Blogged Revisited : Why I Make Art

Photos from:

Blogged (Artfields at Gone Fishing)
2004
Brigid Watson & Peng-Ean Khoo
(with Twardzik Ching Chor Leng, Lai Mei Chin,
Kenny Toh, Sean Toh & Dylan Toh)

Why I make art

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Is why I do everything else in my life.
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Sometimes the reason is clear.
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Most times they are not.
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Sometimes the experience is pure bliss.
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Most times they are sheer agony.
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I’ve come to realise I can’t compartmentalise aspects of my life, so I can’t really call this art and that, non-art.
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It’s all a blur now. Meaning there are no lines drawn between my this and that. All is my life.
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I am grateful for my life. I am grateful to be able to participate in life. And now, I am grateful I can contribute to life and the lives of others, in whatever way I can.
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I have learnt that judging is probably my worse vice. It is so subtle, and so blindspotted.
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I have learnt that my blindness was in not being able to see beauty everywhere.
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The beauty of life.
My suffering was that I was suffering the suffering that every human person goes through and gets through.
My suffering was that I was growing.
And when I can see that, the growth stabilises and the suffering becomes understood.
I don’t know how to explain self-compassion and why I was going through this grinder. Why I had to.
I think I really didn’t want to be defined anymore.
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I think I don’t want my identity to be plastic.
And I don’t want to be angry anymore. And I don’t want to be rebellious anymore.
Thank you for growing me up. I realised I had been like a child sulking and whining. Still valid, but I think it is time, that I let that all go and suck it up.
Life is good.
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(Photo credit: Adrian Seah)
Sometimes it is very difficult, but whatever happens, we will still have to figure a way to make it better, and then good.
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I think I finally understand what Victor Frankl is saying. I paraphrase: It isn’t about what life can offer me but what I am called by life to offer to life.
I think I have gotten it all quite upside down for such a long time, and that is why I had to undergo so much ego suffering.
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(Photo credit: Adrian Seah)
Well, today I am going to release all that.
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I am not ashamed of who I am. I am not afraid of what others think of me. I love what I do. I do love who I am. And I do what I do because it is what I know to do and what I can do and what I feel to do.
I don’t know if there is an ultimate answer to anything that we do or if there is ever an absolute purity driver to our work and our lives.
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(Photo credit: Adrian Seah)
I think if we start to stand apart from each other, and start creating abstract imaginary walls by creating ideas and labels, is when we suffer the most. Because then we are divided and can only dialogue in distances, protections and arguments. Because the real divide isn’t about what we are talking about but that we already are standing on different islands.
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So it may seem like we are in dialogues but in fact, we haven’t even begun to examine why we as human beings, who essentially are the same, are standing on such separate lands of the self.
I am feeling tremendous peace today.
I have my feet planted on a very interesting land today.
It is excruciating lonely, yet it is liberating, and the strangest encounter is that I am not alone.
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Wow. What an art show preparation. I guess I have been asked to pour my heart out and be authentic, and to finally just grow up and not be so absorbed in my own melancholic maladies and melodramas.
So, this is my gift for my hometown then:
My inner child growing up!
My inner liberation!
My one real true courage: my vulnerable heart.
Thank you, Ipoh. Thank you, Kok, CP and Ni Art Week organisers.
This is why I make art. I never fail to make a truthful discovery about myself, especially when it calls for that terrible self-doubt and agony of muckiness (every time! Argh!) and then the gumption to go the distance.
Peng-Ean Khoo
December 2, 2016

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