Hiatus and Sophie and Xiaohui and meekfreak

Hello! It’s been almost a year since I updated, but it’s because I’ve been working and studying, and in between things, and not expecting anybody to check in, and thinking what to do with the website and thinking about blogging like how I used to write, with those little stories, and inventing characters like Xiaohui and Sophie.

They are two girls, sometimes women, but sometimes girls, and they once had a conversation. Sophie is Euramerican, sometimes American, sometimes British, sometimes french, whatever, you get what I mean. and Xiaohui is Asian, sometimes Chinese, sometimes a Chinese immigrant, in Singapore, or wherever. So they know each other, and they will have some interactions. Once they had a conversation about skin colour.

Sophie told Xiaohui that the Asians are laughable for adoring pale skins, and insinuated that it was a manifestation of some post-colonial traumatic stress disorder. But Xiaohui laughed at Sophie and explained that the ancient Chinese had always liked fair skin, it’s a traditional aesthetic, and it is because of this tradition that they are taken with Caucasians’ skin colour.

Neither of them were persuaded to consider the others’ point of view. And that’s part of why they are fun characters to write.

I’ve also been thinking of revamping the website and so on, and I made some headway and then I over think, then feel kind of stuck, right?

I did make a version of Notions #3 but it didn’t feel right, then stuck again.

I dont’ know where I was and where I was going, and where I am and where I am going but I’ve realised what I had been doing which was a kind of running, but I’ve stopped and that’s why I’m back. I don’t know at which point I needed to pretend to know, but it was probably because I was confused and got lost.

Teacher say, no need to know everything. a person who knows perfectly well what he is to do, and how to do it, is useless already. If you already know how a painting is going to turn out, then there’s no need to paint it already.

Last night, or a few nights ago, I was listening to Neil Gaiman on an audio book, and he said almost a similar thing. He also said he regretted not enjoying himself. So I must remember to enjoy myself.

Actually my life is very fun, even though I have a lot of things to do. It becomes less fun when I feel like I “must” or “should” do something out of obligation and whatever, for money or whatever, but look, I don’t update my blog and website for over a year, so what?

No real difference, actually, come on. If you judge me for it, then you are missing the point, but that’s okay, because I also miss the point sometimes.

Today I updated my website name to meekfreak and I think i’m happier with it than with my full name, but then again, it’s also the same, although it’s different.

Let’s see how it goes. Things are difficult, but also also simple.

Happy 2019! I almost wanted to wait for a full year to pass but for what. who cares. nobody cares. that’d be missing the point again!

Showgirl: Zarbor

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Zarbor means woman in Hokkien. My friend, Jessie suggested this title. Loaned it to the school it for a year at the School of Art and Design gallery, to represent Chinese ink specialism.

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This work questions the perception of women and femininity across Eastern and Western cultures and the universality of such values by appropriating Nuremberg Woman Dressed for Church (1500) by Albrecht Dürer, and truncated lines from 《千字文》 or Thousand Character Classic, including: (Line 1) 天地玄黃 宇宙洪荒 which roughly refers to “(when/since/just as) the world world was created” and line (Line 21) 女慕貞絜 男效才良 which roughly means “Females are admired for chastity and male aspires for talent and goodness or capability”. The rest of the inscriptions specify the time, venue, and by whom the work was executed. 

Kinda sorry for sucks pictures. Go to NAFA at 80 Bencoolen Street, Wing A level 4 to see the real thing. It'll be there for a year. :)

Exhibitions in 2017 at the Ngee Ann Cultural Centre

Being terrible at updating my blog... means I've been busy making other things happen. Happy 2018!

Participated in two exhibitions last year but didn't share too much beforehand because I was too nervous and anxious.

An acrylic work for the Ngee Ann Calligraphy and Painting Exhibition 2017. Check out details here.  

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Also, showed a ink work at the 19th Ngee Ann National Teochew Artists' Exhibition! So pleased to be included but tried to relax a bit more this time! Check out details of the work here.

