Art News from Margaret Shiu of BCS #09：The 5R to fit into the New Normal
The world has become insane with raging fires and citizens’ unrests, since the summer of 2019, and leading to a climax of major consequence, from spring with COVID-19 pandemic, all the way now into June. The world has never seen things like that just in 12 months, for environmental, economic, social, political and racial havoc!
The economic consequences of these issues, rekindled mistrust between the haves and have-nots! COVID-19 pushing the house-bound communities into pressure cooker level of frustration, leading towards total uproar within different sections of society. What is the root cause of many of these racial, cultural, religious, and/or political hidden problems, in many corners of the planet?
As what has been claimed in my previous articles, it is unwise regarding measuring economic wealth as the only indicator of national and individual success. We must have a new way forward. It is time to slow down to seek a series of solutions that can be new parameters to help everyone to reassess their priority in life. To be in lockdown for couple months with only the basics on the table, regardless of people’s wealth and status in society, makes life a miserable suffering.
Somehow, I saw this cover page on February 2020 issue of the London Monocle magazine, printed even before the pandemic, but most timely now!
‘Live a gentler life and be kinder’
Try it this evening after your tedious repeat of a home-cooked meal, do it for yourself, but how? How to shift down and be happy on a lower gear? Monocle suggests five ways:
Restart, Repurpose, Refresh, Read and Relax
Let me try these questions on me, myself first:
Go back to ground zero! Do I need all the stuff, real and virtual ownerships, roles, relationships and responsibilities that I have?
What is the new purpose that I can find to be more meaningful than what I have been doing in the last 10~20 years? How do I refresh my vision at this stage of life? what can I still contribute? How to lower the gear to see the path better?
Is there something or someone that I've put aside and have kept it under the status of “Past tense” for quite a long time but somehow it still affects my emotion more than those new things/people? I shall find them back and encourage myself to reopen the gate of communicating with them and try to cast on the new ways of discovering them for a probably even more contemporary connection. Flip the past to current, say: This is it!
It is time to reread some of the books that have been meaningful to me, the two huge stacks of new books that have been sitting on the coffee table, will remain there. But it is time maybe, to look back into the few well-thumbed books that I had, they might refresh my mind again. Why those few books can absorb me from cover to cover. What is the essence of these authors’ intentions?
The most important last R, Relax. I must and will learn to relax more and not chase after the next interesting idea that comes to the doorstep. Learn to let go, sit still, and relax the body and mind, so that the core in us can reveal messages that were submerged for so long. When we open up this void, our spirit just may point us towards a higher vision, for a life of meaningful engagements and outcomes.
We, as artists have a role to play in this time and era. I can see, we are now urgently needed, to rethink repurpose restart the way we use our art, to collaborate with society, in different sectors, for diverse creative cocreations for a new normal operating mold. This New Normal should include universal equality, for all humanity, also all living creatures, and all the innate elements in nature, from the sky to the earth too; only then can we find a different kind of meaning for living, a new measurement of happiness. Only then, can everyone feel at ease and content, in manners unknown before, that is what sustainability means to me. Please try to give this new 5R a think-through tonight, over a glass of local wine, and enjoy with an artist on a virtual gathering, you will be surprised what might emerge!