Sunday, November 12, 2006

Notes at ease

A paper napkin doodle dandy tapdances a jig around Jimmy Cagney atop a manila folder. Over there he unfolds a xeroxed blueprint in the sultry summer afternoon sun, his baseball cap melting. One by one, kinfolk follow his steps blindly, each touching a sequence of primary colored dots in procession. And so Master Po asks Grasshopper (the young Kwai Chang Caine) to ponder the true meaning of chinoiserie...but he hesitates. In ascending order of white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, red, brown and finally black, his harelipped mouth uncurls and money immediately exchanges hands furtively. The project is way behind schedule without clout. But somehow it works a quick sidestep, almost an electric slide powered by reverse current, to complete the job above budget.

Behind the golden section guarded by stanchions, her portrait hangs high in porcelain inside the pavillion. The performer hired to reenact the complicated moves nearly breaks his back from the constant contortion. His pain is captured digitally by an amateur shutterbug hired by the family soothsayer.