During my vacation in Toronto with my friend Paul last week, an interesting concept was formulated when I asked Paul what there is to see in Toronto’s Union Station.
“The great architecture, of course, like a lot of Toronto’s buildings?”
Yes, the architecture. Sure it is nice (great even?) but my brain wasn’t telling me to feel great about it nor any emotion. The station is old, made of stone, blah, blah, blah, and I just don’t feel anything.
Similarly with paintings. When I visited The Met in New York or the Tate Modern in London, I’ve never emotionally triggered to feel anything about everything in the museum or gallery. I may found the process or technique of producing a piece of art interesting but the resultant piece of art means nothing, nada, to me. It is as if my brain is not wired to have emotional responses to arts. And a great deal of other things, for example the great view of country side. I wonder what I would feel if I stand on top of Himalayas. Would I feel emotionally awed by the sight because of the sight itself? Or would I be impressed by the great height and the vast amount of distance I can see? (Notice the difference between ‘awed’ and ‘impressed’) I am betting on the latter.
Of course it is very difficult for most people, such as my friend Paul, to accept that I am ambivalence about great architecture or arts. They probably assume that either I am uneducated in art sand thus don’t appreciate them, or I am heartless and cold.
Sure I can pretend I am interested in arts and no suspicious will be arisen but I am not a dishonest person. As this blog title says, I tell it the way it is. So most of the time I just made a face and ignore further inquires or insults from my friends.
Yesterday while I was discussing this issue with Leah, I came up with the phrase “Neuros not firing” as a way of describing how I feel about arts because my brain is not producing any emotional responses. I think it is very fitting.
Do I get emotional at all? Sure I do. The stories/images/videos of Apollo space program ‘fire my neuros’ so to speak. Likewise with images of World Trade Center and 9/11.
And yet you take wonderful pictures – the Toronto set for example. Does the ‘technical achievement’ element appeal more than the content of the picture maybe?
To answer you question, yes partly. And this apply to most art such as music, etc. Leah and I discussed this last week and we agreed that I *do* appreciate arts, just not the *traditional* way most people will think.
For example, with music I generally don’t notice the lyrics and what the meaning of the songs. Rather, I notice and enjoy the melodies of the combined music and lyrics. Same with photos, I tend to notice the technical merits before the artistic side. Sometimes I don’t notice the actual artistic element until it is pointed out to me!
Here is another good example. I like the modern style furniture from IKEA, Crates & Barrels, etc. which most people will pull faces by mere mention of the brands! Nice wood furniture? No thank you. Give me glass and metals furniture please, preferably in a minimalistic style/industrial design. I will definite prefer that over antique furniture, even if they are worth a fortune!
I tend to have opposite tastes to most people. Leah like old houses, I like brand stinking new houses. Most people love living in country side, I hate the country side with a vengeance. Concrete buildings are my friends, along with traffics, noises, air pollution, and people. Most people have children and then enjoy their life in retirement, I like to enjoy life first *then* have children.
Am I strange enough? 🙂
And of course, given the current economic situation and predictions for the future our generation wont be retiring but working (in some form or another) up until the grim comes a calling!