equivocality — Jeff Ngan's collection of thoughts, experiences, and projects, inspired by pretty much everything
29 Feb 08

Last Day of the Exhibition

An article in the Metro.

There’s a lit­tle arti­cle in The Metro today about the gallery. In the pic­ture, around the harpist, is part of my Fruit and Body series. I’ve decided to make it a lim­ited edi­tion print of 100 each at 18″×12″. So far I’ve sold four, with two potentials.

It’s the last day of the exhibit. I’ll be there again tonight because another paper wants some pic­tures of the artists, and so I can meet with any guests, includ­ing one of my buy­ers. If you stop by, don’t for­get to sign the guestbook!

27 Feb 08

Psychoanalytic Reflections 02

My ther­a­pist is still get­ting to know me. Now I have books to read and work­sheets to fill out. It’s some­what strange; I’ve been putting myself through self-help for years, but I’ve never traced it so far back to my child­hood. I don’t like to blame my par­ents because I see how Darren and Pat have sur­vived far “worse” but it’s get­ting more and more obvi­ous that there’s trauma in my child­hood that still affects me to this day.

25 Feb 08

The Spot

If a woman sleeps alone, it puts a shame on all men. God has a very big heart but there is one sin he will not for­give: if a woman calls a man to her bed and he will not go.

—Zorba the Greek

There exists a spot on every woman that needs to be kissed.

It can be as innocu­ous as the curl of the lip, the web of the hand, or a mark on a land­scape of skin.

It’s the respon­si­bil­ity of a man to find this spot. Not as a ser­vice to the woman — some­times she isn’t even aware of such a spot — but as a ser­vice to the cre­ator of such things.

23 Feb 08

Hanging Party

I feel utterly intoxicated.

Reading poems around the piano

With a ham­mer and a lad­der, we hung my pic­tures tonight, care­fully decid­ing where to place each one to bal­ance the colours, the ori­en­ta­tions, the shapes, and the concepts.

Amongst the wine and the wood, the kids and the colours, we stopped to admire the art in the house. Adrienne dropped by to share her lat­est graphic poems with us, along with her alco­holic find­ings. “From The Desk Of” Penelope was writ­ten that day, dense and deep, full of details taken for granted. The words must write them­selves, I thought.

Thumbnail: Poem reading
Thumbnail: My fruit and body series wall
Thumbnail: Old fashioned side-table
Thumbnail: Akio
Thumbnail: A hammer and a poem
Thumbnail: Old style heater
Thumbnail: Frederic and Akio
Thumbnail: Nicole Beaumont artwork
Thumbnail: Akio on the ladder
Thumbnail: Wine, ice, and salad

Misun and I seem to share a kin­ship through our appre­ci­a­tion of expres­sion, some­thing I’ve never had with my friends. Not that there’s any­thing wrong with them, but I’ve always felt like they can’t relate to me when it comes to emo­tions or cre­ativ­ity. As I seem to be the cre­ative brother she’s always wanted, and she seems to be the sup­port­ive sis­ter I’ve always needed, we agreed to be adopted siblings.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (ver­sion 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the lat­est ver­sion here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

In a recent inter­view, Frédéric said, in his ebul­lient Parisian accent, that one of the rea­sons he wanted to open the Salon is to pro­mote dia­logue and inter­ac­tion. Perhaps it’s this hunger for dia­logue that con­nects us. He also men­tioned to me he was stressed out about being inter­viewed; being put on the spot made him freeze up. I told him I had the same prob­lem with pretty girls. “You’re affected by beauty”, he said, some­thing I knew, but not some­thing that every­one understands.

I left, feel­ing like I was a part of some­thing won­der­ful, some­thing greater than myself.

20 Feb 08

In The News

On the bus today, a reporter from the CBC called me for an inter­view. She started ask­ing me why I got into pho­tog­ra­phy, where I wanted to go with it, and the like. It was strange to be answer­ing these ques­tions because as far as I’ve gone with my pho­tog­ra­phy, no one has ever asked them before. I sup­pose most peo­ple assume it’s like another hobby, with­out pur­pose or meaning.

