FENN ARCHDEKIN-LEUNG & LILY LEUNG, with text by
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