Saturday, January 30, 2010

向导。。。

" 向导"
父亲大我四十岁,皮肤黝黑得酷似马来半岛的原住民,那是他大半生靠海讨生活的岁月中阳光给他漆上的古铜色。壮年时东奔西走地劳动着以养活一家大小十二口,父亲给我们的印象是正面的,故兄弟姐妹们都十分尊敬他。父亲离世时我们都非常不舍,因为再不能孝敬他了。。。心中有幅未完成的构图:父亲立于船首,严肃并细心地引领大伙逆流而行。


My late father, 40 years my senior, has had the living image of the natives in peninsular Malaysia owing to his dark complexion – a memento of half a lifetime running as a seaman. We have a high regards for our father as it was due to his unwavered determination and correct principles that our family of twelve are not lack of food.

To this day, I still mull over father though he’s long gone; I have an unfinished composition of a painting where our father standing in the bow, conscientiously and carefully piloting and gliding a boat that holds his family, steadily sailing against the current....

"享乐"
有一阵子,我沉迷于跑步运动,经常绕跑道及公路转圈圈,或长三小时或短半小时。眼前只有个目标就是跑个三小时半的马拉松。于是自定了个简单的训练表,有时白天 偶而夜里,有时快跑有时慢跑地努力着。没几个月便看到些许成绩,叫我信心倍增好像年轻了二十岁。除了工作及休息,其余时间都在锻炼身体,脚累了便骑脚车,再来是游泳,游累了还闭起眼睛继续着。我小心着循序渐进地朝向目标前进,但身体开始响起警钟;从头晕到胸口闷,腰酸到脚后跟刺痛。有一回跑完了十公里后尿不自禁地从双腿流下,和聚满汗水的衣裤附和着。最糟的情况终于发生了,与妻子慢跑时在停顿的当儿脑袋一片乌黑。。。醒来时已被妻子扶坐起来,刹那感觉晕眩并担心怎么跑回家。。。于是,享受跑步的日子便从此结束。

I enjoyed running and for a while, I have abandon myself to running both on the stadium track and on the road that would stretched from thirty minutes to three hours. My goal was to run a marathon in three hours and thirty minutes. Thereupon, I worked hard, sometimes in the day, sometimes at night, sometimes fast, sometimes a slow jog. Before long, I saw results; I felt 20 years younger both emotionally and bodily. I expected I’m not far from reaching my goal if I keep on with my training rota. Therefore, I’m either running, cycling and swimming if I’m not at work or on bed.

I thought I have proceeded carefully and systematically but I have often disregarded and habitually overworked my body; swim with closed eyes even though I’m dreadfully worn-out. Before long, my body started to protest - from dizziness and nausea to chest tightness, from backache to swelling and stabbing pain in the heel. Once, I wetted (urinated onto) my shorts after finishing a 10 kilometres run. On another occasion, I fainted following a ten minutes slow jog and might have lost my life if I have been crossing the street. Thinking back now, though I was still in a daze, I worried on how to run home the instant I regained consciousness. Anyway, gone are the days where I could abandon myself to running.

"晚年"

Growing old is miserable and loneliness comes to those who do not prepare for a good retirement. For years, mother committed herself to social gathering; talk to friends and gets comfort from visiting children and grandchild as well as relatives. Whilst father kept himself busily involved in every little thing that gets his attention…..

晚年是凄凉的, 期盼家人的陪伴, 只因眷恋过去, 抑或是身体不再利落. 遗憾的是故居已面目全非,仅存记忆.母亲的晚年围绕在组屋楼下的同伴和儿女们的嘘寒问暖. 父亲能移动的范围稍微远些, 搭同一号巴士找同一个理发师剪头发以及看看大哥一家人.

父亲只读过一年的书,但却能阅览中文报纸।每每在报章上见到关于美术的报道都会递给我看। 若当天有刊登我的画作或报道, 他会很兴奋地到处拿给人看. 相信他很欣慰有个当画家的儿子. 我也努力着并以他的为我骄傲来鞭策自己. 遗憾我未能教会他一些对艺术的认识,如教他书法等一些我还应付得来的事物, 毕竟他是第一个教我涂鸦的人, 也就是我的启蒙老师。。

…..

"维多利亚"

Flashback of childhood memory happens to me all the time; I remember father would often take us three brothers to town, in particular to the shoreline. At that time, Elizabeth walk was surrounded by deep-sea and no “Merlion” then….The stature outside Victoria Memorial hall (the current Victoria concert hall) was not painted in black; anyway, father did not tell us that’s Sir Stamford Raffles….

