In recent years, the many constraints imposed on us seem to have limited our imagination for the future. I would like to see that there are still many areas waiting for us to explore. This optimistic hope grew stronger when I had an encounter, a special moment in my usual mountain walk from my home. It was a very quiet, sunny afternoon. I walked past a lone pine tree, rooted behind a barbed wire fence. As I was approaching a bamboo thicket across the road, I could see and hear clearly its many bamboo leaves fluttering and rustling. It seemed that the strength of the wind was just enough to move the bamboo leaves, but not any other leaves. And the rhythm of the wind brought a long continuous whisper out of the bamboo leaves. The sound inspired me because it reminded me of the vast space surrounding me, its possibilities, and an ideal of collective vitality. The murmuring sound recalled how I use line drawing to travel between binary boundaries: ideal and reality, movement and pause, trace and discard. So I would like to think that by using this act of line movement, with the sensitivity of ballpoint pen ink and paper, I could reanimate a sense of ceaseless intimacy between my mind and that moment, my hand and my city.
The title “An Elephant’s Reverie” refers to the idiom “an elephant in the room”. It could mean that a well known controversial issue is deliberately ignored. In our shrunken expressive habitat, many necessary and fundamental concerns are unspoken. But they remain solid in the imaginative realm. “Washing elephant” is a Buddhist theme in traditional Chinese painting genre, in which sages and servants would wash a white elephant. This symbolizes seeing the truth by cleansing the mind. I would like to see the self-healing drawing process as a twofold way which on one hand addresses taboo devoid of representation and represents a formal imagination on our fundamental concerns prevailing as an illusion on another. If one drawn line can show a twofold way of seeing by me, then its totality might reflect a spectrum of manyfold of seeing by viewers, which could be like streams of a divided reality without hostility temporarily.
In contrary to the lively bending lines, black ink dots carrying thoughts on movement deprived, incarceration, forfeit, departure, and dead have come to settle at the bottom, forming a sediment of consciousness, a basis for conscience, a low threshold for creativity, a down-to-earth view of reality, persisting heartbeats on the verge of disappearance, or pictorially a distant mountainscape unfolding upward a boundless vista for many possibilities yet to come.