FENN ARCHDEKIN-LEUNG & LILY LEUNG, with text by

Feel­ings

Room Magazine - - CONTENTS -

cre­ative, she some­how found a play that I wrote when I was in grade five. At work, she pho­to­copied it, bound it a spi­ral book and wrapped it for me as a Christ­mas present. She said I should keep it; it was my first book. When my child was not even two years old, he showed me a pic­ture he drew of a vivid curved line with a tiny tri­an­gle be­side it. He told me in his mono­syl­labic lan­guage: River. Boat. I looked at this line, curved in such a way that con­veyed a vivid move­ment and some­how knew that this was not a sim­ple line at all. And there was that small tri­an­gle look­ing jaunty be­side it. In­deed, river, boat. Fenn con­tin­ued to sur­prise me with his im­pulse to draw. I was con­stantly tidy­ing sheets and sheets of draw­ings strewn ev­ery­where in the house. He has al­ways drawn with flu­id­ity and quick­ness. He started draw­ing bird’s-eye views, an­gled per­spec­tives be­fore he was seven. I thought it would be im­por­tant to fa­cil­i­tate this urge by

en­rolling him in art classes. Mis­take. Fenn does not like to be told how and what to draw. It irks him to no end. In one comic draw­ing class he was in, the in­struc­tor in­sisted that the kids draw a su­per­hero and Fenn, frus­trated and an­gry, drew a fig­ure sit­ting on a toi­let wear­ing a cape. He de­clared that this su­per­hero’s power was an abil­ity to take a gi­ant poo. My kid’s con­fi­dence and au­dac­ity as­ton­ish me. I am both proud and a lit­tle ter­ri­fied by it. I was never such a child, al­ways fear­ful and self-con­scious. It wasn’t un­til forty that I de­vel­oped my own au­dac­ity to write the novel that I had al­ways wanted. My mother is de­lighted that her grand­child is such an artist. Of course, my mother claims Fenn got all the tal­ent from her. I don’t dis­agree. It’s a spe­cial bond that they have as artists. These two pieces are a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween them. Fenn drew them, and my mom con­trib­uted her wa­ter­colours. It feels right that my child is con­tin­u­ing this fam­ily “legacy.” As the daugh­ter and mother of two vis­ual artists, I am moved by this con­ti­nu­ity.

Feel­ings by Fenn Archdekin-Leung and Lily Leung 2015; pen and wa­ter­colour 22 x 28 cm

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