I must improve this year!

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My husband also Teochew.

My husband also Teochew.

The White Collage: Danh Vo X National Gallery Singapore X NAFA

6-13 July 2017 - a great learning experience to be part selected as of the team to represent Fine Art faculty in this exhibition. My challenge was to produce a white collage in response to Danh Vo's work for the Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden commission. The collages from all 4 members will in turn be made into meta-collage.

Untitled, 2017
Dimension: Varying sizes
Kim Hyesu, Lee Ju-Lyn, Nur Izzati Binte Haji Muhammad Faisal, Yunita Rebekah Winata Chandra

Referring to Danh Vo’s quiet, bold style and his artistic interest in the taking apart and reassembling of identities and cultures, inspired by life experiences and readymade objects, four fine art students present ideas on their identities and cultural background, as represented by collages of four distinct colours: copper, white, black, and brown.

The White Collage: "By origami-letter-folding over 300 stories she authored, Ju-Lyn queries the superficiality of perceived personal and Singaporean identity."

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First day of school

Today's also the first day back at school for me.

I've been studying fine arts full-time at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts for the past 1.5 years. Was kinda quiet about it here because my parents were not supportive, so I wanted them to get used to the idea before "going" online with it. They're better now, but I doubt as old school #asianparents they'll ever truly be supportive. Haha! Stay tuned maybe? 

 

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Happy new year, my dear.

Happy 2017!

In the blink of an eye, it's the new year. Initially, I didn't think too much of festivities, but since having cut my hair short last month, I realised that I have many more white hairs on my head than I last checked. When I had longer hair, I always tied it up, and it was not obvious to me.

Towards the end of 2016 I began a countdown towards 2017 with some friends, and appreciated the passing of time much better. I miss those calendars that my grandma used to tear off everyday but I know I won't maintain it even if I get one for myself.

So what? "Life is short", "carpe diem", "live everyday as if it's your last". These are things people frequently recite but don't always remember.

I was just reading Lin Yutang and it made me miss writing to you like this, so I write. I think it might be bad form to write such a long happy new year msg, on Facebook nevertheless, but I am feeling a bit poetic. I feel a little poetic, but I'm worried that you, reader, might miss this sentiment. Indeed, I am worried enough to hesitate, but I suppose it'd be worth it if you, my dear, do understand.

May you, and everyone you can think of, be happy and contented everyday in the new year and every year ahead.

ANTS IN MY PANTS: Working as an indie artist who also does freelance jobs

I think there's a need to teach the public about how there are different models of work, like how schools taught me about different religions and cultural practices in social studies.

Oh, Uncle Gary. He wears like what office people wear and goes to an office. He works from 8 am to 6 pm.

Oh, Auntie Ju-Lyn works from home. She puts on "going-out" clothes and goes to her room. Sometimes she works 8 am to 6 pm, then 8 pm to 3 am. Sometimes she sleeps until 11 am. Then she'll feel bad and work until 6 am that night. Then Uncle Gary will scold her and remind her to take care of her health. Okay. Valid. Because she doesn't eat at night either. Then she gets gastric problems. And she doesn't have paid sick leave.

Uncle Gary does all sorts of work that his organisation decides that he should do. Instructions usually come in an email from somebody. But sometimes he has a good idea and asks the people around him, and they agree that he should do it or send it to someone else. They get to decide like how they decided that the organisation (or someone they appointed) should hire him and pay him $X on a certain day every month for the work he does that month. Even if he goes on vacation.

Auntie Ju-Lyn does all kinds of work that she decides she should do. How does she decide? Sometimes a voice goes inside Auntie Ju-Lyn's head and gives her an idea to work on, and she knows it is the thing she has to do because an inarticulable sense of compulsion overwhelms her inertia. Sometimes she reads an email or message with somebody offering to pay her for a job. Then she asks the voices inside her head - is it interesting? If it is, please overwhelm my inertia! And that sometimes happen. But if the voices are silent, she asks her bank account with how much the job is willing to pay - Is it interesting? And if the bank account is empty enough, or the remuneration is impactful enough, it will reply with an echo: interesting... interesting...  then she'll listen to it.
If not she'll do the other jobs as instructed by the voices.

