Eyes Life is passing by right before them. New wrinkles appear around them. What they see are all the things that constitute life.
Highs Thankfully plenty. And they’re what I choose to remember and treasure.
Thighs Where the stubborn, extra kilos gather. I struggle to find out how much I care. I think it’s a lot. Until the chocolate meets my mouth.
Sighs and cries Of course. They are part of life.
Ties What I have always relied on. And what my husband, my children and I try to create in China - the other side of the world for us. And I think we’re being pretty good at it.
Tries A gazillion. Auditions not passed. Written pieces scrapped. Promotions not obtained. Family planners bought and never filled in. Recipes googled and never followed. Photos never put into order. Disappointments - and sometimes tears - that ultimately led to invaluable experience.
Wise I believe so. Thanks to the passing of time.
In front of my portrait :-)
Photo shoot day! Philip gets help from Uchechi from Transmigrant flow
27 Yard on the day of the opening
I'm all about seizing opportunities. So when a friend asked me if I would be interested in submitting a written piece for an exhibition about how women challenge, evade and embrace the passing of time in their lives, I was in.
The exhibition (called Meridian) was organised by Transmigrant Flow - an international curatorial platform for innovative arts events. They are based in Beijing and organise lots of interesting events with the aim to transgress boundaries and borders of language, culture and identity.
I decided to focus on how I have embraced the passing of time and without really planning it, the story turned out as a sort of poem with words that rhyme with life.
From confident to doubtful
Transmigrant Flow liked my piece so they invited me to a meeting where I would also meet the photographer. I was delighted to meet the group and the amazing photographer Phillip Baumgart (philbaum.com). They wanted my input and ideas for the photoshoot and we went over different options based on what I had told them about myself. Ideas ranged from me singing something, me with my kids, me in front of my laptop and me at my favourite park, Tuanjiehu.
As I cycled home late in the evening and ideas were popping up, I was faced with one, big existential question: who am I and what defines me?
The next day, I contacted the photographer and the organisers. My message to them read "I want to go for just me. No props. And I want to go all in. No make-up". I somehow wanted to prove to myself that I accept the passing of time also from a physical point of view.
The photoshoot took place in my home and we had a lovely day. I felt confident that I looked ok without make-up but little did I know that the photos that were taken near the window in bright daylight would cause panic inside me when I received the pictures a few days later. I could not get over how tired I looked.
Philip, the photographer, liked one of the close-up, bright light pictures the best but made it very clear to me, that I would be the one ultimately deciding which picture would be the main portrait at the exhibition. I went for a picture with softer lighting where I was seated at our dining table. It was exactly what I had hoped for.
The exhibition opened on 29 October at the lovely courtyard exhibition space "27 Yard" hidden in Beijing"s hutongs. The place was packed and people loved the theme, the pictures and the live art performances. I had a chance to meet the other 25 or so women who took part in the project and we shared a lovely sunny Saturday afternoon in Beijing - as well as our take on the passing of time.