"A scientific explanation of the despondent behaviour of commuters in peak hour traffic. With the inevitable instrusion of strangers into the 15cm radius around our body we react by limiting body movement, avoiding eye contact and stripping emotion from the face. There is a list of unwritten rules of how we behave in public pace. What happens if we do something out of the ordinary? What impact, if any, does this have on the space? In a way it's a social experiment; a physical examination that probes at the tension between physical closeness and emotional distance. How willing are we to engage with the unfamiliar" ?
-- Liesel Zink's fifteen program notes at 2012 Brisbane Festival
In daily life, ordinary life, we walk pass by a bunch of strangers and pedestrians; we travel from A to B, and we have our own missions to the destinations. We're connecting with physical attendance in space and social networking technology but we're not really connected. We carry our intimate space around by the blockage of emotion, eye contact. However, at the same time, we're quietly secretly syncing our action (movements and behaviours) with others so we're vaguely existed and therefore, we're able to fit in the majority of the society, and then we feel safe and secured....
I feel really honored that I used to be one of the dancers when fifteen was developing. Though I am changing my role to an audience this year, and though I feel slightly sad not being 'in the work', I still feel fortune to be able to stand outside and observe... I walked into the little set-up space and was given a pair of headphone with the music Mike has written and is writing.
Let's start with images and some stories...
I saw something's happening out of ordinary in the city. I stared at him strangely and wondered if he was alright? I am confused and couldn't adjust and decide because I have never seen this odd behaviour in the city before. I didn't stop walking but I turned my head back a few times at him and looked around... I wondered if there was someone else with him, doing the same thing? I wondered if it was kind of flash mobby, trying to fool me around? I was slightly frightened until I saw there was another person doing the similar abstract movement somewhere else. I understood they were together and the same. I felt much better now, then I walked away...
We Were Watched as We Were Watching, too
As we were observing the city with a pair of headphone with a soundtrack that brought us to a different zone within the same space, I noticed a few pedestrians looked at us strangely first, then looked around, recognising there were more people having the same headphones, sitting on the benches, looking at the same directions. Finally a hint of smile with relief on their faces; some did look around, looking for another connection with us. We were all looking for relationship connections in and out of the frame.
We were seen, watched, recognised, and grouped together, as one. Soon, we then disappear...
Oddness Become Acceptable
Some pedestrians were sensitive enough to spot and find another oddness happening in a tick of their passing-by time. Sometimes they spotted 'non-performers'; the pedestrians noticed other pedestrians at least. The dancers appeared and disappeared in space as they traveled with others in the crowd or burst into a degree of movements that exaggerated actions and behaviour we see and we do on the street daily.
The man were stretching his legs in front of us... I didn't notice him until the dancers went pass him and somehow his movements were exactly in sync with the soundtrack we were listening. I wondered if some of the audience thought he was one of the hidden dancers. ( I have known fifteen well enough to know this particular man was not 'part of the plan') He jumped because he couldn't balanced when stretching in one leg stranding, he stopped, crossed his foot and looked for something. Then I noticed his relationship with another man across the street under the traffic light because they waved at each other. This man walked across the road, chatting with the other man a little and running back this side before the light turned red... Everything was syncing with music we were listening to.
We were finding the similarities and differences all the time. The dancers were just like magic wands, making all the other people and surroundings mattered and alive as they traveled in and out of the frame. And really, how do we distinguish the size of the frame? It's universal, frameless.
Another Chapter has Begun
The little girl watched the little show that were guided by four talented dancers as well. She clapped to appreciate the dancers effort when she felt the show has come to the end. Then she continuously looked for more surprise, she started looking around....
We're appearing and disappearing in art and daily (ordinary). Art is within the ordinary as long as we see it. As artists, we shouldn't make "art" unapproachable or frightening; arts belong to everyone, and we're the messengers to highlight and remind the existence of the importance of arts. Extra-ordinary is extraordinary and powerful.
fifteen is everywhere, and different each time in different locations and cultures. fifteen is environmental, and alive...
I stole my father's palette few year ago. It has been hidden in the bottom of my desk drawer until very recently when I decided to start drawing again. I've been thinking of dad and his life journey a lot since I was pregnant. As I look at the palette and its dry and cracked water colour, I wonder if I have also mistakenly stolen my father's colour of life and left him all the misery. So he starts to hate, to blame everyone else but himself...
