my pain is sane
to acknowledge it
not ignore or trivialize it
to confront it not glorify it
it is the first step to healing
i feel anger and if i cry it is more from anger
and anxiety than sadness
that we do not get together to do something about but rather remain alone
screaming our silence with tears of rage alone
that leads to suicide of the hopeless
In resignation of the choiceless
In solidarity with the pro-democracy in Hong Kong rally held at Hong Lim Park last night gave me a hopeful insight to prop up my already dismal and fading jaded faith in Singapore’s sundown art scenario attempt to hurriedly switch into sunrise. I must admit that my attendance had been encouraged more by my need for that of going out from Gillman Barracks for an affordable dinner while at the same time to bring a guest visiting from U.S. there as she wanted to know more about the scenario here and was an captivated audience of my so called ‘not a performance’ presentation last Friday. I would almost classify this as one of those local attractions like Bird Park, the Zoo, or other attractions whereby may never crossed my mind for me to visit until a foreign friend asked for directions that I realize that it would be advantage to go with her out of my good will and hospitality and at the same time gave me a chance for me to refamiliarize myself with my home country while giving points of key importance so as to also re-analyse my changed perception of our nation in transition if not revolution.
The difference this time is that a public rally like this is also organized and attended by humans and not merely a venue of interest. I arrived in Hong Lim Park just about when the speeches had already finished as one man was announcing his wrapping up last words concerning the lighting up of candles and messsages on paper as instructioins for a final wrapping up. I was all sweaty from the quick paced walk of anxiety towards the park from Chinatown MRT where i would think any other tourist attraction would have better signage of directions pointing towards the park from the MRT station.
However I must say I was happily surprised to see a larger crowd than expected and although as I suspected to observe the gathering in solidarity consisted I believe of a larger crowd of people from Hong Kong than of that of Singaporeans.
I am much clearer than ever about what is happening in my life as an artist since the return from Istanbul. The only thing that I have a great deal of difficulty with the status quo is what is preventing the game players who are not that different especially when the people who were once upon a time from the same beginnings of our struggle, see the need for solidarity and to be honest with the times as of by now we should notice how the house we are all in had a different permutation of our “musical chair” game, of which at the end of the day still played to the tune provided mostly by one of the powers that be. The only way we can get that tune to rock out more diversely and providing positive contributions, in line with the kicks in our lives is for us very much in need to be willing to forget the differences between the ones who are asking for these changes. If indeed there are serious reasons to complain that the tune being played is getting dangerously drifting towards that of the military and uncomfortable drumbeat of boringly if not wavering towards fundamentalistic intolerance, in the name of traditions or other conservative regards, that the authorities are so clearly in need of a check and balance coming from the grass roots and grounds of art and cultural workers. And yet we who find them really for want of a better comparison is still stuck in the rut of patriarchy treating us like teeny boppers fearing our immaturity may destroy the status quo when the time we had seen deserves a more complex tempo.
It reminded me of the A.G.A. times in which the suggestion of pooling of resources to print the one page statement in Straits Times was at first received with warm enthusiasm but switched to that of a cold silence when Kuo Pao Kun cautioned the community of the repercussions of the state’s possible harsh response. Alas are we not yet grown beyond that? Do we still have not the stick in our social fabric to work together to make sure our rights be served by rulers as servants of the people and not tyranny nor dynasties with their entourage of cronies?
Mind you I have grown up in this society with great respect if not deeply in strike with marching towards the day of reckoning and fool am I if while adhering to ideals of old, to still believe that it’s possible to dream that ours may become a great society albeit tiny in comparison to the mother country and empires of past history.
If it makes any consolation I sometimes tell myself to let by gones be bygones as aren’t we all merely playing a movie in the footnotes of the Truman Show. The only thing that is not happening is that the individualism I so much believe in and fought for just about cut so much into one for the selfish gain and pride to serge forward so much so that we are in the tendency of now lacking the ability to switch to one of solidarity when the time and contexts have shifted where civil society needed action again in union of individuals in social groups of common ground. And if we cannot drive on in the required shifting of our gears to work together then I am afraid that my belief in individualism together with my fear of the game of defeat become mine and yours forever more…
Last sigh for the black hole of Malevich
into thy squareness i shall dive.
Pray my friends let’s rise up and together shine
and make our revolution that of love
that our leaders should know have no higher
as we all are servants to that one and only one above
No need for anniversaries
Nor mobs Nor armies
but real guys with real hearts for real democracy shall
rule with laws and true to serve all at the eternal game of win and win all round
not one one one one one one one
thanks to Rachel and the organizers of the rally
i slept well last night feeling less shame from walking with you!!!
To my dearest friends in Hong Kong,
I am in solidarity with you now, the way you have always been in solidarity with me, supporting my human rights work throughout the years.
Thank you for believing in the value of my work, and now comes the time for me to render you my moral support from where I am.
Yours in solidarity,