Philosophy for Life: Intern Report by Jing Liu

Photo by Phoebe Ford

Photo by Phoebe Ford

It has been six months since I started interning at Cai Studio. My concentration in college is neither art nor design; instead, I study economics. Due to my curiosity and luck, I was accepted as an intern at the Studio, and it has turned out to be a precious opportunity, allowing me to reconsider my career path and life attitude.

In the past six months I have had a totally new work experience. My projects at the studio include finishing contour drawings for Cai’s gunpowder art works, cutting contour images, assisting Cai to complete gunpowder drawings in the Grucci basement, joyfully chatting with other assistants in Long Island, keeping library books in order, compiling a recent history document, scanning numerous images, carrying Cai’s art works on wooden panels, and translating many reports related to Cai. Most of the work is detail-oriented. My previous internships in the banking industry were associated with numbers and deadline pressure. Contrary to banking, art has taught me to observe every detail and moment in life; it has relaxed my mind and heart. All of a sudden, I have started to observe life, taking time to view sprouting spring grass and ground fallen into the shade of summer trees. I have given up my old habit of rushing through the street without even lifting my eyes to see the direction. What I have learned from Cai Studio is the philosophy for life and the ability to feel happiness. – Jing Liu

眨眼之间,在蔡工作室实习已达六个月之久。自己并不是学艺术出身,而是与艺术相差十万八千里的经济。出于对艺术的好奇,加上偶然的缘分,我来到与银行业完全不一样的蔡工作室。也许这出自于命运的安排,让一个原本浮躁的我,在如此安静的环境中沉淀与思考。

六个月的时间,和这里大大小小的女孩们一起,经历了与我过去完全不同的生活。记得自己给蔡的火药画作过素描底稿,剪切过底稿的形象,和大家一起到长岛Grucci工厂做过火药画,在长岛谈笑风生,整理过图书馆的书籍,编排过资料室里长达20年之久的档案,扫描过无数的照片,搬过蔡厚重的作品,还翻译过很多关于蔡的文章……工作很细,磨人耐心。与以往的银行经验不同,银行与数字打交道,行情变化万千,时时刻刻都在为下一分下一秒担心,很少有时间来享受当下。而艺术却让人放松,仔细地观察生活中的每一个细节、每一处变化。突然之间,我能注意到春天里小草发芽的勃勃生机,夏天里阳光斑驳着树叶婆娑的跳动。时间变得更为静止,我不再背着厚厚的书本,埋头只顾往前冲,而是学会抬头留意身边的的一草一木。学会的是一种生活的哲学和一种静心感受幸福的能力。

Jing Liu joined the studio as an intern in February.  Her first task was to cut a huge pile of paperboard stencils before we headed off to Long Island to make a 16-panel gunpowder drawing that will be shown at the Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial next month.  This fall, Jing will be a senior at Columbia University.

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