Feb 3, 2009

Recollections and Reflections (pencil shavings) (part 1); Coffee and Walking

This was the 'experiment' that began my interest in making works in a public space.
There is value, not just in a final work for display, appreciation and/or sale...
but in sharing the making of anything with strangers and friends that happen to be with me.
The work grows..
as do i through it...
and i share this growth with people who happen by.

I did not know what i was getting myself into. From what i remember, this was what went through my mind, initially;
- I was invited by Jennifer who was interested in me displaying my graduation video-works that she liked.
- I was going to be paid for the very first time.
- I knew i had to do something special, being my first after-graduation work to be displayed.
- (I probably did think a lot more necessary and unnecessary thoughts.. but this is what i can remember now.)

Turned out, I eventually did not speak much with Jen who had initially invited me to exhibit, but, with her friend and partner-in-crime, Su, of this experimental space, Tickleart. We were both experimenting i suppose... Tickleart and i.
They were testing their grounds as to how they could promote art to the general public through a tunnel space that connects the shopping arena of City Link with the 'officially' endorsed arts space, The Esplanade.
I was trying to figure my art-self out.

I love things that portray ideas 'ephemeral'
but i used that word and words like it so flippantly at that time
that i feel a sense of shame when i utter it now.
It has become an empty word to me for i had overused it.

Thinking of it reminds me of the scene from "Interview with a Vampire"...
where Claudia betrayed Lestat into drinking the blood of a child's corpse
which left Lestat to choke and wither from the dead blood coursing him to extinction.

So, with this choked corpsified shell of a word, drained of it's once-warmth, i want to remember why i loved it so...
and in turn, possibly help resuscitate it/me from the linen wraps that i had been winding it with.

Coffee sipping while seated at a cafe and walking the streets before dusk are two means i go about searching for ideas.

Coffee has had profound effects on me.
It has taken me to places beyond...
helped me understand the mechanics of lung breathings and heat beatings..
given me hope that i may have some super powers..
while sustaining me with temporary wisdom that is not my own.
(which is why its very important to document them)

Walking is something i love to do. I consider it as one of my most important acts of freedom.
So when i am prevented from walking somewhere,
i fume, after which i find an alternate route.
Walking at a time when the sun doesn't conspire with it's rays to burn my skin..
and when it shows me it is capable of being something other than harsh..
are my most adored pleasures.

A friend, early last year, bestowed upon me a title i could relate with;
"a person who walks the city in order to experience it", said C. Baudelaire

He loves to walk too (this friend of mine) and had shared an essay with me which struck at my heart.

"Our expeditions are but tours, and come round again at evening to the old hearth-side from which we set out. Half the walk is but retracing our steps. We should go forth on the shortest walk, perchance, in the spirit of undying adventure, never to return-- prepared to send back our embalmed hearts only as relics to our desolate kingdoms. If you are ready to leave father and mother, and brother and sister, and wife and child and friends, and never see them again--if you have paid your debts, and made your will, and settled all your affairs, and are a free man--then you are ready for a walk." - Henry David Thoreau on walkers.

Through coffee and walking, I have on occasion, experienced a clarity with which i can describe
as the shaving of my emotional flesh and bone to piles of worm-like marrow,
only to watch it regenerate it's self to an entire entity/situation of my choosing.
It is like the exposing of a raw core from which all sincere honesty and creativity comes from.

It is a most beautiful, terrifying engulfing feeling...
akin to the moment where one falls off the side of a bed...
both of which i tend to snap out off quickly.

It is through a number of sustained moments of walking and coffee that arrived to this moment of deciding what to do. Coincidently, Su and her daughter An happened to have bumped into me that very moment. I was seated at my favourite Malay paratha joint sketching out ideas.
I remember only having an idea for a pencil chandelier then.

Feb04 '11 - 1:11am

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