Tag Archives: art

The cherry on the icing on the cake: ballet. (A fine finish to a mad May!)

Looking back over my travels during the month of May, I’m rather pleased: not bad at all for one calendar month. I visited three countries visited – Thailand, the Philippines (for the first time – country No. 105), and the Dominican Republic, and several cities therein-among: here’s my route in full:

Moscow > Thailand (Phuket) > the Philippines (El Nido, Mayon, Manila) > Moscow > Nizhny Novgorod > Moscow > the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana) > Moscow.

Fourteen flights, and 67 hours up in the air in planes and seven in a helicopter.

Along the way – four conferences/exhibitions of varying scale; talks at universities; interviews; and assorted other business. But the cherry on the cake for this super-busy May came on its last day back in Moscow – to see a ballet at the Bolshoi Theater…

Once a year, we get to bring together a small group of representatives of our dearest clients for a backstage buffet reception, followed by seeing a performance. And the seats we get come in different places – including in the Central Box! These photos were taken from there:

The ballet was La Bayadère:

Read on…

Flickr photostream

  • Japan / Jun 2024
  • Japan / Jun 2024
  • Japan / Jun 2024
  • Japan / Jun 2024

Instagram photostream

Singapore: always a pleasure – never a chore.

Hi folks!

Only just coming back to my senses after a mega-hectic few weeks in Southeast Asia on business. All went to plan, all good, plus a spot of microtourism was tagged on too. But after such an intense couple weeks, it was high time to lie low for a while – regroup, re-center, re-balance… all that. Then I needed to catch up and finish off my on-the-road tales from the APAC side, of course…

The next port-of-call on our Asia-Pacific tour was Singapore. Hurray!

I’d been to this city-island-state more than a dozen times before, and seen plenty of its places of interest. How many exactly? Going through my posts tagged with Singapore would probably tell you that, but let’s just say “many” – especially for such a small island. But if you do click on that link, you’ll also find lots on Singapore’s main tourist attractions, events, street scenes, hotel stays, eats, and so on and so forth. (Btw, perhaps the highlight among all my visits was the time I had the honor of being at a meeting and shaking hands with none other than Lee Kuan Yew (sadly no longer with us), the founding father of Singapore. That was I think way back in 2012 or 2013.) But there were still a few places I hadn’t yet checked out – with one that I’d been wanting to see for years: Singapore’s central park/nature reserve. But that was to come later on. First up – a walk to the National Gallery Singapore in the building of the Former Supreme Court. Why? First – hadn’t been; second – locals recommended them, and here’s why! ->

Read on…

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Mind blown from red hot Chile peppers – and graffiti.

Santiago and Sao Paulo are both real lucky: just an hour-and-a-half from each city there’s a resort town by the ocean. But while the temperature of the ocean by Brazil’s Guarujá is a comfortable one, that in Chile’s Viña del Mar is much less so. A cold current runs along the shore, so the water temperature is rather invigorating. Despite this, the whole shore is crammed with hotels:

Read on: Mind blown from red hot Chile peppers – and graffiti.

Modern techno-kunst of the most boggling kind.

My customary busy schedule of business globetrotting sees me visit places equipped with some really interesting art expositions. And if said busy schedule grants me two-or-so hours of free time, you can guess where I normally head to fill those two-or-so hours. This ritual has seen me squeeze in visits, among many others, to:

Art, arte, iskustvo, kunst. I love it. Mostly. But sometimes, especially when it’s of the modern/moderna/sovremennoe genre, things become… less straightforward, more ambiguous, somewhat contradictory. No matter, for it still always generates unusual thought processes related to the perception of aesthetic experience. And that’s just great!

Well just the other day, I had another arty outing – this time without even stepping onto a plane. It was another Moscow-based visit, and what a visit it was…

Now, do you want to boggle a little? (And, I do believe, the only thing one can boggle is a mind.) Or, rather, would you like to boggle your mind a lot? Or, rather, would you like to overboggle your mind? In that case, you need to get to the new ‘May the Other Live in Me‘ modern techno-art exhibition at the New Tretyakov Gallery, a science-art project of the Laboratoria Art & Science Foundation, which we support. Why? Well, my mind was truly boggled, and my mind does take some boggling. So I highly recommend it to you too. Here’s my brief report and pics on the exhibition – you preview…

Read on…

Our rebranding story, and how Midori Kuma nearly became our logo.

