Mar 03, 2022
5 mins read
i checked if it will be like this from now on. i think it is finally here. spring. sun and warmth. skin. the beginning of sweat. the natural sweat of the body trying to keep cool, inescapable reminder that my body is labouring to stay alive. some nights ago i put on the fan for sleep, my feet peeked out from under the covers. i cannot remember the last time i did this. winter has felt so long, in particular last week, the coldest its been, where only in my bed and blanket i felt adequately safe to rest and be. and i slept, for long long hours, sometimes equivalent to my waking hours, sometimes a few times a day. so sudden and extreme, the weather. relentless rain and wind, then, sun. so fresh, so hot, so welcomed.
most if not all of my february was spent in taichung with yipeng, dreary and grey and cold and rainy the weather. after the quiet of lunar new year we started work to set up our exhibition at carp gallery. the exhibition spans the whole 3-storey building and basement and its the first time i did something of this scale. i realised although i am comfortable and know how to use my body i am still a beginner when it comes to manipulating materials. we worked with tubes, like the ones used to transport water, like a water hose, pulling almost 100m of it through the gallery's interior architecture and rooftop. for two weeks we worked through the day, using our hands and thinking and feeling out how to do what we wanted to do, collaborating, taking turns to motivate and affirm, then eating well and resting by playing video games and a good long sleep. i felt nourished every day and looked forward and when i look back now am surprised by my own resilience (or acceptance) of the winter cold.
the gallery has a lightbox outside that is used to put up each exhibition's poster. we decided to use the same tubes used in our exhibition to make a sculptural like 3d poster.
the exhibition「台中的水」or [water from taichung] has opened for two weeks now and will run for another four weeks till the end of march. part of our project requires a weekly ritual where yipeng carries potable water from his house in taipei (north of taiwan) then carries the potable water (and me) from my "house" in tainan (south of taiwan) then we bring these to taichung (middle of taiwan), where the gallery is and where we had met two years ago, and we put the water from the north and south through the singular water tube that runs through the whole infrastructure before being released below as the culminated water in the middle (of taiwan). so every week i am at the exhibition in taichung over the weekend to gallery sit and so far ive had to talk to friends and strangers about the work (which i hate). what ive learnt and had known is that this whole collaboration is essentially about our relationship, about us coming together to do something we are happy to manifest and share with those around us. more personally it feels like im celebrating and honouring these few years of my life, of making the decision and having the opportunity to come to taiwan and to meet the people here who are like a kind of family. and to have all these fully new experiences like collaborating and making at such a scale, feeling unlimited by resources, to cross cities frequently with long drives in yipeng's car, even to learn how to live and work with the cold and rain. i am thankful.
me being happy last weekend at the exhibition
i just paid my school fees for a new semester which just began last week. im remembering how my last semester ended with mixed feelings: do i feel nourished by my time in school? am i satisfied by this transient community? do i want to be here? the month away from school and now the weekly excursion out has and is giving me a renewed energy. when i was in college i came across the concept of the five love languages (organised by Gary Chapman, whom i just found out is a pastor from North Carolina?), that each and everyone communicates love differently and sometimes with the "wrong" language we become ineffective in communicating our love. i came to my own conclusion some years ago that there was an additional sixth: distance. i feel often when we are too close to something we lose a sense of perspective or even a sense of self. that the love we have for our subject wants to bring us very close but when we are too close we diminish, like icarus flying too close to the sun (even if its the sun i so love so deeply). i think love in its purest form is not to eradicate ourselves, at least not in this way, but to know when to offer and exchange what is most of ourselves with another, and when we become too much like the other, or allow ourselves to become subsumed by another, we lose that self, and we become unable to love proper. there are probably words other than distance. awareness. or maybe discipline. i am learning to maintain distance and awareness and discipline with/in school. i am (re)learning that we all came to the school (and to this earth) for different reasons and expectations, and i used to think why cant everyone else also care as much or in the same way (or so i perceive), but perhaps i should learn to honour their choices, and in turn honour mine. it feels healthier and more importantly i feel happier, though i suspect a big part of that probably has to do with the sun finally coming out. be careful not to fly too close!
我剛剛為了新學期的開始而繳了學費。現在回想到上學期結束時複雜的心情：我在學校的時間有感覺到充實嗎？我對於這短暫的社群滿意嗎？我有想在這嗎？上個月遠離學校和每週末能離開這裡給了我一個新的能量，讓我恢復自己。在大學時我接觸到了Gary Chapman 的愛的五個語言。概念是說每個人表達愛的方式都不一樣而有時候因為使用了“錯”的語言所以表達不出我們的愛。幾年前我自己擦覺到了其實有第六個語言：距離。我覺得通常當我們貼著一個東西太近時我們會開始失去視角或失去一個自我。我們對於對象的愛可能會讓我們想要很接近祂但當我們靠太近時我們會開始縮小，就像伊卡洛斯飛向太陽太近（即便是那我鍾愛的太陽）。我認為愛在它最單純最純粹的形式是不應該根除我們自己的，至少不是這樣，而愛要是知道何時提供和跟對象交換最自己最自我的自己。當我們變得太像那個對象時，或允許我們自己被對象吞食，我們會失去自我，而就沒辦法好好的愛。應該不只能用距離這個詞。意識。或是自律。我正在學習怎麼在學校裡或跟學校保持距離和意識和自律。我在學習大家來到學校（和這個世界）的理由和期待都是不一樣的。我之前會想為什麼其他人不能跟我一樣用一樣的方式在乎關心（我自己的觀察），但我可能要學習怎麼尊重他們的選者，而從中尊重自己的選者。這感覺更健康和更重要的是我更開心，雖然我懷疑這個新的開心可能是因為太陽終於出來了。那就小心不要飛得太近！