#28: The Bound Infinity

(Holly Reading a Poem by Leung Ping Kwan)

     There are degrees of entry into these two photographs.  First, the photos have a certain bedrock meaning for anyone who enjoys poetry.  Second, the images afford more meaning to anyone who knows the “Holly” who is announced as “reading a poem”—which is to say Holly Lee, photographer and, with her husband, Lee Ka-sing, co-owner/director of INDEXG in Toronto (INDEXG publishes the MONDAY ARTPOST).
     In addition to all that, the photograph announces that Holly is “reading a poem by Leung Ping Kwan.”  
     For anyone who has read Hong Kong-based poet Leung Ping Kwan (1949-2013)—who had been a friend of Holly’s and Ka-sing’s for a very long time—or has ever met him (I was once greatly honoured to read some of my poems with him when he was a guest of Holly and Ka-sing a few years ago), the photograph(s) naturally gain great power and poignancy.  
     Even in formal, structural terms, the photograph is splendid.  How fresh and cunning the book or box or at any rate the proclamation-platform of the work’s title! (this is the only Lee Ka-sing photograph I know with its title in it).  How beautiful the pulls of fabric and the shafts of grey light!  And surely the three dots of light on the right side are three tiny angels of poetry, three crisp utterances, possibly PK’s three names (Holly and Ka-sing always called him “PK”).  
     Today I once again picked up a delightful book called “The Language of Fruits and Vegetables,” consisting of a poem called “Green Salad” by PK and 252 photographs by Lee Ka-sing (limited to 252 copies), an extension, in book form, of an exhibition at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in 2004.  I read “Green Salad” again (“…packed in this greasy spoon, who wouldn’t pick the green beneath the mixed shades, for that sharp, raw flavour….) with acute pleasure. 
     In his epigraph to the novel, The Ruined Map, Japanese writer Kobo Abe noted that the city was “a bounded infinity, a labyrinth where you are never lost.”  So it is with a poem as well. 

Remarks from Lee Ka-sing:

The flip-book “Holly Reading a Poem by Leung Ping Kwan”  (2”x5", 138 pages) was Holly’s work as a self-portrait for an exhibition of ‘Portrait and Self-portrait’ held in Hong Kong in 2012 (”to see : to be seen”, curated by Anothermountainman). I have a snapshot taken at the exhibition site, of Leung Ping Kwan reading Holly’s “Holly Reading a Poem by Leung Ping Kwan”. The image is archived at this link: http://postscriptx.blogspot.ca/2012/05/leung-ping-kwan-was-reading-hollys-flip.html