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METAPHORS (of Love, for example)

METAPHORS (of Love, for example)

Found objects (a series of 5)


On Meaning of Objects and Coincidence


Sometimes I look at (ordinary) objects around me, and I am amazed how they could come together in such form and manner. For example, a piece of used soap (which looks rather worn out) lying on top of a floating stone.

Such sight leads me to think about:

1)TIME (vertical) -- What were they before? Just consider the raw material they were – how could they ever “meet”? A piece of soap used to be some chemical while a floating stone used to lying under the sea for more than thousand years (just some possi- bilities). But no matter how they were before, at this moment they “meet” in such form and manner. This moment is brief. Under normal circumstances, it also won’t last forever (soap will be thrown away, floating stone will contin- ue to be worn out), which in turn makes THIS moment an enigma for me.


​2)FORM (horizontal) -- the raw material could be made into something else in stead of what they are now. In this way, the piece of soap could be other objects rather than a piece of soap. Even it is a piece of soap, it could also be ANOTHER soap, which may be brought by another person. The chance of this specific soap meeting this floating stone is very rare.

3)MANNER (outer force?) – since they are objects, they are said to be passive.

They are “put” together by me (the user) in such manner (a piece of soap lying on top of the floating stone) by my will. However, when they were “discovered” by me on the bathtub, I couldn’t even remember how I put them together. It seems to me they are in such manner in a rather random way, which I would call it coincidence.

I’ve been thinking about their meaning. What’s such sight mean? All such coincidence and rare situation make this combination unique. It may mean something; there could be a message, a metaphor for something else. I then quickly realize they are meaningful only for me, depends on whether I impose a meaning on them. 


In this way I start to take a closer look of objects around me and contemplate upon. The sheer exercise of “imposing meaning” is very interesting for me. And during my “contemplation”, I link it to two subjects:

1) the ancient way of fortune telling. By imposing meaning on objects, I am almost practicing fortune telling. Like someone could look at the shape of tea leafs in the cup to see if there will be good or bad luck. A sign is a sign if you impose meaning on it, and believe it really tells something. One of the most systematic ways of such practice is I Ching – just think about how a whole (moral) philosophy is derived from 9 random lines!

2) In the past few years I am amazed how powerful, dangerous art interpretation could be (mainly because I myself am somebody who always search for meaning of art works – why you make this, why you make that, and found a whole set of theories to help my interpreta- tion /analysis). They bother me if I fail to find a meaning. But such practice also bothers me a lot. However, I also realize that, just like “a piece of soap lying on top of the floating stone”, everything can consist a meaning.

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