Orang Cheena Bukan Cheena
Someone asked me recently why I use Chinese ink for my works.
Simply put, Chinese ink painting has been a way for me to claim my Chinese identity, the only identity I knew I could claim for sure. Chinese ink painting has always been a crucial part of my studio ritual, and ironically something exotic and intriguing.
Growing up, I often hear the phrase "Orang Cheena bukan Cheena" (Chinese, but not Chinese). In fact, I've always felt "Bukan Cheena Bukan Peranakan" (Not Chinese, not Peranakan). Identity has always been an abstract concept for me, and I see my Peranakan-ness as a gap.
A gap typically means a fault, an incomplete journey, a place to fall into, a point of no return. But what if you could see the gap from a different angle, and walk through it like how you would through a valley? Well, you could walk into it, through it , maybe even out of it.
That's probably just one of many interpretations of a gap,
or it could well be a gap with many more interpretations.
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