同於日本 大阪 和田市
'Sinking Fish' 'Fallen Bird'
Feb 2012 Aug 2012
Both in Hotan, Osaka, Japan
那時我在日本 大阪 和田市wwoof（免費食宿、無人工、六日工作），那是一個回收工場，老闆在垃圾站撿回任天堂等舊式遊戲機，修整清理後，再經eBay等網站，售予國際買家。
There was a beauty named Xi Shi in ancient China in the Spring and Autumn Period (722 BC - 481 BC). Her beautiful face is reflected on the water when she is washing cloth by the river. The fish in the river forget to breath and sink down the river because of her ultimate beauty and that’s the ‘Sinking Fish’.
There was another beauty, Wang Zhaojun in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). The birds up in the sky forget to flap their wings and fall on ground when they see Wang singing on the way to her wedding to a far country away from home. And that’s the ‘Fallen Bird’.
‘Sinking Fish Fallen Bird’ is a phrase in Chinese that means ‘Beauty’.
The ‘Sinking Fish’ in the painting is spiting bubbles and suffocating while the ‘Fallen Bird’ is falling from the sky. In a nutshell this painting is flattering the one who is looking at this painting that he or she is a beauty, so beautiful that the fish is sinking for you and the bird is falling for you.
This is the first layer of meaning in this painting.
I was wwoofing (free accommodation, no salary with 6 days’ work) in Hotan, Osaka, Japan. That is a recycle center. The Boss picks up old game boys from the rubbish station, fix them, clean them and sell them to international buyers through website like eBay.
Volunteers like me have to clean the game boys. It is a relax, simple and boring job which just keep repeating and repeating everyday. To be honest I was quite depressed there.
That’s why the second layer of meaning in the painting has some sort of venting self-mocking; I was tossed around like a sinking fish and a fallen bird by the ultimate ‘beauty’ of your majesty the Boss.
But the Boss is simple and direct and doesn’t think too much. The Boss is very pleased by the first layer of meaning in the painting and happy to be positioned as a beauty. The Boss likes the bright colors and the special composition of the painting and glad that there would be a painting to enjoy in the bar table when there are guests. And the Boss plans to add spot lights behind the painting to create atmosphere.
I was so shocked by this plan. The Boss never told me about this plan. I always thought the light source would be the natural sun light beside the corridor or the lamp light on top and I have never consider that would be spot lights shining BEHIND the painting.
I have used thick layers of acrylic and fill up every space in 'Sinking Fish' so it would be crystal clear colorful instead of pale white if a spot light shine behind the painting.
But there is only a thin layer of color for ‘Fallen Bird’ and it would become a pale white bird instead of a golden phoenix if spot lights are shone behind the painting.
I have use acrylic and marker for this painting and have no ideas if the colors would be changed or release harmful matters if it keeps being shone by spot lights.
I leave Japan soon after I have finished the painting so I don’t know if the Boss has ever put spot lights behind the painting.
It has been a few years now, maybe the Boss has moved or re-decorate the house and this painting be sink down in the landfill or be thrown into the incinerator long ago…
I finished ‘Sinking Fish’ solely for a few days. I was so bored by cleaning game boys all day so I draw a draft, present to the Boss and ask for not cleaning game boys but to draw the painting. I am so thankful that the Boss is a generous person and trust me to do the work and doesn’t mind if I graffiti the studio or quit my original cleaning work and still provide accommodations and let me to do my first wall painting. It was really a generous, kind and trustful act. I am still very thankful today.
I have never experienced such calmness when I was drawing ‘Sinking Fish’. The only meaning of life is TO DRAW. When there is only one goal in life, the life becomes simple and light. The drawing life of that few days like a pure white dream and make me understand that simple is beauty：）
I leave Osaka and travel around Japan when I finished ‘Sinking Fish’ in winter.
I go back to Osaka in summer and thank the boss taken me again to finish ‘Fallen Bird’. I met Xaviera, another girl from Hong Kong in that summer in the studio and thanks for her help that we color the ‘Fallen Bird’ together：）