Official Artist
Simon Birch
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It's Sunday and I finally took a day off after 3 months. I hit Big Wave Bay and surfed my ass off. Lucky to have waves as it's been flat for months here. But what an amazing city that you can be in the seething metropolis one minute and in 20 minutes on a lovely little beach.

I managed to do normal stuff today. Went grocery shopping, read the paper (Sunday Post who once again haven't listed the show! annoying!), rented a couple of movies, tidied up my apartment and stared at the pile of unopened bills that has been growing for months. I flicked through blogs and websites and news sites to see what was going on in the world.

I caught Spike Jonze new video for LCD Soundsystem, dope. Then I caught a bit of Solaris on TV which made me feel lost, read an interview with Tilda Swinton that made me feel connected. Catching things like this just fires my imagination. I messed around on Facebook which had the opposite effect because nothing happens on Facebook, it's cold. This was such a useful tool in spreading the word on the exhibition but otherwise it's a bit of a waste of energy but interesting how people reveal themselves to the world, that they're happy or hungry or what they just did or said. I think if I need to share my thoughts I'll just tell a friend directly. The blog is different I guess because it has more purpose and you don't splash it on random people, they come to the blog by choice.

When I started this thing I made a conscious choice not to be too personal, keep it as a diary of the show, not talk about my personal dramas, loves, fears, hopes, I don't talk about my love life or friends. I think I can only share the real stuff with real people.

Since the show opened I can't stop thinking about my next project. It's like Hope and Glory on speed. This thing will blow your mind if I can make it happen....when I make it happen. I'm already sketching it out and planning cast and crew.

We had our Louis Vuitton event on Friday which was hugely successful. More low key than the Diesel event with a very limited guest list but was very enjoyable. I talked to the whole audience about the show and walked them through from piece to piece. Many of the collaborators came along and it was great to be able to introduce them to the guests and allow them the opportunity to talk about their involvement. Simon Yin and co, Race and Rosie, Grace, Laura...it made me feel extremely lucky to have had so many people contribute their time and energy to the project. It makes the space, the exhibition, feel so much more loved, and made from a  place of love.

The government guy dropped by but he just wanted to know if we were achieving our targets on audience numbers. He's worried he'll be in trouble if the show is a failure. I'm worried too because then the government won't pay us but so far we're getting tons of people coming to the show. Swire staff drop by now and again and photograph scratches on walls, or cigarette burns on carpets and then email them to us, reminding us we'll have to pay for any damage to the space. We get hassled but we don't complain about any of this because we're fucking lucky we have the space at all, and lucky to have at least some money from the government.

I started painting again a couple of days ago. I'm so broke from all this I gotta get some income so am very lucky to have people waiting for new works. I'm painting Race Wong right now, she came in a while back and jumped around (no, not naked) and the shots were just wonderful. I'm so stoked to be painting, it feels so good. But it's changed. The next set of work will be something very different.

I'm planning a whole set of nude paintings but really hard to get new nude models. In HK women can be surprisingly conservative, or maybe insecure, but I've asked many women over the years to get naked and there have only been a couple. I've had one model I've used many times who was just fantastic but I need a different type of body this time. Jesus, just talking about painting gets me fired up. If I could just paint, surf and fuck for the rest of my days I'd be quite happy. Anyway, I got one girl lined up to model for me but she's Estonian and I really need Chinese.

Painting feels good because it's so direct. Just me and the paint. Hope and Glory is such a team effort and often the cash and technology limits your vision. I'm glad I'm able to do it all though, only in HK can you get such opportunity. People often ask if I get writers block and can't paint but I have the opposite problem, too many ideas. It's hard to contain it all.

Amanda wrote to me today to say how she felt safe inside Hope and Glory, that she felt respite. It made me very happy. I've heard this from many people now that they go in and just want to stay because it calms them. Because it's an escape. I love that it has that affect on people, that they feel peace. People seem to go again and again to further absorb it. This is a real measure of success from my point of view. That is has an impact, that it benefits people. It makes me feel that I've given a gift to the audience, like some abstract energy transfer from my heart to yours.

Many people have asked the same questions about the show. Why do it? Compulsion, an unstoppable force inside me. Where did you get the inspiration? From everything. How long did it take to build? 40 years.

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about 14 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares


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Location (City, Country)
Hong Kong
Member Since
September 27, 2007