Yesterday was an exhausting day. I worked at the office until 1.15 p.m., went home to pick up a book I had bought for my friend Peter, grabbed a snack, rushed back to meet him at the exhibition hall of the Art HK10 Fair, gorged my eyes at the visual delights on offer, dashed to Tsimshatsui where I was caught in a heavy downpour and barely made it in time for the HKPO performance at the Cultural Centre (about which more later in a different blog piece), had our usual after concert snack before going back home to collapse in my bed for a 9-hour swoon.
It was also a delightful day. I was delighted to find that there are still so many people in Hong Kong whose hearts and minds are still stauchly resisting being completely deadened by the numbing rhythms of commerce and the hectic pace of modern city life. I found lots of teenagers, giggling, laughing, posing, poring over exhibits, clicking their digital cameras and handphones with photo functions. But there were also lots of young girls in the late 20s or early 30s, but not that many boys in that age group. Perhaps the boys were busy being drowned by the agititating, expectant or disappointed voices of the commentators and the occasional cheers of the stadium spectators of the World Cup Finals resounding from the TVs to which their eyes were glued, beer in hand, cigarettes on their lips, and piles of nuts and chips on their coffee table. There were also not that many women in their 40s or 50's. Perhaps they were busy doing their weekly pilgrimmages to the supermarkets or wracking their brains over whether they should put more or less potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, scallions etc into the obligatory Chinese soup or whether they should prepare one or two dishes with pork, beef, chicken etc and in what combination with what kind of vegetables and spices in anticipation of the weekly invasion from the returning horde of their sons, daughters, with or without their children in law and their tottering or totally uncontrollable but "adorable" or "cute" grandchildren.
I was delighted for another reason. I was so happy that I am still a member of one of the most innovative and creative species to have ever walked upon the surface of this planet. There is literally no bounds to what the human imagination can do. At the fair, we get a chance to glimse that world of imagination, of creation and of child-like joy in our ability to make something from little or nothing. Through the eyes of the artists, we learn how the world could be looked at and sometimes even how it should be looked at. We learn that we do not always have to take the kind of perspective we are taking. That world may be calm, serene, static, or dynamic or even violent. That world can be beautiful, bizarre, ironic, disturbing, even shocking. But whatever world that may me, we find that complex and often ambigious "beauty" and delight in form for its own sake which is one of the highest expressions of our humanity. In those simple, sometimes convoluted or distorted forms, we find the splendor of the human spirit in its strenuous struggle for expression sometimes under the most unbelievable conditions. We see how our artists can make use of the most common or ordinary materials that we all see around us in our daily lives at one time or another: sand, earth, stones, metal, wood, bamboo, sticks, paper, cloth, glass, crystal, fibre-glass and in one case even sealing tape for paper cartons which one normally would find only in industrial godowns. Some of them are not slow in seeing the new possibilities for creative use offered by modern technology: the photograph, the slide, the film, the video, the projectors, the LED screen, the TV and create new patterns of light and shade, of the illusion of movement of colour and of novel forms.
There are so many exhibits from 150 galleries from 29 countries from all over the globe that it is literally impossible that I describe each and every one of the exhibits which I have seen, not even 1/200th of them. My eyes were bombarded with so many visual delights and images and my legs so tired that I had literally to close my eyes many many times to dampen a little the information overload upon that ingenious data processing machine I call my brain, on the seats or sofas mericifully placed around various locations on the exhibition floors. I am technologically backward. But fortunately, my fellow blogger 舸兒 has taken some impressive photos of some of the exhibits which she found of interest and also given us the website of another fellow blogger who has taken photos of other exhibits which he found of interest. . So if you are tempted, you may like to click into her website to take a vicarious tour of that wonderful exhibition of human ingenuity, innovation, creativity and beauty. And who knows, you may find some exhibits which may keep you happy for days, if not, perhaps for a few seconds! . Here is the website: http://hk.myblog.yahoo.com/coco-sailor. Perhaps you may also like to click into the website of my good friend Peter at http://hk,myblog.yahoo.com/cky879 He promised me that he would later send some of the pictures he has taken at the exhibition to me and which I am sure he would place on his website too. I also understand that another fellow blogger 葉子 has also taken some photos she found of interest from her own perspective. Her website is: http://hk.myblog.yahoo.com/yipyip2020yip Enjoy yourself!
An exhausting day certainly, but one which is worth all the exhaustion, and more. It was a most emotionally rewarding day despite my purely physical fatigue! It will leave hundreds of images and feelings evoked by them in the treasure chest of my memory sufficient to nourish my duller moments for days to come and to rekindle a little those residual sparks of fire of my undying quest for form and beauty.
The gentleman at the booth apparently felt grateful to me for drawing his attention to LaoTzu and asked me if I would like to visit his stand again. I told him I intended to come again on Saturday when I would be less pressed for time. He was so kind. He gave me a guest ticket!