Tuesday, October 7, 2008

On Christchurch

My newest design project is about my interpretation of Christchurch based on the many drawings and observations that I have about the city. I am done with the synopsis. And the Word Map (which as the name suggests is just a page filled with words and concepts that can lead me to further develop the idea on the given topic. The more words the more ideas and stronger the foundation to build the designs on.) is becoming very interesting. Some of the words I came up with are:
Bland. Canterbury. Tasteless. Repressive. Graphitti. Quiet. Cold. Drunk. Maori flare. Fake smiles. Square. Lines. Controlled. Artificial. Showy. Detached. Outdoor recreation. Nostalgia of England.  CCC. Plastic. Public artwork. Christchurch Cathedral. Fish & Chips. Dance. Circus. Colourful Street culture. Youth sub-culture. Dead architecture. People disillusioned with life. Hip Hop. The Majestic. Kiwis. Asians. Uncritical. Unquestioning. Culture-less. Tourists. Southern Alps. 

Don't be fooled. They aren't all negative. But asking me what I think of Christchurch when I am suffering from homesickness is a wrong timing. What can you expect. There are, however, also some very positive and even respectful words that I mentioned. Like Colourful Street Culture, which I believe adds life to the drooping city. The Majestic, of course the church that I go to, the hotspot of creativity, art and music and dance (we are out to move the world through the arts), hope for a better Christchurch, not just tomorrow, but today. Dance, very very crazy dance movement here. Completely bowled over I am. Then there's good Hip Hop without mindless mania for money and sex. 

I have a comment about the art of NZ in general. I like Colin MacCahon a lot. Particularly his work I AM is phenomenal. There's Rita Angus, who painted women, not necessarily in picturesque setting and not for the sake of a pretty picture, but as they were, with bold colours. She's respectable I suppose. 
But there's NZ architecture. I do not understand why they have to make them as tasteless as ever. The architectural landscape of Christchurch makes you think that the people here are so disillusioned with life. Nothing to look forward to except the drinking binge next weekend or the outdoors adventure over summer (quoting Carl Crocker). Its my opinion that this disillusionment comes with the absence of religion, absence of a belief in the transcendental. Information, data and routine amounts to disillusionment. And this sense is represented in their art and expression. 
(I am just trying to interpret things that I see from my perception. Never an absolute conclusion. Tomorrow my opinion on the same things may change.)
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By religion I also mean the belief in the imagination and the unseen. I think that apart from religion and faith, what else can you base your life on? News, sports, business, computers, technicalities.. blah blah. The pride of the modern times.
Christchurch has chosen to forsake the significance of the name. Now its just a name that forms in the lips of people, without any thought to it.
But again I should probably remind you, this is an extremely one sided opinion. I have only been watching the city from a very critical eye. I agree there are great things happening also. To mention the Majestic Church again, where they have a vision to win over Christchurch for the better. To retouch the culture, the arts with God, in the best possible way we can.

2 comments:

Navarino said...

Information, data and routine might lead to disillusionment but it does not account for lack of religion. I always thought of Christchurch, as the name suggests, a land of Christ....full of religious vibrance! What is then sacking its religion and drooping its architecture?

Ning said...

By religion i also mean the belief in the imagination and the unseen. I think that apart from religion and faith, what else can you base your life on? News, sports, business, computers, technicalities.. blah blah. The pride of the modern times.
Christchurch has chosen to forsake the significance of the name. Now its just a name that forms in the lips of people, without any thought to it.
But again I should probably remind you, this is an extremely one sided opinion. I have only been watching the city from a very critical eye. I agree there are great things happening also. To mention the Majestic Church again, where they have a vision to win over Christchurch for the better. To retouch the culture, the arts with God, in the best possible way we can.