What do you see?
I bet 99.9% people would say, “I see a black square shape.” I confess, if I was a reader and not the writer, I would probably have said the same thing. The answer is no. This color here is not what is defined as color “pure black” (Red:0 Green:0 Blue:0). If I were to give a name to the color, it is perhaps “a type of what we perceive as black and call black but it isn’t exactly what we agreed to define as pure black”. The color on this image is shifted slightly to the blue side (Red:0 Green:0 Blue:1). This is also not a square, I intentionally made the height of the image just 1 pixel shorter than its width. It is in fact a rectangle.
You might wonder why I did this to you or even say “so what?” Please don’t hate me, because I did this on purpose. We know now, sometimes what we think it is is not what it actually is. I wonder now, how many of you looked at your screen and thought that it is a white frame around a black square? How many of you thought that it is a darkness seen in light? Regardless of right or wong, true or false, there must be many other ways to look at things. Sometimes I speak with people about what the most beautiful black is and I always enjoy that conversation. There are unlimited numbers of blacks in this world.
I often think the world is more interesting if people could see things and express things differently. I appreciate people and art works that give me a new perspective to see things and make me say “I never looked at something that way or thought of something that way.” I believe that’s part of what artists are committed to do.
Take a look at these images of the moon. What moon is this? I made a photographic piece called “Thirty Days of Full Moons (My heart shines, a pure expanse of light; And no doubt the moon will think the light its own” (2014). I photographed the moon for 30 days and said, the moon is always the full-moon. Like you are always you. Sometimes our eyes cannot see a part of the moon, but it is always, always the full-moon.
I was born in Asia, I spent more than half of my life there in Asia where often people are educated to be cooperative than a unique individual. But isn't it more wonderful and interesting if each of us are more unique?
“Think different” a well-known copy for Macintosh which I believe many of us are familiar. I recently had a chance to spend some time thinking about the copy and I started to think “Think different” actually means “Think fully.”
Perhaps we are not at all creaters in any sense, we are just finding something new through thinking "fully" and not through thinking different. I believe this “something” actually exists already and we start to see that as a result of “thinking fully.” I think the life is about connecting dots together. What makes people creative? People often ask this question and I don’t know the answer. But I think it is an act of “thinking fully.” I believe artist should be a good thinker.