“I wear a mask. And that mask, it’s not to hide who I am, but to create what I am.”
About 2 weeks before Halloween, I started thinking for ideas for Halloween art. Among these ideas was to draw Taenggu’s favourite character, No-Face from Spirited Away. Previously I did drawings of various characters she likes such as Iron Man, Jack Skellington, Ryan, Apeach, Spongebob etc, but No-Face was something that I had never drawn for her yet.
I remembered this photo of Taenggu who received this No-Face doll as a gift from Yoona back in 2015.
I know some of her fans like to dress up as No-Face to her fansigns and concerts to tease her. For me, I wanted to draw No-Face in a cute and funny way. I wanted No-Face to lift up his “black cloth” to reveal his underwear he was wearing underneath and his underwear would have a superman logo on it to expose his true identity as a superhero. I originally wanted him to be superman because after all I guess the superman logo is the most easily recognisable one out of all the superheros we commonly know.
However, just a week before Halloween, I had a change of idea. It all started because of an insincere buyer I encountered from Carousell. On the evening of 22 October, she requested me to customise my following batman card for her. She wanted to change the word “DADDY” to “BOSS”.
I managed to get it done by the very next day and showed her my final product and asked her when and how she would like to get it from me.
But this buyer wasn’t very prompt in her replies. She didn’t seem willing to meet me at the locations I had stated on my listing which are mostly in the North and West areas of Singapore. I told her I would be passing by Ang Mo Kio too (as I needed to return my gym card there) and coincidentally, she said she lives in Ang Mo Kio too. Even so, she just didn’t seem to make it at the time I asked even though I offered to make a trip down to Ang Mo Kio to meet her over the next 2 days, but she asked me to go even further down to Orchard instead, to which I refused. The problem was she wasn’t proactive in negotiating the time and place to meet with me too.
While I was in midst of this unpleasant transaction with the buyer, on the night of 25th October, when I was about to go to bed, my brother sent a random photo of Batman in our siblings’ whatsapp group chat.
It caught me by surprise. It felt as if the Batman from my card had come alive to mock at this irresponsible buyer from Carousell. It is important to note that I hadn’t actually talked about this Carousell transaction to anyone around me before but only on twitter. So my brother definitely wasn’t aware that I was having problems with selling my customised Batman card at that time. It was that amazing alignment of universe again. Ever since my brother went to China for his internship, he had been sending random clips of music and photos to us sometimes. They were often so random that I actually found them meaningful because they starkly reflected and responded to the current situation I was going through in my life, as if Heaven was sending me secret messages through my brother. I also had other encounters with my brother’s mystically relevant text messages which I had shared in MIND SINGING – TILL GOD FILLS THE VOID THAT NEVER WAS (THE ANSWER FROM HEAVEN) and on my tumblr post here.
The next photo he sent shortly after was even funnier. It was Patrick showing off his butt with a Spongebob flag stuck in between.
I took it as a sign of comfort from Heaven or whosever energy it was from to cheer me up and a sign of refusal from the universe to sell this card to this insincere buyer. It was either she wasn’t deserving enough to get this card from me or her boss wasn’t fitting enough to be called a superhero like Batman. With this thinking in mind (that the fault of this failure of sale was not on me), I managed to let this issue go even though I knew the outcome was not going to be a positive one.
The next morning, she said she would opt for mailing instead. I agreed and asked her to transfer the money to my account and give me her mailing address first before I would mail it to her. I also told her that I would be flying overseas on that coming Saturday so I would only have time to mail it to her in the remaining 2 days. But she never did reply anymore, neither did she transfer me any money. By Friday evening, I decided to put a closure to our transaction. I took it that she didn’t want my card anymore but still politely thanked her for her interest. As expected, no replies from her still.
In the post CAROUSELL – MY FIRST LITTLE ‘SPIRITUAL’ BUSINESS, I used to mention that I not only see Carousell as a platform to earn a little extra pocket money, it is a spiritual business to me too. This incident was another example of how the energy of the universe was involved in my sales too.
This incident inspired me to change my original idea of the No-Face drawing. Instead of a superman logo on his underwear, I changed it a Batman one. It turned out to be more fitting of the Halloween theme too because of the bats around him. So right after I was done with my string art which was an unexpected pop-up plan (HALLOWEEN 2017 #1: MY GHOSTIE, MY BOO), I quickly got myself working on this No-Face drawing.
The question I wanted to ask through this drawing was: Who is this anonymous Batman character underneath that “black cloth” of No-Face? Who is that mysterious energy that takes over my brother’s consciousness to send me messages with secret meanings in times of need? Who is that superhero-like figure that has been silently taking care of and looking out for me all these while?
At times like this, when there are no direct answers from the universe or anyone, what do you think my answer would naturally always be?
Taenggu’s mind, spirit and soul. 💜