This is a self-portrait. In the picture, there is a clear division between foreground and background. In the foreground, it is a bright sunny day full of the pattern of yellow and orange flowers, and in the background it is a starry night. I am standing on my two legs in the foreground of the day, placing my head down between my legs and gazing at the viewer as if I am mooning them, or as if I am trying not to occupy even a small bit of the background portraying the night.
In figurative painting, foreground and background cannot be separated from each other just like day and night are bound together. Foreground and background, day and night, have shared a great deal of overlapping, each becoming part of the other. This is my understanding of duration in studio practice.
Sometimes, it’s very hard to pinpoint exactly where and when my inspiration began, was realised, and disappeared, just as it’s very hard to tell whether it is night or day in early morning. I rethink my daydream at night, and night-dream about it. Dreaming and thinking through day and night, a month passes and seasons change. Using my body as a physical form to experience the passing of time, I am reaching towards “the kernel of myself that I have saved, somehow— the central heart that deals not in words, traffics not with dreams, and is untouched by time, by joy, by adversities.”*
*In the preface of his book A Universal History of Infamy (1972), Borges said he inscribed the book to his lover S.D. and call her ‘innumerable, and an Angel’. He added that “also: I offer her that kernel of myself that I have saved, somehow— the central heart that deals not in words, traffics not with dreams, and is untouched by time, by joy, by adversities”