catmasutra cat art exhibition: My Quirky Valentine

Make a date with the Cat!
My Quirky Valentine

Opening Reception:
Tue 2nd Feb 2010, from 6.30pm

Wed 3rd to Wed 10th Feb 2010 @
Alliance Française de Singapour
1 Sarkies Road, 2nd Level

Opening hours:
11am to 7pm daily

Or contact Ms Chen Man Lee
for appointments:
Cell: + 65 9675 7721

My Quirky Valentine is a quirky cat-art show that reveals and celebrates the innumerable diversities and expressions of love. As the Persian poet, Rumi would say, “A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.” Indeed, it is important to grow into the person that you are first (which is more a process of letting go then changing oneself), come full circle into all the unique qualities that define us, and when truly realized, reflects the universal. With this connectedness, it is essentially a celebration of emptiness that contains everything! And everything becomes a celebration...

"The whole world lives within a safeguarding, fish inside waves, birds held in the sky... even the ground, the water, every spark floating up from the fire, all subsist, exist, are held in the divine. Nothing is ever alone for a single moment." ~Rumi

The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.

My Quirky Valentine is about the thousand half-loves that fire our imagination to that which we truly love, the passion which fills our hearts and minds. As our hearts get  larger, it seems capable of holding more things, it becomes flexible, lighter, and funnier! In the same way, the more we hold on to our identity, the more solid our problems become. It always pays to look at the lighter side of things...

"We are such stuff
As dreams are made on,
and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep."

"That Furry Thing Called Love", 30 x 30"

Love is a mainly-furry thing,
It's the April rose that only grows in the early spring,
Love is nature's way of giving a reason to be living,
The golden crown that makes a man a king.
Once on a high and windy hill,
In the morning mist two lovers kissed and the world stood still,
Then your fingers touched my silent heart and taught it how to sing,
Yes, true love's a mainly furry thing.

Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!...
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the Sun!
~May Sarton

Now, come fly away with me....



Ode to the Rain 2009, catmaSutra...

Maybe it's due to the lack of seasons here that the rain takes on a stronger significance in deciphering the natural rhythm of time. I have always found the rain to be strangely alluring and familiar, as if revealing the rise and fall of things. Rain puts us in a different mood, albeit being portrayed as such in movies, it does have a strong subliminal grip on our senses. It swings us temperamentally into moods as disparate as sweet-coziness (think snuggling up in bed on a stormy night), introspection with a tinge of darkness creeping up, or as popularly portrayed in the folklore of  human kind, sadness, tragedy, romantic ups and downs, and the ultimate redemption. It seems inevitable that rain should be used in movies as it is such a primal mover of our emotions.

It was a very wet end to 2009, more so than I can remember in recent years. Time and again, I felt compelled to be out there with the rain, capturing the out-pouring of emotions (sometimes it felt like the whole world was crying but didn't know it yet...and i needed to document it somehow) Maybe because I've been painting full time for a while - time, the misunderstood condition of our time  - that means no more regulated time, no more 9-7, and the end of artificial and disharmonious rules that govern the way we live - freedom? Freedom is a wild creature and sometimes I don't think our 'society-conditioned' body is equipped to deal with it. We have to spend time with it, understand it, accept and then let it go...

I saw a swallow fly when I was writing this with its beautiful lines and traced the shape of its unrestrained flight. I watched little flowers appear on treetops as if by magic and white butterflies fluttering amongst it and these are road-side trees planted in the public car park behind my apartment!  There is indeed beauty everywhere if we have the time and space to see them. The mechanic who works in a shop downstairs would raise his song-birds to the treetops via a pulley system, while he sits in his rain-washed chair, listening to the chirping of his company of birds. Soften the heart and let it open, open to more of everything, the big and the small. Life is a simple paradox.The most valuable things are free and close by but difficult to find.  Our time here is short, yet it can seem like a long time. Life is tiny to the world and history of time, yet it means everything to us. Everything is connected, with threads tying everything together. How we move in turn move all the things that are tied to us one way or another. So don't just live. Have a beautiful vision. Hold on to it.Walk softly, live gently. 

Wishing one and all an inspired 2010!