UVi Glass Art, Ceiling & Wall Cladding for Subang Villa Holiday Villa Hotel

For the last two years we have been working with the Subang Holiday Villa Hotel, KL’s interior designer to refurbish the hotel and help them realize their vision for a posh, sophisticated, brand new look. Here we present a short view of what has been done over tis period of time. Each room has been given an artistic boost with five pieces of UVi Glass printed graphic art wall panels; an ongoing project. We have also installed UVi Glass printed glass wall cladding in the lobby, corridors and public areas in the hotel, as well as UVi Glass printed acrylic panels for ceiling cladding. Take a look… and prepare to be mesmerized…


The GlassMan: Staying positive and “above the line…”

I have been missing from the blogosphere for the past month and a half because sadly, my mother was in hospital for the duration and after all the tests the diagnosis is lung cancer, fourth stage no less.

My mom is every inch of an amazing 90 years and thus has been around for a pretty long part of my adult life.  When someone is with you for such a long time, and has seen your own kids grow into young adults, they become a rather integral part of what defines you.  I have gotten so used to her enduring presence that I was lulled into feeling she’d always be there for us.

Suddenly I am thrust into a mood of reflection.  Did I take her for granted?  Did I let her know how much I love her?  And the big one am I ready to let her go?  I realize that there is never a right time to let a loved one go.

July/Aug also was months where I had to travel a lot.  It’s funny how the Universe throws all these things in our way and I like to think, then sits back and watches to see how we will react.  The day after Mom was hospitalized I was winging my way to Shanghai.  http://bit.ly/n7UgcX

A few days after I returned I was off to Jakarta, comforted by the knowledge that my ‘troops’, my wife and three kids were there to take up my slack.  I am especially proud of my second daughter, Sonia who would drop everything and go sit with her grandma when the rest of us could not.

And it was great in Jakarta as we signed up our third licensee, our first in Indonesia.

Back in KL and while making the daily hospital rounds, I started preparing for DSCOOP, HP’s Singapore event; and then the blow finding out about her cancer; and then to also making the best possible arrangements to ensure Mom’s comfort and nursing care before I left again.


My business coach asked me as my wife and I dashed into her office for our fortnightly session, “How do you stay ‘above the line’, in face of your Mum’s illness?  I am myself inspired by you guys!”

I must say that being able to cope has been due in large part to her!  One the most powerful techniques I have learned  since we joined her also in July, is this idea of being ‘above the line’.

As she puts it, your life is like a line, the lifeline.  We all have the choice to either be operating above it or below it.  When we are ‘above the line’ we operate or act from a position of strength and we feel like victors.   This strength is derived from these three powerful words which also form the acronym OAR.

Ownership, which allows me to own whatever is happening in my life.

Accountable, which allows me to assess and evaluate my results.

Responsible, which allows me to take charge of my future results to be.

Being ‘below the line’ on the other hand is operating or acting from a position of weakness which leads to us feeling like victims.  Believe me I am an expert in this area as I do believe most of us are!

Blame, it is always never my fault when things go sour.

Excuses, well what can I say, there are as many excuses as there are people  on this planet!

Denial, which is a state of mind which doesn’t even allow me to  acknowledge that things aren’t optimum!

To answer her question – I now think of an OAR in my hands helping me sail along every time I feel like my boat is sinking ‘below the line’ and I weigh that image up against a second mental picture of a hospital BED.

This always gets me back up above the line and to staying positive and ‘above the line’.

Oops, I have another success tool to share with my kids.


Ashley John

is the GlassMan

Not so Trivial Detail: Lung Adenocarcinoma is a particularly virulent form of lung cancer and is highly prevalent among women of Asian origin AND is a non smokers cancer… sigh…

The GlassMan: UVi Glass kitchen & bathroom displayed at 19th Ad & Sign Exhibition, Shanghai

the HP Booth

I was happy to be invited once again by Hewlett Packard to join their booth in Shanghai from July 6 – 9, 2011, for the 19th International Ad & Sign Exhibition.

This time I was even more pleased because they

the UVi Glass mock kitchen

suggested that we put up a real life sized mock kitchen

the UVi Glass mock bathroom

and a bathroom display in the booth.  Last year I gave a 30 minute

presentation at the same event and that was a good introduction for me and my company but putting up a display this time around sounded really good to me.


