Happy New Year! 🎉
Balloon Dog Parade

As we enter the closing days of the year of the Earth Dog, we spent Christmas Day making a hundred balloon dogs to celebrate a year that was chock full of highs and lows.

2018 lives up to its namesake’s character. The dog – especially the Earth Dog – brings the good, the bad and the ugly, in equal measures. The year just past saw major upheavals and change, some shocking, some unexpected, some desired, some not; but amidst the turmoil and the upheaval, we also see new hope and optimism.

The Year of the Earth Boar around the corner promises to be the calm after the storm. But there will be a period of rebuilding, of redirection and of preparing for a brighter better future. (See here.)

On a macro scale, we are on the cusp of so many breakthroughs. Technology is advancing at such a rapid pace it is at the same time both terrifying and exciting. On a micro scale, and as a parent to young children growing up too fast, it accentuates our responsibilities to nurture them for a world that holds out so much promise.

With this thought in mind, we spent our Christmas Day returning to the simple pleasures in life – doing not much chilling at home but we did learn a new skill – twisting balloon dogs – and we also created an abundantly rich and happy “live art experience” in the style of Yayoi Kusama.

Immersing ourselves in art at Yayoi Kusama’s Exhibition in Singapore in 2017.

Last year we took the budding artist of our nine-year-old son Josh to Kusama’s exhibition when it came to Singapore, and he spent a good two hours taking in the rooms full of “experiential art” – balls, baubles and shapes rendered in brilliant hues and colours that spanned the entire spectrum of the rainbow.

Within the yellow and black polka dotted room by Yayoi Kusama, one of the pioneers of what they now term “experiential art” or “live art”.

Posing amidst the sculptures and paintings, something must have struck a chord. As we blew up balloon after balloon and twisted them into dogs of all shapes, colours and sizes, which Joshy carefully laid down in somewhat symmetrical rows, it started to dawn on me we were not just passing time in the easy company of family – we were creating art!

Our living room had transformed into an art gallery quite by chance! And here are the pictures to prove it!

Our very own “live art experience” at home. And you can do it too!
Even our dog loves them!

Fitting that we send off the dog year with a hundred happy dogs made from balloons of all colours. A bit of Jeff Koons in there as well – though not so large.

Above left: Jeff Koons, who teamed up with Louis Vuitton to celebrate the Old Masters with da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Monet’s waterlilies and Van Gogh’s wheat fields, famously married balloon art with experiential art, which made him one of the world’s most successful living artists. In 2013, Koon’s Balloon Dog (Orange) sold at Christie’s for a whopping USD58.4 million, at the time becoming the most expensive work by a living artist sold at auction! Above right: Our balloon dog 😊

Symbolically I see it as remembering all that was good in this Dog Year and taking it with us as we enter a brave new tomorrow.

Josh and I started to give each dog a name and character, play-acting like the cartoon canines in the animated movie Pets. But then Josh wisely says, “Mummy we shouldn’t give them names, coz when they all deflate tomorrow it will be so sad to say goodbye.” So wise! “True! Let’s not give them names then.”

Who would’ve thought an activity so simple as this can teach impermanence, symbolism and art studies all in one?

Happy new year y’all and wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

For everything you need to know on the coming Year of the Earth Boar 2019, click here.