A Brief Exhibition Review: Frames of Mind

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(Exhibition Poster. Courtesy of Elevate)


This modestly curated exhibition showcased some innovative artworks of five international emerging artists: Wendy Cao, Igor Huszag, Andrew Cole, Wu Tingting and Wu Lifan.


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(Photo taken on the Opening, 2019.5.28)


From my perspective, they either adapted a new technique or explored a new idea. Their works were displayed on the wall, with no descriptions or names. Just a solid painting to feed your imagination. This sparked a fascinating sensation in me. It allowed me to open my eyes and my heart more freely – a fulfilling moment. The general atmosphere gave me the feeling that this was a show for the young and the aspiring.


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(Photo taken on the Opening, 2019.5.28)


In a red mood, I was attracted to the dense colors of black, white, scarlet and grey. But of all the artworks, I was most drawn by Andrew Cole’s abstracts. He divided the canvas (world) into a delicate framed space and an enormous open field. It made me feel like a crouched nude body lying on a big frozen lake – the surface so smooth and so clean that the texture is almost transparent. This creates a rare tension, which made me want to spread some sand on the nude. Because it just felt too cold.


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(Photo taken by Wu Tingting on the Opening, 2019.5.28)


And the coldness was tempting and innermost, like one hugging oneself or one hand cuddling the other, especially on a late night.


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(Photo taken on the Opening, 2019.5.28)


The strange thing was that, I could stare at such beauty for a long time. But why couldn’t I even look at Wu Lifan’s, like this one? At first glance, I was hooked by the massive grayness painted in a unique style, which combined the modern abstract brushstrokes and the old Chinese inkiness. But soon I had to turn away, because it was too heavy for me to carry.


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(Wu Lifan. Courtesy of Elevate)


The heaviness lasted until later when I interviewed Wu Lifan, who revealed his personal background as an artist. He told me his stories and paints his paintings in an utterly philosophical way. My ears were burning when I left.


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Big Breasts and Wide Hips

The Purple Blind. (I collected the leftover papers from the gift shop and created such a character.)

The Purple Blind is here to “bomb” something she thinks is not right. (I collected the leftover papers from the gift shop and created such a character.)

Maybe it’s a matter of time. Maybe not. 

Last year, before reading Wild Swan, I thought it might be a novel with some romance or something like that. But I was wrong. After reading half, I felt it to be boring, as most of the descriptions were repeating Chinese History textbooks, except for the part of Cultural Revolution which the textbooks didn’t tell any details. On the whole, to me, it was rather like an account book.

Now it’s Big Breasts and Wide Hips, a “book as thick as a brick” by Mo Yan, the first Chinese Nobel Prize winner and the author of Red Sorghum.

It has taken me about half a year to finish, going back and forth with other books. Not because it’s so “thick”- I could have read it more than one hour per night and finished it within a full month. But maybe I lost interest in continuing after reading the first chapter. After all, a Greek writer friend did tell me that he just had to give up, after reading less than one-third of it. Plus it would take much longer to finish reading a book that is not interesting to you than those you’ve read with great interest. Right?

The most interesting thing in the book is the “compelling” Introduction, which now seems to be a “trick” and in which, there are three things that caught my attention.

No 1, a dialogue from the book. –

First Sister was stunned. “Mother,” she said, “you’ve changed.”

“Yes, I’ve changed,” Mother said, “and yet I’m still the same. Over the years, members of the Shangguan family have died off like stalks of chives, and others have been born to take their place. Where there’s life, death is inevitable. Dying’s easy; it’s living that’s hard. The harder it gets, the stronger the will to live. And the greater the fear of death, the greater the struggle to keep on living.”

No 2, a sentence from the Introduction. –

“Mo Yan styles himself as a writer of realist, often historical fiction, which is certainly true, as far as it goes.”

No 3, Mo Yan himself has said: “If you like, you can skip my other novels, but you must read Big Breasts and Wide Hips. In it I wrote about history, war, politics, hunger, religion, love, and sex.”

However, when I finally finished reading the whole book the night before, it’s like a shit bag, full of shit. From the beginning to the end, the stories float everywhere and go nowhere, the characters don’t make sense apart from Sima Ku, and what he has said about the “history, war, politics, hunger, religion, love, and sex” are ridiculous. Alright, some details are OK. But the storyline is too far-fetched and no story particularly good. Why would people have tried to use such a “brick” to build something “great” for the literary world? I just don’t understand…

Yesterday Was A Drama

Strangely yesterday I asked myself, how many Yesterdays have I had so far and how many do I remember? Thus, it seems too many to count and too few to remember. Then I tracked it down to my personal diary. There was one day written in 2013. And the mood of that day was as complicated as yesterday.

It says: Oct.25, 2013

Yesterday, a dramatic woman made an odd day. All the way to the market, all the way home and all day long, she covered her mouth with a hand, laughing and crying with smiles yet without tears, feeling like going to marry tomorrow, acting like the secret of American Dream.

Reading through each word, it seemed as if what happened on that day just happened now. The noises from the market, the faces in the crowds, the aimless footsteps on the way home, the broken laughter and the crying smiles, the hungry eyes and the wandering mind, the complex power of the deep inside waves – all these images were still vivid as a dear heart. And yesterday, there was no fewer dear moments than that day. In the morning, I posted a moment of my mind:

After all these days of building a blog and creating some material for the site, I feel my mind floating high and feverishly, my feet walking on the water, my heart rumbling violently, my passion lying restlessly to the mess, the anger, the pain, and even now my period bleeding abnormally.

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