i am only at the beginning of my 3rd week in TNNUA though it feels like its been so long ago since ive not been in this place. i feel some settled.


my studio

im living in my studio now, not so differently from the 9 months when i was doing the same when in singapore. almost like that was preparation for this. except this is a little more comfortable in that i actually bought a new single-seater sofa that opens into my bed complete with a new pillow, foam mattress and blanket (the green thing you see above). my new friends here like to talk about how comfy my set-up is, how i know how to enjoy. maybe its age and experience that ive led myself to this knowledge that i deserve and want to live generously. i was at a friend's place the other day and remarked how im not sure if i can imagine myself living in a typical room-room, now that ive been so used to living in an open square-space. the only thing extra i would like is probably my own bathroom.

i am either lucky or blessed or destined. more and more i realise as i accept and grow more into myself that it is easy for me to make friends. the kind that i want to keep seeing in this lifetime. already since the time ive been here ive not yet had to figure out public transport to bring myself out of school (school is far away from most daily necessities we have come to take as norm since living in a city). ive enjoyed being a pillion on their motorbikes, often 15min rides to nearby small towns for a supermarket, outside food, cigarettes. im eating mostly shabbily: student meals, 7-11 conveniences, the occasional fried rice a 5min walk away. i intend to cook and eat better, but for now my body is taking it all quite ok.

bought a new helmet to commit myself

having spent about 4 years living on campus in yale-nus, ive learnt the importance to leave the bubble for perspective. in some ways it is like yale-nus here, people live proximate to school, if not in it, we go to class together, eat together, talk openly with one another and in groups into late nights or until the sun rises, drinking, smoking, video games, and each most everyone serious about their work. days and weeks can feel so elongated like ive lived months in them. the minutiae so big. so ive learnt to leave the bubble for perspective however much i love the safety and joy of it, the fantasy of it. already ive been out of tainan twice, once each past week, each with a different new friend. 20-30min rides out, then a ~2hour bus from tainan to taichung. there i land at home, a feeling of freedom, of i can be and say whatever whenever, in a big place, friends or family a reachable distance, or i can be completely anonymous. home seems that for me.

in about a week's time i will have my first exhibition with the school. its a thing for every first year masters, an opportunity to share our work, new or old, with each other and with faculty. 3 weeks ago i dreaded this for i am not a fan of traditional white cube ways of exhibiting my work. now i am excited, that i have this chance to make a new work, anyway anyhow i want, in my own room-space to transform. this is something i made recently:

tape to cushion the hole in a chair, with a 1000NTD hovering inside

being a foreigner but being able to pass for a local has its strange difficulties. especially with the language, though i can communicate verbally decently, the writing and reading is still some arduous, especially the kind we find in "official" documents. the bureaucratic world, as expected, always upsets. three weeks ago most of my worries were about how when to settle into this new place, how when to get my resident visa, open my bank account, etc. maybe ive assimilated or maybe ive just learnt not to care, but these days those worries are far, and my joys are simple, found in the warmth of the sun, the cool of the wind, the green of the trees, the noise of the cicadas, the walks with newold friends, the feel of my bare feet on the land i want to keep touching for a long long while. until next, i wish you similarly these quiet gratitudes!!!!

雖然我才正要開始我在南藝大的第三週,我已覺得在這很久了。穩定了。

我的工作室

目前住在工作室,有點像之前九個月也在新加坡的工作室住。就像「那」是為了準備「這」。但我現在比之前舒服,因為我買了整套新單人沙發床,包括新枕頭,床墊,被被(上面綠色的)。我的新朋友都說我佈置的很舒適,會享受。可能是年齡或經驗讓我領悟到我值得和我想要活得大方一點。那天到朋友家時說不知道自己要怎麼在小房間住,因為現在都習慣在空曠的地方住。唯一而外還想要的是自己的浴室。

應該是幸運或好命或注定的:當我開始接受讓自己更自己,我發現交朋友越來越容易。我一輩子還想繼續見的那種朋友。我其實來到學校也還沒需要自己去研究怎麼搭公車行動(學校離都市人習慣的日常必要設備/品滿園的)。我很享受當乘客,讓朋友帶到附近15分鐘機車距離的小鎮裡找得到的超商,外食,煙。吃的算很簡單:學餐,便利商店食,5分鐘走得到的炒飯。我希望能自己煮,吃好一點,但目前對吃的身體還應付得來。

買了安全帽為自己的承諾

體驗過了4年在大學校園生活,我學到了要離開泡泡才能恢復視角。其實這裡有蠻像大學的:大家都住學校附近(或在學校裡),一起上課,一起吃飯,開放式的交流,深入談到夜晚或到太陽起的時刻,喝酒,抽菸,打電動,而大部分的人也對自己工作功課認真專業。在這的每天每週會被拉長到像已經度過了幾個月的感覺。小小的,細微的,可變大。就算我多喜歡這裡的安全,的喜樂,的夢幻,我學到了要離開這泡泡才能恢復視角。我已經出台南兩次了,個週個一次,個次跟不同新朋友。大概半小時騎出,大概兩小時從台南到台中。到台中那裡,到達家,自由的感覺,在擴大的地方可以隨時做什麼說什麼,朋友親人都很近,或我也可以在那當陌生人。家好像就是這個感覺。

還有一週的時間我就要在學校辦第一個展。每位研一都要辦。一個和朋友和教授分享作品的機會,新的或舊的。三週前我記得我很不期待這個,因為我個人沒有很喜歡在傳統的白盒子的空間裡辦展。但現在有點興奮。因有這個機會做新的,由自己的方式,在只有我自己的展覽空間裡,讓我改造。這是最近做的:

用膠布補椅子中間的洞,裏面的1000台幣漂浮著

身為外國人但又能被認出為在地人也有自己的苦惱。尤其是語言。雖然可以說話對談的不錯,但寫字和閱讀還是很難,尤其是正式公事文件那種。在官僚習氣的世界裡,果然,會讓人失望。三週前我大部分的焦慮是在要怎麼/什麼時候才能安心定居在這個新地方,怎麼/什麼時候才能拿到居留證,開銀行戶口,等問題。可能是因為我已經融入或是我已經學到別管太多,但那些焦慮已經遙遠,而我目前的喜樂都很簡單,在:溫暖的太陽,涼涼的風,樹森的綠,蟬的叫聲,和新朋友漫步時,跟這大地想繼續長久接觸的赤腳。直到下次,我願妳同類的安定與感恩!!!