The weather today is rainy and grey. Melancholy-coloured. A few more shades of dark blue and it could be a horror suspense episode of something definitely supernatural.
So in a couple of weeks I'll be at the Manila Biennale Open Market. The Biennale holds a special meaning for me, given my own strange viewing of the world and my life. It's not so much this Biennale but the idea of a Biennale. Because way back towards the end of 2016, when I was on the edge of an abyss of seemingly unsurvivable despair, I was caught and saved by a story that had a Biennale in it. The main character was a late-blooming artist. And of course it was a love story that taught me so much of how I could be a better person -- not necessarily for another person but first of all for myself. That story taught me about clarity and courage -- in art, in being an artist, in being in love, in daily life.
Hence when this chance to be in a Biennale came, even if as an art merchant rather than an art exhibitor, I could not let it pass. Especially since the coming of that chance was opened up by a series of events that had also remapped my life since November -- when all the hard daily small work of five years has finally reached a tipping point that gave my creative journey much-needed momentum. (My forever gratitude to Mitch EV who believed in my work and gave me that first crucial opportunity to Show Up in a significant way.)
I think being in a Biennale now marks a full circle -- for certainly the person who was saved then is now capable of inspiring others through her own art and stories. It feels good to be able to do my own turn.
This morning I received an invite for a Chinese New Year market and this is another circle coming around. It will be at BGC where I had the most promising sales and widest exposure, and also the place where a certain Story popped up like a weed. And I think going back there especially with the new year theme, and right after my birthday which means it is also a personal new year for me, is very fitting. (I'll be wearing my mithril armour beneath my dress, to protect against wayward arrows.)
I've submitted my forms and paid the fees so I'm just waiting for the confirmation email. This doubles my shop tasks on top of dayjob tasks for the next three weeks but I'd rather kill myself doing this than just letting it go because I have dayjob schedules -- now that would be a real tragedy.
The Biennale and the Chinese New Year pop-up perfectly book-ends my birthday (which is on Dia De Los Corazones Muertos). Endings and beginnings. Cycles and circles, with labyrinths and mazes inside.
Today I'm keeping to my promise to myself and taking myself to the movies and a nice meal. I'll be watching Maze Runner: The Death Cure (I like Newt and Minho), go to a Korean or Japanese restaurant, browse the book shops, and then hang out in a cafe with my journal and sketchbook. If I were very practical I would not push through because funds are tighter than ever with the second pop-up preps happening. But then, if I were practical I would not have signed up for the second pop-up in the first place. Yet I just wrote in a previous post how my daily life is always a gamble of some sort, and I guess I'm keeping to that spirit for a while.