Showing posts from August, 2020

moving on

Portrait of Pa J in his 20s The last 10 years of suave-looking Pa J‘s life without Ma J were unhappy ones. His health deteriorated until he was mostly bedridden the last year. Ma J‘s death hit him hard., He seemed to have some regrets over her last days. They were married for over 50 years and were never apart. She bore 7 children, scolded them into adulthood, cooked amazingly delicious food and looked after all his needs. In turn he cared for her and did everything to provide for his family. After she died, laughter went from the otherwise jovial Teo family.       Caring for Pa J really bothered J. He saw the flaws of his father and his physical deterioration as a mirror of his own future. The tensions among his siblings (typical of large families) added to his feeling upset. He used to joke that Pa J’s flat was “Sadville”.     Pa J didn’t know that J had died. This weighed on my mind. It was sad that this old man, who was so lonely and disappointed with his kids, should think that hi

the beholder

I said sometime ago on this blog that I'm done saying Goodbye. And while friends advise against "dwelling on the past", sometimes the "dwelling" catches you even though you didn't think you had hit the "rewind" button.  My excuse was having to archive the stuff on J's mobile phone so that I can terminate the phone line and take over his iPhone which has a better camera than mine. Of course, this meant looking (again) at over 17,000 photographs on his phone. Here’s one I found when everyone was still using “hipstamtic” for square IG photos - remember?? I share this cos vanity has overtaken me again and I just think we both look so damn fit (and relatively young, and J still grumpy) in this photo that it feels unreal. That year I think I could run up and and down the 6km macritichie trail under 45min. I can still walk that trail now, maybe in under 2 hours haha. Oh well. A different time. A different body.   J obviously didn’t take this photo, a

time in your hands

In my hand is a seed of time, made by Taiwanese artist @hanyunliang, a friend made at the Singapore Art Book Fair years ago. Around my wrist is the shadow of a vertebrae caught in a loop of time, made by the lovely Argentum . The artist’s work is the transmutation of matter, space and, with photography and film, maybe even time; and in the process giving meaning to form, and form to meaning. For artists who work with clay, stone, metal, wood, it always feels like there’s something noble and romantic about their labor. What a gift, to be able turn these raw elements into things of meaning and beauty.

be the fool and slave of my heart

I am a printer’s daughter after all. When I opened this new tin of ink (check out the label) and scooped out a chunk with the scrapper, i could smell the lovely oil and my heart did a little backflip. This week’s orders will enjoy a more “pro” print! When I learnt pottery it taught me a lot about patience, the importance of an anchor, the balance between push and pull. With clay, people, ourselves. I remember the “life lessons” from my printmaking classes more than 10 years ago ( blogpost July'06 , blogpost Aug'06 , blogpost May'07 ). And even now, this spate of printing on the weekends have reminded me of them. - 1) There are no shortcuts in life, really. For a lazy person like me whose mind is always seeking a easier way to do something, this is a constant lesson when making art. So much is practice, repetition, improvement, asking why and trying to find those answers. Take the time to make sure each step is as best as it can be. And take the time to listen for when you