小时候父亲经常带我们兄弟仨到坡底逛,尤其沿海一带。那时的红灯码头外就只有海水 ,连鱼尾狮还未出现。由加冷河口,我们沿防浪堤上的围栏笔直地往纪念碑处走。我最喜欢在途中伸手往沿海的围栏底部抓海蟑螂,一把可逮上十来只。它与家里见到的蟑螂一般大小,不同的是身上有整齐的横线条,象穿上囚犯衣服。另一景点便是安德逊桥底下的圆筒地道,我兴奋地高喊尖叫,并来回地跑动以便制造有趣的回音。。。。豁然开朗的那一头的不远处便是维多利亚纪念堂。那时站在该处的雕像好象不是黑色的?反正父亲也没告诉我那是莱佛士雕像。。。。

"安顿"

Having spent over 20 years in Tampines, we decided to move on to the city as we both find it exhausting and time-consuming to travel up and down to city 7 days a week.

For both my wife and me, coping with city’s complex activities is definitely not that tough. For I’ve always aspire to reside in the city because I’m fond to be surrounded by lively and thrilling sight. Moreover, we can go on foot to Fort Canning, Jalan Besah, Little India, Kwang Im Thong Hood Chu Temple, Bugis shopping hub, Orchard road, etc…..

去年六月,我终于从东部的淡滨尼把家搬到市区来,大屋换小屋。过程有点匆促,看屋子后的隔天,我拉着妻子多看了一回便下定金签合同。

很早就觑觎在市区居住,那是因为喜欢热闹。外加工作场所近在咫尺,以及方便到艺术学院和美术馆,因此并未花费太多时间寻觅最理想的房子。我选择了实里基路组屋十三楼的一个单位,屋龄和我一样大,建于一九六三年,是新加坡最早的高楼政府租凭屋,也算是第一

在这里,步行能及的地方还有皇家山,惹兰勿沙,小印度,四马路观音庙,武吉士商场,以及乌节路商业街等等。。。如此方便的环境里有好长一段日子无需搭车。在新居的首两个月里,老觉得好像住在酒店,心里总想着回淡滨尼老家。或许已在那里呆了二十年,需要时间将熟悉的记忆慢慢删除。抑或许是因为每回的旅行都在市区里找住宿,故总觉得这里与故地一样,方便得出奇。

就不知家猫美美及黒黑对于新居的想法。虽说它们甚少踏出大门,但毕竟还是来到了个新环境,怕生是肯定的。只是没想到黑黑可能不适应周遭,尤其前不久隔邻的工地噪音而犯病死了。

时间一晃而过,不适应的感觉逐渐淡化,对于市区的一切还是感到好奇,经常会刻意拐入不熟悉的巷弄,寻幽探密。至于老家,我还是惦念着,偶尔叹息。

"烟花"

It has been pretty normal for Singaporean to just watch lights of fireworks in the sky every New Year and was mostly so happy to see the magnificent fireworks brightening the sky; fireworks are beautiful works of art to admire when executed well......

元旦除夕有璀璨的烟花欣赏,人山人海的盛况也是另一个景观,大伙引颈静待随后欢呼喝彩,仿佛愿望已现,期盼这年会更好。

烟花像魔术能感染人们,望着泼向黑幕的红黄蓝绿,观者的情绪随着激动起来。烟花聚爆发力及美艳于一体,似变化多端的抽象画让人眼花缭乱。单色、协调色、对比色不停地替换,像互不相让的对手轮流着炫耀它们的艳丽。安德逊桥下的河面被映得像彩虹般的鸡尾酒,河水瞬间华丽起来。。。。

安德逊桥是观赏烟花的最佳地点之一,凡节庆如元旦、国庆、及大型运动会,那儿的走道必拥堵得水泄不通。当然,偶尔我也在电视直播观赏烟花这玩意儿,但总比不上到现场被旁人的兴奋、欢愉来感染自己的那种感觉。

有一回,陪好友到芽笼一带闲荡,从三十几巷步行往加冷地铁站。马路上的车龙川流不息,两旁横竖着雪亮的招牌,为做夜间生意的店铺招徕顾客。沿途所闻多为外国口音的路人,想必灯红酒绿的诱惑是冲着客工而来的。。。在十二巷的入口处,我见到了生平最难忘的烟花,就在花楼间乌黑的夜空,火树银花从南边体育场的方向喷发开来。顿时,街头巷尾竟是抬头发呆的行人,倏地车道上已挤满了人,都从屋里奔跑出来凑热闹。竟然在这个我不太能适应的地方见到欢愉、热闹、及轻松。

烟花带给我不只视觉上的享受,它还给予我美好的心情,因为它感染了所有的观赏者,再由观赏者反射到彼此身上而升华,这超越了只为个体赏心悦目的收获。



"点心"....