Newspaper article

There was also a lit­tle men­tion of my name in the local fran­coph­one paper. I find it funny that when trans­lated lit­er­ally, the title of the arti­cle in English is “Go, all with the Living room!”.

18 Feb 08

My Mom Keeps Calling

And I keep hang­ing up.

The first thing she asks, non­cha­lantly like noth­ing has hap­pened, is whether I’ve eaten yet. This is some­thing thing she used to say at the begin­ning of every phone call. One of her old habits, to make sure I’m eat­ing enough.

I didn’t answer her ques­tion, but asked what she wanted. She told me she just wanted to see how I was doing.

She doesn’t get it. I don’t want to talk to her. I never want to talk to her again. Every call is a reminder of the wounds that haven’t healed.

It’s like hav­ing your rapist show up at the door with flowers.

16 Feb 08

I Set My Cat On Fire

Dolly burns her hair 1

Dolly burns her hair 2

Well it wasn’t so much my fault as hers for walk­ing by one of my can­dles as I was light­ing it.

14 Feb 08

Psychoanalytic Reflections 01

It’s a full seven days between ses­sions, and at this point, my pschol­o­gist is just start­ing to know me. In between, I can never stop reflect­ing. I’ve always believed that I know myself well, but these ses­sions are prob­ing ideas and mem­o­ries I haven’t thought of in a while, and open­ing up com­pletely new areas of reflection.

And while I could write for days about these thoughts and epipha­nies, I sim­ply don’t have the time, so I fig­ured I’d briefly touch on them in point form.

12 Feb 08

The Legend Of The Wayne Gretzky Coffee

Knowing his pref­er­ence for how he likes his cof­fee1, I jok­ingly told him he should get a Wayne Gretzky on the way to Timmies this morn­ing. Until today, he had never even heard of Tim Hortons, and must have thought that all Canadian prod­ucts are named after Canadian heroes. “What’s that?” he asked me. “Nine cream and nine sugar, like Gretzky’s jer­sey num­ber; 99″, I told him.

That sounds good”.

So I walked up to the counter, made my order, and looked at him. He gave me a nod, so I turned to the girl behind the counter again, and said, “Extra large cof­fee. Nine cream, nine sugar”.

In a com­pletely dead­pan face, she asked, “Are you serious?”.


And this is prob­a­bly the great­est thing I’ve ever experienced.

  1. The pre­vi­ous day, I asked him how many cream and sugar he takes. Expecting a quan­ti­ta­tive mea­sure, he just told me, “A lot”. []
11 Feb 08

Signs Of Senility

I’m exhausted today. I try not to acknowl­edge it, but my body keeps remind­ing me.

How is it doing this?

I just peeled a banana, and with the peel in my hand I threw the banana in the garbage.

My dad did the same thing once with an orange. “The old man’s going senile”, I thought to myself.

Hopefully, it’s not due to some degen­er­a­tive brain dis­ease, but the 12-hours I put in at work until mid­night yesterday.

My new sched­ule involves going to ther­apy after work on Mondays. Today, I also have to go to my framer to sign my pho­tos and mats after­wards. I was going to pick up a drop cloth and back­ground stand at the pho­tog­ra­phy store in between, but I think I’ll skip that.

We’re in the mid­dle of a server swap at work, so I expect client com­put­ers to be burst­ing into flames today. I’m also orga­niz­ing a pot luck for the com­pany at the end of the week.

My mind feels like it’s going in eight dif­fer­ent direc­tions at once.

But as long as I feel, I know I’m alright.

08 Feb 08


A reader sent me this let­ter (posted with her per­mis­sion, of course):

Almost a year after I had man­aged to leave the island behind, the room, the floor, the sheets, the rape — I acci­dently ended up on your blog entry called “The begin­ning to the end” and it changed my world. It awoke feel­ings inside of me that I had for a years time tried to sup­press and scare off so that I never again would open up to any­one, never trust any­one and there­for never end up in the same sit­u­a­tion again. At that time, all men were a poten­tial threath to me.

