Sunday, March 13, 2011

In Conversation: Mr. Renovation Man

Alan asked if I wanted to do part-time work in his gallery on Sundays. It has to stay open, and Sunday is generally a precious day for those who work during the week - would I be interested? I would like to point out that I DO work during the week as well, but my Sundays are not exactly overflowing in weekend ambitions.

So one of the jolly renovation guys doing work at the cafe downstairs came up to make sure they haven't drilled a hole through our floor and to spy on what I was doing. Earlier, one of them sang me a little ditty about how "A smoke a day makes you stronger, and alcohol drives away all your problems." The rhyme is more obvious in Mandarin.

He asked a bit about what I was doing, and I decided to pick his brain about what kind of photographs he would like to see. I've some ideas you see, and the success of these ideas will depend on how accurately I am able to read the mind of an average Singaporean.

Conversation Excerpts (Translated from Mandarin)

"So, if I told you there was a photo exhibition thing near where you live, would you go see it?"

"Yeah sure, I'll pop by for a look."

"What would you want it to be about? If you had a choice?"

"I don't know... something interesting? Like other countries?"

"So if it's photos from around your area, you wouldn't be interested?"

"Why do I want to see where I live? It would be boring! I see it everyday!"

"But photography can let you see the same things but in a different way?"

"Yes I get that. But it would still be boring. Why not show me something I haven't seen before from other countries?"

"So you'd like to see photos from abroad?"

"Yes, if it is nice to look at. It is something new for me to see."

"What if it is photos of your neighbour?"

"I see him everyday!"

"What if the photo were to be really huge? Like a few stories high?"

"Why would you do that? He'll look weird."

"So what would you want to see if it in a photo that's really big?"

"Something moving and interesting. Like landscape and scenery. That would be beautiful."

"So you wouldn't go see your neighbour's face even if its 3-storey large?"

"Yeah I'd go see quickly. But just a quick look, that's all."

"What if its Lee Kwan Yew's face?"

"There's no way in hell I'd want to see that."

Food for thought, folks.


Lin the Finn said...

This is making me laugh a dirty guffaw - lucky my colleague is out of the office for the minute. What's your obsession with three-storey-high portraits though? Huh? Huh? And why not compromise and make three-storey high portraits of people from other interesting places that people haven't seen before!!