BlogPhotography Painting Exhibitions Projects Victor Chin Portfolio

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Some visitors at the exhibition

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Wuan and Peter Tan talking to some visitors

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Me, Raymond, Lee (from Applied Imaging that supported this project) and Tuan

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Stephano signing in the visitor’s book, Peter Crook chatting with Peter Tan

This join exhbition with Peter Tan & Wuan is a revisiting of the momories of our mother’s death and our grief. But it is not only that, to some visitors this show acts as a reminder to them that death is a mystery and it can happen to anyone at anytime. Some said that after looking at our presentation, they hope that their own children will one day do something like what we have done for our mother, for them when they are gone. There are a few who happened to be there, at the KLPac, but haven’t come to see our project and they would not look at the pictures at all and walk straight pass. Of course many are surprised by what we are showing.  We hope this display will open minds to an eternal truth about our human condition – death. How shall we prepare for it?

My sister’s memory of mum

December 11th, 2008

Our mother left us this family altarpiece which we have continue to use after her death. Her tablet inscribed on a brass plate sits on the far left. The Goddess of Mercy sits in the middle. Food offerings and incense are to invite all our ancestors to gather and be with us through our the year.

Swee’s memory of mum

Today is Tuesday 9th December 2008 and marks the 2nd death anniversary of my beloved Mother. There hasn’t been a day that passes without thoughts of my mother. There are still moments when I find it hard to talk about my mother’s death as it seems only yesterday that she was cremated.

Two Sundays ago, I came across a photocopy of a hand-written note left by my mother dated 27th October 2006 detailing her final wishes. I have deliberately kept this piece of momento in my bedside drawer. Although I am not educated in Chinese, I was fascinated to see my mother’s handwriting again and I have learnt to memorise every character. Ms Tham, Mum’s accountant read the contents to my brother and I after Mum’s passing so that we could carry out her wishes.

Our mother’s last letter to us, which she read to use before going into hospital for surgery, 2006.

Although my mother was not highly educated as my grandparents were poor, she self taught herself to read and write. I am amazed Mum’s ability to put words on paper. I sobbed by the time I got to the last character. On hindsight, I think my Mum knew that her final moment was coming as she prepared herself to be admitted for her heart surgery on that fateful 31st October 2006.

Paul was unaware until he heard me sobbing in the bedroom. Paul’s memory of my mother is she was a kind and strong woman with a heart of gold. Although my mother came across as being frugal, many misunderstood her real intentions. My mother was a very generous woman and donated her money, time and effort helping out at temples and giving to the less fortunate.

I may have lost a mother but I have so many beautiful memories of a great and wonderful woman whom only I had the priviledge of calling Mum. I am envious of those who still have their parents.

Last year, my mother’s birthday fell on 25th December (Christmas Day) and this year, my Mum’s lunar birthday falls on Saturday 13th December. Paul and I will have a small offering at the Buddhist Temple in Auckland to remember our dearly beloved Mum.

Thoo Thye : Remembrance

December 7th, 2008

A 1960’s photo of my mother’s family, my mother is center standing back row with her brothers and sister. I must be about ten and is standing first from left of photo with all my cousins.

Thoo Thye: 1930 – 2006

My mother passed away in December, two years ago. She was 80. I am turning 60 next year and I have become an orphan. We shared a house together for most of our lives. Of course during that period of living together we went through all the ups and downs of any typical family. But the mother and son relationship developed.

There had been many times in the last two years that I have felt I needed my mother’s company or just to hear her views on some  matters. Even though I have my own family now and a son is fast growing up, I am still not use to being without my mother. In fact, because I have my own family, at times I long for her presence to share our lives.

When she was alife, she often had strong opinions on many things and we often had heated arguments on big and small issues. There were many aspects about my life, my wife’s manners and how we were bring up our son, that displeased my mother. Sometimes the family situations at home were unbearable but at other times, joyful like any other family.

I guess I have to come to terms with missing my mother as time goes by and have to do without her being around when I needed her. I have to get on with my own life and my family without my mother. Even though she is dead and gone but her presence is often felt at odd moments.  Especially at the end of the year which is also her birthday period.

Father’s day

June 16th, 2008

Thinking of my father

I took this photograph, recently, at the Kowloon Public Ferry Pier at Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. This man was looking at a luxury liner docking. He had his right arm resting on the barrier and his left hand holding on to his coat and a bag. He was looking at the harbor for a long time and this setting reminded me of my father who left for Hong Kong before I was born.

Standing on the waterline, with his belongings, must have brought back all sorts of memories of his life. Before the days of air travel, getting on a sailing or a steamship was the main ways to get in and out of that place. He probably didn’t travel in such a luxurious cruise boat in the old days but in something smaller and with less passenger comforts.

The reason for his first journey to that port was probably not as a tourist wishing to see the pearl of the orient or to experience the fragrance bay. This destination was perhaps not of his own choosing and it was the turbulent circumstances forced on him at that time.

He could be longing for his family to come to visit him or he could be wondering when he could depart to see his wife and young child that he had left behind in some far away land. It may be that, finally, this man has made some money over the years and is waiting to board the ship and returning, for the first time, to his long awaiting family and home. Or this could be the last picture of this man, on land, before he jumped fatally into the sea.