Monday, January 30, 2012

Art Creation From 2 Approaches - Add & Subtract

Addition & subtraction methods:

- Artists ADD more paint to canvas/paper to create a painting.
- Scupltors SUBTRACT unwanted pieces of rock by chipping it away to create the sculpture.

Most of all have been conditioned to the ADD, ADD, ADD approach in our lives. One need not look further than the increasing amount of stuff we bought but seldom use & clogging up homes instead.

Instead of addition, perhaps people ought to use the subtraction method to simplify their lives so as to have less unnecessary stress.


  1. Hi,

    Have been reading your blog recently. I like your approach to a simple life.

    Agreed about the need to balance the "add" with the "subtract". Yearly spring cleaning is a good approach. Moving home is also another good opportunity. Or in my case, migrating. Since then, sometimes when I pack my room, I imagine myself moving again - what would I keep? What would I forgo?

    As the Chinese saying goes, “旧的不去,新的不来” [If the old doesn't go, the new doesn't arrive.] Or as the Cantonese like to say of old stuff, “挡着噻的风水!” Reduce, re-use, re-cycle. Give things still in usable condition that are no longer needed away to others. It creates good karma.

    That said, I still have room for improvement as I end up buying new stuff after I cleared some old stuff away.

  2. Hi Winking Doll,
    Oh u are migrating. News from yahoo surface about climate crisis on sg. Although other countries' coastal cities are at risk of being submerged by rising sea level, i can't help but wonder if is a form of payback from Mother Nature for the masses of sinkies hooked on hyperconsumption. Malls sprouting up like weeds. Due to the frickin fast rat race, many people consume & consume as a way to numb themselves & give themselves a short burst of happiness.

    Glittering malls filled with locusts swarms of people addicted to buy, buy & buy that i feel like an alien.

    Thanks for your comment & chinese words. Many sinkies are 'ANG MOised' & don't speak chinese at home already especially the younger generation.

  3. Hi Xianlong,

    Thank you for your reply, visiting and sharing your views on my blog too.

    Yes, I emigrated about 1+ year ago. According to climate change simulations, parts of Canada will be submerged as a result of global warming, melting artic ice, and rising sea levels too. This includes the below sea-level area where I currently reside. That is, assuming that the long-overdue "big one" (earthquake) hasn't already ripped Metro Vancouver off the surface of the world, haha :D So parts of Canada face similar environmental risks as Singapore and other costal cities. Like in the rest of the world, the typical Metro Vancouverite isn't quite thinking much about such matters on a day-to-day basis. Well-intentioned conservative folks would occasionally advise me not to buy sea-front apartments or any residential units in areas below sea levels, e.g. Richmond, BC.

    > people consume & consume as a way to numb themselves

    I have been there done that. I remember disliking my "manager" job in my late-20's. On weekends, I was shopping from the time Orchard Road stores opened until the last dept store is closed (usually Tangs or Isetan). When I ran out of excuses to buy things for myself (after all one can only use that many suits, handbags, etc), I thought about my friends and spent a chunk of my pay buying things for those around me. Yet, I was still miserable. Finally, I quit the job and had a major re-think about what I wanted out of life. It took a while to figure the basics out, and the fuller answer remains deep and ever-evolving.

    > i feel like an alien

    I too felt like an alien in Singapore. That despite being born, educated and having lived there all my life, I do not share the typical competitive and materialistic values of my fellow countrymen. Strangely, I feel more like with "my kind" in Canada, although having only lived here for 1+ year. Haha!

    As for the Chinese words, to be honest, I am pretty much a banana. I only brushed up on my Mandarin/Cantonese as a result of building rapport with my colleagues when working in Singapore. Now in the land of the blind (few speak both Mandarin and Cantonese in Metro Vancouver), a one-eyed person is the king. It's kind of really funny when I think about it!