Of course after all the hard work during the expo hours in the evenings we did get together and chill…


making new friends…        meeting old friends…           Home away from home ….                                                                                                              Sheraton Pudong

… go for foot reflexology, which turned out to be rather disappointing this time round.  We went across the road to a large well lit center, but my bad luck, I ended up with a really disinterested therapist who didn’t do as good a job as I like.   My gung ho friends explored some good, clean watering holes nearby but one of them had such deafening music(?) that I had to beat a hasty retreat, deaf for some time after (Oops, have I just given away my age…!)

 The expo had a lot of cool, new and to me interesting  things and innovations to see and take in.  The coolest  probably is this clear acrylic sofa I just had to sit on  and get photographed.  I asked my wife if she would  like one of these at home. She laughed and reminded  me that I would be the first to complain as I love my comfort.



back lit pictures… for signage industry    back lit panels for displays…

I admired the creativity and the architecture you can find in Shanghai… but unfortunately only what I could see from inside the taxi to and from hotel and convention center… sigh..


this zany, weird, all too captivating ‘art’ sculpture was a highlight of my journey between hotel and expo center, and it lies opposite the Museum of Technology Shanghai… which also had its own secrets to reveal…

 What lies beneath the Museum… only about 1000  shops of all sorts of goods!  I was tired just thinking  about the number of shops and I also  heaved a sigh of  relief cos  my wife and kids weren’t with me to make a  prolonged stay underground a distinct certainty! But of  course I did get a little bit of shopping, man style, done – quick, short and decisive.

Most of all I really appreciated the open attitude of the young people there who readily turned even the public sidewalks and other spaces into their dance or work out arenas!  I saw one bunch actually ballroom dancing on the sidewalk but sadly didn’t get a shot to share with you.  This young lady was happily skating outside the Museum and did not seem to care that I snapped her in action.

Oops, I saved Shanghai from boredom!

Ashley John

is the GlassMan

Trivial Detail: The Shanghai Maglev Train, linking the airport to the city centre since 2004, is the world’s fastest passenger train, reaching a maximum cruising speed of 431 km/h.   Just saying…

The GlassMan: Why is UVi Glass® an Eco Friendly Solution…

UVi Glass shower wall panels

to traditional interior fittings made of wood, ceramic stone or metal? 

I believe it is because the lifespan of these materials is limited by how long the fittings will look new, fresh and fashionable.   Whereas glass being smooth, non porous, highly reflective and a relatively cheap resource is a highly suitable alternative.   I have been working with decorative glass for the last 28 years. supplying for the architectural and the interior design market sector.  I know that in high traffic areas such as lifts, lift lobbies, bathrooms and kitchens, the wear and tear can manifest itself quite soon not to mention the fact that in public areas vandals can also mar the beauty of the wall cladding and panels be they of wood or metal.

Even though ceramic is also a plentiful resource just like glass, it is surprisingly

Lift Lobby back-lit UVi Glass panels

not as durable and long lasting as a glass installation could be!  I am only talking about wall cladding, not the floor, mind you.  Although I have done feature glass floors for some of my more daring and creative clients, I do not normally recommend it.

Why do I say glass is strong and durable?  After I am done printing on glass or glass coating it with gorgeous homogenous colour, it becomes a lot more strong and durable than your standard ceramic.  Even if the ceramic tiles do not break or chip, after three to seven years these do tend to fade, look old, become dirty, especially in the grouting and in wet areas such as bathrooms; and most homeowners are well aware that renovations are in order in that time frame.  Why not think outside the box and look at glass instead?

UVi Glass kitchen cabinets

In this day of environmental consciousness, it makes a lot of sense to consider alternatives.  Glass is the inexpensive, eco friendly alternative to depleting wood resource or metal interior decorative installations in both homes and commercial buildings.  The use of glass brings depth, luminescence, a liquid look and a sophisticated finish giving a beautiful and radiant appearance that cannot be achieved with any other medium.

So, why not do your bit for Mother Nature, save the environment by choosing glass next time you renovate or refurbish your kitchens and bathrooms!

Oops, we got us a ‘save the environment’ plan!

Ashley John

is the GlassMan

Trivial Detail: Float or sheet glass is most commonly used in the architectural industry.  This type of glass is manufactured from silica sand, soda ash, dolomite, limestone and salt cake.  

The Glassman: Mother Nature also makes decorative glass…

Before our Mesopotamian ancestors became the earliest known glass manufacturers’, peoples even more ancient than they were already making use of glass to improve their ability to hunt, to cut and certainly for decoration too!  This was naturally occurring glass they found and used, glass ‘manufactured’ by Mother Nature.

Mother Nature’s most amazing furnaces, volcanoes, ‘manufacture’ a beautiful


crystal glass called obsidian.  Obsidian is amazing because it has naturally occurring sharp edges which made it a great cutting tool for our ancestors and even until today.  Scalpel blades used in modern day surgery are made of obsidian too.

