THE BACK WAY AROUND...

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We are surrounded by time capsules. They are literally littered all around us in countless forms, like history-landmines waiting to explode in our faces with any manner of good or bad consequences.

Today, I'm happy to report that memory lane is accident free and reverse-traffic is moving better than normal. In fact, we thought we were just going backwards for a little, but we somehow veered right into a god-damn dimensional portal and it's fucking taking us through yesterday and blasting us into a candy-land circus of uncharted space.

I love detours for exactly this reason. Many times, this can happen through other people, sometimes it wells up from within, and other times the triggers can be an unexpected sequence over a period of weeks, months or even years.

Recently, gravity has been slowly drawing me back to 2011, to a specific project. It was conceived with (at the time we met) a total stranger. I was hosting a gallery exhibit and we had just met, but somehow, in those brief moments, we knew with absolute certainty that we were going to do something to help with the Tsunami recovery in Japan.

Her name is Candice Uyloan and she was the director of marketing at Viz Media. The project, we named Art for Hope and we pulled together artist from around the world to publish an anthology with all proceeds going to the relief efforts of Architecture for Humanity.

Okay, history lesson over and back to forward momentum.

This weekend, I stumbled on the digital file of Art For Hope on an external drive. Haven't looked at it for years even though I have been periferally thinking about it (the purpose, the people, the details of how we launched it, the media, the other people, Fukashima Daiichi, all of it). Reading it wasn't nostalgic in nature (and when I say reading, I mostly mean looking at pictures with only sprinklings of words) . I found my mind had drifted forward, processing and scheming something rooted in the past, but searching for all the different aspects required to justify something resembling forward propulsion versus any desire to recreate the past.

I got it!
I'm going to fucking do it. It is more likely than not going to end in disaster, but fuck it, it will be cool in the end.

So, I'm sorry to say, I don't have any magic reveal to wrap this post up. This was just a friendly service announcement about how time and ride analogies can somehow help and mentally enrich us. This is a recurring theme, so you will hear it again with slightly different analogies and anecdotes.

Here, how about we close with the original forward I wrote from Art for Hope as it can be perceived as fitting...

The devastating power of a tsunami is well-known.

And while a sense of hope following a disaster is intangible, it similarly can build momentum to become, in and of itself, an incredibly powerful force.

On behalf of the Autodesk and SketchBook team, I would like to thank VIZ Media and all the contributing artists who made this anthology a reality. And most of all, by buying Art for Hope, you have fulfilled an equally important role in this project. Your donations will contribute to the ongoing relief efforts.

Thank you!

P.S. My vision of hope is centred on children. When you see or hear of news of this nature, you cannot help but think of family. In my sketch, I modelled the children after my own daughter and son, ages six and four respectively. As a parent, I always desire their happiness and well-being, so drawing them amid a tsunami expresses my most genuine sense of hope... It was even important for me that their expressions depicted happiness, that their safety is never in question.

September 19, 2011

Chris Cheung