By Äi Äi
The recollection of my first encounter with poet-calligraphy artist, Ho Ching Chwang was obscure and ambiguous.
However, here were two versions of our first meeting.
It was just after New Years 2014. I was strolling in the Eslite Xin Yi book store in Taipei, in search of more art inspiration for ÄiÄi.
Hidden behind the Art and Architecture book session, a petit see-through glass room with the advantage of indoor fluorescent and outdoor natural lighting stood before me. The room was under construction for a calligraphy art installation project.
No mysterious black nylon fabric was used to warp up the cluttered chaos. Instead , as a prying observer, I decided to have look.
A person, sitting in the corner of the glass room, surrounded by a platelet like invisible balloon, magnified 40 trillion times large, no one could get close to this person. There was a bottle of Le Ble d’Or, a Taiwanese brewery brand with a European beer bottle design, which complemented its sophisticated surrounding quit nicely ; it would be uncanny as if it was a Pallyta B.
Quietly, I stood in front of the calligraphy covered glass wall, observing, as if the turmoil that was happening inside that glassy wall was also the art itself.
Wherever draws the eye I consider to be art.
Discretely, I took two photos of the exhibition in progress, then, left the bookstore in haste.
As for Ho Ching Chwang, I now call her “Ching”
According to Ching, we met even earlier, back to October 2012, in the courtyard of singer Misa’s home.
This single level home with its own courtyard was where we had our first actual conversation, I was an actress on a film set, between gaffer switching light sets.
Ching was a visitor to the film set who was also a friend with the director and Misa.
To be honest, I cannot recall any of our conversation; I can’t even remember if I have spoken to her, not to mention remembering her face.
To me, perhaps, she was a one-day visitor to the set, whom I would not see again. The memory of Ching was stored in my cache memory, and was automatically deleted a few weeks later.
In order to retrieve this fragment piece of memory, I texted Ching, who is currently visiting the Liverpool Biennial in London, hoping she would help me with the recollection of how we met.
21:44 Taffi Do you still remember when you met me the first time in Tianan, what was I doing?
21:44 ching Sitting on the chair, waiting for scene change
21:44 ching Bathing in the Winter Sun light
21:45 ching Ate rice crackers together
21:45 Taffi You came to the morning set!
21:46 Taffi Did I said something to you?
21:46 ching You said you are going to Me:Liu Art Gallery (after the filming project)
21:46 ching I said this name is very bold…or something similar (Me Liu means in between death and alive)
21:46 Taffi Yea…(memory start to resurface)
21:47 Taffi That was my next job after the shooting in Tainan
21:47 Taffi Then, I saw “Bird Men” in Me:Liu, what a coincident! (The Ceramic artist was Misa’s partner)
21:47 ching and maybe asked me about the owner of the house
21:48 Taffi You were the one who told me about the house owner?!
(apparently we spoke more than just a few words)
21:48 ching I said it was my business partner/classmate and his girlfriend, Misa
21:48 ching Misa recently came out a new album
21:49 Taffi Then you told me, Misa live close to the ocean,
21:49 Taffi Right?
21:50 ching Where you shoot the film was very close to Misa and very close to the ocean.
21:50 ching Then the shakya fruits I bought got smashed Meow
21:52 Taffi Then you left?
21:52 ching Uh
Apparently, Ching remembered me but I didn’t remember her.
To this date, her face is still blurred and foggy back in October 2012.
Maybe it’s better that way. From a poet’s mind eye, everything is a scene, every word strings into a pearl. For someone who is as forgetful as I am, it was comforting in a minuscule way.
I have a small head and I believe a small head leads to small brain capacity. There is certainly a feeling of guilt for not having enough space for remembering a person to whom I had once spoken. However, the curiosity and admiration that propelled me to learn more about Ching was when I saw Ching in her creative poetry and calligraphy writings in Eslite’s Art Space Studio.
Feelings were triggered by her words, which force me to contemplate what contemporary art is again.
Isn’t art representative of our current time?
Is this the font body of our time?
Calligraphy writing with original creative content V.S. content from the ancient literary elites.
With visual composition in her mind and poetry inspiration in her heart, the calligraphy manifested in a style of: Kawaii yet not so naïve, mature yet kiddish.
Poetry like prose, posing sporadically in the glass walled room, instigated a flowing image of: a person who had written many poems to another person, but now contemplates tossing those poems that were never sent, into the river.
Ho Ching Chwang had drawn me into her world of contemporary calligraphy and poem.
I began to follow her fb fan page. Watching her play with words and shaping of the words through calligraphy… gives me satisfaction of a newfound expression for emotions that cannot be justified with just words or just images.
After several emailing, meeting, texting, I was certain that Ching’s style of work could illustrate Äi Äi ILLUM LAB’s personality.
I’ve finally collected enough courage to ask Ching to write two characters in calligraphy.
After hearing my request, Ching didn’t response immediately.
It was the next day, when Ching suddenly announced she had completed these two words and sent me the images.
Ching said she wasn’t in the position to agree simply because she wasn’t sure how to compose it as she had no feelings nor inspiration toward those two characters. But the next morning, inspiration appeared, and she was able to finish and feel content about it.
Until I received the original from Ching, I had an incredible sense of the in explicable.
Where will this interesting turn of fate lead me ?
This is ÄiÄi Gallery’s first cooperation with an artist.
As I scroll open the calligraphy paper, two Traditional Chinese characters appeared.