Weekly Writing Challenge: Shift Your Perspective / Self or the Masses?December 5, 2012
She loved Domenikos Theotocopoulus or El Greco, Robert Delaunay, Willem De Kooning, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Pablo Picasso. Some influenced her painting style in her early attempts to paint…
But for whatever reason only God knows, she was led to the less trodden path — of documenting in film, materials and subjects untouched for years, either because of lack of interest in them, or her subjects are marginalized. She stopped painting altogether as the passion for advocacy film making grows.
“Any regrets for the detour?” I asked myself.
And so many times in between asked God: “What do You really want me to do?”
And I always end up with a smile you know.
As I come to think that paintings are appreciated only by the few who happened to collect or own your work; at the most by the owner’s visitors who drop by at their house. I have witnessed the BIG difference. Documentary films reach out to hundreds, at times to thousands of people in one screening day because of digital technology. Comparatively, I never saw anyone shed a tear looking at my paintings; they get puzzled in fact. They ask a lot of questions. They find it difficult to see what I saw. Racking their brain, in a way training them to see beyond mere forms I think is quite challenging for them. Often than not though, communication fails. And when that happens, there is no give and take between me and the viewer, between you and me. It becomes a one-on-one activity. It serves only the Self. The viewer does not matter. You cease to exist. It is simply art as self-expression; it is self-serving.
But I saw lots whose hearts were touched by the truth my film for example on autism presents. As such, docu film making has since then become my most fulfilling activity in life. When we hop around towns and cities to spread autism and deafness awareness to our citizens who still believe in cultural myths that outcast persons with disability in our society, and the outcome is clearly paradigm shifting of attitude towards them by some, not necessarily all the viewers, there is the sense of triumph not only for myself but for my subjects. Sharing what I have learned is a two-way process with rippling effect at times. I learned from my subjects; others have learned from what I have learned.
There’s that unexplainable joy of being able to attain my goal, in easily getting my message across to the target viewer. The experience is quite rewarding. In both modes – painting and docu film making – I have something to say. But in the latter, many people benefit. From Self to Society, that’s quite a leap. No regrets whatsoever!
Nevertheless, whatever I do now, there is still that remote dream of again dabbling oil colors on canvas. I therefore struggle to get back to basic drawing –a skill that needs to be practiced if at all confidence to paint has to be regained.