The shadows of the fan is an album

in order to recall my first personal show titled ‘ Chinese Fan and seashells’, shown at Carlton Studios in Edinburgh In 1982

it was a show of abstract paintings based on the spiritual metaphor of the triangles, of the trinity, etc., manifested often as possible objects in the material world, that of Chinese Fans and Seashells

it was a transitional period

I was doing my first semester Postgraduate with Professor Cummings at Edinburgh

College of Art

He left the College right after that semester

I was awarded a scholarship to travel to Florence for a month

to prepare myself to eventually settle in this city after my graduation

Professor Cummings warned me before leaving me with my tutors

’ No matter what they say to you, just think of the opposite and you will be on the right track’,

my tutors were once his students and he knew what I would eventually encounter

as a matter of fact, I was discouraged to listen to the advice that Professor Cummings prepared for me, 

Look at Chinese Calligraphy and Colour, your strength and identity 

my tutor said,

You are making something so impossible, why bother?

He meant the difficulties I had whenever I stopped to mix the necessary colours while being faithful to the Chi , a necessity for any Spiritual brush work to fully manifest itself as demanded by Chinese Calligraphic traditions

I insisted to think of  the opposite, following the advice of Professor Cummings

It took years before I realised the final solution - which to my surprise,  lies in watercolour as a medium

In the summer of 2017, I bought a Sketch book in Hong Kong embedded with fan shaped field of boundaries 

ready to be filled with images

I filled them with spontaneous moments of certain Hong Kong films of the sixties

and records of diaries in visual terms: an old tea pot, a new tea pot, a catalogue of an exhibition, portraits of Antonio, my Florentine refuge, etc

they are not abstracted images like my first personal show

they are concrete happenings of my intimate ways of seeing

The Chinese brushworks, not the abstract pattern, are seen in subtle ways

sometimes the colours are fresh

sometimes they are not

it happened only because I was finishing certain colours

I did not go and purchase the colours in order to make a fresher image

after all these years of painting

I am no longer attached to what others consider being good or bad as the Quality to be seeked upon

nothing is important anymore

mistakes are fully welcome

beyond the boundaries is great

you see the fan

you don’t

an old way is also welcome 

a new way is seen in the subtle acceptance of what others consider as mistakes, such as muddiness of colours

we live every moment of our lives with the same breath

whether we mix muddy colours or fresh colours

we need to embrace the impossible and make possible happen

think of the opposite when you cannot go anywhere

A lesson about Life

such was the lecture generously given to me by Professor Cummings

before he went on retirement 

Thank you Professor Cummings

Happy Chinese New Year of the Dog- an invitation of no spiritual boundaries 

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