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Omphaloskepsis Blog

Out of the mouth, Into the mouth

Oct 29, 2012

250 lbs of rice...so far

8 gallons of vinegar

two bottles of concentrated food dye


I'm literally and figuratively processing China! What am I doing?! I don't know. I'm dying rice red. Every day I go into my studio and dye rice red. I stink up the common bathroom with the smell of white vinegar. I stink up my studio (some people like the smell, so they say), and I dry two gallons of red rice on paper. I go in the next day, bag up the dry rice and begin again.


One thing I'm doing is getting back into the studio. If nothing else I've got a studio practice again. And that's the right habit to have.

As for the red rice, on Saturday I began making monoprints with it. These two words are exit and entrance, or if you take the characters separately, out-(of the) mouth, in-(to the) mouth. Kind of sexy don't you think? This is China today. Its going its coming its leaving its staying.


I mix and shake and pour and measure and stir and strain over and over again. Improving my process everyday. Getting neater, getting more efficient, getting quicker. Getting more done, better, in less time. Making minescule adjustments and noticing the differences. Its a meditation. Everyday. Hanging out mixing and stirring and straining and waiting over and over again. The repetition becomes relaxing and frees me to think. And the ideas are coming. I try to grab onto them but they slip through my grasp like smoke. My desire to work in several directions at once is frustrating in a mindset of scarecity. Scarecity of time. Scarceity of resources. And vulnerable.

The stories that my Chinese friends told me about their lives and their culture affected me deeply. This just is the way it is. Trying to understand the mindset of one who embraces Datong in the age of socialism with a facade of capitalism in an ever shrinking (even while it's expanding) community is a great mental feat. Time and distance too factor in. I'm not there yet.

So, for now, I'll process. I'll think about that silk ribbon order. The one where the minimum order is 10,000 yards. And red and blue and laquer. I'll play with rice and see what happens with monoprints made by thousands of grains of red rice....


Category: Studio
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