A new poem by Chris Tse.
(Turquoise: Art & Magic)
Rothko Chapel, January 2014
- A room in which my hushed mind was a kaleidoscope waiting for light.
- I thought about the past year and the absences I allowed to fill me.
- I thought I’d never rid myself of the intimacy that pained my heart.
- The three words I’d later use to caption the moment: calm, peace, shadow.
- Memory tells me I saw black, but each passing year leaves me in doubt.
- Rothko said colour is “merely an instrument” for expressing emotion.
- I’ve spent my life ascribing too many meanings to every bloom and blush.
- There were times I thought I’d die under the weight of a rainbow.
Len Lye Centre, January 2017
- Every line jumps like tiny thunder caught in a frame.
- Crushed jazz—metallic growl—people falling in together after disaster.
- Paint like blood that’s been asked to give away the world’s secrets.
- I find myself backing away from every screen that knows too much.
- I used to think meaning existed between capture and disappearance.
- That the way we allow ourselves to be overcome by colour is human.
- I worry that I’ve been conditioned, perhaps softened, by its frequencies.
- I have to ask myself why I consider that to be such a bad thing.
Olafur Eliasson, Tate Modern, October 2019
- The surrounding light drains us; we become monochrome.
- But in the big room we are split into our separate shadows.
- The spectrum still dances when no one is looking. It is always alive.
- The bridge between art and magic is an eye looking through a prism.
- What I know to be art can only be explained by the thumping in my chest.
- And the stillness in my blood. And the undoing of how I view water.
- Looking up is the only way I’ll see the whole—the hoop that holds our gaze.
- Even a black sphere casts colour when it is opened up just so.