Friday, January 29, 2010

混淆_2009.....

















Mix-up or being lost due to too many choices, known/unknown external factors or possibly one’s ignorance and lack of knowledge. Mix-up or confusion is akin to a sudden regain of consciousness on a midday nap; a state where mind and body still stuck between reality and delusion.

混淆是因为太多选择而不知所措,也可能是未知、已知的外来因素的侵入所造成,或自己的无知及欠缺知识而彷徨的原故。混淆就如午睡苏醒的那一刻,脑里挣扎着梦境与现实重叠景象,过后想爬起来,身体却不听使唤的那个过程。



CHNG CHIN KANG is the name on my birth certificate but there is no Chinese name. It was my primary one teacher who determined the Chinese name 庄青刚; a name attained from my mother’s Fujian pronunciation. However, on a trip to the cemetery, we found out that the name engraved on our grandmother’s tomb is 庄清江. Trusting that both last names in Fujian sound alike; it is the only rational explanation to my teacher conferring me the name I’m still using.


我的报生纸上的英文名字叫CHNG CHIN KANG,没有中文名字。中文名字叫庄青刚,是小一老师从母亲的福建话发音翻译过来的。然而有一天到墓地扫墓,发现刻着的庄清江才是阿嬷给我的正确名字。相信两个名字的方言发音相同,难怪老师会给予我如今仍然应用着的名字。小时候另一件费解的是自己的姓氏;我和其他三个家庭成员的姓与父亲的不同。

Another mix-up is associated to our surname; my 3 other siblings and I share a surname which is different from our father’s. We are from Fujian Jinmen; our surname should be CHNG. However, my 6 other brothers and sisters as well as our father have the surname CHENG, which is a Chaozhou pinyin or pronunciation for 庄. Nevertheless, up till now, none of us intend to correct the mistake on our identity cards; in any case accuracy of father and son blood relation is undeniable.

阿公是福建金门岛南来的福建人,故以闽南语发音的CHNG 才算正确,而其他兄弟姐妹及父亲的CHENG 应该是潮州人的拼音法。不过,直到如今我们都没有更改身份证上的错误,反正父子关系的正确性是肯定的。

I grew up happily in a below average educated community. Like most Chinese families do, we enshrine and worship the traditional Taoist deities or divinities such as the Great Uncle of Heaven (大伯公), the Goddess of Mercy (观音), and so on. The many festivities for the gods as well as weddings and heart-rending funerals that were conducted in the open space outside our house have accompanied me through my growing stages. However, these amusing, weird and wonderful events during my childhood days seemed idiotic, tiresome and bizarre when I’m much older.




我在一个平均教育水平较低的社区里快乐的长大。大多数华族家庭都供奉着传统的道教神像如大伯公、观音(佛祖)等。经常期待屋外那些神诞的庆典及红白事,除了把主角当偶像,棚子内色彩斑斓的装饰和那些不知名的图片雕像也深深吸引着我们。但这些小时候觉得新奇及兴奋的事情渐渐地在我长大后觉得它们的无聊,甚至荒诞。

Soon, one after another, two of my older brothers and a younger sister converted to Christianity. One brother had once served as a medium to the deities. I believe that all these had been a great blow to our mother who had only acknowledged her traditional deities in her whole life. Things got even more knotty when my brothers rejected all the food that had been consecrated to the deities. I can only say that people will change with each passing day, as well as with the changes in the environment around them. Soon after,I too became a vegetarian and do not eat the meat dish prepared by our mother. Mother must have been saddened as I happened to be the one among her ten children who would gobble up all the remnants of her cooking.



两个哥哥及妹妹也信起耶稣基督来了(其中一个哥哥还当过乩童)。这对于一世人只相信一种神明的母亲来说应该是难以接受的,由其是哥哥不吃母亲准备来供奉神明的食物。事物日新月异,我只能说人们会随周遭环境变化而改变,因为较后自己也让母亲失望过。那时我开始茹素而不吃母亲烹调的荤菜,偏巧我是那个每天帮忙把食物吃完的那个人。



I opted to work abroad not long after I begin working; it’s inevitable to have cause much worries to my family members, but I have never regretted. It was the most rewarding voyage; it has facilitated the growth of knowledge and vision and the opportunities to experience the differences in scenery and condition compared to my hometown. Many a times, Many a I felt as if I was in a dreamland amidst the snow gleam white world of winter. In Europe and America, the differences in time zones are simply marvelous and intriguing. What's more, though my wife and I were separated by twelve hours in time differences, we were joined via the same moon during our jog; one at 5pm in the hard winter of Vermont, the other at 5am in the rainy Singapore; this was indeed an amazing and heart-warming occurrences.



