Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Passionate Cookies / 熱情的笨蛋


I often wonder about the connection between my being prone to acts of idiocy and the fact that I can sometimes be straightforward and blunt. Or maybe what others define as “impulsive decisions” is actually the result of too much passion from my point of view.


Ten months ago Shaggy and I randomly picked Spain as our summer travel destination in a casual talk, and we booked tickets within less than 24 hours. We made it to Europe six months ago. On the trip, we did quite a few crazy and stupid things, and even a small dose of booze gave us a sleepless night, which had to be concluded by a Panadol pill for each of us. Well, these are far from being graceful, but why don’t we look on the bright side? We made lofty plans about the exhibitions, and look, Shaggy has carried out her part of the promise!
薛吉 繪 / drawn by Shaggy


Shaggy’s exhibition will start from Jan. 1st in Tote Café. Due to the low-key profile of the duo, Passionate Cookies, there is no opening ceremony. But if you can make it to the café when it opens at around noon time, we will offer you a free yet professional tour guide before we take off!

步調咖啡-北市泰順街44巷15-1號 (02)8369-2835

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Saturday’s evening lesson / 星期六的晚課


9 pm on Saturday. Von and I sat at the desk doodling. This should be MY work, but after his picture couldn’t take any water and watercolor, I invited him to play with me.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Concerto of rain and sneakers / 雨和慢跑鞋的協奏曲


That chilly evening when I went for my routine jog, the musicians were having their last rehearsal outside the hall. I’d always run in silence, but then the mellow notes of cellos became my warm companion in the drizzly darkness. My sneakers were soaking wet, but inside my heart I was soaring with bliss in the sunny cloudless sky.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday / 星期一


body trapped between stories of the apartment in rain

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

What about your morning? / 你那邊的早晨呢?


For James in Kansas, for us here


Winter morning, brisk air, girls ballet on musical scales with their youthful and tender voices—in my picture, they are waves of all kinds of blue hues, fresh smell of pine needles drifts into the classroom.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Are You Lonesome Tonight My Dear? / 親愛的,今夜你寂寞嗎?


It’s getting dark. The singer’s melancholy voice wafts from the stereo: are you lonesome tonight my dear? Meanwhile, I am pondering over which color out of 120 will go with my picture. The crisp cold air in the evening reminds me of that summer night in Munich. The chilly weather was rather intimidating, so we hid into the hotel early during the day. I hardly felt such a warm sense of safety about the choice of not going anywhere. The hotel offered a collection of short stories, which is right up my alley since I really take delight in being lullabied to sleep by words and words. This, to me, gave soul and life to the hotel. Though I was unconscious most of the night, in my memory, the night in Munich is full of colors. When I woke up early in the morning, it was still dark outside. Not to disturb Shaggy, I made myself a cup of tea, spread a blanket on the floor outside the closet for my one-man picnic with the book as my quiet companion.


Winter has always been my least favorite season. It takes me some efforts to live with the fact that the sun rises later and sets earlier. The drop in temperatures takes away my energy. I am constantly struggling with my weight between eating and exercising, and feeling guilty. However, this winter, I notice something else apart from the above-mentioned, a good reason I can use to convince myself that winter isn’t necessarily so negative. For example, my bubbly feelings have calmed down. I can look at life and people from more objective viewpoints instead of sentimentalizing. Sometimes, this state of mind is to die for while it’s miles out of my reach.


I, at this moment, have a rounder face with a terrible new hairstyle. I’ve only got to drawing No. 4 for my Spanish series, which I carry on at a snail pace. But when I hear the singer, I feel like replying, “I am fine.” Looking back on this year and everything that happened, I am glad that it happened. Besides, I am loaded with rich memories about traveling. I want to say, I am not lonely for the time being.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Role / 角色


Cell phone: was turned off for more than a month. Even when it’s on, the tone rings hardly reach my nonchalant ears.
Computer: totally crashed for a week. I am not an ostrich unless when it comes to electric appliances. I thus crept into my warm bed, accompanied by a novel, a dozen of picture books, and several movies for the weekend.
One of the home TVs: refused to work normally. Instead, the screen has a livid hue, and it gives me the illusion that I am going blind soon.


I’ve been living like the primitive people for a while, but we shall not forget, God is fair. When we lose something, we gain something else.

What am I blessed with? With my connection with the electronic world cut off, I have been compensated with a finer-than-usual vision into many souls’ secret emotions. Does it count as clairvoyance? But there is a condition. I can only see, without making any subjective judgments or self-presumptuous opinions even when I witness suffering. After all, too many people have fought to have their voices heard and taken seriously. I don’t feel inclined at all to worsen that cacophony. I can only help by lending a hand silently, by being a messenger dropping hints and clues that might of be use, even to the slightest degree.


It’s not always been a piece of cake to withhold my thoughts and remain unruffled. But I guess we all have our roles to play in this world. If I am meant as a viewer that is granted insight into others’ inner worlds, I won’t just pretend that I didn’t see anything.


