I have never been in any art exhibition other than my primary 6 art competition where people were drawn with circles and stick figures. A few days ago, I imagined what would happen if I really attended one of them. I can only imagine how the scenario would be...
Host: Hi, are you here to view the exhibits?
Me: Er, yes. It's my first time in one of these.
Host: Ho ho, don't worry. I will guide you along.
We walk over to one exhibit that looks like a pile of hair shaped into some odd looking shape.
Me: What's this?
Host: Well, this is titled "Hairy Situation". It's made from real hair cut from salons all over Singapore. The artist spent a lot of time sticking all these together to get what you see today.
Lesson learnt: Anything can be art.
Then he brought me over to a clay statue shaped into a woman carrying a child.
Me: I think I understand this. It's a mother carrying her baby right?
Host: Ho ho ho. It's no surprise that you got it wrong.
Host: Yes. A lot of visitors mentioned what you said too. It's actually a pictorial representation of vassalage.
(In case some of you don't know what vassalage is, it's when a country submits into the authority of another country, usually more superior, and receives help from it.)
Me: Wah...so chim one.
Host: Please don't say "chim". It's very unrefined. Say "abstract". It's much better.
Host: If you read at the short write-up below this statue, you can see that it is written clearly here what it stands for.
Me: Oh okay.
Lesson learnt: Read labels before commenting.
Next he brought me to this painting of random lines with various thickness and colours.
Me: Wah...this is so ABSTRACT.
Host: Yes it is.
Me: I read somewhere that before some painters begin to paint such art pieces, they think deep and let their emotions flow freely to express what they feel.
Host: Erm, not all of them do that.
Me: I see. The colors here seem dark and the mood I get while looking at this seems to reflect the artist's message of confinement.
Host: You are right again. You are getting good at this.
Me: Thanks. I think he or she who painted this must have some feeling of confinement. Right?
Host: Actually, it's not a "he" or "she"?
Me: Wah...this is even more ABSTRACT! Is it an alien?
Host: No. It was Ah-meng the orang-utan who drew it and the zoo gave it to us.
Lesson learnt: Not all artists are humans.
It was the end of the tour and before I left we had this conversation.
Me: Thanks for your time.
Host: You are welcome. So what do you think of art now?
This is a very tricky question as I still knew nuts about art. I interpreted most of them wrongly and the one I got right was done by an orang-utan. Sad isn't it? After thinking long and hard...
Me: Hm...I feel that art...
The host's eyes were beaming with high hopes of educating me with art.
Me: Is a three-letter word.
Me: Erm...am I wrong?
Host: No...no...you are right. It is a three-letter word after all.
Me: Well, thank you. I need to get going.
With that I left the host still puzzled by my primary-schoolish answer.
(Note: The above didn't happen. It was all imaginary.)