Raining heavily in Hong Kong today. Always a beautiful thing. Keeps the pollution down as it scrubs the air and, at night, turns the neon filled streets into a scene from Blade Runner.
Conan Hayes came to town last night. He's one of my closest brothers and rolled through for 24 hours. Conan was a world champion surfer in competition with people like Kelly Slater and Shane Dorian. He famously crushed Teahupoo in Taihiti back in the day, a life threatening wave, massive, over razor sharp reef. He then quit the world tour and set up his own clothing company called RVCA, which means I get an endless supply of free t-shirts. He also trains MMA and his brand sponsors BJ Penn, a UFC legend.
We had an enormous night last night, I think I maybe got an hour sleep. We toured HK nightlife and met some really nice people on the way. A model with a gritty history who understood the world and another who had traveled the world and suprised me by pulling out her iphone and insisting i look at her drawings which were really not bad at all. Beautiful and talented, just like me!
I'm painting with great fury as I race to meet deadlines. Sometimes that pressure is a good thing but I'm so burnt out from the show I'm not sure where these new ones are going. Nonetheless, getting the job done and it feels good to have paint stained fingers.
I had to zip over to City University to talk to a class of 20 year old new media students. I always dread having to talk to groups of people, I'd always rather be making art but I feel this social obligation or responsibility to contributing to these kind of things when I'm asked nicely. I'm no teacher but I just try to be frank and direct about my world and try not to swear too much. Inevitably though I always end up enjoying these things once it gets warmed up.
I guess I really just like attention less and less these days but also, I always feel like a fraud because I had little education and for all the inspiration, insight i try to communicate, of creation and production, i'm from such a broken place myself, that i have experienced such violence and loss and have made so many mistakes. And you can't tell people anything, they have to work it out for themselves.
These students had been to the show and one girl said that, afterwards, she had changed. She felt she should make the most of each day, that the days would be more precious to her after the experience of the exhibition. It was a very touching comment, to have learned a gratitude. It made me feel I had succeeded in connecting. She explained it in broken english but she, clearly, had understood and connected with the show. Subconsciously my feelings about time must have bled through the work. It's always a good feeling when you're reminded of how we are all so similar. Often we feel so isolated but actually we've all shared the same hopes and dreams, loves and fears. We come to the world with nothing, and leave with nothing but love.
Whenever I stand at the edge of a tall building or cliff, I always have the urge to jump. I used to think that was just me but it's universal.
Another guy said he was very emotional after watching the film where people talked about the death of their artist friend. He said he would have liked to have known this dead artist and he could see that the artsit was loved by them. He had no idea they were talking about me! I felt quite guilty explaining that it was fake as they were talking about me and that i didn't die.
Someone else said they felt after walking through the show that I was loved. I said, you reap what you sow.
Anyway, maybe the rain has made me sentimental today.
Just another day at the beach for Conan....