You know I’ll be there to give you a hand, in any form.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Little Prince / 我的小王子


When I tiptoed home late on a weekend night, a tiny soft sound greeted me, “Auntie Wanda!” The Little Prince stuck his head out of the door. He looked at me with a pensive face, “I have a question for you.” He whizzed into the living room and came to me with a doodle we had done together a few weeks earlier. He pointed at the car with three people in it. “Do you remember who they are?” I searched for the answer in my memory, “The passengers are Granny and Little Auntie. The driver is Uncle Jun.” My reply took off the weight on his mind. “That’s what I thought.” Seeing him all alone, I couldn’t help asking, “It’s late. How come you aren’t in bed?” He said, “I was waiting for you to ask you the question. Now I have the answer. I can go to sleep.” Lining his cars on the table, he walked into the dark to his sweet bed.


My Little Prince has a mature and childlike soul. I have no clue what he’ll turn out to be in the future, but I want more than anything to keep the moment when he took a small problem seriously, which so moved me.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Decision / 決定


From the end of September, I’d been planning the exhibit with the incredible stamina of the Energizer bunny. There was so much I wanted to say, and I didn’t want to do without any detail. So I couldn’t whisk away the question mark in my mind—Is it really possible for me to come up with a decent exhibition in two months?


Halfway through this week, at the final stage of trying my forms of expression, it dawned on me that I hadn’t taken into account the needs of the viewer. I was blinded by my strong desire to share the experiences. Yet for me, art should go beyond self-expression. I expect myself to be an artist who can interact and communicate with others through my images.


Thus, I made a decision which was rather discouraging but necessary. I can’t make it for the exhibit in January next year. I have to back out of the duo exhibition with Shaggy, who will be the solo artist in TOTE Café then. I have much faith in her because compared with my works, there is a very clear theme in hers.


It took me a month and four journal books to come so far. I seem to have gone back to the starting point. However, without these trials and errors, I wouldn’t find my direction. Despite my disappointment, I know I’ll come to this decision anyway. I don’t want just to draw. I want to draw well.


Please don’t miss Shaggy’s exhibit. You’ll get a heavy and satisfying taste of Spain!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Woodpecker / 啄木鳥

小方繪 / by Von


This piece, unlike the previous ones, was all done by Von himself. I didn’t give him any hand at all. I am so proud of him that I requested that he take a photo with his own work like a champ!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Black Holes / 黑洞


Black holes dwell inside everybody. I want to take a tour to mine, and when I emerge, I will say to them: even though I roll and turn in all that black, I still come out of you white and unpolluted!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Island Keeper / 小島管理員

「絕無完全空白的空間或時間這回事,總是有可以觀看或聆聽的事物。」 約翰凱吉

There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear.” --John Cage


Most of us so take the repeated daily routines for granted, or we feel helplessly trapped. At the end of last week, my class was rewarded with a very unique opportunity for a surreal life experience. We were given five days off “thanks to” HINI. But I was the only privileged lucky one, being permitted to carry on with my everyday work, give lectures to Class Love, grade assignments and prepare teaching materials in the office. The only and the biggest difference was that whenever I entered our classroom, I was greeted only by the somber-looking curtains and scattered handouts on the dusty floor.


My work life continued, but I wasn’t so sure about my identity as a teacher. We are so used to our various roles that few would question the validity of each. During the past few days, it dawned on me that my role as a teacher makes sense because of the existence of students, and only confirmed by these specific girls I have at present. Those I encountered in the past or will encounter in the future, in terms of realistic factors, don’t validate my current status at work. I am not denying the absolute significance of our existence, but we can by no means overlook the relative meanings of our roles in life.


On the day before the girls returned, I decided to go for a look at the empty classroom, airing the space a little bit, and uttering my feeling in the pictorial form. I said to myself, “Isn’t it a seemingly ordinary luxury to be trapped in petits train-trains?” After all, that is a sign saying nothing goes wrong.

While I was leaving marks, everyone in class echoed back to me in their respective ways. Pamela, isolated in her small cell and accompanied by a pet bird, created a superb haiku, which I definitely have to share with the world here: (I revised it a little while typing. The broad-minded Pamela will forgive me for that.)

Ciao, Miss You
This is a short haiku
A small gift for you
You know on Friday there was a sudden news
That we’d been defeated by the flu
Three days in the classroom no “Bonjour”
You were the only one left to suffer the solitude
The bad mood loomed
Oh, poor Miss You
But I don’t have a clue
Why there was no panic found in your attitude
You should have been blue
I think maybe you were being mute
Oh, strong and calm Miss You
So much we’ve been through
Life would suck without you
At this very moment we parachuted
Together developing our long love affair
Love will always be with our
Sweetest Miss You
--by Pamela Huan

Monday, September 28, 2009