Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Botak" - The Miyamar Welder

Why do I waste my time tqking so many pictures of this guy doing his job? It is simply because of the fact that i like to sketch figures and what better way to study the various forms and positions of a human body than when they are captured in action. This I would advice to my art students to focus on if they too wish to understand the human figure for their studies. There is no doubt that most good artists do this without being told to anyway.
My friend from Miyamar or what used to be Burma is a very interesting man who takes on all kinds of odd jobs in and around Sungai Pinang and he is another Mc Guiver , a man who is capable of building or constructing anything from scratch. 
When we first met he had reservations about who i was and  often either avoided me or used to give me the dirtiest look like a f..k you kind of look. Not that i can blame him as i too was judging him through my myopic and prejudiced eyes when we first met where he was working at a friend's house. I did not know him then but now we have become good friends sharing our thoughts of our different countries and cultures.
Botak is not his real name as it simply means "Baldy'  which has become his nickname among my friends and relatives in the area. I don't think he takes it as an offence either as he seem comfortable and at home here although at times aloof from others around him.
He started oppenig up to me when he watched me sketching and took a look at my sketchbook. He started talking his feelings of  his homeland and how the Buddhist monks there had totally let the people down. He has now recently started to understand the political turmoil Miyamar is going through from reading what is going on there in the news papers here. I mentioned to him about those who are fortunate enough to be able to step out of their country and take a look at it from afar  as they get a clearer vision of the whole forest and not just the trees. 
Botak is a survivor and he reminded me of myself when I was  living in the USA running from one place to another and working from one vocation to another struggling to stay alive in someone else's country.I hope someday he will return to his homeland and share his thoughts and feelings if not his talents with those who needs it in Miyamar.

Sunny - The Portuguese- Faces of Georgetown.

Stopped by the fisherman's warf along the Jelutong Highway to pay a visit to my friend Rosli and drop- off some fliers regarding my upcoming group show at the Penang Malay Art Galery which is located on Chulia Street and Jalan Masjid Kapitan Kling. The show will be launched on the fourth of March and it will be a groups show comprising of fifteen artists from the Georgetown, Penang Area. Each artist is allowed threee of four paintings each depending on the sizes.I will enter three of my New Space Series pieces as an introduction for my next Solo Show which will be at the Alpha Utara Gallery on King Street in Georgetown. I look forward to this shows as I feel the change happening in my style and techniques ant the process seemed more tangible than I have ever felt before.
The "Space Art", series has always been on my mind for a vey lonf time and I used to try expressing it through all the mediums that I play with at the time which is something from charcoal to oils which I am working with these days as far as the series goes. I say so only because i am still continuously sketching with whatever medium on hand and my mind is still in constant process contemplating, reflecting and recording my thoughts as i am in th process of doing right now. It gets hard when the mind gets bogged down with all the daily needs and affairs but them are the breaks!
While I was at the fishermen hangout I met a fellow Buddha who is a few months younger than me and is a Portuguese  by decendant, Malaysian who is from Melaka, man who seem to have tasted life in all it has to offer and my friend Rosli called him McGuiver although his name is Sunny. We had a great time sharing what sixty year olds are capable of sharing if they had anything to share. Most of those that I know of unfortunately have limited capacity for sharing much more than the country's political scenario or the detailed description of the hazards of taking in too much sugar or salt. Thus ever now and then a character shows up on your screen and he has something unique to offer and you feel like you too have just as much to share and then and you have yourself a great meeting of the minds. It happens uninvited and ends with not an expectation, The same happened when my friend David Trevallian vsisted from Bali. Now there too was a character worth every minute of their time and yours.
Life is about relationship, you and me and how we fare in this brief time and space, me and my children, me and my relatives and friends, me and the whole humanity, me and the environment and me and my Maker. What my thoughts are whe my feelings are, and what other have to say about me is all part and parcel of what is called living, it can be exciting as as heaven or boring as hell. To not understand relationship is to not be able to live and life becomes a pain. To be immersed in relationship all throughout your life is to embrace life to the fullest. It is through relationship that we see who we are, what we are and how we can become who we desire to be.You are your relationship to the Universe without being presumptuous or over zealous, you are the world.
This was the gist of what Sunny the Portuguese and Rosli and myself came to share with each other while we sat having a cup of coffee at Rosli's coffee shop by the fisherman's jetty.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rattling off some cobwebs

