I live a quiet life with my aging father in a small village. He wakes early and walks the long dirt roads that weave into town where he makes the most elegant vases for a living. His long days are spent on the smallest details, the tiniest lines and the subtlest shading you can imagine. We never quite know who buys them. Kings and queens and wángshì chéngyuán (王室成员) we’ll never see perhaps. My father’s rough and calloused hands walk along every centimeter of these beautiful objects, expertly lending all the magic he has to give into their fragile walls. Every now and then he makes a gold one. The gold dust and paint he’s given to use could buy our village 100 times over but he pays that no bother. The commissioners send three men just to watch him work, ensuring that he doesn’t steal any of the gold- but even this doesn’t bother him. He works no differently than if it were the cheapest paint. I remember those days most because when he would arrive back home we’d spend all night looking over his fingers and hands and arms and clothes- looking for any little speck of gold. When we’d find one we could hardly contain our excitement, too small to use for anything or trade for money, but the perfect size for us to marvel at and wonder where all the rest was going.
|Liu Dao 六岛
|RGB LED display, acrylic painting, paper collage, teakwood frame
|Made in island6, Shanghai 2015
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