COLLAB | FARAWAY GIRL PHOTO SERIES
VELLUM - OVERCAST
Somehow, against all odds, I found myself in Copenhagen, Denmark. A result of an overwhelming urge to find those who have known me since spillover parties in wide Texas streets- before I became lost in an endless succession of big cities and anonymity. The first familiar face to welcome me strolled towards me through the caterpillar rain. Regina wore her signature transformation of a man’s man’s collared windbreaker into something so effeminate on her elegant frame. Graceful while boyish, she dismissively swept some perfectly unruly curls from her eyes.
I was distracted by the persistence of a steady feathery rain while leaning on my mountain of luggage. Regina arrived at the first drag of my cigarette. We embraced each other under the slow-moving overcast skies, an echo of the skies we knew in Texas.
The next morning on our way to my first Danish bakery, Regina walked me through the neighborhood cemetery. The grounds were impeccably manicured, the cascading branches of the trees entangled since the beginning of time. The cemetery seemed cloaked in a vellum film, perpetually misted and interlaced with the veiney and fibrous branches of massive trees that held the cemetery together with the depths of their roots.
Beyond the mist and branches we caught the early glowing sun, looking like the ethereal ghost of the morning moon.
There was something about a travel itinerary between anywhere and Tegel Airport, Berlin for me that always seemed to fragment into a cacophony of missed connections. Upon landing for the second time in Berlin Tegel, it seemed the cigarette smoke of the surrounding city was seeping and seeking me out through the aged insulation of the retro- futuristic / time-capsule airport. I stood by the baggage belt, fixing my sleepy stare on the rounded corner of the belt track. Half-heartedly I imagined a brief nightmare scenario that happens while waiting idly at any baggage claim around the world. What if they lose my luggage. What all is in my luggage. How did I compartmentalize the impending transition of immigrant life into the two bags that might not appear. It’s fine. The belt is still moving.
It was mid-week in the dark and voluminous space of my quiet sublet on in Neukolln. For the tenth time I laced up my all black Adidas, what I had left from the luggage debacle earlier in the week. I was upset in my chest, uneasy and unsettled. In my 15 (mas o menos) year career of smoking, I had finally managed to be tobacco free for two months prior to arrival. This achievement seemed a distant memory at the end of this particular week as I watched the smoke unfurl from my lips.
The static movement and textures of the graffiti floated in and out of the corners of my eyes, and the sidewalks began to become dense with foot traffic as if at the same frequency. The anonymity of the streets curbed my restlessness, and my uneasiness dissipated into the drifting crowds.
15 years since I was last on the Island, I was again rolling luggage through Taoyuan airport, Taiwan. In a twist of fate I was back on my family’s home island to face the time lost with the rest of my family who never left. On the car ride from the airport, my eyes darted from tropical mountain to tropical mountain, endless hills of lush and dense foliage broken up occasionally by the golden flash of a Taoist temple.
The car stopped in front of one of a million highrises we passed on the way. Thirty yards across from the familiar polished stone lobby was Tamsui Station, separating us from the mangrove forest and merging river tributaries. From the old town and mangrove forest to Taipei 101 the Tamsui Redline was my city rail through time. I would walk these thirty yards every night of my time back, hungry to feel the pavement as I chase shadows through my jungle city.
Through the familiar cacophony of dissonant marketplace shouting, through winding amorphous growths of late night street vendors, through the boulders of concrete and tropical vines I walked. As I walk I pass fleeting moments that disrupt my senses, momentary indicators of my lifetime affinities. Every noise and vibration in the infamous Shilin Nightmarket, the contradicting scents of sizzling street carts and propane…every unfurling glossy leaf by the tropical mountain road existed in an reflective feedback loop of who I had become.
PENSOLE SP 2018 | DJ CLARK KENT + NEW ERA COLLAB | CMFD