Friday, November 21, 2008

What is killing us?

Recently, it has become inevitable to think of our society about where it goes, and what has been the wrong doing in the past; whether we should keep the faith to whatever we thought valuable and even the newly elected President of the United State of America.

I traveled back to my home country, China, in the past weeks. The blaming voice to the US was overwhelming, the moral wrong doing to the entire world – the wars, the imposing and unfair deals with the developing countries; the self –dig grave on the Wall Street which is now sweeping the entire world.

After I came back to New York, I walked in the galleries in Chelsea. It wasn’t an intentional visit. I saw the exhibition of David Schorr, GOODS, (!v1i_dept_display1.search_results?v_dept_code=FAE&v_collection=91890&v_start=0&v_end=2). The convenient size and square format oil paintings delighted my spirit in the cold morning. I couldn’t help on thinking Edward Hopper and William Eggleston along walking in front those paintings in the small gallery.

A few days later, I went to Whitney Museum of American Arts to look at William Eggleston’s exhibition, Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video 1961-2008 ( Again, my spirit was so much delighted by looking at those images.

I had problem to distinguish the scene in Mr. Eggleston’s images taken in 1976 from what I just saw in the Deep South in the recent years. The restless attempts of rebellion and reaching to a compete liberty co existed with the reluctance and lacking of courage. I practiced in architecture, it also puzzled me how conservative a lot of American clients and architects are. The people were obsessed to differentiate the social class in this suppose liberal society. This obsession has attracted and enabled the architects from the traditional Europe to build the Neo-Braque house for the riches in the US. As Mr. Robert AM Stern is designing for the richest American with hypo conservatism and faked European details, he was proclaimed humble. Up to this point, I looked back what I saw in China, the exact same obsession is killing the country.

I think it is right that America should confess to the world for spreading out this cultural pollution, but fairly speaking, not everyone should. It is delightful and encouraging to see the infinity of optimism embedded in Mr. Eggleston and Mr. Schorr’s works. I guess neither Democracy nor Liberty kills the world, but Conservative does.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November 4, 2008

For almost 2 years I had been waiting for this very moment to see a lead to our future whether by Mr. Obama or by Mr. McCain. I was deeply concerned but at the same time I was indifferent, no because I couldn’t see the mightily difference that this moment would make, after all, it is not my country. I was traveling in China, my home country on the Election Day. I watched the every-two-minute updates of the result of this campaign on the Internet, and was so excited when I saw the announcement of Mr. Obama’s victory. My wife in New York and I called to each other and shared the excitement and the emotion. Suddenly, I felt pathetic because after all it is not my country, it wasn’t my vote.

However, watching Mr. Obama’s and Mr. McCain’s very moving speeches, looking back this election in the US and my own country, I had to tell myself, we, even as very small, ignored, powerless stakes, should believe in that for a better future, for the ideas we have, we change, and YES, we can!