17.12.09

swatches of colours


"When [blue] sinks almost to black, it echoes a grief that is hardly human. When it rises towards white ... its appeal to men grows weaker and more distant." -- Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, 1911.

the palette around me have changed quite a bit since i came back to toronto for the brief stunt of a mere week. trying to cram everyone in, get ready to head out again, along with great friend visiting, i simply feel that i cannot afford to sleep- desperately i want some time off to let things sink and settle, at the moment, perhaps the best option is to continue, until sunday, when i would board the plane and head to the lowest point of the year (please, no negative connotation here), to solitude among strangers in big, fast metal tin can. perhaps the ambient noise will nullify much agitations (like the water molecules that wants to break free to be vapours). at the moment, occasional silence inbetween changes of people and space will have to do. a small clusters of heterotopias in my mind.

the colours of the rockie mountains in winter- i miss it quite painfully. changes are inevitable and yes, physical separations are no permanent bound to the mind, well-said by mr. guru. however, i am only a human and there are no real silence of colours in this town. not on the big concrete branch of 32nd floor downtown, looking into the big finance buildings and shopping centres. unlike the mountains that took up the dusk, wearing it slowly, as if letting the watercolour pigments to swim onto one another on the page, turning blue to black, here, it is always too bright. this small monkey is hanging onto the big concrete branch with a slight sense of suffocation. i love toronto, but not every bit of it. it would be impossible. so i am (hopefully temporarily) resonating with kandinsky. blue to black, grief that is natural, as one cannot help it- changes accentuate the differences, once again, heterotopia in yyz.

the sudden urges to explore colour came from a recent message in my inbox. simple mentioning of kandinsky and it sort of stuck on my mind: 'White is the colour that sounds like the silence as it suddenly becomes comprehensive'- much like blobs of colours echoing throughout jackson pollock's massive cosmic canvases. i remember watching the movie pollock and was absolutely stunned: 'throughout the time in which i am working on a canvas i can feel how i am beginning to love it, with that love which is born of slow comprehension' (joan miro). true, pollock did move like a mad man at times, a proper nutcase, fast and furious, possessed. however, like all things in balance, he knew how to contemplate. tabula rasa to universe. human mind.

along with miro, another visual artist i dearly love is marc chagall. with his fantastic figures swimming and intertwining right before your very own eyes. and the stories. his stories are always very human. hopeful, cheerful, sometimes melancholic, full of love in all cases. just look at the eyes of his characters. they are warm with affection and compassion. and the edges always melt into liquid state, swirling around, pulling your eyes and heartstrings. fantastic colours. he also said something i really hold dearly: 'colour is all. when colour is right, form is right. colour is everything, colour is vibration like music; everything is vibration.' no need to mention he gets extra koodos for linking two of my other interests, string theories and music. with colour, he creates such form and rhythm. for me, miro and chagall are always very closely related. if they were music, they would be whimsical, occasionally breathtakingly slow beautiful, other times even pointillistic, but always illustrative and inviting.

a brief mentioning of rothko and turner cannot be helped if we are talking colours. i do like classical and older forms of painting before these guys, but there's something about these 'newer' guys (though i do realize especially turner, is quite 'dated.' but bah, really- can beauty be dated? i disagree) who broke down the molds of traditional definitions of object/subjects and literary isomorphism, hence freeing the element of colour to be something so moving. when one stares at the gigantic rothko, it is usually two ways- one moves away in passing, or... if you are like me, you are stuck on it, circling around it like a puppy with a buried bone, trying to savour all aspects of chase and discoveries that resonates through the core of the mind. it's funny that turner was the one who said: 'there's a sketch at everyturn,' and that statement is what pops into my head whenever i am attracted to a rothko: 'i am not an abstrationist. im not interested in the relationship of colour or form or anything else. i am interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom and so on.'

with the brilliant and piercing neon colours around me 24/7, i am feeling the sharp fangs of 'missing'- what am i missing? well, to express it comprehensively, i might say it is the very human experience of my own, stark contrast to the colours i am surrounded by, if temporarily so. with two eyes open with intentions of collecting various puzzle pieces that i may carry further- whether it be from the objective world of yyz@17 of december, 2009 or from the sum of complex brownian motion in my head, it does not matter- as long as i can consciously collect them to build another heterotopia. in a way, perhaps that is the only possibility at the moment. immersed, permeated, saturated and taking it all it- pleasure, pain, melancholy, utter joy, past, present. i am part of the picture. if a bit blue tinted and turning slightly darker, it is also alright. it is just a sketch, one of many.

'...I paint very large pictures. I realize that historically the function of painting large pictures is painting something very grandiose and pompous. The reason I paint them, however – I think it applies to other painters I know – is precisely because I want to be very intimate and human. To paint a small picture is to place yourself outside your experience. However you paint the larger picture, you are in it.' (rothko)

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