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  • mengju


I'm writing this in Kurau right now and it's almost 10am. Rhema is coming to get three paintings to put in storage (Rosetta, Neu, Slinky). I asked about his title-ing decisions and he says it just feels like it. I guess it's like how I name my house plants and some of my work too. I feel validated somehow.

After Rhema is done, I'll be waiting for a Rudy person to come and get the sound panels. Somehow Lasalle doesn't wanna accept it. I think we know who it is who wouldn't take it into the school. It's really good stuff though, what a shame.

Rudy will come at like 3pm. After that I'll go down and get drinks for Nina and us.

Before that I'll be here typing away. I also have to catch up with Praxis Press matters. Cynthia and I are the student editors, but I wanted to log assisting Jeremy as my main internship. I think Praxis Press is Cynthia's sole internship. We have different jobs to do and handle different student writers, so we don't really communicate. I don't know what to log for Praxis Press too, but I guess I'll try.

So far what I have done is:

- Create a working excel sheet to track all writers, articles and due dates

- Divvy up who's in charge of who (I'm taking BA2 which is our level mates and alumni, but sometimes diploma people find me directly so I end up being in charge of them too)

- Talk to each writer to figure out what they would like to write about and how they'd like to write about it. Some of them would rather do photo essays or illustrations and I want to encourage that. Others have trouble deciding their angle or tone and I try to get them to sound as personalised as possible.

- Chase people

- Analyse past editions and project how many additional pages we would need (This took longer than I thought. Like an hour. A lot of math and trying to guess how people will write.)

- Convert all PDFs to Word Docs

- Contact Susie who is the copy editor to work with her about editing

I'm in charge of 32 writers. Right now I'm chasing the last few, mostly alumni, for their articles.

Sometimes I go to their events to know more about their thing, like Susanna and her collaboration with Hutan Tropical. Sometimes I meet them in person for chats, like with Moses. I don't seem like it but I get social anxiety really easily and try to pretend I don't. I think Moses senses that so he's really kind and nurturing to me.

What I've also learnt is that it helps to keep an archive. In the folder we uploaded for Susie, Zul's article was missing from the folder, but I wasn't his contact. Luckily I asked Zul for his article last year in case, and I kept that in my drive, so I just had to dig it out and transfer it.

Besides a working drive I share with people working together, I always keep a back up in my personal drive until the project is over. I learnt that from working at Artify, where my boss likes things done fast so it helps when she coudn't find it in the mega big company drive, I could pull the file out from my smaller drive, organised in a way intuitive to me personally.

But anyway. Back to Jeremy's studio!

These are the photos on my snappy disposable-looking little camera from Terry's visit to move his things back.

It's Hungry Ghost Month, people!

There you can see the four foam modules we kept. I staggered them so now they're here as a pretty unstable shelf. It balances at specific points:

I named the plants too. The ZZ is called Susu, the snake plant is called Lemon and the faux wheatgrass is called Rachel the Cyborg from Bladerunner (I didn't watch Bladerunner).

The sky was the secretest pink. I tried to colour correct it. So tough. Lightroom on mobile made it a little easier. Still don't know how to use Lightroom, or any Adobe products on the laptop, except for InDesign. Jeremy said he'd teach me but he's so busy lately so I'll remind him next time.

And then we finally put the studio back. The instruments were where we left them since the TAAC:Live gig, so I gotta move them back to where they were nice and neat before.

Whenever you put a drumset down, always put some sort of mat below it, if you don't wanna destroy your floor. The legs really dig in. Also the sound is much better. This rug is from Mustafa. How did I know? Stay tuned!

They're all like admiring the rug like nosy relatives.

See this?

No diff!

I was cleaning around and found two cardboard cut-outs. Apparently Jeremy was trying to make coasters. I don't know why he bothered to draw the circles but it's funny.

He chucked them in the bin right after. Felt a little sad for the makeshift coasters.

We use coasters sometimes for the beer we sometimes stock in the mini fridge that I sourced for him on Carousell some time in the academic year. I forgot when. I think it was early Sem 2. Yutong was getting cartons of Lao Te beer and Jeremy got some too, so for a while we had endless beer. But it wasn't endless obviously, because now the fridge is empty. When some of the Say Ocean interviewees came to the studio for recording, we offered them beer too if they drink.

I found this while keeping and laying the carpet down. Jeremy laughed sheepishly when I told him the tag was still on it. I think while I'm lucky to get a mentor who's very willing to let me take charge of things and learn, I think he's lucky to get a Virgo like me to be all up in his business.

Not bad a deal actually. I might wanna get one myself too.

In the process of moving things around and making space to put work up, I encountered a few wall scribbles that Jeremy had almost forgotten about writing too. Here are some:

Past album ideas (he once wrote Concha over a Tilda Swinton poster, which resided on his studio door for the longest time until it was mysteriously torn down. It's so aged it's all blue. I gave my VW Wheel photo print from the One Night Only show and he wants to put that up next).

