Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Serene Little Corner / 寧靜的小角落


I planned to start my application to graduate school from December, but I accidentally discovered an accidental opportunity for an interview, which will take place in less than a week. That means I’ll have to come up with all the documents required in a few days. Besides, the interviewer seems to place MUCH emphasis on the applicants’ professional art background, so the counselor hopes that I can brush up on what I read before to gain an edge for myself with knowledge and eloquence. Thus, I have checked out almost all the books related to illustration from the library. These days I’ve rocked myself to sleep surrounded by books, but the content is so interesting that I feel extremely blissful. Though not many people care about what I am doing, I am happy all the same in my serene corner.


Sharen said that I shouldn’t pave such a difficult road for myself, but I am surer of nothing else in my life. Especially when I learn that the British master Quentin Blake also majored in English in university, and that he didn’t take up illustration until he stopped being a student, I am even more certain of my own choice. Well, now I know I am not the loner.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Telephone jungle / 電話叢林


Whenever I call up Von, Kai is eager to make his presence felt. Despite his limited vocabulary and reigning silence, he holds tightly onto the phone. Then Mom and Dad will have to distract his attention, thus taking him away from the war zone. Sometimes when I am about to bid farewell, Kai makes his comeback. The two brothers play and talk alternatively, which makes me wonder if the phone call will ever end.


To bring everlasting peace for the two boys, I drew a telephone jungle in which there are telephones everywhere. This should please Von a lot since one of his major anticipations in the daily life is talking to aunts on the phone.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

to age elegantly / 優雅地老去


I went to the U.K. study fair with the intention of collecting more information about schools I would like to apply for. In the beginning I was kind of daunted by the young bobbing heads of college kids. Despite my purposeful sporty looks, I was so aware of the age gap between me and them.


Most school representatives made similar remarks about my qualifications: You need a strong portfolio since you were not an art major. Most students in our programs still have art backgrounds. I hope my case will certainly be an exception. I went with notes about every school. I had no problem pinpointing the features of each school’s courses and the styles of more famous professors. Fortunately, I viewed their words more as a friendly suggestion which would give me an edge when preparing the application forms. There is still something useful about being older.


On my way home I couldn’t help wondering where people of my age are. I asked myself why I still need to take an adventure. When I walked into a children’s clothing store, the clerk asked me how many children I had. I said I didn’t have any. The answer was so obvious. If we all have to age in the end, I want to record life in my own manner. There will of course be moments of fear and panic along the way, but I don’t want to obsess about the would-have-beens later on.


They have got youth, while I’ve got flaming fire.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sunbathing / 泡太陽


This week the sun has shone especially hard, but my youthful little fish are trapped in piles of books and the sad gloomy classroom. It is an indescribable drag to face the temptation of the crystal-clear flowing water without having the courage to take a plunge for a wild swim.


I say, go for a sunbath. After all, while the dull moments in life span decades, seizing the ephemeral pleasure like cheerful sunshine is definitely a must when it comes to avoiding depression.

攝於京都三千院‧2008 / photos taken at Sanzen-in Temple in Kyoto, summer 2008

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Je veux voir / 我想看


I went to see Cathérine Deneuve’s film I Want to See produced in 2008 with Huei. On her visit to Beirut for a gala event, she asked her hosts to organize a trip to South Lebanon for her. The director put her together in the same car with one of Lebanon’s famous actors Rabih Mroueh, who served as her driver and tour guide. The documentary presents the ruins in Beirut and Rabih’s native village. The two even accidentally drive into a dangerous zone scattered with landmines on their ride in the south. These scenes truthfully reflect the situations in Lebanon without any pre-arrangement.


At the end of the film, Rabih and Cathérine pass by the seaside, where all the rubble and debris, traces of the wars, are broken into small pieces first and then dumped. Rabih says that he can’t help imagining a gigantic city lying underneath the sea surface. I think the terror of this city lies in that mankind puts away their ambition and desire somewhere out of sight. They might be invisible, but that doesn’t mean they do not exist.


In each of us might lie a monstrously huge city, and it takes courage to look it in the eye.

Seek my shadow / 找自己的陰影

Wednesday, November 03, 2010




She ran into him in drizzling rain. He was neatly clad, sitting alone in front of a convenience store. He repeated his age, which was 91. His son drove a Mercedes-Benz. He was about to be sent to a nursing home, but he didn’t believe his life there would be any better. He felt hopeless and helpless about his not being able to walk. His thoughts traveled between the past and the present, between what he had said and what he wanted to say. He had cravings for something sweet. She bought a bowl of sweet soup for him. He would like to take it home and savor every bite of good will from a stranger with a certain kind of ritual.

Since then, she has never seen him again…