Reading and watch­ing that very blo­gen­try have had such a great impact on my life and will to become ‘myself’ again, to reclaim my body and to dare to move towards feel­ing and being ‘beau­ti­ful’ again. Your video granted me the sen­sa­tion of how sin­cere, pure and giv­ing love and affec­tion truly are when it’s shared and not forced. It made me remem­ber blocked out feel­ings and sit­u­a­tions and it made me start to long for some­thing that I had com­pletely shut out for over a year.

I have been want­ing to write you this email for quite some time, but I havent been sure of myself or if the “new” me (which is the old in fact) would sur­vive and I didnt want to make this into a sun­shine story if it really wasnt — but after many down­hills, tri­als and tribu­la­tions, the­r­a­phy and social inter­ac­tion, I am there, I am back and I am stand­ing strong again. Nothing will ever be the same, but at least I made the right choice, for me. I have always been lifelov­ing in over­load and even if I am only halfway there yet, it is still enough to keep me going.

I still watch that video every now and then, to remind myself that any­thing is pos­si­ble and that you can recieve “help” from the most unex­pected sources. It used to make me cry, now it makes me smile instead, isnt that beau­ti­ful? I know per­fectly well that you never meant to post that entry for me, but it helped me in one of the most dif­fi­cult times in my life and for that I will be for­ever grate­ful. Thank you.

Yours sin­cerly,

I’m at a loss for words.

06 Feb 08

Emergence Exposition 02 Invitation

Carrot feet

The Emergence Exposition: Opus 02 vernissage is com­ing up in three weeks and if you’re in the Ottawa area, you can drop by to see my exhibit!

The show is free. Over three hun­dred peo­ple were packed into the last one. I’ll be the one walk­ing around with a cam­era strapped to his hand.

Four exhibition rooms, Four creative styles

Like the exhi­bi­tions of old France, the idea of this gallery-house is to have a mix­ture of dif­fer­ent artis­tic styles.

J’ai eu envie de recréer quelque chose dans cet esprit-là. Il ya un côté intim­i­dant et même assez froid aux galeries d’art. Les gens n’osent pas tou­jours entrer, mais je veux leur mon­trer que l’art c’est pour tout le monde, dans une ambiance chaleureuse.

— Frédéric Daty, gallery owner

There will be four visual artists — metal sculp­tor, ceramic sculp­tor, painter, pho­tog­ra­pher (me) — and three musi­cal artists — con­cert pianist, harpist, soft pop musi­cian. Featuring cham­pagne and home­made truf­fles too!

For more details and a glimpse at some more of my work in this theme, you can read the descrip­tion in the new pho­tog­ra­phy sec­tion, as well down­load the invitation.

02 Feb 08

Long Exposure

It snowed all day yes­ter­day, and well into the night. The white­ness out­side reflects the sky and has filled my house with bright light. It’s the week­end and I’m awake.

Banana smoothie

Banana smoothie

I’ve fallen in love with smooth­ies. They are usu­ally com­prised of three bananas, three tan­ger­ines, a third of a pineap­ple, yogurt, juice, and frozen 4-fruit berry or sum­mer fruit salad. I have three a day. This makes me poo like crazy.

Life has been exhaust­ingly busy. The photo ses­sions are over, post-processing is done, and my pic­tures are all printed. The only thing left is to get them framed. I had my first ses­sion with my psy­chol­o­gist. I’m can­celling my Tai Chi tomor­row. I have to plan my relax­ation, and this doesn’t make it very relaxing.

This week­end I hope to:

Next week is going to be even more crazy, no pun intended. Monday I’m meet­ing with the framer, Tuesday and Thursday I have Tai Chi, Wednesday I’m hav­ing din­ner at the gallery and meet­ing the other artists.

I haven’t been sleep­ing well. In the midst of all this socia­bil­ity, I’ve been bat­tling my anx­i­ety. It’s filled me with a quiet deter­mi­na­tion, but the long expo­sure has worn me down.