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Usine de mes Pensines by Suzanne Duchamp. Photo credit: Karen Kao

Shanghai Noir

The Dancing Girl and the Turtle: publication date 01.04.2017

I'm back!

The break was wonderful, restful and inspiring. The factory of my thoughts is back to full capacity thanks, in part, to this great work by Suzanne Duchamp as part of the exhibition "Modern Couples" now showing at the Pompidou-Metz. The frame is:

creative pair-work and the mechanisms of an artistic companionship: does each approach dissolve into one, are they complementary or do they oppose each other?


The pairs sometimes expanded into threesomes, serial relationships and the ménage à cinq that was the Bloomsbury group. Max Ernst got 2 rooms to himself for each of his artist lovers, Leonora Carrington and Dorothea Tanner, though poor Peggy Guggenheim got only an honorable mention as a mere patron of the arts. It's great to see an exhibit that covers all the arts: music, dance, architecture, textile and graphic design as well as painting, sculpture and photography. You can visit Modern Couples in Metz until 20 August or at the Barbican in London starting 10 October.

I could say more about our final destination in the south of France but I'll save that for later. I'm mulling over a book review involving Japan and the Provence aka my reading list last week. Of course, I'm not the first one to put that combination together. There are multiple exhibitions running right now in the Netherlands on the link between Van Gogh and Japan. I'm hoping to catch all of them.

You might think I'm having too much fun but this is research for me. My mind doesn't work unless it get shocked by something beautiful, poignant or funny. As many PhD students will confess, research can also become a crutch. The need to classify every tree and thus miss the forest. This week's post Who Am I? is about author authenticity or, to use Kirstin Chen's words, am I Chinese enough to tell this story?"

Many thanks to all my subscribers who stuck with me and my newsletter despite the new EU privacy regulation. I've got a little goodie for you in the form of a YouTube clip from my reading last April at the International Writers' Collective.

Truth or Consequences
Skin in the Game
Family Photos
Sweet Dream
Mirror, Mirror

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