Saturday, September 08, 2007

Rule Nothing Out

One of the many things that appeal to me about South-East Asia is the benign anarchy that bubbles just beneath the not-so-well-manicured surface of everyday life. Part of it has to do with poverty and the pressure on a majority of the people to make things work somehow without a lot of resources but part of it is also an inherent humanity – something the wise king of Thailand recently described as a necessary element of "an economy of happiness" – that isn't yet suppressed by too many petty regulations born not out of a genuine care for the populace's well-being but an insidious need to control. What Westerners would think of as rules, like having to stop at a traffic light, are merely suggestions for most Thais, a perception that's reinforced the moment one tries to negotiate rush-hour traffic as an unlicensed driver – "Just pay the policeman 150 baht, maybe less. License is not necessary. If you really want one, I have a friend who can print it for you." – on an uninsured Japanese motor-scooter.
For the outsider, like me, it encourages s a new-found sense of personal freedom, of possibility, that flows into the work. The unsubtle civil disobedience and readiness to improvise that pervades daily life infects the imagination, making the idea that something as ill-defined as 'art' has any rules to break seem absurd.

1 comment:

drips of paint said...

what a beautiful understanding and embrace of different cultures...

//For the outsider, like me, it encourages s a new-found sense of personal freedom, of possibility, that flows into the work. The unsubtle civil disobedience and readiness to improvise that pervades daily life infects the imagination, making the idea that something as ill-defined as 'art' has any rules to break seem absurd. //
...your last paragraph reads to me like poetry

My own guidian in art is "there are no rules only tools" ... this is not my own saying but I have adpoted it for a while now.