I’ve been subscribed to Halcyon Realms for a while now… It seems like I’ve known it all my life.
This blog gives me sneak peeks and reviews of the films, art books, special edition DVD box sets (mostly anime-orientated, but with the occasional live-action masterpiece given a nod or two) I love, but could never hope to own (unless #4 treats me very well). Every few days my inbox and eyes are filled with succulent morsels from Vong yonghow, a computer and graphics artist from Singapore.
Vong’s repertoire is most impressive. Currently, he is working as a Lighting Technical Director with ILM, Lucasfilm Singapore (on Rango, Transformers – Dark of the Moon, Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and The Avengers), but his previous role as a lighting artist on the Freedom Project, an animated series on commission for Nissin Cup Noodles, with character designs from Otomo Katsuhiro (!). As well as this, Vong is a keen photographer and blogger – his ‘outdated’ portfolio can be found through the ‘About’ page on his blog.
His reviews of anime art books and updates on anime news have kept me in the orbit of the going’s-on of the anime world, as well as displaying some wondrous gems from the past that I was not around for in the form of art book reviews. From this blog, I have gleaned sacred images from the sketchbooks of Hayao Miyazaki, Otomo Katsuhiro, and of the concepts for almost any anime masterpiece you could hope for. It is a wonderful way of getting to know the artists and animators behind aesthetics of films by the likes of Hosoda Mamoru and Satoshi Kon without having to trawl through Google and countless virtual side-streets.
Reading through Vong’s blog is a real treat. There is a great deal of love for – and knowledge of – his subject, and though I don’t know exactly the legality of his posting the innards of expensive art books, I am thankful for it.