Naipaul and his tenaciousness

Despite his age, Sir Vidia Naipaul is still a vivacious, resilient and doubtlessly thought-provoking character.  I like the way the London Evening Standard editor, Geordie Grieg, introduced him at the seminar, hosted by Intelligence and held at the beautiful setting of the Royal Geographic Society: 50 years ago he came to England, 40 years ago…

A poem a day

Cigarette Span You roll and burn a cigarette from beginning to end. I watch your planet orange glow and burn. You’re safe in your train of thoughts. Suits me fine. I don’t want more. I’m your one-minute neighbour, friend sharing shelter as this rain holds on.

Arts in Richmond – Part 1

I have newly become member of the Arts Richmond Society. Impressed by the range of cultural activities they organise – book picnic with Colin Thurbron, the President of the Royal Literature Society, or a talk by David Attenborough, as examples – I filled in my membership form, sent it in by post, and in a…

The brutal precision of poetry

A poem a day  I have recently helped to create a short clip for Kim Moore’s poetry reading of ‘Tuesday At Wetherspoons’. This poem speaks to me more than ‘Robin in Flight’ by Paul Adrian (the prizewinning poem for the National Poetry Competition). Having listened to it over and over as I edited the clip,…

Yohji Yamamoto

I went to see Yohji Yamamoto‘s current show at the V&A, his first UK solo exhibition. There in a room of white light, you see the sheer simplicity of clean lines and shades of red, black and white, whispering fashion. It isn’t the size that undermines the exhibition but rather the want of a compelling narrative….

The candid work of Japanese artist and printmaker Emiko Aida

I came across Emiko Aida‘s art prints first at the International Art Fair this year in Royal College of Art, and later at the art print specialist shop For Art’s Sake in Ealing. A 60x40cm aquatint art print called Reverie in the Rain caught my attention. A girl is asleep, in the background a verdant…

Murakami’s birthday girl

‘The Birthday Girl’ is one of the best short stories I’ve ever read. Published initially in the Guardian in 2006, Haruki Murakami’s story tells of a girl who made a wish when she was twenty, working her shift in a restaurant. I loved it when I first read this story, and to tell the truth,…

A poem for Gabriel Orozco: the global artist

My hands are my heart or my heart is my hand hiding the fingers in the soft of my palm. You cannot read the lines on my palms, but feel the strength in my arms. I am the clay man with strong muscles sitting in front of a kitchen table in New York, in Mexico, in Paris….

West kowloon arts hub in Hong Kong part 1

Graham Sheffield, former artistic chief of Barbican Centre in London has decided to quit his role as CEO of Hong Kong’s HK$21.6 billion (£1.8 billion) West Kowloon arts hub project after five months. He has resigned due to health reasons, although many think that there must be more that triggered his abrupt decision to leave….