Master Yun 云大师:
My speech, in the joint art exhibition of Singaporean and Chengdu Artists in Chengdu China, "Shi Bi Jia":
Respectable Excellencies, Respectable Teachers, Respectable Elders, dear friends new and old,
I am very honored to be here in the beautiful city of Chengdu, in one of the four oldest cultural brand of China, "Shi Bi Jia", appreciating art and poetry with you.
My personal art exhibition has traveled from Singapore to Bangkok, and The Netherlands. End of this month, I shall have it in Barcelona. And next year, with the invitation of Her Royal Highness Princess Buppha Devi, to exhibit my art at one of the greatest wonder of the world, Angkor Wat of Cambodia.
It’s ashamed that I have not exhibited in China yet.
But I am very happy because, my affinity with China and Chinese is very strong recently.
This year is the 70th anniversary of the establishment of People Republic of China. The China CCTV has chosen seventy Chinese to be representatives of "Chinese Pioneers", to show the world that "Chinese has great people".
A great honor, China CCTV filming team has flown to Singapore a few days ago to visit me in Lotus on Water Galleries and in my house. The theme is to show how Chinese like me, bearing artistic and cultural mission, is building the silk route of art and culture, to establish connections with the rest of the world.
They asked me to use a poem to reflect the souls and spirits of overseas Chinese like myself.
I quoted the four verses of "Lyrics at Liang Zhou". A poem written in Tang Dynasty. Adding in my own interpretations.
"Fine wine grapes, in a luminous glass,"
Wine of grapes is not something found in the homeland of China. And the beauty of it is to be so envied.
“One wants to drinking make merry, but the pipa piper on a rushing horse is hurrying us onwards.”
Most of the time, we move on not out of free will, but out of the situation of the time. Just like how and why our ancestors have left their hometowns in China to different parts of the world.
"If we are drunk, crouching on the battlefield, do not laugh;
since old times, how many men return from war?"
The dreams of our ancestors were to return to the motherland like leaves falling back to the roots in autumn. Would that be easy? No of course. Not in their generation, nor in our generation.
But while our bodies are not able to return to the roots like the fallen leaves, our spirit can. Our spirit can return to the vast ocean of art and culture, of which we all do have a common memory to share with.
Another popular verse says,
"The falling of the red petals is not a depart of love,
It is to be transformed into the soil of spring to nourish more flowers."
A lot of people describe Singapore as a "little red dot". No! We are the red petal that is transforming into the nourishing spring soil.
And on this piece of red petal are many artists, most of them are taught and groomed by the teachers in "Singapore Teachers Art Society". I am one of them. And my art teacher since I was thirteen years old, is sitting right there.
I am very happy because the Singaporean artists and Singaporean art teachers and sitting in the same hall with the Chinese artists, nourishing the flowers of arts and culture together.
May this flower of arts and culture, having taken a long time waiting in buds, shall bloom in full glory today.
-- Master Yun, 15 September 2019, at Chengdu Shi Bi Jia 诗婢家