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  • Writer's pictureNg Su Yin


Art Notes:

Today is 人日 (renri), or Human day. I remember being told a Chinese mythological story of humans being made by the goddess Nüwa on the seventh day of the lunar calendar, thousands of years ago today. That was a really long time ago, interesting nonetheless. So how have we fared so far? I've lived many years as a human being, and despite this, the many things humans are capable of doing, still fascinates me no end. What have humans brought to this world? Am l proud to be one? I often ponder how living my life as a human has become increasingly complex, especially given that domestic chaos, war aggression, alienation and brutality, and the constant feeling of helplessness have become our inescapable reality. We watch humankind turn against each other at disputed borders, and hear stories of miseries and pain endured by strangers whom we have never met, whose plight we can never understand. What have humans become, and can we be better?

I was at the @kettlesyard for 'Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends', exhibition recently, and my visits to the place have inevitably added dimensions to these thoughts. The many facets of humanity and values which I encountered through the works, were certainly worthy for mortal reflection. The exhibition is based on the pioneering vision of artist Li Yuan-chia and the LYC Museum & Art Gallery he founded and ran (1972- 1983) in the Cumbrian village of Banks, UK. In the exhibition I found, evidence of shared artistic aspirations, and creations that matter, not only to one human, but also those who walked alongside him. Many strands of ideological and physical presences were lyrically and seamlessly woven, from the exhibits, to the performances, and words, tracing and reminiscing about memories, projecting new hopes, and creating new trails. As I was immersed in the tireless actions that sought to deepen these trails, I marvelled at the altruistic beliefs that have propelled the seemingly endless creations, beliefs that were undeniably, human. The search for purpose and meaning, the yearning and offer of comfort and companionship, the prevailing kindness to tell the stories of others and to acknowledge the broken and lonely, the courage to speak about the sorrows of the troubled, marginalised and those still searching. As I left for the last time, I took comfort in the assurance that as humans, we can be so much more. Have a great Human Day.


Hammad Nasar @hammad_nasar_8

Sarah Victoria Turner @sarahvictoriaturner

Amy Tobin @a_m_y_t_o_b_i_n

Artists (of performances)

Bettina Fung @bettinafws . Towards All and Nothing

Annie Jael Kwan @alikati . Let It Be A Tale

Noel Ed De Leon @noeled.deleon . To Set Foot on this Land

Nicholas Tee @chillidxddy . Communing with Li


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