Sundial Garden

Sundial Garden

The Dilapidated House

The Dilapidated House

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Recent Notes (Jan - June 2011)

I did a painting of a graffiti wall. Smoker, emo-face, robot, and Wondergirl. But the truth remains: my days of youth and rebellion are over.

I like the ending of Murakami's 69. Why should a gentle and beautiful girl have to go out of her way to see something sad or painful?

I am in love with Yohji's idea of a home. What is my idea of a home? A bed. A few books and magazines. A pencil case. A sketchbook and journal. My iPod. A camera. A few sets of clothes. A cup of tea. That's my idea of home.

Sorrowful World is the book I have always wanted to produce. Despite the typo errors and one of the images printed upside-down, it remains important to me. I am very proud of these drawings.

I decided to withdraw from society for two years to be alone. I thought I could read up on Bas Jan Ader, watch his documentary, read Daido's autobiography, produce some mind-blowing work, or have a richer inner life. None of the above happened. I wrote one or two letters, read some books and wandered aimlessly in town, looking for familiar faces in a sea of strangers.

I have spent more than five months working on a drawing and it is still incomplete. I think it is a beautiful idea to do a painstaking piece of work, like how Tanizaki wrote The Makioka Sisters.

Some people took thirteen years or more to complete a novel. I have not even worked on a drawing for thirteen months.

An incomplete work can be more interesting than a completed work.

My outlook of life oscillates between humanism and Buddhist philosophy. There is no reason for me not to believe in Right Speech and Right Livelihood.

Wandering along the rows of shophouses, trying to find some obscure cafe, boutique, bookshop or gallery -- those days are gone.

I should not associate nature with my youthful days of romantic longing. Nature should restore in me a deep sense of well-being, just like breathing meditation.

The Dilapidated House -- my highlight of this year.

It does not matter what the world think of me as an artist. It is important that I do not number and count, that I am at peace with myself without feeling anxious or insecure.

I like how my colleague (Mr Chan C K) said that Some/Things Issue 03 would bring my art to a new level. Indeed it has.

What I know is actually very little, yet the very little that I know is sufficient for me to produce excellent works for the next ten to twenty years.


  1. I did a painting of a graffiti wall. Smoker, emo-face, robot, and Wondergirl. But the truth remains: my days of youth and rebellion are over.

    The characters sound familiar. Is the above graffiti wall located inside the Teban tunnel of the disused KTM railway line (Jurong Line)? I recall seeing a robot, a tearful girl, etc. on the wall.

    Btw nice drawings ... thanks for capturing the historical moments with such realistic detail. Hope to see your drawings of the said graffiti wall as well.

  2. Yes, that is the wall/tunnel. You can view the painting. I posted it online on 4th Feb.

  3. Thanks for the link. Wow ... before I read the text, I thought the painting was a photo montage of all the graffiti characters !