Steph's Friend

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Art Appreciation

I am not sure if the majority of the youths in Singapore are able to appreciate art, but I myself sometimes find it very hard to do so. Art is a very big field with "modern art", "graffiti", and even "cooking". Yes, your mum does "art" in the kitchen every morning so that the whole family can eat. Anyway, there are some forms of art that are truly nice and others that seems...weird.

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.
Me: Uh-huh...

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.
Me: 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.
Me: ...
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.
Me: -_-

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...
Host: Yes?

The host's eyes were beaming with high hopes of educating me with art.

Me: Is a three-letter word.
Host: Huh?
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.)


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