During the last week in Spain, I managed to catch the Tres Reyes Magos parade in Camallera.

It is a huge celebration where it started with the three kings, or the three wise men (Bible characters, who followed the star leading them to baby Jesus) appearing on a float/s. The children would then light up lanterns as symbol of light to guide the kings, who were supposedly riding on camels. The kings that I saw threw candies as they went around the city before stopping at the town hall and gave speeches to the kids.

Interestingly, the kings are one, a Santa Claus-like character with white beard and red clothes, two, yellow beard and lastly black or dark colored. I am not particularly sure where were the three wise men in the Bible from, but it does come across to me that in Spain, there are seem to be three major colors. The native Spanish, who have relatively darker skin and more brunette, hence yellow king, the Europeans like French, Italians who are more blonde and brighter skin, hence white king and lastly the Africans who are the darkest, hence brown king. 

I remember my Spanish teacher in NTU mentioning this festival and I instantly had an idea of exploring it during this period. The interest was replaced by the snails, but it came around again in this last week. I'll keep it aside for the Stars placement of the 108.











And the lanterns also remind me of Chinese New Year, which is coincidentally, just right around the corner! It is a nice transition for me, from Spain back to Singapore with these two festivals before and after. 

Moving on, in week 4 post, I mentioned botifarra is like lap cheong, I got the name wrong. It is called fuet.





And so, I guess that is where I will stop in the observation and research for this period. Today Quelic, Carles, Irene and Mariona came and we had lunch gathering together with Clara. It was a nice closure and I turned the house into a small installation showing the works I have done.

Check out the installation here.

And meanwhile, as a continuous process in building the 108 Stars, I have kind-of, at least decided that from the Mas Keong, there will be 4. One of which is an ambitious decision of Tenkan Star. The other three will be Chisyu, Chizou and either Chisou or Chihi. They are the two castle chefs and bartender. And as for the names, Tenkan will be Nadal and the undecided Chisou/Chihi will be Miguel. Have not really decided for the two chefs.

And summarizing what I've looked into:

There has been a lot of coincidence and unexpected encounters during the process of exploration, observation and creation of the whole work. It started off with the landscape of Barcelona, sandwhiched between the sea and mountain, which is reflected into the interest of the land snails. The snails brought me to South East Asian narrative of the Keong Mas (Golden Snail) and it arrived at a point where I realized that the color gold was everywhere as Christmas was approaching. 

In the attempt to link the work into a personal interest towards gender, I found out that many snails are hermaphrodite. The observation of the increasing trend of househusbands and the Keong Mas as 'maid' or 'beautiful reject' leads to the implementation of this project into the collection of 108 characters.

The mathematical quality behind the snails, also the flowers bring forth the idea of nature and reasoning, which is translated into the sun and the stars also the repetitive drawings of symbols.

If I were to mention the artist/s that has influenced me these five weeks would be, Salvador Dali. His depiction of the golden breads and the sexual quality as phallic symbols which I borrowed to give a hint of sexual innuendo of the entire work. The hair which came pretty early in the project is also something which is representation of gender role specifically referring to hierarchy and status symbol in South East Asia culture.

I would not call the project has been completed but this residency showed me a fresh observation platform and an interesting foundation to develop the character in the future. I will be bringing back a couple of materials and magazine images for further exploration back in Singapore.


Lastly, I would like to thank Clara Gari from Nau Coclea for being a wonderful host and Jason Wee from Grey project for the exchange opportunity. Also Quellic Berga, Irene Jimeno and Carles Malleu from SingCat for initiating and partner-in-crime Mariona Vilaseca for the collaboration. Collaboration works with Mariona will be presented in Singapore and Catalan on a latter date.