Auntie Ju-Lyn may sound like a kook to you. But that's because you don't know enough people like her. And to be honest, people like her all work slightly differently, because the voices in their heads are different ones. And they didn't teach you about people like her in social studies.

Rant over.

Somewhat relevant read: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/02/should-you-work-for-free.html

Notions at Intersections

Notions contributor Pang, with his new book "Going home" and artwork at @intersectionsgallery, which is also hosting a few copies of our zine. With our friends, Michelle @adskl and gallery founder Marie. 

Notions at Intersections Gallery 

Notions at Intersections Gallery 

The first issue of Notions is ready!

I had a surprising amount of fun putting this issue of Notions together. From writing the open call with a bit too much zeal, to receiving the submissions, to compiling the entire matter together.

The anonymity reminds me of the time I used to write stories on my meekfreak.blogspot for anybody and nobody to read. I enjoyed the freedom and joy of creating without care for consequences was liberating. I feel fortunate to be able to do things like that. To think interesting things, To make interesting things happen.

Share my joy and conceive an interesting copy of June 2016 Notions now!

Omg it's been half a year...

...since i posted anything. Just want to leave this casual msg here in case anyone checks and wonders if i'm not active and i've like given up.

my social media sucks cos i've been busy making other things happen. hahahaha.

er that's what i tell myself. hm. soon soon soon! I'll get them in order!

Leap - A new book, I suppose?

Finally, I present Leap, a picture book for adults.

Although it was completed earlier this year, I had debated if I should print it. A small run isn't cost effective, and large one made me worry about the reception, because as compared to my other works thus far, it is more "art-house" and niche. Moreover, it's my first official 2D visual art work, I'm not exactly very confident. And to top things off, it's a very personal work, so there is also some kind of hesitation with putting myself out there.

Nevertheless, I decided to just bite the bullet and did a very limited print run of the work, and submitted it for the Pameran Poskad 2015 - a postcard exhibition happening at gilman barracks from 19 to 22 Nov 2015. 500 artists are exhibiting their works there, so that kind of lends me strength. Safety in numbers?

I am also putting up the work in its entirety on my website, because... why not? Besides, I believe that the flashcards are the right medium for this work so that the viewers can flip them, spin them, toss them around. If you wanna print it, email me and I'll send you a print version. If you wanna buy a copy of the flashcards, let me know I may have some around. ;)

Indie publishing, indie author, indie artist...  indie is liddat. just do it cos... just.

Joe Meek

"Joe Meek Freak Beats" always show up when I google meekfreak, which I do once in a long while ever since I had adopted "meekfreak" as a handle since 1999 (it was during the mIRC days). I'd always wondered about him and thought he was a musician from the US. But now, perhaps because internet has really grown and more information is made available, I finally got to read him up and listen to his works.

Joe Meek was a british music producer in the 50s to 60s. He was an indie producer and would experiment with all the electronic sounds.

It feels more than a little strange that I feel a strong sense of affinity, not just in the indie, experimental approach... not just in the similarity of our tastes, but in a sentimental, curious, eerie way. I listen to his music and watch some of the videos and feel that these are things that I would like and was curious about before.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Meek

He committed murder and then suicide in the 1967. meek freak. is liddat?

Notions - A new zine!

After spending a long time thinking about it, I'm starting Notions, a new zine for interesting ideas. Each issue will be a compilation of artworks from different people based on a theme. It's objective is simply to share interesting ideas. I'm not entirely sure about how it will pan out, but that's good in an experimental, exciting kind of way. I'm also surprised at how right it feels - like a good pair of shoes - a meeting point for my diverse interests, as a writer, self-publisher, and artist. Looking forward!