what’s in a name?

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet

– William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (II.2.47-48)

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I’ve been working at an art gallery here in Shanghai for the past few months, and in that time I have been [job untitled], curatorial assistant, art director, and now curator. My friends on LinkedIn and Facebook are probably as confused as I am. Well, my main responsibility is organizing the exhibitions – coming up with exhibition themes, writing press releases, and deciding on titles. And you know what? Titles are hard! It’s nerve-wracking to try encapsulating a whole idea (of someone else’s work) in a few words. Thank goodness there are nifty sites like this generator to help.

Because I’ve switched from architecture to the art field, I’m discovering a whole different way of looking at and talking about the world. I still consider myself an architect in many ways, but I’m trying to learn the lingo, this so-called International Art English (of which there was a big hulabaloo about), referred to elsewhere as artspeak or “The Joke That Forgot It Was Funny.” Oh gosh. Architects are known for having their own jargon and sometimes talking in a pompous holier-than-thou manner (quoting Foucault with wild abandon for instance), but in general are much more down to earth because they have real things to deal with, like gravity.

But art? Well that’s a whole different ballgame. Oy. I barely followed the Foucault crap. Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy Lantern Festival! The picture is of roses from the Queens Botanical Garden when I went last summer with my grandmother. You know, back when times were simple and a rose was just a rose ….

framed green letters

I finally finished the gift I had blogged about in my last post. Here it is! I know, you’re probably scratching your heads trying to figure out what the heck it’s supposed to be, so I’ll do you the favor and explain.

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First of all, it’s art, so it’s not meant to do anything but hang on the wall and look pretty. I cut out the letters of my friend’s name in various fonts out of green card stock. Then I randomly jumbled carefully arranged said letters on another piece of green in a lighter shade, stuck it all in a frame, and voila.

Pretty simple and I thought it was rather cute. Whaddaya think?

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]