Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

Wii, Sikhs, and artists 18

Posted on June 30, 2008 by jimparedes

My body aches from too much Wii!

Grabe. The past two days, I have rediscovered  Wii sports and I have been playing tennis, bowling boxing and baseball and my sore arms are the price I pay for all that fun. ha ha. I have not been excercising for some months now and I guess nabigla ang katawan ko. Will probably play some more later on.

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We live near a huge Sikh temple along Meurants Lane here in Glenwood. It is am imposing structure which you can see even along Sunnyholt which is a main thoroughfare in these parts. I’ve been wanting to go inside for the longest time.

A few days ago, I finally went inside. I took a detour from my afternoon walk which would have taken me near Woolies ( a supermarket) and instead proceeded to the Sikh Temple. I asked two devotees outside if and how I should come in. They asked me to take of my shoes and put an orange hanky on my head as a sign of respect.

When I went inside, I saw a few devotees and some sort of ‘priest’ who called me to his side and welcomed me. I asked if I could take pictures and he obliged. He also asked that his picture be taken. He was friendly and emphasized the universal mesage of his religion which is. “God is One’. He also asked me to partake of something he gives all devotees, a sweet cake-like food that I imagine is like their Holy Communion. He asked me to return another day and eat with the devotees and listen to Indian music. I probably will and will take a great amount of pictures.

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Last Saturday, I attended the birthday party of Edd Aragon, Sydney Morning Herald’s award-winning caricaturist at his Ermita-like house in Kings’ Park. It was a fun night as it always is when we visit Edd and Menchie’s place. The sala has an array of combo instruments and everyone is free to pick up a guitar, drumsticks, sit by the piano and play to your heart’s content. And that’s exactly how the party played out.

It was also great to see people I had not seen in awhile–Ding and Irene Roces, Mario Aldeguer and Lenny, and a few others I met early in 2006 when I had just moved. It’s great to be in the company of artists. Good food, great conversation everywhere.

Edd’s house is also an art gallery and prominently displayed were some of his black-lite art. It’s medium of painting where you need black light to see the work. Here is a fascinating off-beat portrait of the most off-beat person in the Philippines, Pepe Smith!

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Visited the city a few days ago just to get out of the ‘burbs’. I passed by St. Mary’s Cathedral which will be the center of the World Youth Day to be held in Sydney this August. It was being spruced up inside and I could not stay long since there as dust all over.

The whole city is gearing up for it since they expect 500,000 visitors from all over.

While I was there, I also went to see the Bienale. This is the cutting-edge, city-wide art exhibit which Sydney hosts every two years. I went to the exhibit at the Art Gallery at the NSW Museum.

I was amazed as I approached the majestic building to see ‘grafitti’ written on its facade–the museum’s way of honoring the wild, rambunctious spirit of the Bienale, I suppose.

The works were fascinating–from performance art, paintings, film, installations, etc.. I sat with a guy named Ross whose ‘work’ was to interact with anyone who sat down with him. We had a twenty minute conversation which was to say the least, fascinating.

The two pictures of painters here are actually an on-going cat and mouse game. One is painting all the walls white while the other is painting all the walls black. They eventually will get on to each others’ spaces and that’s the point. This goes on till the closing of the festival.

There was a feminist who exhibited a short film of herself and six other scantily clad women and a man who were wrestling, cavorting and just plane body-rubbing all over the place while black paint, dead fish, raw chicken and paper were thrown all over them. I could not make sense of it, frankly. I read more about the artist and an interesting trivia I got was an event that contributed to her rise in the feminist art world. In one exhibit, she read poetry where the manuscript it was written on was taken out from her vagina!

Uh…. yeah. Cool. uhmm.. I suppose..

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