A crack on a plate from its worn might be a good example of how well-loved a plate might have been by the owner until the small line on the plate became a crack. Then, the vivid pattern on the plate would be all it serves - in this case, red floral pattern. In fact I bought the plate from a local charity shop when I moved into a new house with empty handed hoping that getting a nice plate will help me feel at home. That’s something my Mum did when I first got an independent place for myself in a basement flat somewhere in Seoul. She packed some nice plates that I liked using at hers then packed them with me so that those plates would make me less lonely and hopefully help me get familiar with my new home. Taken from my Mum’s wisdom, the red plate from the charity shop surely had sincerely served me for 1.5 years while it often has been filled with different possibilities including strawberries with sprinkles of sugar as well as 10pm porridge with flakes of dried seaweed out of aspiration to eat well at least after coming home from an evening shift. But all of the possibilities soon disappeared into the darkness once it cracked.
And, Instagram, although I benefitted so much from it and through it, I could nurture my friendships with people and discovered nice things, made me feel impatient with myself when my work was “not enough for Instagram” and it took me a while for me to realise that I wasn’t (at least) trying to make good art but I tried to find the good art on Instagram because it’d give me the same satisfaction that I could get from making my own work. For the last few days - and weeks, I determined to focus more on what I naturally like something honest and perhaps naïve images that are clear for the purpose like a drawing drawn for the urgency to communicate and you can also see how the marks are made and they seem physical and tangible. Stamping images and drawing with ink are similar. You are focused within the timeline of making using your instinct and it is immediate.
The tendency for something tangible leads me to write about food. I use food to translate some of thought on things. Food is sensibly tangible and universal that you don’t need a certificate (!) to understand what it is trying to do. Like, Mum’s eggy bread that she made for her children before going off to her weekend work symbolises love and commitment and its legacy is clearly stamped on the life of her children.
Instagram works in a way to encourage people to post and move on very quickly. An essay that is the result of your months of research can feel pointless when you can get more likes from a photo of a street cat. People move on quickly and unless you can hook people’s attention in a hot second of their scrolling, your post get mixed with tones of many other interesting and inspiring posts. My fortified project felt like that. I just felt like writing and reading about food and drawing felt pointless when you see you lose followers by simply talking about it - by the way, is it a taboo to post a picture of food in your art Instagram because then, your feed is not “consistent” when you have to perform your posts to make it so?
Meeting people in real life who actually told me that they liked my books/writings helped me reduce my doubhts and I managed to dip my foot out before it gets too damp. The other day, I met Zarina from The White Pube at The Rabbits Road and she told me she liked my book (!!!). It made me feel so happy. I often forget that my task is actually writing and making work regardless of how good my art looks on Instagram. Gabrielle from the White Pube said, there ‘s a specific type of art that look nice on Instagram and although I knew it from my bone, maybe I was also complicit to it performing my way to fit in.
Knowing that people acutally read my writings and they’re interested in my work makes me realise that I have people to have a conversation with and I also have a voice as an artist/writer. That’s why I will continue making a physical book as well as posting it on my website/social media. The physicality of books guides me to the light where resminds me of people that I exchanged ideas with as well as it actually reminds me that I have “this thing” to work on. July 28th, I had a packet of brioche and milky tea for breakfast on the go on the way out of an awkward conversation with people from church about my job then, I had a cheap spinach and feta pocket pastry to make up for my big expenditure during my “research” trip to London. I am unsure about a lot of things but my food feelings are solid and instinctive and I am grateful for it.