Monday, September 25, 2006

The Rain in Spain

In the lifestyle arena, Fashion is often represented as the fickle sister of Style. This is common thinking... until today's catalyst question at class bothered us: what does the word 'fashion' mean?

After a lengthy discussion, we came to our conclusion. Here is our account on what fashion means:
- an individualised representation of group identity
- more than just the clothes and the accessories; it encompasses art, music, food, lifestyle and many other things...
- a constantly moving way to project oneself
- a means to maintain the mental health and wellbeing of a large number of people by introducing change in stagnant lives
So far so interesting. What do you think of it?

On Friday I went to a Modigliani exhibition at RA. It was amazing to see a man whose life was cut short by alcohol and substance abuse achieved a level of maturity in his works. What I mean by maturity is not how photographically representative his pictures are; it is about expressing his ideas of his paintings' subjects using his 'vocabulary' of colours, strokes and shapes. Modigliani is well-known to paint his subjects with oval heads and elongated necks, and with a tranquil grace that belies whatever rage was going on between the subject and him.

What also impressed me on a personal level was the fact that a certain lady by the name of Jeanne Hébuterne played a major role in his life. Well, we all agree than anything can happen when sparks fly. She was an up-and-coming young female artist, talented in her own right, who ended up becoming the love of his life (good on her.) The conclusion I draw from this case is that it's amazing to see how companions help each other. A friend of mine at high school once mused, "for every great man, there is a great woman behind him." Each half inspires and complements the other half.

This brings me to the chicken-or-egg-first-like issue: what is the exact relationship between science and art? Surely science has donated much to the advancement of the humankind (e.g. longer life spans, better medicines, chemical and technological breakthroughs). What has art done other than a few pieces in need to be perpetually shielded and cared for?

This boils down to our brain: our brain is divided into three parts (the left side, the right side and the 'trunk'.) The 'trunk' is always needed so the spotlight is now on the left and right sides. The left half of the brain is the logical (scientific) side of brain, whereas the right half is imaginary (artistic) in nature. Scientific advancements are being adopted in artistic disciplines as they greatly improve the way these artists create and deliver their works. However, the scientists themselves need to be inspired... and who tickled their inspirations? None other than the artists themselves. The feeding-off action doesn't work in a strictly linear and measurable manner (it is contemptuous to assume every idea will flourish into a full-scale innovation.) Without one, the other cannot survive.

I wish the public understands how important general art education is to improving a well-rounded understanding of the world, and so that they act in an accordant manner to this aim.

Today's vent-my-spleen is enough for the time being. Now, on today's choice of song.

In My Fair Lady, a certain rough and uneducated girl was transformed into a high-society lady who is creme de la creme of every young women. This illustrates transformation comes when one makes a decision to change and persevere towards realising that goal. I was talking to a long-time primary school friend over the phone the other day. We shared about the peaks and troughs of what we are going through, and it dawned on us that we need to start the change ourselves if we want to bring one into our lives. We can't bicker, sit around and just wait for change to somehow fall upon us like a durian would. Well, I won't recommend sitting under a durian tree either.

As for me, I need to change. It's one month into living at somebody else's residence (not of someone related by blood to my family), and I am learning more that I would or could have learned had I lived in a students' hall. My landlady is notoriously strict with safety procedures, and my [other] housemate particularly finicky with things being in order! I'm grateful for having to go through this whole experience. The interactions I have in this house, although not always pleasant, are definitely useful in shaping my characters. To be an ideal tenant/housemate/landlady, I still have a lot to learn from them.

(And yes, the Swedish has a lot to offer on storage tips. Haven't quite made it to Ikea.)

Alright, it's beauty sleep time now :)) Comments are most welcome. Have a good day!

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