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Friday, March 5, 2010

Library, borrow time and space

Today, it's raining.
Even after finishing up studio work, when I feel like sketching people and children, I stroll down to a public library "after school."

Library! Not only books, but you can borrow time and space as you like and freebie in air conditioning. So, people come and get together there.

I see some adults reading newspapers, holding them as if they were hiding behind newspapers. I call them, "paper castle." Some people enjoy readings and forget everything. Others are using interent.
New immigrants are helping each other learn English.

Children are hanging around shelves and making very loud noises on a floor. Sometimes, librarians come and give them a preach, but it never stops kids's playing. Some pupils are doing home work. It looks so difficult for me, especially, math.

Sadami says with fingers, "I can't count numbers. One, two and, and... many!"
Any little kid proudly, kindly and happily teaches me how to count like this way,
"One, two, .... twelve, fourteen, seventeen, twenty..." that makes me smile, but I seriously liste
n to their great lecture and give claps for their knowledge. They try to count up to one hundred. A shame, often parents try to stop it. I'm very happy to hear it. So, I always soon make friends with children. They appear to acknowledge me one of "bigger sized" children?!

Other, a bit older children are completely absorbed with computer games.
These children are born with computers and growing up with technology. It's very interesting to observe how they use computers. Quite clever and so quick.

Actually, when I asked them to demonstrate how to paint drawings on a screen, a kindy boy showed me his sophisticated mouse using techniques. The little boy put all colors on dinasours and made them walk around with sounds. Oh, I felt I was the person still living in an analogue era or a Stone age and far behind from these digitalized chilren.

Another fascinating fact is so many chilren really love Japanese manga. How come?! A youngster shows me his favorite one, "Slam dunk," a basketball manga. Hey, wait a second, it was popular in Japan more than a decade ago. Is it still polular in Sydney? "Yes," and the boy showed me more manga online. Wow, so many manga are online. A bit strange for me to have a look of manga translated into English and other languages.

Nowadays, E-books and E-magazines are shaping publishing industry.
But I hope picture books will survive in printed papers...These memories stay with children till the end of life: sitting on a mom or a dad's lap and listening to a story or bed time story. Picture books are wonderful to share. Magical power of drawing and painting!

Certainly is. Even though I'm not good at a computer, my drawings and paintings capture children's attention. Soon, they find I'm drawing and have a glance at me secretly, again and again. They begin to chat over me with a great res
pect. Finally, a bravest one talks to me, "Can I have a look of your drawing?" "Sure!"
The innocent cries come up from children, "Ohhhh, " "Wahhhhh!!" "Wooooo!!" with a pure awe that's my great reward.

Friends, if you feel life is boring and tired, pay a visit to a library is not bad. When we borrow time and space, let us share it together. Another name or a synonym of happiness could be "sharing."


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