A Rhythm of Landscape, black series
Solo Exhibition, 2021
Wai Pong-yu craves a distant dimension which he can call home. Stretching along a zone of extended present from then to now, his empathy visualizes the invisible tethering between himself and the segregated life form. Each undulation echoes with the flow in his contemplation. In his teens, he would look at the mountain outside his window. To the left, rose the wall of his building. Falling rain would drift from behind its vertical edge, like a slowly drawn curtain to form a gauzy film covering the mountain. As he watched the woods quietly, fleecy mists breathed out from the serene forest green. In the vastness of an intrinsic grey found in the hazy mountain and the flow of lines, his intuition whispers to conjure up ancestral spirits who might see an entire territory as home. The conversation between mountain and rainfall might tell the emotional changes of people from different times.
The political vagaries of Hong Kong have been shaping our social and imaginative landscape every day over the past several years. I recall an online article about a Russian poet introduced by Hong Kong poet, Waitong Liu. Osip Emilevich Mandelstam wrote in 1921:
In the courtyard, washing up, night,
a sky rich with coarse stars.
Starlight like salt on an axe-head,
the full barrel frosting with ice.
The gates: locked, and stern,
frank, open soil all around —
no foundation anywhere, I think,
purer than the truth of fresh canvas.
Like salt, a star melts in the barrel,
ice-cold water gone blacker,
and death tidier, misery saltier,
and soil more truthful, more frightening.*
I cleanse my troubled mind in my quiet and freezing studio in the outskirts of my warring city. When a pen can be wielded like a voracious soul-eater axe or sceptre, the black ink fills the paper to the brim like a series of shadowy onslaught by an unscrupulous kakistocracy. The submerged shimmering starlight in the dark water, and the piercing starlight above the sky then puncture the gloominess of evil and fear. These aging and charred pages offer us eyes with which to look back while heading towards darkness with equanimity.
* Osip Emilevich Mandelstam, Complete Poetry of Osip Emilevich Mandelstam, Trans. Burton Raffel and Alla Burago (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1973), 123-24.
我在紛擾動盪的外圍，靜靜地在冷冰冰的工作室內洗滌思緒。 幹硬的筆端彷似任意宰割生靈的斧刃、權杖，溢出了的墨水，是既黑暗又昏昧的政治，黃鐘毀棄，瓦釜雷鳴。那是水中的黑暗，是天上的黑夜；點點的浮光和星星，劃破了籠罩一切的惡與恐懼。 一片片舊得快要霉掉、要去自焚的紙頁，賦予了一雙從容走向黑暗再回頭反觀的眼睛。