20 October 2008

right by me

After the morning's silliness, I had a lovely Sunday afternoon. I went out to the Queens Museum of Art for the Cinemarosa films which were quite fine: "See me" by Steven Liang, "Right by me" by Thanyatorn Siwanukrow. Both were coming out stories: the first a first-person narrative from a Chinese American in California, the second in Thai about three young men. During the discussion after, someone described the stories in the latter as considerably easier than (his) real life. It was affecting and effective, nonetheless. I was amused too by the harmony of the titles with the shared word "me"; not the me-ness of it but the rhyme and the double entendre of the "right by me."

I got to the museum early enough to see the "Reason's clue" show in the galleries. If you enjoy works that mix cultures and times, "Reason's clue" is a show for you. Zhang Hongtu has done some objects that wonderfully mix traditional Chinese styles with contemporary pop culture: Coke bottles in blue-and-white porcelain; zodiac figures in Mao suits, done in Tang-style three-color glaze; McDonald's containers in Shang bronze costumes; a series of Van Gogh-ish paintings looking rather like traditional Chinese scroll painting. With my current gig of ARTstor cataloging being Chinese art, this is especially amusing. There are also wonderful Hung Hao maps looking like a combination of western Renaissance style and Chinese content. And Taiwanese Tu Wei-Cheng has created the Bu Num civilization whose excavated steles look suspiciously like Blackberries.

I just love visiting Flushing Meadows and the Queens Museum. Is it the liveliness of the park? Or maybe the chance to walk through the panorama of the city from the 1964-1965 World's Fair? Or the camaraderie of the folks at Cinemarosa? Or maybe the ride in the 7 train, looking at Queens as we zip along?

From the park to the yard. After Sunday in the park, I took off for Alfred early on Monday morning. Raked the leaves this afternoon and helped my brother bag them to take up to his mulch pile. The yard and garden at the family homestead are in need of some attention and I am rather thinking I could manage a bit of that ... next year.

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