Illustator: Ruben Pang
The Gleaming Man is a conversation between the texts of Jeremy Fernando, the paintings of Ruben Pang, and the poems of Lim Lee Ching. Among other things, it is an attempt to meditate on the question of how different forms of work can speak with each other without speaking over — or, even worse, speaking for — an other.
For, if art is the transformation of something that is brought forth through craft, through tekhnē, into something else, it not only potentially lies beyond us, it might well also transform the one who looks at it. Thus, writing on art — even if one thinks one is picking up a call from the work — not only risks completely missing the point, but is quite possibly always already writing art itself.
Thus, to write on art, one must open oneself to the possibility of the impossible.
Which is precisely why Jeremy Fernando attempts to bring forth an impossible writing. And where alongside Lim Lee Ching’s poems — keeping in mind Michel Deguy’s reminder that poetry is not about seeing the invisible, nor the very visible; poetry instead is about seeing the slightly visible — the texts attempt to open us to not just what can be seen in the paintings of Ruben Pang, but what shimmers there; both within and always also slightly beyond seeing itself.
But not just as words, in words — but in its sound, its musicality.
And when in reading, in seeing — the paintings, the poems, the texts — it is the reader who brings them all together, in an impromptu conversation, if only for a moment.