Week 12

22 Nov 2015

I would love to bring my laptop to Ubin but deciding between the weight of my groceries and laptop...the groceries prevail. Thus, making notes and drafting in my notebook is a habit while I'm in Ubin, of which I would transfer those writings online after I return home. As I penned down my thoughts, The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own come to mind. Both writers ahead of their times had written brilliantly. The unpacking of meaning so rich in their text is so filled with emotions and purpose. I wonder how many more Gilmans and Woolfs were undeveloped in those days due to a lack of space, time and money. 

I enjoy the space here away from home. It allows me to think and observe my surroundings. How can one focus when your Dad is blasting his Teochew songs in the living room and your sister is lip-syncing MTV in our room? And the mum is washing dishes in the kitchen. There is too much noise distracting my train of thoughts. Besides physical space, I need emotional space. This emotional space is described as feral space by Malcolm Garrette in which one can freely immerse in creative thought, crucial in consolidating curiosity and artistic thought.

It's liberating to write. It helps me to organise my ideas in ways which my internal monologue wouldn't be able to achieve. Ideas or phrases come to me anywhere. They appear in a narrative, fragments and are often disjointed. If I were to discuss my ideas with my non-art friends, they will be bored.. If I were to discuss my ideas with my art friends, they will think I'm dimwitted. Since my ideas have no place to go, I write. At least in the virtual space, I pose no hazard, there's no obligation to read or respond. Perhaps it's a gentler way of putting your ideas across compared to speech. 

If I brush my ideas aside, they will appear frequently in my mind, as though looking for an escape route from imprisonment. So, writing is a way to archive my thoughts and clear my mind for other things and I will remain sane. 

It's a cliche to claim that the creative process is more important than its product but this argument rests upon the artist's intention. Does the artist wish to create art that exists for its own sake, or to create art that exists as a product of the intention to solve a problem through the creative process?

That said, supposedly we think that every artist's intention is good, then bearing in mind T.S. Eliot said most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions. This will question our policies of intervention. Despite our best intentions, interference can sometimes inflict unanticipated harm. However, inaction can be morally problematic. Such a dilemma, isn't it?

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