but i wish she left out the last bit.

fooman: IT WAS:))))the whole experience made me felt like i'm a diff person, can't explain it. i think it's so enriching to learn n broaden our minds.

kellY: thanks, for sharing yi's videos. you are doing great yourself! about the carbs, you are right:D

tina: tina dear, i've been back for two months now!



btk said...

Saw her daughter's latest work, not on youtube, but in a luxembourgian newspaper!

The conference must have beaen amazing, you were so lucky to be able to attend it!

Greetings from Luxembourg and I just want to say that I find your blog very inspiring and interesting!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

The food looks tasty, but Americans eat too much.

the lunch guy said...

the poster of Yi is awesome.

congrats again.

she's gonna be OK!


KatK said...

Hi terri, you must be so proud of yi .. She is really talented and is such a great role model to the younger generation who are artistically inclined but find no avenues to let out 'steam' and showcase their talents. Especially in Asian countries like Malaysia. Sad, but it is the truth.

Love reading all your adventures and marvels over the food you photographed! Lol...

Anyway, enjoy your holidays and can't wait to read your next post.

Cheers, Kathleen

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

btk: oh wow, i must tell yi this! thanks for telling me!

nate: excess is america's middle name

lunchguy: tnx. again:D

kathleen: tq:) are you kathleen frm saratoga?

am proud of her. she's wiser than me. she turned down many good offers bc she is aware tt she's a role model for kids. she recently turned down a HUGE offer and i thought it was a mistake but she was sure. she doesn't want to stumble kids so she won't be associated wth cigarettes or alcohol.

floberita said...

Your daughter is blessed with amazing talent. But what impresses me is how she is willing to sacrifice short term monetary gain for something even better..integrity and respect, and knowing her role as a model for the younger generation. Kudos to you for bringing her up well :)

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