It's also interesting to see his inspirations and references shift over time. He was so paintey before. I found a catalogue he made between 1996-1999 when he was still a student like me now, and everything's so young-looking and the titles so clumsy and the way he drew was a little more angsty. He said he doesn't know how he got here, doing sound and new media stuff. I said that it's not surprising to me. I think his concerns remain similar, and the way he takes interest in things never really changed. I also told him angsty people probably get quiet easier when they grow up. To me anger is like taking a shower. We get angry to clean. And then we are new and squeaky again after angries to take on the world once more.

I also found a pretty green feather so I stuck it on the wall and used a blu tack to make it an exclamation mark. Wonder how long it takes for him to notice it. I also found a lick of paint glob. The last time he painted was a long while ago. I think it looks like the Gaussian paintings. It's surely been there for a while and I found that endearing, the little immortal slug.

I asked if he'd paint again. I think he decided on doing drawings for next year's show in March at Sydney. And sound. I think he wants to take previous stuff and rework them. He says he might paint but for funsies. I really wanna see him paint again. I told him I want to know why and how Milenko and Ian Woo paint. I know nothing about painting. I can probably copy a photo, and that's all painting in year one's modules seemed like to me, choosing the right photo to paint. But I don't wanna be a painter by craft. He asked if I wanted to paint abstract paintings and I said maybe or maybe not. I want to understand it first. He said he's got a pretty good book that got him started about things he otherwise wouldn't have been taught when he was a wee kid like me too, and he'll find it to lend it to me. Thankies Jeremy if you're ever reading this. I don't think he's gonna read this though.

We put up one of the Spectrum light boxes to show Nina later. I asked him how he decided to make each part light up in the sequences. He told me that he took found footage and programmed it so it's rearranged in the square. They look jumbled up as a result and that's how he decided where each of the lights go. The one he's showing was a video of his kids, when they were smaller than they are now, being showered by their mom. I liked how the temperatures shift carelessly. I like the one at the Intimacy show earlier this year at Lavender too.

Of all of Jeremy's stuff that I've seen, I think I like the postcard paintings from the Apropos show the most, the beeswax covers, the grey paintings, the drone sounds (I don't know if he released them yet. Don't think so), and the Spectrum series. Of his albums I like Nuclear Families the most. It's fresh and full of minty anger and so much ambition. I like living in that feeling.

Unfortunately I still don't know how these wire things work, but it was late and we don't exactly have all the time in the world. When we're keeping this back I'll ask him to teach me instead.

And then I was going through boxes on shelves and found a box of photos that he forgot about. It's amazing! Some are taken by him and some are by friends of his KYTV gigs, studio shots, etc. I try to take photos of my friends in my studio too but I don't document mine well. Also it's so easy to delete stuff nowadays. Not like data is really deleted, but it's not as accessible once it is deleted to the average person like me. I will start archiving. It's nice to view life in retrospect.

Jon told me Jeremy used to paint text too and Jeremy never really showed me. Now I see his studio photos and learnt that he used stencils. I don't use stencils but I have a very particular way I shape my letters.

He had a photo of him working in a room he rented from his friend Delphi's flat. I met Delphi very briefly once. A very nice guy. He made a CD called Music for Cat People which Jeremy helped with. He's great, I listened to it a bit. This is a gigantic painting that was a commission for a client. I asked Jeremy what the client asked for and he said that she wanted something like a fireplace. I wish I was there to watch the painting happen. A painting stores latent time, don't you think? That's why they're always best experiences with the whole body in person.

There were also photos of KYTV with Rizman dressing up. I don't know him personally but he still carries the same energy from the photos and from Tiramisu gigs I went for recently. Jeremy left the band in 2004, but he was one of the people who made that happen. He also had previous bands like Jade Adversaries and Suburban Dammit which was more punk. KYTV's people are Tiramisu he said, but KYTV did more plays and Tiramisu more music. I like Tiramisu and I still listen to them. In the photos Jeremy just recovered from a bike accident that smashed his face. If you have great eyesight and zoomability on your device you might see the scar running down the side of his skull.

I showed him a picture of my table mat in the studio last time, of all the "frames" made by the edges of the paper I painted on. He said they looked cool. I found this photo of his own studio with his own frames. I think he didn't remember when he saw my table, but now we both discovered this photo, and I think a little full circle has been drawn for him. So fun! This is why we take and keep photos.

I also found a studio shot of him working and told him to pose the same. It's amazing how we can't change our faces. Don't know if it's a fortunate or unfortunate thing. To me I don't think I want to look like my parents and I think I look like my father so it's not the most ideal. Jeremy doesn't have a great relationship with his parents too I think, but I don't know what he thinks about resemblance. It's personal to talk about so maybe I won't ask just yet.

I also found an album of people playing dead. He says it's a series he shot called Who Shot the Curator. I thought it was funny because I'm in front of the culprit so now I can't be left alive. He said he had a show with the photos. I didn't know he did photos for shows too. But I saw some Holga shots he did that was included in a Korean show in a catalogue. He also took some shots on my disposabley point and shoot. It's so strange how apparent yet hard to describe a person's sensibility is. The way he paints is like the way he draws is like the way he frames a photo is like the way he cuts voices up and is like the way he arranges them into a score. I hope I find mine.

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