Scroll blog post

This is another piece of work that explores my parents’ divorce, who needs therapy when you can create works of art using your unresolved issues. The calligraphy text on scroll is lifted from the letter my dad wrote to my mum in 1997 responding to a letter she sent asking for a divorce. I read his letter initially as a child when it first arrived without my mum knowing and found this letter again amongst my father’s possessions after he passed. He typed it on a computer and must’ve printed off another copy for his own record and kept it amongst his important documents like his US citizenship papers and insurance papers.

The box is lined twice with delicate paper that added gold flecks and fuzzy sheerness while still able to see the color of the grey board with visible pencil marks.

Every aspect of this has been painstakingly done by hand, from the calligraphy to the self drafted twice-covered with delicate paper box, translation typed on a typewriter, and patterned by hand bookcloth were meant to be theraputic and hoping to arrive at some kind of conclusion with my feelings towards their divorce that were dredged up again due to his death. I cannot say whether it has helped but it was cathartic to write his words over and over and wonder how he felt at the time of writing the letter and how he would feel about me airing their dirty laundry with the world.

First stamped seal is his seal and the second one is mine, like the ancient Chinese scrolls initially stamped by the author then as it passes from collector to collector who will add their own stamps on the scroll.

Scroll translation:

As I began to write this letter, I didn't know how to address you. Are you also feeling this way? I feel guilty: this is only the second time I have written you a letter, but it is also the last. I am unsure how we got here, so I don't know where to begin.

In fact, I have long wanted to ask you “Why, do you resent me so?” I also wanted to know what I did wrong? But every single time I see your callous face, all of my questions cannot be answered.

I love my friends, but that doesn't mean I don't love my family. I never felt the warmth of familial love during childhood, so naturally I didn't know how to express my feelings. Of course you don't understand what it's like to not have your parents when you were young; but I believe you don't want to know what that's like anyway.

Life is full of opportunities, I believe it rises and falls, whether it's being friends or being husband and wife, but we can't always see through the good or bad. Eventually, we'll end up hurting each other then say it's all their fault. I'm not trying to preach, and definitely not trying to win back your heart, (It is said that when a woman's heart is broken, it is irreparable even if you spend a lifetime's worth of affection trying to mend it.) In fact, even before I received your letter, I was still trying to repair this broken home; I blame being inept, unsuccessful career, incapability, plus some other trivial matters as obstacles, and so it brought us to this end, (Buddha says “You reap what you sow.”) I don't blame you, it is just as you have said, incompatibility between us, cannot communicate and definitely cannot live together, so I will sign the paper: regarding marrying again, I no longer dare. Your sister's money, I will pay it off in 1998, the beginning of next year.

I wish you a happy remarriage.

P.S. If our daughter becomes your baggage, please return her to me. Thank you. 3:43 PM 6/26/97

The translation at the end of “if our daughter…” in Chinese, he didn’t use our, but just the word daughter. It didn’t make sense grammatically so I added “our daughter” but I have a feeling using the word “our” is the last thing he would have wanted. It’s hers and his, separately, not ours and not us.

I thought about adding my response to the letter as part of the piece but I couldn’t bring myself to assert me into all this (apart from physically making the piece) since it isn’t about me. Also can’t help but feel a sense of indignation at his passive aggressive tone in the letter, my mum never remarried but he did eventually marry again after 20 years and was married at the time of his death.

New Site, Old Me, No Posts

Unfortunately I lost most of my blog posts from my previous sites. Learned an important lesson about never exporting my Word Press blog the proper way and not backing up more rigorously despite having a weekly calendar reminder on my phone. Good-bye, almost 10 years worth of mediocre posts, no real loss there. BUT I am currently slowly retrieving what I can from the Internet Archive Wayback Machine… so slowly but surely, we’ll get there.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

All schools should be art schools!

Ai Wei Wei, Circle of Animals/ Zodiac Heads

Zak Ové, Black and Blue: The Invisible Men and the Masque of Blackness

Sheep just chilling by the sculptures. Had to be very careful dodging sheep poos.

Bookmarks XIV

Shakespeare themed bookmarks for this year’s Bookmarks XIV entry. Venus&Adonis; Typed on my Adler Tippa S and gold foiled.