Stepping on scale every week is exciting and frustrating sometimes. Though I could feel I might gain quite a bit of weight this week, it was still shocking to see I have gained 1.2kg this week. It takes more time to do things, and it's easier to get tired. Time become more important to me and I can feel time's ticking... I'd love to say "Baby girl is growing healthily" but we never 100% sure until the day we see her arrive...Baby girl is growing normally, she start moving stronger and sometimes it's like she's kicking to response to us. Sometimes she's kicking like crazy so i wonder if she's having a chasing dream deep in my tummy; Sometimes she's roving like a fish, i wonder if she's having a good time swimming in the water; Sometimes she's quiet like I've never been pregnant, i wonder if she's having a deep nap under my warmth. Backache is my major suffering everyday, I'm glad that Kevin's really caring and giving me massage whenever i ask for. To watch him talking over my tummy to our little girl is the most beautiful and well-beings thing in my life, it's all worthy to see that at the end. We're talking about how baby girl is going to signal us her arriving, and we're both excited, more nervous and scared... Now I believe Human's limitation can be pushed if you want to survive, if you want to see the next level. I'm looking forward to seeing my growth soon.
To make me pick up the brushes I've stolen from my father and started painting is from becoming one of the Facebook member of Water-Wheel Project.
Water-Wheel is a place for any inspiration and opinions related to water and is interactive. Somehow, by seriously thinking of how I could participate this project, there has form a place for me to also look at my art practice: Dance and Visual Arts (photography and painting).
I have never been professionally trained as an painter or visual artist, but because my father used to be a watercolour painter and graphic designer, my interest in graphic design has become part of my art practice now.
I spent my afternoon today to look at some watercolour painting footages and tutorial online and also practicing my painting technique. I'm not very happy with the outcome, but at least it is a start and I enjoy keeping on practicing.
Watercolour is very feminine to me. It's gentle, colorful, and sensitive in a sense that draws my attention.
Is there a relation to my choreographic process and idea attention, too? Am I going to find out the answer if I keep on painting? At least I'm doing something and trying to figure it out. That's all the matter, so far.
There was an empty cattle train (over 20 empty carriages) next to my train on the way to the city. I could smell their food grass and scent but seeing them on the train. A brutal story started in my mind and it reminded me of Hitler killing Jewish people. We were just sitting still, playing cold.
Do I talk about art? Why do I talk about art? Do I talk about creating art? Why don't I talk about creating art? Am I not brave enough to talk about art? Why am I too scared to talk about creating art?
Do I have an opinion?
Is correct answer important? Is there only one correct answer? Why correct answer is important to me? can I change my answer? why do I want to change my answer? when do I change my answer?
What is art?
Are questions more interesting than their answers?
I went to have Glucose Tolerance Test done this early morning. Our white car didn't really want to take us there, Kevin couldn't started our car so I had to call a taxi for a 2 minutes and $11 ride, praying for not being late for the appointment.
3 days before the test, I was asked to have my normal diet plus having a total of 10 serves (each day) of the following food: potato, fruit, bread, rice, pasta, soft drink, sweet, milk, and one more thing I couldn't remember. For example, 4 pieces of toast, 3 apples, 2 glasses of milk, and 1 potato are 10 serves. Also, my Glucose Tolerance Test appointment started at 9.30am this morning, fasting from 10.30pm last night was also required. I was only allowed water. Luckily, I don't normally eat late. This didn't trouble me.
It was quite a hard job for me, though I only choose food only from the above, I hardly reach the goal of 10 serves. It was too much for me, but I was proud that I achieved the requirement. I guess I will be gain more weight when I stand on the stressful scale tomorrow.
There was a patient talking with the examiner when I just arrived, so i didn't start the test until 10am. I had my first blood test, my blood sugar was 4.9 which was perfectly normal (normal human blood sugar: 4-6). Then I was asked to drink a bubbly fanta-like soft drink in 5 minutes and would have another 2 more blood test in 2 the following 2 hours.
The examiner said my long sleeve was so tight that made too much pressure that it ended up a bruised and sore left elbow (like the picture above). And because my veins were too skinning to find, I had 3 pinholes (i only need 2) on my right arm. Both arms were too sore to move and lift my hand bag. Luckily Kevin had just arrived in time to buy me a Tim Tam and carry my bag for me. Otherwise, I guess I would have fainted from the fasting and seeing too much of my blood giving away.
Make sure you have a little pack of chocolate in your hand bag when you do this test, you will crave for food right away!
We went to Mother Mather Hospital for double checking my little bean's potential of having down syndrome today. Because Morphology Scan is required to be done during 18-20 week pregnancy, with my 26 weeks now, there's no such sample we can look at for the down syndrome so our scan specialist could only check if our baby's some parts were growing equally and normally.
According to the limited morphology scan, my health conditions and background, the potential of down syndrome stays low, and lower than the risk of having Amniocentesis test. However we could still decide to have further Amniocentesis done if we insist. Kev and I were happy and believing in our faith, so we decided not to do the further test and continue our new parenting journey.
One thing that caught my eyes were our little bean's head circumference is already 24cm! Gee...i cannot imagine by the labor time's near, how much bigger her head could be and I guess maybe I will need 2 more stitches after her arrival?
