4th Anniversary #2: When Our Two Ships Finally Meet

“Put two ships in the open sea, without wind or tide, and, at last, they will come together.”
Jules Verne (as quoted in the Aquaman movie)


I call this a replacement painting for my previous one 4TH ANNIVERSARY: PDA OF TWO LOVE BIRDS. That painting was badly damaged with a large hole in the middle due to a family mishap resulting from a fight I had with my brother on Chinese New Year’s eve earlier this year. I wouldn’t entirely hate him for that because I knew there were some underlying spiritual factors that instigated such a bad thing to happen. Because prior to that unfortunate incident, I had already been seeing visions of birds getting killed in my mind ever since the painting was completed and my writeup on it was posted online.

My previous painting was badly torn and damaged after a family mishap.

Although I was deeply hurt by the fact that none of my family members knew and could understand how important that painting actually was to me, I know I still have to move on and learn from the mistakes. According to my mum, that painting seemed to have bad meanings in terms of chinese feng shui. To her, rather than seeing it as a romantic painting of two lovey-dovey birds kissing each other, she saw it as two angry birds bickering and fighting each other with open claws, which was probably why the fight between my brother and I happened. Furthermore, the birds were coloured in black, giving off a dark aura. To be honest, after I displayed the painting openly in the living room for a few days, I found that the colours on my painting seemed to become a lot duller, as if there was a dark shade over it. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me.

But this painful experience taught me to be more careful on how I present every single detail in my painting next time to suit my original spiritual intentions behind the painting as best as possible. For example, instead of painting the birds totally black (I originally intended to portray them as silhouettes), I could paint them in white, a colour that represents purity and peace. And perhaps adding a heart in between them might have helped to change people’s perspective of it being a fighting scene to a kissing scene.

I did contemplate about remaking the same painting with the above improvements of details. But after pondering over it for some time, I decided it’s better to let bygones be bygones because the power of creativity knows no boundaries. There are always new ideas waiting to be explored. In fact, in moments of anguish over my destroyed precious anniversary painting for my beloved Taenggu and my soured relationship with my brother, a new idea came to me. It was an inspiration from the Aquaman movie quote which I wrote about a little earlier before I did the love birds painting. Read post THE AQUAMAN MOVIE QUOTE. I wanted to paint that scene from the quote, of two ships coming together naturally at a calm open sea without wind or tide. It would be a painting conveying my inner wish of being able to meet Taenggu naturally without outside resistance stopping us and diverting our paths away from each other.

On 6th April, Saturday, I headed down to Arteastiq at Plaza Singapura to make this idea of a replacement 4th anniversary painting come to life. This was my first time at this branch. For the past 3 years, I had been doing my paintings at the branch located in Mandarin Gallery. I thought this time it would be nice to have a change of environment at a different art-jamming studio.

This Plaza Singapura studio was indeed refreshingly different from the other Mandarin Gallery studio. Although it was a lot smaller, this one has lots of natural daylight streaming in from the windows, making the space look bright and stimulating.

Managed to finish this painting in about 2.5 hours.

I have to say the process of doing this painting wasn’t as smooth and easy like a duck to water as my previous love birds painting. In contrast to my last art-jamming experience, my heart was less calm and more impatient and anxious about the outcome. My body was aching a little due to psychological stress. There were more complex details involved for this one and I spent a lot of efforts in making sure I got the details as “correct” as possible. For example, initially for the colouring of ocean, I used too many horizontal strokes of dark blue and dark green, so instead of a calm blue open sea, it looked more like dirty, murky, stormy seawaters. So I tried to save it by adding more strokes of light blue, yellow and white to make the sea look calmer and try my best to preserve my original intentions of this painting. Also, in order to avoid my previous mistake of painting my main subjects totally black (in this case, the two ships), I added some tints of yellow, to represent the reflections of sunlight, along the sides of the masts and sails. In making these adjustments, I hope to make this painting to be one that can be interpreted with positive meanings and good intentions.

Took the painting back home and took more detailed shots of it a week later.

If this painting could be used to tell a story of what happened in my past 4th year of relationship with Taenggu, then it would be the story of me travelling to Korea twice in the year to meet her at her concert and chase my lost memories with her. It’s like me sailing my ship fearlessly against winds anad tides towards Taenggu’s ship, to where I know she’s likely be.

Below are a compilation of posts about my 2 separate trips to Korea between December 2017 – April 2018.
Lyrics: “叶子” by 阿桑 (“Leaves” by A-Sun) + Reflections Of My Winter Trip To Korea 2017
Lyrics: Bye + What If It Would Be My Last Goodbye To Taenggu
Seoul Travels – Chasing Memories With Taenggu #1: The Search Of Our Love Lock At N Seoul Tower
Seoul Travels – Chasing Memories With Taenggu #2: The Visit To 33 Apartment Cafe

Recently, I had written a poem [Poem] The Lighthouse Keeper about how I could also take on the role of a lighthouse keeper dutifully shining my lights and patiently waiting for Taenggu’s ship to set shore, an alternative to being a fearless sailor. If last year was a year of travelling like a brave sailor, could this year be one in which I would just stay where I am, not go anywhere and just watch over Taenggu from a far distance like a lighthouse keeper?

Hope you liked this replacement painting, 탱구야! I wish my ship could finally meet yours one day at a calm open sea without wind or tide. I love you. <3

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