Early June of 2019 was a quiet, nothing-special kind of early June. The world was rotating around the Sun as per, 19 days remained until the astronomical summer, ‘Corona’ meant a Mexican beer, and ‘covid’ meant absolutely nothing to anyone. In short, it was life as we knew it pre-pandemic: what we all could do with a lot more of today…

Meanwhile for the Kompany, we had our own schedules and timeframes, also as per. And early June, 25 months ago on our schedule was significant: it was when our big rebranding was taking place. The time had come for us to say goodbye to the old Korporate style (in terms of the logo, besides a whole lot of other stuff, including the fonts and other stylings and colorings and imagery, and what-have-you), which, given a few tweaks down the years, had been with us a full 22 years! It was out with the old and in with the new – a reboot, an upgrade, a Porsche, a rejuvenation, an image change; time for something different, more in line with the times, and also more polished; at least that’s what I was told (joke). No, really – it was to give us a new corporate style to more accurately reflect the company’s next stage of development – an ambitious yet confident stage, and certainly a futuristic one given our industry (cyber [the security thereof]).

But where others change their logo (slightly!) and have done with it, we had lots more in store. In fact, a full rebranding is a lengthy, complex process of tweaking perfecting all aspects of the identity and life of the company, including not only how we look on the outside, but also the way we interact with audiences, communication style, and scores of other things.

So yes; today’s post is all about rebranding. Now for some detail…

Work on our big rebranding began back in 2018. We’d known for a while how our good old logo/brand and messaging were more late-90s/early-2000s-oriented than 2019. For years we’d been sensing a certain dissonance between our technologies/products – which were always truly cutting-edge – and the image of the company to our users. For several years already we’d not been ‘just an antivirus company’ but a developer of broad-spectrum cybersecurity solutions. Yet still our logo was fairly antique with its pseudo-Greek letters. It was as if it was anchoring the company to the past – to the long-forgotten floppy-disk times.

For nearly a year we brainstormed, thought, compared, imagined, weighed up, discussed, argued, consulted, agreed then disagreed, considered, debated, deliberated… all so as to find the very best perfect fit for our rebranding. A conservative estimate at the number of logo variants our design team put forward gives at least… 300! Then, the final couple of candidate-versions were vetoed be moi. Not because I was being obstinate, but because I was being super obstinate simply didn’t see even in those final few prototypes one that resonated 100% with the company’s aims and values.

Oh, and here are the rejected variants! ->

Some curious near-misses (hits?!) occurred during the year of debate…

Read on…

Venice vs. November, floods and a biennale.

What’s that whooshing sound? Ah, it’s me rushing from Cancún to Venice, to attend a business event the next day :)

I got to thinking about my previous visits to Venice and how I usually arrived by car. In fact, I hadn’t flown into Venice airport for about 15 years! This time, they told me I shouldn’t be too surprised about their unusual new arrivals terminal. And it really was unusual – or, at least the parking lot:

That’s right! You can take a boat from Venice airport (which is on the mainland) straight to the islands on which Venice lies.

Read on…

The Yucatán tales: road trippin’ and accommodation.

To conclude my Yucatán tales, I’ll tell you a bit more about my time on the road and the day-to-day experiences. The roads are actually not bad here, especially the highways heading south from Cancún along the coast and those heading west across the entire peninsula. The north Yucatán route is pretty good, with an excellent toll road (and not that expensive) with almost no exit ramps. There’s also practically no traffic and no filling stations :) The road heading south along the east coast is not bad either, but we hit a few traffic jams along the way. On the upside, it’s free, the road surface is smooth and there are lots of signs, so there’s little chance of getting lost:

Read on…

The museum in Baku – hard to out-do.

Hi folks!

After Hannover – we were headed southeast – over to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, for a conference for our partners from the Middle East, Africa and Southern Asia. Quick report: everything was just great (as usual). Everyone went home with new knowledge, better motivated, fully sated, content and happy. The event took place in one of the three swish Flame Towers, and the views therefrom were very impressive, as could be expected:

Now for some touristy stuff, since we’d scheduled several hours free in the city. We opted for the Heydar Aliyev Center, which fairly amazed us with its design and exhibitions.

First – the shape: Oh my Guggenheim! And what’s best is that its shape changes as you look at it from different angles ).

Read on…

Tito’s secret bunker.

As you’ll know by now, I’m a big fan of walkies – be they industrial walkies, cultural walkies, extreme walkies… in fact – just about any walkies, but preferably ones involving anything must-see. And I’m of course not alone with my fandom of all things walkies – therefore they are always accompanied by lots of photos and lots of travelogue-y words. Just like in this post – on a place in Bosnia, 30km (60km by road) from Sarajevo – Tito’s bunker!

Read on…