Memories Revisited

I was a film student (majoring in TV production and animation) and will always be an eccentric film buff at heart. Not many people know this, but my favorite subject wasn’t all those writing modules which I swept awards for. My first love was actually Experimental Filmmaking which was taught by Ken Paul Rosenthal, one of the most talented artists I’ve ever met and have forever left their print on me.

KPR is now based in San Francisco and continues to share his art with the world. We still keep in touch and I do hope to meet up with him soon some day. I think he’d probably tease me about how I’m all grown up now (my baby fat only completely vanished at the start of last year!) and me, well, I think I’d tell him his new wrinkles are kinda cute. Ha!

He recently revamped his website and included an article written by me, this was way before I even started out in magic.

Reading what the Ning of yesteryear wrote, it truly felt like a lifetime ago. For some reason, KPR kept my journal entry and read it during the memorial service of one of the world’s finest avant garde filmmakers… Robert Fulton.

Robert Fulton’s work greatly influenced me when I was a film student struggling to find my core. He represented truth, beauty, freedom and love. His works made me see things I’d always taken for granted and his films forced my eyes open… to appreciate what is around us. It is an exhilaration you need to experience for yourself to understand, it cannot be felt by just reading words. Such is the problem with words.

Fulton was like a filmmaking god to me but unfortunately a plane crash in 2002 took him away forever, and his final work for BBC was never completed. KPR did a reading at Fulton’s memorial service at the San Francisco Art Institute on December 8, over five years ago and you can read all about it here. That’s where my article is included.

To be honest, it feels so strange, reading something I wrote so long ago, which was I think, scribbled about eight years back. I feel like such a different creature from the brooding girl who would spend hours in the library scouring over old books in philosophy and art; lock herself in the dark room to develop her own 16mm film strips and photos; explore different places in Singapore (which has changed so much now) to seek new inspiration and scribble poetry, story ideas and random thoughts in a battered black notebook I carried around with me always.

This cynical late-bloomer scribbled prose like:

…The rain hits me
And merges with tears
I taste the Salt of Sadness
Upon my bitter tongue…

*grin* Talk about emo, huh? I think the Ning from 8 years ago wouldn’t recognize me today. I was forced by circumstance to stay here and honestly… If I had my way, I probably would have left for USC in Los Angeles to continue my passion in filmmaking & animation and never come back to Singapore.

Life’s weird that way I guess. I’ve mellowed a lot and with maturity comes understanding, not to be confused with being ‘softened’ or conditioned by outside factors. It’s been an amazing journey indeed but all these things have molded me into the quirky ‘renaissance’ person I am today.

More importantly, I’ve realized that to create profound art, you really need some life experience. Else it’d just be something without real meaning; a pretty face without character or a piece of shallow one-dimensional work with only anger, angst and emotion.

I suppose Melissa (who, being a documentary film maker, is also an artist in her own right) despite her horrendous sense of direction when she is driving, was spot on about life being a game. You make your own rules but I think the fun is really, all about self discovery because we’re constantly evolving. No one really stays the same.

“Someday, somewhere — anywhere, unfailingly, you’ll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.”
– Neruda

Which brings the questions… Are you comfortable in your own skin?

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Memories Revisited

  1. Andy

    hi – i saw your blog about the book with no E.

    i heard that Monsoon Books in Singapore is publishing:

    Unhooking a DD bra without Fumbling – Adam Adams

    which is missing the letter E

    it is due out before June

    Andy

  2. admin

    Hey Andy

    That’s really interesting, thanks for the heads up! 😛

    Ning

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