出来工作后不久,我便义无反顾地选择到国外工作。家人担心及思念在所难免,但我从未后悔过,因为收获是知识及视野的增长,见识了许多异地有,家乡无的景致及事物。就说白雪皑皑的世界,那里简直是梦境啊!后来到欧美感受时差的奇妙,东西半球的日夜颠倒。还有我和妻子在时差十二小时的两地见到同一个月亮而惊讶却也温馨;在 5pm正处于严冬的美国东岸, 及5am正处于雨季的新加坡,我们跑步时抬头望着同一个月亮?




At about 30 years old, I was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo two surgical operations and a course of radiotherapy treatment; the innumerable subsequent visits to doctors honestly have me ponder a lot on the rigorous test in life. However, I believed that my anguish would pale into insignificance if compared to what our mother had gone through. Our mother had given birth to 10 children; had several surgical operations in her middle age; a sufferer of dementia and wheelchair bound in her old age. All this along with other minor illnesses, mother had been in and out of the hospital rather often. I believe no one likes being sick, being admitted to hospital or being placed on the operating table. Nevertheless, it’s not easy for bystanders to figure out the confused, blurry feelings and the state soon after one had been injected with anesthetics. The ironies are these experiences aid one to enrich his/her life; it also helps one to be more tolerant and open-minded.



三十岁左右,因为患癌而动过两次手术,电疗以及无数次的复诊让我接受了生命中的一次严峻考验。但倘若与母亲比较如同小巫见大巫。母亲在竹脚医院前后生了十个小孩,中年患病动过十几次手术,接着是老人痴呆及伴随而来的轮椅。这一切再加上其它小病及看诊便明白母亲进出医院的频繁。谁喜欢患病住院或上手术台开刀呢?外人难以体会麻醉药进入血管后那种迷糊感觉。讽刺的是这些多数人不想要的经验,确实能让自己更豁达看得开。




The demise of our parent also made me realize that life is variable. However, it’s still difficult to acknowledge the sudden death of any lifetime acquaintances and to accept that she would soon be cremated. This made me ill and uncomfortable at heart, and also ponder on where had the dead gone? I’m also constantly thinking about the meaning in life and its significance; perhaps many may advocate religious conviction during his/her life; perhaps life has no significance. We started from scratch, gradually become more complex and then back to zero again in the end.



父母亲的相继过世让我体会到人生无常,而往生者也不知去了哪里?然而叫我难以接受的是看着一个与我生活了半辈子的人突然间冷冰冰地躺在床上,不久后便得推进火炉里火化,感知中的大部分是空空的甚是难受。 我无时无刻不在思考着生命的意义,也许人们已在宗教里找到自己生存的意义?或许生命本来就没什么意义可言; 我们由零开始,逐渐增加并复杂化,但到头来又回到零等值。





Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Singapore_2005 to 2008

In “On Higher Ground”, I want to annotate the aspiration, vision and responsibility each and every individual cleave to in certain phase or stages of his/her life. From youth to old age, we constantly move in and out of different scene and these intermittent scene has become a part of our so-called “life stage”.
Occasionally, looking back on the years, 10, 20, 30, 40 years are over and gone. The changes or reforms every 10 years not only imply that time flies; it alerted us to the biological and psychological changes in our body; it also makes known to us the warmth and rejection from people.
To some extent, a person manner or approaches to matter may be at variance in each life stage. However, so long he/she maintains his/her beliefs; remains unruffled and takes thing calmly, continue to carry on with his/her role in the various stages; do what ought to, that should give significance to one’s life....
我想诠释每个人在某个阶段的须求,抱负及责任。从小到大,我们会进出不同的场景,这些断断续续的局部便成为了我们所谓的“人生舞台”。
偶而,我回过头看一看自己的过去,每十年的转变,十岁、二十、三十、四十。这些数目不仅告诉我们光阴似箭,也叫我们看到身,心理上的变化,体会到人生的冷暖。
人们的想法与处世态度当然也在各个人生阶段有所出入。只要能坚定立场并处之泰然,在各个阶段扮演该演的角色,做应该做的事,那就能够让生活付予意义了。








"White" & "Belief"








"Vegetarian Lormee"
















"Five" & "Dearest"





"Diary 1 & 2"
Running and ability to finish the 42km marathon has been my main interest during this period.....

