BERT ANTONIO

(sometimes) i (get ideas) & (sometimes) they (get me)

they come without ceremony

grab & nag & tug at me

awaiting their turn

on my play & work table

as my candle on both ends burn

 

we’ve all been given

old medicine in new bottled

rather I dose myself & share

new medicine from an old bottle

what vessel is ever aware

of the potency of what it carries?

 

& where do these ideas exist?

only somewhere between

what’s abstract & concrete

with instinct & intuition

use elbow grease = completion

 

sometimes I get ideas &

time comes for their turn

on my work & play table

where sometimes they get me

claiming their individuality

as a light bulb burns brightly

LIV VINLUAN

The Fool

I am agitated by history, and my relationship with it is one that is made up of a rather bizarre mass of shame, contempt, pride and fascination. In examining my relationship with History, I could never tell if it is an old friend, the archenemy or the overbearing grandparent. Sometimes, I  find comfort in her and is motherly to me, and after supper we sit by the window while she brushes my hair.

 

It is in this confused sentiment where one can trace the roots of my preoccupation. In my body of work, History is recurring and reincarnating itself time and time again like a familiar ghost, one who seems to refuse to pass over unto the eternal hereafter. 

 

In this show I set out to paint panoramas and tondos in the tradition of classical landscape painting wherein scenes of idyllic atmosphere are disrupted by illogical weather, irrational compositions and historical actions.  Historically, in Tang dynasty China,  cultivated men receded into the natural world, seeking meaning and sanctuary in landscapes amidst the failure of human order. In this particular show, I seem to have a deliberate attempt to subtly sabotage the veneer of the picturesque and jolt the eye (and maybe the mind) from comfort and complacency.

 

As a painter (or artist), I am only one of the many which belong  to this line of work, a strange occupation where we are called upon to make sense of the Universe in the most abstract and impalpable of ways. 

 

Curiously, the more I ask, the more the question questions itself into a heap of inquiries—entangling  itself into a difficult knot. Untangling it is now tedious and useless. This knot is now perhaps a weave, one with no pattern and whose loom is controlled by an unforeseen, unfathomable almighty.