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  • mengju

slow studio

Hi Gilles!

Just got an email from Gilles reminding me to update my blog. So here I am, being reminded!

Nothing's intense been happening but tiny things add up so I'm gonna gather all of them in one post today. I think I am severely behind the one-post-per-week thing. But fret not! I made a log sheet for the hours because I know Jeremy wouldn't remember and that will make all of our lives easier.

Lots of studio things have been happening and most of it is me killing spiders or sweeping away dead spiders (dead for probably a few years by now) while clearing up Jeremy's studio shelves. I'm putting all the tools and materials in one place so he gets to see everything he has. I'm also keeping the tables empty so Jeremy has more space to work.

He has been showing me things like unrealised ideas and materials and saying how he needs to get down to doing more things. I think the problem is that he has too many things but doesn't know where they are. I found like a whole wad of bluetack; if you rolled all of them into a ball it will become like the size of an apple. He doesn't even know that! So I think having all his stuff visibly in reachable proximity will decrease that friction between "I should be doing this" and "Hey I can do this right away!".

He took a photo of me doing things so I can put it on here. So dusty! On the shelves right up top I found some printed boards with naked women photos. He says he collected them long time ago wanting to paint them. So suspicious.


Kurau studios wants him to remove his sculptures from storage. We enlisted Khai's help one day to do that. It's one of Jeremy's experiments, large foam blocks. They look like gigantic cheese, or cake slices.

Running around unwrapping the blocks (modular with swivel poles in them) and wrapping Khai.

Running around and around!!!

We kept four units. We had to drive around Marine Parade blocks to dispose of them because the blocks are so big. I met a very friendly guy who's off-duty but works for the garbage disposal. He told us of a bin center among the blocks, so we took four trips to move all the foam there.

We arranged the four remaining blocks in the studio. I put Jeremy's studio plants on them. They look great! A little Bauhaus, and very impractical. If it's gonna be legit shelving the bottom unit should be much heavier, and the pole should run through the whole structure instead of between blocks individually. Jeremy says we should design furniture. A while ago he said we could design printed shirts, just for fun. I was working with a bit of collage for fun and gave him some stickers to make collages with which he was also doing. So that could work. But that's gonna be put on hold for now, so busy! We're not in a rush anyway!


And then we had to get Terry to move his shit out of Jeremy's studio. He moved some stuff to Kurau when he's moving before. So many canvases! And vinyls. And junk. I had to get him to arrange for movers like for so many weeks until he finally did it.

Truck is here. It really didn't have to be that big! But then I looked into the bus and realised how packed the truck was with the rest of the truck's own stuff.

Teehee. House Removal sounds so strange.

I took pictures of Terry and his silly faces on my tiny point and shoot camera. It's not developed yet. Then I went to tidy even more. That's about it for that day!


While cleaning up one day when Jeremy's back I found something called Silverpoint. he showed me his test pieces. The flyers he's holding were collected so long ago, he wanted to paint them. I hope he'll paint them soon.

These are test pieces on different grounds.

And this is one of the few drawings! They're so uniform and precise. He says you gotta prepare a ground that is special and then draw the silverpoint across it. It looks silver he says but it will tarnish over a while and become a little brown. The drawings he showed me are like a light warm copper. So pretty. On my phone the lines looked a little glitched out, like really thin photoshop lines. So so cool.

The paper held up well. Jeremy says that when paper becomes brown it's called foxing. This one didn't have that. He also says foxing happens when there's moisture. I gave him a few packets of the drying agent thing but he just left them out in the open, dehumidifying the whole of Singapore. He should put them in the drawers! I'm gonna make him do it. The paper's also Arches I think, he says it's like the Say Ocean ones and it does feel similar. If I ever do work like that I'm gonna get Arches paper and prepare dehumidifiers.

That's what he used. When I was packing the shelves I found these and was so curious. Hope he lets me try them, or he tries them soon and let me watch.

What I also want and really really want him to show me the ropes of is the synthesizer and the mixer. Yutong and Jeremy know how to use them well. I feel like the baby of Terrapin because I don't know how those work. I don't even know the differences between all them cords! And Yutong can name them by number types. I wanna try sound work for electives this coming year, and I wanna try using synths and mixers for music things too. They look so fun.

Jeremy did some recordings in Rajasthan, with his droning playing with and over this village of musicians. I told him it's like his postcard paintings he showed for Apropos (he gave me a catalogue; I loved that series). How it's with and over the images, a strange waltz. He said he's never thought of that. I told him I think some people don't really change like that. That'll always be a very Jeremy thing I think. Sensibilities are truly personal.

Also, the Rajasthan recordings are great. Hope they can be ready really soon.


S+S arranged for Rhema to bring the drawings for the studio, to show Nina from New York, to Kurau one day. It's four days away! So scary! I need to go there to clean!!

Rhema came with a large ass truck. It's just paper and wooden sticks!

So big. Rhema's intense.

I think Jeremy wanted some foam work but they didn't bring it. Don't know if he's gonna arrange for it soon. I'll go check back with him.


Also found this strange thing, like a pencil lead holder. Looks like something bougie people eat crabs with. Also gonna ask him what it is.


In other news I gotta start helping him prepare for his S+S show next year in Sydney. He just got news that it's a March show. So soon! I'm gonna look up the PP grant from NAC for him. He's thinking about doing something visual, but he says it's been such a long time doing anything visual that he's unsure about what to do. Right now it's between drawing and painting. He also wants to do drone sounds that he's been doing, and may or may not wanna show them in the same space alongside paintings. I told him he should finish up the sound first and listen to them and decide. He says he's not looking to do Say Ocean part two. I said it's not like that! I meant that he could listen to them and think if he wants to show paintings with it or not, because he wouldn't know what it's gonna like until he finishes a part of it at least. He says oh yeah good point. So that's his homework! So strange, giving my mentor homework.

He's also curious about the Hong Kong protests. I'm Taiwanese and it hits really hard because they're like what Taiwanese are but they're having it really really tough now and a lot of Taiwanese like me are watching closely, and more are doing whatever they can to help. I'm also impressed by the Hong Kong people in my generation. Jeremy's more interested in the movement of people when I told him how on one of the first days 1 in 7 of the population showed up, and how they moved around like water, and parted for the bus like in seconds like Moses and the Red Sea. He says to collect links of videos for him as a part of research. I just sent him some from the recent ones where they used lasers to prevent Chinese face ID technology. So cyberpunk, isn't it? Apparently Egyptian protesters did that too in 2013 to shine lasers on police choppers. Anyway I'll keep at it.


That's all for now!! I'll keep it coming. I haven't been recording Praxis Press work because it's not that eventful. Tropical Lab just came to a close so I'll have more time. And Nina's visit! So exciting. I'm also slowly digging out Say Ocean documentation to put them here too. Will come back again. So come back again! xoxo

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