Picture Haiku (2013-2016)
Picture Haiku (2013-2016)
by Lee Ka-sing
[Ancient people recorded events by knotting cords. Strings of primitive, simple memoranda gathered records of hunting, disputes and altercations. A collection of these knotted strings, if we stage them in an exhibition it must have looked spectacular. Behind the visual splendour of these knobs, is the accumulated energy over time, long past and forgotten histories.
In the years between 2013 to 2016, I was working on a series, writing Haikus with pictures (photographs). Sets of photographs were arranged as triptychs. The Haikus were recalls from events, matters of daily lives, or thoughts after reading. At that time I was reading Jiang Bai Shih (1154—1221), whose prelude he placed as a foreground to his poem I especially enjoyed. The prelude is like a piece of well written short prose, usually presented to outline the occasion or background of the poem. Jiang’s poems are noted for indirectness, whereas the preludes help readers, making crossable pathways to access the work.
Somehow, this idea inspired me. Long titles are common in Chinese classical poetry, but in Jiang’s practice, it pushed even further.
In those years, I have produced about 50 Haiku works, most of them with a longer title that tells about the background or my motivation. Some of the earlier twenty some pieces, I’ve developed into an objectlike format - triptych mounted on one 7.5” x 2.5” (thick 1.5”) wood panel. A year after, I ceased making these wood panels. In 2016, I constructed a wooden frame grouping the last 16 pieces small panels to become a piece of new and individual work “Sixteen pieces of Haiku written in 2013”.]
(Holly Lee: English translation for introduction and titles)
[Am making a wooden large format camera for negative images on paper. Black to white in reverse walking far to near, we live in an absurd time while life hangs on a misplaced plane. The sky and earth melted into one thin line.]
收到Madeleine Marie Slavick寄來她的書《50個故事，50張照片》（MCCM出版）。暴風橫雨來臨之前，你手挽的皮喼，竟然保留了多個年頭的春風，偌大的草坡上，打開來與異域的陽光共唱
[Received Madeleine Marie Slavick’s book "Fifty Stories Fifty Images"（Published by MCCM). Before the storm arrived, you've gathered with you a full baggage of many Springs. In the vast pastures today you are unpacking all sparkling stories in a different land.]
剛剛收到楚喬在亞馬遜訂購Mary Jo Bang英譯但丁《地獄篇》（ISBN 978-1-55597-654-5），插圖出自好友Henrik Drescher。地獄也彷彿華麗烘烘，焚燒著燙熱體溫
[Just received Holly’s order from Amazon, Dante’s Inferno with translation from Mary Jo Bang, illustrated by our good friend Henrik Drescher. Hell broke out in magnificent fire, burning wildly with bodily heat.]
在VIMEO平台搜尋Vincent Moon巧遇龔志成（Kung Hong Kong，2011）。你拉的提琴，渡輪上，海水碎段著燈火。港灣的岸綫，盪盪漾漾之間，模糊消失（給正要啟程往香港停留一周的Bob Black)
[On VIMEO searching for Vincent Moon incidentally met Kung Chi Shing (video: Kung Hong Kong, 2011). On the ferry, your violin fiddling sea sweats into light drops. The harbour line vanishing in wobbling water. (To Bob Black who is about to embark on a trip to Hong Kong for a week).]
[Listening to Huan Ye’s aria in the gallery. Ink wash mountains emerge soft mists from her mouth. Abruptly, enter the rugged cliffs.]
[Watching Björk’s Manchester concert Biophilia at Bloor cinema. The gigantic Sharpsichord designed by Dagg was really a piece of soul capturing sound machine. The dinosaurian heart beats ruminating in the far wide desert.]
[Kin-Wai wrote, Mio Hani passed away in Tokyo. Prevailing sadness.]
[Tomio came to the gallery to help installation, Holly prepared spaghetti sprinkled with basil. We looked out from the gallery window, pedestrians swimming under the warm toned sun rays. Tomio browsed the New York Times magazines that we accumulated for several months, he found Milton Glaser among the faded news. O seventies, those days what spectacular scenery it was.]
[We miss Julian. He had his solo in 2010 at our gallery in Toronto. Just wonder if he had met Lester, who left a little earlier.]
["The text is a vestment, opaque or transparent, outlining for the imagination, yet at the same time concealing, the sweet body within." Recently a re-read on Stephen Owen.]
[In the little wood-blocks group show, Kai Chan’s black light white light, shattering Tai Chi in a twelve-fold style, I saw his black mountains melting with the whistling wind.]