Snowflake obsidian globe

Obsidian volcanic glass is beautiful.  Normally dark green, black or brown, some pieces have crystal and mineral inclusions which result in unusual forms.  Snowflake obsidian is black and white; sheen obsidian shines

rainbow obsidian

with a golden sheen, while rainbow obsidian exhibits the color spectrum off its surface.  You can get these from your neighborhood crystal shop and display them in your home.  New Agers believe that such glass has healing properties!  I don’t know much about that but I do know that if, like me, you like to put beautiful objects in your home, obsidian glass is a cool way to go.   Or else you might like something more other worldly!  Equally gorgeous glass made by meteorites can also be


found on our planet.  I am talking of course about moldavite and tektiteglass crystals.    Check out these pictures taken from my wife’s collection.  She is a crystal expert of sorts having used them in her healing practice for years!

Dark green obsidian globe

What has all this to do with me, you might ask?  I love glass in all its forms!  I love the way it is used in every building, whether it is your house, your office or your local shopping center.  We humans love its transparent, reflective and shining properties.  Notice how modern day architects are making buildings with way more glass on them?  When I was starting out in this business I was drawn to the idea of enhancing the clarity and beauty of something so glossy, yet so common in its finishing.  And so I started the very first glass etching company in Malaysia.

To be able to create art on glass… that grabbed me, but I didn’t stop there.  I love innovating and since that fateful day in 1985, when I first opened my doors, I have developed many unique processes and techniques to finish glass for architectural and interior design use.  Six years ago I developed and patented UVi Glass® a commercially viable process which allows me to print full colour images onto glass.

I keep some of Mother Nature’s glass in my home and in my office.  These glass

Black obsidian polished pencil

crystals inspire me and remind me everyday to be as creative as I can be to bring glass to life for you.


Oops, I just revealed my inspiration!


Ashley John

is the GlassMan


Trivial Detail: Archeologists trace glass manufacture to approximately 5500 years ago to Mesopotamia, but the modern day term, glass, is of Roman/Germanic origin, and dates to the later part of the Roman Empire.

The Glassman Speaks: What UVi Glass & American Idol have in common…

Since American Idol hit the small screen 10 years ago, I have been an off and on fan.  After the very first Idol, the amazing Kelly Clarkson hit it big, I have tended to use her as a benchmark to gauge the success of her successors among whom I like Carrie Underwood the best. She displayed a clear cut individuality and struck gold with it.  But in truth most of my Idol favorites have not been the winners — Chris Daughtry, Elliot Yamin, David Archuleta, Soibhan Magnus and Hayley Reinhart from the latest season, to name a few.

What makes these guys stand out for me is that they all have a very distinct personality, that they are talented isn’t in doubt, but what I admire the most about them is that they never compromised on their individuality, their self image or their musical ideal.  That’s what makes them special and memorable for me.

In the 28 years I have been in the decorative glass business there were many times I did not make it to the winner’s podium either but like Daughtry and the others who have achieved big success despite never winning this particular crown, I am glad I never quit on my dream either.

Before I started my decorative glass factory in 1985, I had absolutely no clue what the industry was all about.  I learned what I needed to and I applied it and I got better and better at my craft, through practicing it.  Like any artist, although I cannot draw to save my life, I stuck to the vision in my head and I have seen it come to fruition.

And this is what I have shared with my kids too, a simple four steps to succeed in whatever you set out to do.

  • Learn, and keep on learning
  • Apply what you learn.  If you don’t, what’s the point?
  • Practice makes perfect

But what do you do when faced with the me too’s, the copy cat competition? That brings me to the fourth step:

  • Innovate to stay ahead


Being creative comes from playing around with what you know the best.  I know glass the best, just as my Idols know music the best, and so six years ago I managed to do what

I never dreamed I would be able to do back in 1985.  I developed a commercially strong and viable process to print full colour images onto glass!

At first I had no idea how amazing this was until organizations such as Hewlett Packard started asking for the formula.  Then I patented UVi Glass and a whole new universe of opportunities for business growth and expansion has opened up to me.  Competition is, for now at least, a minor concern.

I have been bringing glass to life for my Malaysian clients and customers since 1985 and now the plan is for the world to share in my dream through a global licensing program for the UVi Glass printing solution.

We are proud that UVi Glass is already in two more countries, India and Thailand.

Care to join us!


Oops, I just revealed my plan for world domination!


Ashley John

is the Glassman