The blogging has met with a wall for sometime now as the mind is trying to cope with what is, and what Is is not so awe-inspiring or earth shaking except for the basic fact the I am at the survival mode trying to stay afloat As I have been moaning and groaning in the past about how life can be so tedious and I hate to say it boring sprinkled with a whole lot of petty crap like bills and illnesses, aches and pains, it is not an easy thing to sit and let out any positive vibes for the world to share. So for the whole day yesterday I sat with my fever ridden daughter watching a Korean Drama Series called "something Inheritance" All about what money can do to people who worship money in the name of survival and a whole lot of human drama like love and hate, compassion and hate. After watching a few i got hooked with the story line and decided that what better day to spend with my sick daughter than to get a bunch of munchies and watch the story unfold.
Although it was just a fictional story of Korean modern life style, it could happen and is happening anywhere and everywhere in the world. After awhile I realized that the story had more than a few things to teach me about human traits both positive and negative. That we are all fragile and full of holes most of the times in dealing with all that life has to throw at us and at times we can overcome any and every obstacles if we put our mind to doing so. We judge and accuse others while blind to our own faults and weaknesses, and yet at times we can making decisions that would change the lives of others through our sense of love and understanding. We are indeed unpredictable creatures swinging from one end of the pendulum to the other in our moods as we parade through this highway we call life.
I have come to the point of feeling my age creeping into my skin and bones, my aching muscles and nagging headaches and surrendering to the fact the change for the better is a long shot if and when it ever occurs in this lifetime for me. I am beginning to accept the fact that all I have to do is maintain what I already have and keep trudging along till I am ready to knock on heaven's door. My health most importantly and my sanity and peace of mind, my creative energy and sensitivity towards the plight of others and my consciousness of being who I am and where I want to be at.
I am 62 and although without anything worthwhile to show for financially I am not too deeply in debt that I would have to resort to drastic measures to survive. My children are mostly independent as they are all familiar with the ways of the world in their own capacity or at least they will survive if and when I depart. I have done all i could for them which in the eyes of those who sees success in terms of money would amount to nothing but for me to see that my children have thus far survived life without drifting into its ugly traps like drugs and so on is more than I can ask for. I have always believed in teaching by example and i know there are times i could have done much much better at ti but... life too has its quirks. Not meaning to begrudge those who have, I still believe that life is not about how rich you are but how well you distribute your wealth.It is not about how many cars or homes you may have but how well you are thought of and loved by you r friends and foes alike. I am no spiritual Guru by a long shot and have made many a blunder having strayed from the 'Right Path" through my life thus far, however i am happy in a sense that at 62 i can reflect back into my past and cherish many good times that few can say they had encountered in their lives and for these I am forever thankful to my Maker as I believe deeply that without His blessings I would not have had the opportunity
I have been doing some painting getting ready for two upcoming exhibitions in a month or two and thus far it has been going on smoothly with new surprises happening with the techniques and ideas. At last i am feeling more comfortable breaking away from being rigidly stuck with creating pictures and am moving into what i had been steering away from which is Abstract Art forms. My struggle with doing what is considered an abstract is that sometimes in the past I was into it so much that it became a sham for my liking, but now that I am being asked to work on 'Space Art" as a theme abstract art seems to come as an after effect. The more i attempt at creating what is to me 'Space' the more i felt the different approaches and styles in depicting the theme.  Its the in the act creating that I find comfort these days and the fact that i have been relocated into a new space for a studio at MGTF is an added incentive in the sense that it is a challenge to create while on the constant move and changes of venues.The fact that i never had a studio that is permanently located and considered my own still remains throughout my life, I am still a squatter, a transient. Such Is!.