Thursday, 25 February 2010

The Graduate

Anyone who knows me knows the one thing I know absolutely nothing about is films. I’ve hardly seen anything. Literally if you named something, 9/10 times I would not have seen it or even heard of the film you are talking about. I attribute this to three factors.

  1. My parents are not film lovers either. They never talk about films or ever encouraged us to watch them. My Dad is a radio 4 kind of guy and my Mum’s idea of recreational activity is to offer to help someone move their chest freezer.
  2. Bad choices. I’ve seen so many films where I’ve left the cinema thinking ‘I can NEVER get those two hours back’.
  3. Films are LONG. I find it difficult to commit a couple of hours of my time to sitting in front of a screen  if it does not guarantee me artistic enrichment. Yes my Asian upbringing has completely guilted me into not enjoying any free time I may have. Work work work!!

Well times a’changin. Somewhat against my will as I have embraced my lack of film knowledge as something kooky about me that’s almost like a party trick, watching people recoil in disgust that I’ve never seen a Bond film (I personally don’t see how I’ve missed anything here but hey ho!!) However my NY studio at the moment has a great projector and a huge stack of films, it’s like a home cinema, it’s absolutely amazing! So not only have I been able to watch Ramsay’s kitchen Nightmares  HUGE but I have also had access to some classic films that I really ‘ought’ to have seen.

The first thing I watched was ‘The Graduate’. It was well over three weeks ago now and I’m still humming ‘The Sound of Silence’. I don’t know. I feel self conscious saying it was amazing. But it was. I’m not a person to really notice shots and symbolism but some parts of it were just beautiful. I just wanted to find out all about it. I thought it was gonna be a titillating sex film but it wasn’t like that at all. The film has just stuck with me and I can’t stop thinking about it, even though some parts were hugely ridiculous. For example when the girl says to Dustin ‘You raped my Mum!’ and he’s like ‘No I didn’t!’ and she’s like ‘Oh okay.’

I apologise this isn’t much of a film critique. And I’m not really saying anything interesting. But for me to be touched by a film is quite a biggy. Maybe this is what liking films is like? Maybe I should just accept I will have to waste a few hours to get to the good ones. For example we watched ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ and had to turn it off because it was so dull but then I broke my ‘Pulp Fiction’ virginity two nights ago and it was WICKED!

I remember I was at a sort of fancy party once (feeling hugely out of my depth and staring open mouthed at Rosie Huntington Whitely sat opposite me eating soup) and Dustin Hoffman came in the room. Everyone was nudging and looking star struck and we went over to say hello. I don’t think I said anything, I can’t bloody remember now. Dammit. I can’t even remember if I met him! I think I did. I don’t know. Does it even matter? Probably not. But I think I might be a bit in love with him. That’s all. I’m going to watch it again now.

p.s How weird is this? You know I blogged about Sarah Haskins last time? Myself and Jo ended up meeting her in NY!!! It was at a talk about this new book called 'Flow' by Susan Kim. It's great everyone should read it. It was such a fun night, she is the best.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

I love Sarah Haskins

So. I'm in New York, it's alright!

My friend Brian made a gag that I haven't actually provided solid evidence I'm actually here and that for all you know I could be sitting in a warehouse in the Midlands just off the M1.

I can assure you I am def here!! I've just been inexcusably lazy in taking photographic evidence. 

Here's the only picture I have that may convince you I am here Brian!

Okay that looks like I got it off google images. God dammit!!

So far seen lots of really good and really bad art. I think both experiences are equally important. When you see something really bad it a) reassures you in your own practice b) reasserts what you really don't want to do. 

I've been trying to paint but it's gone pretty badly. Haha!! I have to keep checking my website to remind myself that once I did manage to paint something that looked quite good.

Forget about painting. What made me really happy last night was watching Sarah Haskins on current TV. For those who don't know, she does this segment called 'Target Women' where she takes the mickey out of how the media and advertising try to appeal to women. She is just so great and how she approaches things is really how I want to approach things in my art. It highlights the ridiculous and she is just so funny. I always go on about how we're blind to images in the media, but she picks out things I'd never even thought of! I worship at the temple of Haskins!! Check her out

You can get her on YouTube too. Here in the states is fine but when I was in the UK I had some probs. So current TV site is best bet!

Also the roundtable talk I did for X-initiative got a great review from Scally and Vagabond. Here you go!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

New York New York

Hello all,

I am in New York on a residency program. It's quite good. I'm proud to say I am getting used to the tube map finally and can make sense of my surroundings. And it's absolutely fecking freezing.

I've done a lot of gallery-ing and I must say that although I had intended that I would come here and do primarily video and performance, I have the overwhelming urge to paint again. It's been some time! I do go through these phases though, I paint so much that I just have to have a huge break from it. But then I suddenly feel empty without it. And when I get going again it's so exciting - the paint on my hands, that feeling of accomplishment. I'm off to get my paints this arvo.

Last week I had a screening at the X-Initiative in Chelsea. It was so great, such an amazing space. Quite frankly it was an honour! here's the website
I was also showing at A.I.R Gallery in a show called 'The Man I Wish I was' curated by Kharis Kennedy. Phenomenal. Again, an honour to be sharing wall space with such fantastic artists!

I'm here with my artist and graphic designer friend, sister-in-law-to-be and 'assistant' Jo Harrison. She's ace and we're having the best time. Here's some pics.