17 January 2014 @ 06:18 hours
This is the most important moment for her. A time to reflect of the present and of the past.
She had laid off painting for almost 1.5 years now. These days thoughts are mainly preoccupied with so many interesting events happening on a daily basis, mostly groovy encounters with day-to day work. Experiences that made her laugh. She is happy again despite all the distractions. The same stuff mainly, by choice. CL always made her very happy. They enjoy certain kind of food and exhibits appreciation. The last visit to Raffles hotel reminded her of PP’s wedding 3 or perhaps 4 years ago. She could only remember the excitements in all the aunties faces and giggles when they were trying out the outfits she had brought back for them. This time round passing though the East India room, beautifully decorated in preparation for “Agnes Oo’s Birthday celebration.
The instinct to hold a palette knife or having that visual spark, is not there…now….
Most of the “nicest’ artworks were produced in KK’s room. After KK died, nobody was comfortable to use that room for the longest time. A few months after KK left, she had removed everything in that room so that no one would remember it was occupied by someone who had once lived. People fear death. Any object used or occupied by someone who passed on seemed scary to them.
She had converted the room into a simple art studio. Minimal fixtures from Ikea and her easels, bought second hand from Yoshi when she was alive and giving up her art studio at Cluny just above the cold storage. It has been taken over by some expat conducting some art classes to some ped kids.
In KK’s room, she started experimenting with fluid medium and acrylic. The colours were incredibly brilliant. KK had blessed her with creativity she had never imagined, she would even have. KK was a very quiet and patient person. Once she had a visitor, Mr. Moriwake and KK surprised everyone by communicating in Japanese. Both of them were happy and sociable, the usual bit, KK would offer the pack of triple 5 to any visitor that smoke. That was a courteous gesture coming from anyone who lived at his timeline.
Mr Moriwake is the son of the 84 year old lady she had taken care everyday except on Sundays for almost 8 months. Okasan had a hip replaced after a fall. She had declined taking that assignment at first after what popo had told her of events during the Japanese occupation. It turned out to be a fabulous experience apart from enjoying the humongous pool that she used after work at their Flametree park condo. Sometimes Okasan would be cranky and depressed and she was very challenge to care for. She had a dog name Rico cha. He is cute Pomenarian with a small appetite. Okasan odored him totally and cooked him chicken in soya sauce and sugar. When it was time to feed. She would drain the dark sauce away and fed Rico with just the small chunks of meat. Once Okasan took a taxi and ended up lost somewhere far in town. She only spoke Japanese and the poor taxi driver had a hard time figuring where this amazing old lady wanted to go. When the meter started clicking way above the normal cost of going to furthest location in Singapore. Okasan was told to exit. Somehow she ended in Japanese department store and had the store manager send her home.
Okasan’s routine was exemplary. Every morning she would rise early. Her skin though wrinkled, was flawless. She would use her skin care diligently and powdered her face white. Sometimes she got confused and used hair cream on her face instead of the bottle of moisturizer.
After applying her bright rouge lippy, she would smiled and gave her nod of approval. Next, her lovely short black wig over the hair net; that made her look 15 years younger as opposed to the thinning scalp with her little strands of long hair twirled into a boring old lady’s bun. After she had changed, she would put on her dignified pair of glasses with that dingy gold straps to hold them together at the edges, she would go downstairs with her walking stick for a garden walk.
That was a long time ago. Years later she received a greeting card from the Moriwake that the family had moved to Taiwan as with his job requirement. Are they still alive? Perhaps not.
Wings of life, The Journey, Ocean, Liberation, Braveheart, Vanished were the few artworks she produced at KK’s room. Those were bright yet muted vibrancy. 3 months after KK died, she received a call from dad at 8 o’clock that morning…..mum had died in her sleep………………….
She was totally void of grief, her relatives thought she was cold, brave, insanely detached. I suppose they have not seen her weeping in her sleep.
Moving on, her works with colours got bolder, more vibrant, move movements….she had used splashes of crimson, representing deep expression of love. Rouge representing the state of living.
The people she loved had left. When a person is lifeless, the body is cold, the skin is pale when blood had stopped circulating.
How does she express the state of being alive, or the feeling of joy being with someone she loves?
The rouge was present in almost each of the following series.
Passion, Outpouring, Joy, Cloud of Jewels, The Creation, The Gift, Gravitation…were among the rouge series.
So now …..she doesn’t know where to start again. She went to bed early. Last night, she wore her red silk slip with black lace trimmings. Once she got under the covers, she would need two layers of blanket to keep her comfortable and secure. For the past few nights, she woke up a few times…perhaps the project was at the back of her mind and this time alone to reflect was what she needed most. She had no time to think in the day. Work and taken up almost all her waking hours and by the time she could have time to herself. Her body was too tired to continue.
She got up in the middle of the night drinking Florida orange juice and started this entry… Now she is sleepy and had to be at work in 2 hours.