Coral sea the blues

Here we go: my last painting! Or rather, the last painting I worked on, and it was almost five years ago! That was my little elf measuring up the space for the project that I had immense love/hate relationship with. That was a gallery I did from scratch – conceptual design of the space, the interior design, to the curation of the exhibit materials, right down to the detail of every panel and installation exhibited. I am so darn proud of it. Haha, I shall skip the hate part of the story.

This painting is not at all part of the exhibit, it was just another one of the de-stressing process to retain my sanity. This is 珊瑚海, translated to be Coral Sea (literally). I got another elf to sneak the canvases (two of them – I will write about the other one next time) into my room one fine day! If viewed as a painting, it was really drab, but viewed as a canvas, it was the perfect material to work on! So I painted Coral Sea over the discarded painting (much of the drabby blue/gray is still visible as the background).



The inspiration came from a very very nice duet by Lara and Jay Chou that I absolutely adore. The lyrics are really beautiful – it is about unrequited love written in the most poetic manner – and sung by the loveliest voices.

One of the most poignant lines was 爱深埋珊瑚海 – how the love was deeply buried in the coral sea. When I was working on this painting, I was exploring the depths of the sea, and how light could actually still shine through no matter how deep it is. I did not get even get to the midtones, sigh. For oil paintings, we start with the dark tones and then mid tones and then the light, followed by highlights, and it takes a lot of drying time before the next layer can be applied. Conceptually, I wanted to understand and experience how a being at the bottom-est depths can still enjoy (and appreciate, if they do?) the rays of the sun. I never got to that. 😥 I did not even manage to fill the sea up with water.

The other very painful line was how the love between the seagull and the fish was an accident. OUCH. Beyond bewilderment. You can read the rest of the lyrics here, it is too painful a song to write or think any deeper into its meaning. Sometimes, there are things in life that just do not make any sense, be it to start or to end (or not start and to no end) and the easiest and cleanest way is to simply walk away. How clever, yet how childish. Tsk.

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