Dawson_Canada_2004

Most of the scene in the Chinese folk tale, “Feng Sheng Pang” is rather bizarre. For instance, in the story of “Sheng Kong Pao”; “Sheng” is an immortal who is able to detach his head from his body. However, by mistake his head was re-attached with his face & eyes stand facing his back.
Globalization has changed our world from that of our ancestor. Should I reminisced the past? Muse over traditional observation and practice or move forward? This often has me relating the sorry stage and posture of “Sheng” to my own life.


With the help of modern technology, I should have more time for my many craze, such as self reflection, reading a good book, painting, etc. However, I barely have time for a good 8 hours sleep!
Though a bit disappointed with myself, I am at ease and comfortable with my pace. Simply, I believe in moving with the flow. I can slow down, look back and reflex later?
Or assimilate the act of SHENG, the body moving forward but the head keep looking back...


Feng SHENG PANG" or literally translated as the Book of Enthronement is an ancient Chinese folk tale that primarily talk about the feud and battle amid the "God of Good" and the "God of Evil"; also why and how they fight for their beliefs.
Foremost, most of the characters in Feng Sheng Pang possess various capabilities such as vanishing into ground or wall, expand or shrink part or whole of their bodies, mutate or transform into other forms, etc. Often they also holds weapon that destroy life.
These Gods may be endowed with much capability; they are also entangled in the game of love and hatred played out by the simple and deprived human.
Feng Sheng Pang also touches on relationship as in rapport between leader and subordinate; bonds between master and disciple; compassion and tolerance of father and son, etc.
The storyline may be simple; it is however an inspiration on how to lay out my view (on canvas) on life and existence....



"Same boat" is about the battle of the Gods; and regardless of wisdom or ability; or even if they die in the battle, they are promised of higher footing in divinity.....

Vermont_US_2003

"Familiarizing the unfamiliar"
I have no ideas of what to paint before I fly over from Singapore; I thought the new environment would give me endless inspirations. I did bring along some basic material; things that many told I would not get in Johnson.
On arrival, I was amazed because Johnson does not resemble the towns and scenes I saw in those US made movies. Johnson gives the impression of a safe, quiet, slow moving town that’s absent of fast food restaurant. The locals also seem humble and friendly. Johnson City simply looks like one of that pleasant, quiet countryside in West Malaysia; a country I’m fond to stopover. The only different is it’s dry and cold here, while it’s hot and humid in Malaysia.
The tranquil landscape, mountain and river are simply pleasing to the eyes. By my second day in Johnson, I have already gone round the neighborhood. Exploring the areas becomes a daily affair as it’s my routine to go for a run every day. The more I see, the more I’m at ease; if only the hours could move slower as I truly enjoy my stay in Johnson. Up here, I simply throw myself into my arts; day, hour and date do not seem important anymore. The one matter I keep in mind is the times for the 3 meals; Jon often whines: “You just eat and do art".
The paintings for exhibit in Johnson are captured from the place I live in and from people I see and spoke to. I tried to integrate the pleasant and delightful, awful and dreadful encounters to my paintings. In short, they are my personal views and experiences; they are not any sort of criticism but rather of someone from a entirely different background, beliefs, religion, education, etc.....







“Coming to America” is about a man’s frame of mind on his lone trip to an unfamiliar ground. 25 hours flight among unfamiliar faces and at a foreign airport among foreigners; the trip is long, is unnerving and it is also exciting........


In “I left my swimming trunk and goggles at home” I tried to capture a traveler’s feeling of frustration and loss while he tried to adapt to a new environment......




“I told her, Singapore is not part of China” is about interaction and making friends or be oblivious to all......







“Landscape” tells of my admiration towards the awesome mountains and rivers in Johnson......






“Graceful Lot” is about my views of the natural world and its inhabitants. I often see farm animals moving gracefully in the scenic pasture while I was running along the trail in the countryside in daylight or amid dim surrounding, in calm or disturbed mind. These animals are forever so relax and unperturbed......

“Misfit” I was confronted by angry dogs during one of my run in the woods. Initially, I think the owner was been irresponsible for not lashing up their dogs. On 2nd thoughts, these dogs were only trying to drive out the intruder with their threatening barks. I have trespass their territory; I am the intruder at this part of the world........



In “Familiarizing the unfamiliar”, I tried to inaugurate the experience from an incident, that reminded me of the important of staying calm, as panic and anxiety would often affect our judgment......






“One eclipse night” is about the bliss and sharing with friends during the days in Vermont. Asian artists from Thailand, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore would often gathered on the porch at the entrance of Wolf Kahn studios 2 to 3 times per week if the weather was good. We would sing, dance, played music and gulped down beers and wines. In one of those nights, though it was freezing cold but our moods were high; we chatted and waited anxiously amid songs and drinks to witness the eclipse.......