Thanks for Mother Mater Hospital, I got to experience having a scan in their hospital, too. Unlike our previous scan,we are very satisfied with their team, and how they describe things throughout the whole scan without leaving us questioning. All the midwives, staffs, and doctors were very friendly and showing their passion when we saw them working. Also, Mother Mater Hospital provide a very relax and friendly environment and facilities. I don't feel any stress or fear when walking into the place and enjoy being their, too.
I found this picture when skimming through some photos I took in Tasmania. Since then, I still can smell the freshness of the grass along our road trip.
Port Arthur, where used to place thousands of prisoners for Australia and England in history. I would love to live here until death as a prisoner if I got to see this beautiful scenery everyday. It was a historical, slightly sad place where kind of reflects to the whole Tasmania. I like their euro like buildings with vintage look. This place has never been fully developed before it starts to wither.
This image reminds me of father sketch practice when he was at uni. I enjoy chasing the line on the papers, so I feel the purity of joy, imagining how grateful he used to be drawing with a dream. Sadly, dad is not like that any more. He has the stereotype of "artist personality" that is (I might be very wrong) overly pride, bad mood, overly insistent, lack of communication with others because he believed so much there was no one could understand him and he ridiculously trust that the only one who understand him will need to say no more. Hence, he didn't get to survive in the majority of society, he has his eyes on the top of his head so he could see no one, trust no one... As time passed, he's still holding a great dream with less and very little confidence deep in his mind, he become even more harsher to people around to hide his sense of inferiority, protecting himself from being criticized or corrected. I see him bullying himself, hiding himself in a dark cage...
The more I look at his sketch, the sadder I become, but I can only see this happening to him. Family is like this, generation is like this, isn't it?
On the other night before we went to bed, I lied on my pillow and asked Kevin,
"when do you think you're going to stop financially supporting our kid, to start them being independent"?
"Once they're 18, i recon they should be out and experience, rising themselves", answered Kev.
Let's say we're going to live until 80, then we die. I will be spending Maximum 20 years with my 2 kids (one is not in my tummy, waiting to land at the end of Oct this year, and we plan to have the another one before I reach my 30, in 2 years time), then they're going to move out, learning to be independent at my age of 50, and I will spend my rest of ideal 30 years with Kevin, hopefully travel around the world and enjoy.
There're only 20 years with my children...
Compare to my own life time frame, I have only spent 15 year in the family with my parents, 10 years with my younger daughter, and 3 years with my younger brother. I left home when my brother was only 3 years of age. This scares me... If my brother and I are not blood related, he wouldn't remember me at all!
I think this is easier to live in my first 15 year at home. Since then, there has been a very weird kind of emotion and homesick happened to me. I eager for parents care at the same time I avoid their caring and concern, I look for feeling the love from my parent however at the same time I am too scared to share my stories. I miss them, but I'm too scared to contact them.
Now, I'm becoming someone else's parent, there's another weird of emotion quietly formed...
Quite a lot people suggest that my photos are very feminine. I thought that is simply because most of the performance I have photographed are choreographed by female artists, and also I look into the details while photographing: a gaze of distance, a moment of eye blinking, a move of a fingertip...etc. I have started wondering if there's a work I can bring my photography to a different atmosphere, and how can a work influence my photography and post editing process.
I guess this series of photographs do brings me another different thoughts to it. Do you say this is manly v.s feminine? I'm not sure. Instead of working on the details, I was looking at the atmosphere that the audience brought to the show and how much the audience's energy changed the performance, too. Clapping, cheering, and yelling... a big fighting cage in a dusty dark room covered by black plastic material. A sense of underground and sin inspired me. I spent less time in doing the post editing that doesn't mean the quality is less. There's a different way of approaching I have felt. The photos are needed the roughness and noisy.. dirty kind of fill and that ends up of the outcome I have brought.
Took a photo last night before heading to my bed. Just realized my tummy wasn't perfectly round....Hmm...interesting, but is it normal i wondered.
Friends start asking baby bean's name and I feel slightly disturbed when i wasn't able to answer the question over and over again. Though we've already have her name in Chinese (Wei-Fan), I guess it's better for her having an English name that's easier to remember.
How's Olivia sound? Baby bean is supposed to land in October, so I started with the letter "O". I have checked naming dictionary: Olivia is a name from one of Shakespear's operas, symbol of peace and fruitfulness. Maybe she'll be thoughtful and sweet, I might have a peaceful journey while raising her up.
I also like "Sophie", meaning: wisdom. I know the name from a book called "Sophie's World", by Jostein Gaarder. I like the character of Sophie, slightly quirky and cleaver, questioning ordinary things and unique personality. Maybe I will have headaches by getting too many questions from her curiosity, but this will be fun, isn't it?
Olivia sounds peaceful, Sophie sounds fun and a little mess... should I choose an easy or hard life?