Ok. Have you ever got stuck in a never-ending loop? The lucid dream starts merging with your life. You experience many false awakenings? Creepy! Yes, indeed.
Even worse, you harm yourself in the confusion? People think you are mad. The moment you’re wide awake, you realize that it was serious. Both of your hands get tided! The security is standing there. Watching you.
You fell asleep again. Wake up in anxiety and fatigue. You are in a different room now. Still, there is a person watching you. A chubby middle-aged woman with short haircut this time. Someone gives you another shot in your hand. How many already? You totally have no idea but it’s quite a lot, you believe. The psychologist comes, asks you a very obvious question whether you wanted to harm yourself or anyone with the knife last night. “NO!”, you reply roughly without a second thought. The psychologist seems to be a nice woman with her emotional facial expression, a feature that a white woman barely has. She apologizes for asking such a silly question. You can read the worry in her eyes. Then, she writes down something in her folder and walked away. Well, you are exhausted physically and mentally, however, you are not able to afford to stay anymore, even a minute, in the hospital without health insurance. You should demonstrate that your mind still belongs to you and get the fuck out of this room. Good job! The psychologist lets you out! Damn it, one night in here and you have to be in debt in 2 years. Fuckin’ expensive!
Now, you are safe and sound at home. Take 3 flights, crossed the Atlantic Ocean and whole Europe to head back to Saigon. You get over the jet lag and little sickness due to the sudden weather and environmental change. You can even ride the bike in the damn crowded city with 9 million people after a week. Your nerves are still very strong.
Otherwise, deep inside, you are anxious and confused, what the fuck happened to me. Am I insane? What the fuck were those mad memories? Overlapping dreams and reality!
Now, you have a deep concern about your mental health. Again! You are serious about dreams and their psychological effects.
I got my first tattoo, an upside-down triangle one in sanguine when I tried to run away from my aunt on the trip to Cambodia. I was 17 years old at that time. It was my first trip abroad, such a quite exciting experience to me even Phnom Penh was just 6 hours by bus from Saigon where I came from. The triangle was fascinating to me. The solid shape. The leader. The hierarchy of needs is also presented by this gorgeous shape, however, the core point and the most essential part of human life is led by a tiny part on the top of the triangle: the mission or the passion. Then, an upside-down triangle would be the best form of eternal inspiration.
The geometric shape gets influenced by my lifestyle and my artwork then. Naturally just like breathing. I consider my body is just a flesh and a fresh canvas and I get more tattoos in geometric language day by day. I enjoy getting inked. The slight and very thin moment I feel terrified when the machine starts vibrating. Creepy sound like a saw. It reminded me of the scary day I had to meet the dentist when I was little. But on the polar side, I feel extremely satisfied! Just like sex. It hurts but it fulfills my desire. The wound exists to make the trace of a skinny piece of memory last on my skin forever. As a far far far away moment, far enough to get almost faded. Suddenly, it becomes fresh and vivid. Between the sheets, I embrace myself with the hurts.
It’s been so long. I need a hug, need to be embraced. Love and being loved. Why it is this tough for me?
Funny. I turned 21 already in Vietnam. The time zone you know. Never expect to celebrate my birthday in Canada. Funny. I have to wake up early tomorrow to come to the church, the house of God, for the Sunday chapel. Ask Jesus to bless me. Funny, such an atheist like me. But who the heck I could rely on spiritually and emotionally for the very now? No family. No friend to have a real conversation. No love for sure. Only music and drawing can calm my soul. Solitude has many faces and this time, I felt lost and blue among the people.
Am I fuckin’ young to suffer from all those things? Too fuckin’ young!
The image shifts to various meanings with a different context. Also, the message from image reading is exquisitely diverse from every single reader. I find this process amazing and essential for my communication since I would love to be a visual artist in the very near future. The collage Tattoo Obsession conveys many orientations of my tattoos when I flip and rotate them or read them from different culture background, which demonstrates the large range of ways to see things.