I have entered this painting the size of an a 8 by 4 feet plywood board for the Pertadingan Seni Lukis Terbuka Pulau Pinang 2013. The painting is now the property of the museum as I had donated it to them. I had priced the painting at 150000RM while it is being exhibited for the competition as stipulated in the clause with regard to entry, that the painting is up for sale. if sold the amount sold for will go directly to MGTF. I hope that being as such there will not be too many objections raised as to whether the painting qualifies for the competition. If it does then I will have scrap the idea and the painting will return to MGTF to sit on the floor way in the back room where no too many will ever get chance to view it. Inadvertently it will also makes me think four times in the future about donating my works.
Live and learn as I always say to myself, if you want to make the world shake you have to dance if you are dead on the spot the world will dance around you. All those involve in this scenario I have just instigated will stand to benefit from lessons learned with regard to getting jobs done in a more professional manner and not lay back and let someone else take the initiative and then stepping in to bury the ideas because one in not made aware of 'officially'.
This is the case that is starting to manifest as i am writing this entry. I had my intuition that ti will and there is a part of me that like to take a poke at the tar baby causing a chain reaction that is in the hope that it will stir some energy among the staff members here to think and act like professionals instead of buried in their computers updating their Face Book. My work may not make the show but at least it has done something worthwhile to help reinvigorate the lack of energy and enthusiasm at MGTF; I owe it this much. I also owe it to the Penang State Art gallery to be involve with their undertaking with one of my most recent and best work no less. I do not have to do any of these is the final say and save myself the agony of 'details', dramas and simple bullheaded lack of interest vexations haunt me till it is all over. By skillful means anything can be accomplished and aims and goals fully realized, but through ignorance and self serving lack of passion or interest even the simplest idea is doom to failure.
Acceptance means taking things as according to the law,rules and instructions as demanded by the authority that be and with good understanding one can deduce what can and cannot be challenged; this I accept. These rules and regulations were created with the consent of the majority to serve the masses collectively and this is to be duel observed; I accept this too. Any deviation from the norm is subject to the be scrutinized thoroughly by all parties involved and a verdict is agreed upon such that there will be no future misunderstanding with regard to standards of agreement; it means all parties involved must do their jobs skillfully; I have done all I can to produce a work which by right should receive similar amount of energy for from those who are responsible to make judgement over its eligibility in entering the Penang Annual Art Competition.
I am here (MGTF) on a Saturday afternoon trying to fulfill the same requirement fot entering my 100 feet long painting as my second option in the competition, my back up in case the 'Alam Ghaib is being rejected or I have to withdraw it from the show for some technicality...will see how far I get, the deadline is on Monday, two days. The question that is nagging at the back of my mind is, Why do I do it? Why do I take upon myself so much work that involves a whole lot of energy from Spiritual to the physical manifestation level, my works are a part of my spiritual, mental and physical journey. Yes I am tripping as my friends in the States would call it, I am tripping on my life into the future, justifying, making belief, trying to understand, compromising, making decisions I often regret, feeling lost and lonely whenever I think of God; these are what I express in my works. There is always a Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde in all of us and mine I do not even dare to imagine if I allow my ego to dominate my higher self. I am fully aware for myself that as the Old Boy,(Lao tzu once is said to have said, "he who justifies does not convince, no even to himself," I am human and am still attached to these forms and images of good and bad, beauty and ugly...I still posses the dual thinking mind. I am trapped like the rest of us except for the few who have been able to liberate themselves from such attachments, in this circle of life that is going awry by the day.
Now where in the world is so many laws being proposed and propagated than in this country. Laws and amendments are made at the drop of a hat, this is sad because only a kingdom full of criminals deserves so much laws to govern. Malaysia is one of the most well educated nation compared to the rest of her neighbouring countries, this is why we have the problem of 'brain drain'. Most of our intelligent minds migrated not simply they find this country too oppressive towards the growth and well being but they also left because like me it was a necessity, a desire to transcend and change myself, a relocation that can transform who I was, to put myself in an alien land and see what I was capable of doing to survive; 21 years of living in the US was not all fun times or peachy for me; I came one doorstep away from being a homeless in the Streets of San Francisco. I ended up sleeping under a kitchen table through a very dear friend's compassion, this happened on the corner of Haight and Ashbury where 'GAP' store used to be and the AARDVAARK Store sits across the street. Yes I have tasted defeat many times and rebounded to continue the game, climb the next hill and enter a new valley; living to tell my story to the world.
My art is expressions of who I am albeit a small sketch on a napkin paper or done elaborate on a 100 feet long piece of paper, done through my over 60 odd sketchbooks or the hundreds of pictures I have taken in the course of my life and travels. It always been in my mind that I am an artist, sketching, printmaking, painting, these are what I enjoy doing and through these i express myself. later when I found that I can expres my journey in words through Blogging I started writing my Ramblings of the Cheeseburger Buddha. It too became a part of my justification process of my successes and failures as an artist. I discover who I am in the course of gradually becoming more and more involved in doing my works, sharing my thoughts and prejudices, my intuitions and discoveries as I move along; I analyze my life every breath I. move I make and every form it takes.
In one of his utterances, Mahama Ghandi said, "Life is and Experiment, I experiment with my life." I held on to this idea from the moment I read this quote, it made sense to me for what can be more meaningful in life than to discover who or what you are. All the teachings of the great religions were geared towards this journey that one takes towards self discovery, one becomes the observe, the scientist, the artist,..the fisherman or fisher of men. The World is You as Jedu Krishnamurti brought me to understand and you cannot change the world without changing your self. To change one has to understand what is it that needs to change, our mind? mental states/, our spirit or soul? What is Change? Can change happen spontaneously, overnight, or over a period of time? All these questions, aimed at the understanding of the nature of mind and change is being studied and expounded by every great religious teachers, such as the Buddhas, the yogis, the Rishis, Roshis, the tribal medicine man and the Walis or saints (of Allah) throughout human history. Their thoughts and ideas are the guides that I have tried to study and employ as my text in life.
Why do I do It? Why spend so much time and energy in pursuing a course of study that gives my no financial benefit to say the least. Why spend money driving back and forth to this space to write this down? 'Every need has an ego to feed'" Bob Marley sang in one of his songs. What is my need in this commitment towards life, living like I do in the manner that I chose being and artist, and a writer, a spiritual explorer and living hand to mouth like a beggar? My favourite symbol in life is the Alms Bowl that the Buddhist monks carry with them every morning from door to door begging for food. Here the giver and receiver, the act of giving and receiving becomes spiritual. God's greatest gift to man is the beggar at his gate, I heard this said somewhere; I am that beggar, I am that giver.
I might end up having written the longest Blog in Google and that too is okay, the ego needs credit to every effort made, I might become attached to Blogging like I am to smoking cigarette, well, that too is okay, I might find it hard to keep on writing since I am running out of enthusiasm and energy physically and mentally, this too will pass. J.Krishnamurti told his audience in Switzerland that his greatest secret was, "I do not mind what happens."