Travel for me is a time of heightened observation. Without the burden of meetings, deadlines and day job commitments, one is able to enter the day in a posture of silent expectation. Serendipitous images, compositions and textures populate the day, waiting to be seen, admired and captured on one’s camera.
My artist-residency experience in Hong Kong plunged me into a hyper-frenetic metropolis full of street vendors and corporate slaves running around and hustling for the money. Yet amidst the never-ending rush-hour lay hidden pockets of stillness. Moments of gentleness and quite that refused to be consumed. The series of videos I documented from Hong Kong are a testament to these beautiful vignettes of silence.
The video Woman Outside the Apartment was taken as I was about to leave my apartment. Outside my door sat an elderly woman watching the rain. Never have I seen her before, and never will I see her again. I stood there, amazed, amused and enchanted all at once. There she sat, calmly and quietly watching the rain. No errands, deadlines or taxis to catch. No care for the dumbfounded stranger that stood there for what seemed like hours—a stranger, a brother, an artist—who watched her as she watched the rain.
Perhaps it is precisely because the act of looking is inextricably linked to the activity of drawing that I found myself transfixed on this old woman watching the rain. There she sat in solitude, watching the rain and letting it all pass by.