'making time visible' - collage

look what i found in the bins: a whole stack of old chinese books! the paper is yellowed, the pages are thumbed, the covers are torn and mended with sellotape ... someone must have loved these books. maybe one of the villagers had passed away and they were thrown away carelessly. they are art encyclopedias and reference books for plants as well as buddhist scriptures - all of my favourite topics!  
these books are not 'on time' anymore, but they tell time. in a way they are in themselves a visualization of time. how come so much accumulated time isn't worth anything anymore?  now these books are at my studio awaiting a new life. while my son is sleeping, i start drawing on the yellowed pages with chinese ink. he is still moving in his sleep so i have to be quick. which is disappointing at times (when not being able to finish) but it also forces me to omit the unnecessary and reduce the image down to one line. while drawing on this paper, the story of someone gets layered over another story.. sleep over death.. the lines cross .. ink dissolves into printed writing, you can't tell which is which anymore. this is the mystery of life: we mingle.. coincidences happen.. unexplainable.. they shape ourselves.. we shape them.. many layers.. many times.. the concept is too blurred for the mind to grasp.. but we can feel.. it.


'i love japan' - art auction at ilivetomorrow gallery

i'm so late to post these pictures, but better late than never! 
for the art auction at ilivetomorrow gallery (http://www.ilivetomorrow.com/) i altered my original drawing of the 'i love japan' book: a combination of fine lines and paper collage. i've always had a faible for yellowed newspaper ... it is so ephemeral, a mirrow of the fast times we live in. it is a cheap mass product and there's a contradiction in using it as 'expensive' and 'original' art. apart from that, it has a whole aesthetic of its own especially the chinese ones. even though i've lived in hong kong for five years now, i can't get enough of of chinese characters and calligraphy! since they're all pictures actually, it's like writing in pictures - so exciting for an illustrator! but that's a different matter i might have time to write about another time.... for more info about 'i love japan' visit  japan-i-love.blogspot.com

 (double click to enlarge)


'i love japan' - my drawings

i won't waste a lot of words... it's all summed up in this article from the South China Morning Post on 04.03.2012 (double click to enlarge the article).
above are a couple of sketches and the final drawing for the book. i love the subtle lines on the lotus leaf and how they gather in the center. nature reveals its amazing beauty to those who look closely! to make the lines really fine i had to sharpen my pencil on the paper constantly. that's where the blacks lines on the sketch come from. the unconcious expression of these very dark lines in combination with the concentrated drawing is quite interesting. 
    this is an article in TimeOut HK, March issue:
    ...and if you still want to read the whole story, visit  japan-i-love.blogspot.com