Week's worth


This week has been pretty eventful.

Other than rushing out 2 lab reports and a research proposal, I'd the wonderful opportunity to attend a poetry workshop, the opening of an art exhibition at Instinc gallery (where one of my work was accepted for display; it's a fairly experimental piece, but not really my favorite) and a gathering with the organisers of Seed Festival '11.

It had been fairly hectic, but exciting in its unplanned way. I thought that I didn't like contingency. I really thought so. I didn't like losing control or ceding expectations. I didn't like being swept away by a current of ideas and events that I couldn't think through.

So I surprised myself when I enjoyed the unexpectedness of each event. A breathe of air so fresh that it revitalised a past flamboyance. 
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The poetry workshop was mind blowing. I'd probably devote one post to it when I'm freer. In fact, I've a fairly long draft on this experience that I'm slowly working through.

We began with writing long poems/ prose. It was fairly crazy.

For the first section, we wrote non-stop, pausing only to incorporate random words that our residential poet tossed out, which included terms like "pink" and "trousers". Some people had really lovely images. Coins as miniature suns to be kept in the pocket/ an anthology of history. Clouds having the shapes of nowhere - which is just the opposite of everywhere. Impressive ideas under the ticking of clock.

The second challenge was to write a verbose poem describing the person right opposite us. I was doing it with HY and it was just awkward. We looked at each other, caught each other gazes and glanced away with half-smiles. There was a sense of intruding and being intruded. The face is something that people glance at but never truly see. When I drew my friends, I always did it without their knowledge. I could look freely, knowing that they weren't aware. But this exercise, it just felt discomforting. (By the way, HY didn't describe any of my more outstanding facial features. :] )

The next two exercises were surprisingly difficult. From streams of conciousness, we moved on to writing with an economy of words. It was almost impossible to write a poem with 4 stanzas and 16 words in total. It really forced us to think about the images/themes we would like to describe/explore.

Somewhere along the line, I forgot to be shy about my writings. I read painfully unpolished works aloud with a feeling that seems strangely like joy.
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The opening of the exhibition was eye opening too.

Managed to chat with some of the artists and will be collaborating with them for the Seed Festival.

Had a relaxed conversation with SL.

"How did you find the works?"
"Oh, I think it's very interesting and -"
"Huh, I don't really like it. The frame is probably more expensive than the work."

(Just joking, just joking.)
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And the Seed Festival may turn out to be interesting too.

The original intention was to feature three artists (including me, haha, although I don't really feel comfortable calling myself the exalted label of "artist"). But I thought that there wasn't a sufficient body of work for people to just drop by and feel that they experienced something worth their time. A few paintings here and there just don't cut it.

We discussed for a few hours, decided to work with the space we were given and hold a Art Garage instead. Jamie thought that the room was too gaudy for a proper exhibition. Terence thought it would be good to have more works. The three artists don't have enough new works to put up. So why not invite more artists to share their works? Flood the room with artworks and invite people to pick them up and experience their stories. Stacks paintings around. Place sculptures everywhere. Break the institutionalised ways of presenting art - on walls, within acrylic boxes, atop pedestals - and just leave art lying about.

As far as our collective experiences could tell, this was something which had never been tried before. Not really sure how the public would receive this but it has a wonderful grassroots feel to it.

*Seed Festival will be held from 20 Nov to 6 Dec at the Arts House (at Boat Quay, above Timber). There'll be bands playing music and performance arts/ theater pieces. Feel free to drop by after a pint of beer :]
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Instead of lamenting, of writing long, lonely passages on the meanings of life, I've decided to experience it. To experience it with all its contigencies and unexpectedness and organic lifeforms that talk and may criticise. Not really easy, since I've a tendency to shy away from the unknown.

It doesn't feel easy, really, but it sure feels right.

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