Friday, December 10, 2010

Study of a Painting

I am looking at Wang Luyan’s acrylic painting of a Global Watch. The minute hand points to an American flag and the hour hand hovers over the Chinese Nationalist flag—its red background signifying the revolution. As I move around the hours I recognize other nations with less imposing identifying symbols. The title is written on the watch dial and beneath the title is the cryptic inscription 007 6.

Is Luyan a James Bond aficionado?

Stare at something long enough and the minute details dwarf the larger canvas. Several gears mesh, but two remain separated by a gap. I can’t tell if the Chinese and American gears engage each other or if they are connected by a third smaller gear painted gray—a neutral color. It is the only neutral shade on the dial.

When I squint the red border around the dial changes character and morphs into a hoop. Our local natural food store encourages their patrons to eat well and exercise. Last week a woman set up a display of different sized hoops and a book of exercises.

“Thirty minutes a day of these exercises and you’ll lose weight and flatten your tummy.”

A woman standing on the checkout line said to the person in front of her,” We called those hula hoops.”

“These graduated hoops allow progression from small circles to ever widening circles. Your hips need to acclimate to the circular motion.”

Expanding circles like the circles on the surface of water after a stone skips the surface—extending concentric circles, homocentric rings—coaxial —like a wheel spinning, its axis holding firm.

What about the axis on the Global Watch?

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