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Pudy Tong
Artist

Toronto
January 10, 2018

Pudy Tong is a printmaking artist, custom printer, and instructor. He is Open Studio’s Nick Novak Fellow 2016-2017. iterations, duplications, the culminating exhibition of this fellowship, opens on Friday, January 12 with an artist talk at 6pm, followed by a reception.

1. Good Twitter bots


A sampler of good Twitter bots

Sure, many automated Twitter accounts helped sway the US election, but not all Twitter bots are bad. Created by artists, humourists and futurists, these accounts provide some levity to the deep dark hole of breaking news and political scandal that suffocates my Twitter timeline. Here's a sampler: @MagicRealismBot, @EmojiMeadow, @tinycarebot, @infinite_scream

2. My science-fiction rehabilitation


The literary archive of Octavia Butler at the Huntington Library.

I was delighted to visit the Huntington Library in Pasadena, California last summer. In addition to the many rare manuscripts on display, there was an exhibition of the literary archive of the late Octavia Butler, the first African-American to win widespread recognition in the science fiction genre. While I have been vaguely aware of the forces working to create a more inclusive sci-fi – like the discontinuation of using the bust of HP Lovecraft for the physical Hugo award trophy (the premier literary prize in the genre) due to the overt racism in many of his writings – I have not made an effort to expand my sci-fi diet outside the white male canon. Seeing Butler's notes was a turning point for me; they document the power with which her ideas rushed onto the page with passionate deliberation. I am currently on book two of N. K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy and my anti-establishment reading list continues to grow.

3. The Office


The Office, Season 3, Episode 16 “Business School”

I am late to this NBC sitcom, but have been binging it whenever I can. It is surprisingly poignant and nihilistic television. As we follow the pranks, dumb foolery, and ignorant fumblings of the characters, it is ultimately an anthology of loss: the decline of middle-sized companies, the abandonment of one's dreams for stability in life and love, and one's inability to change. In addition, there's a subtle sense of melancholy that accompanies the series because it feels dated, very ”pre-2017" if such a term is instructive; some of the jokes teeter on the side of the offensive when seen through today’s hyperawareness of workspace harassment. Nevertheless, the show hits me in the gut, often at unexpected times and in unexpected ways. I give it a Netflix thumb's up.

4. a cappella music


Advertisement for the film Pitch Perfect 3

Before a cappella singing was made cool (again?) in popular culture via Glee, YouTube, and the Pitch Perfect movies, I was in "jazz choir." I sang bass, which was mainly repetitive notes and rhythms – the often under appreciated backbone of the ensemble. I’ve been listening to this kind of music recently while creating the final works for my forthcoming exhibition. It gave me time to reflect, feel a little nostalgia, and wonder whether I would now be part a singing group with a punny name like the Treblemakers if printmaking had not found me.

5. House of Gourmet


Fried fish fillet with creamed corn on rice at House of Gourmet

Located near the intersection of Dundas and Spadina in the heart of Chinatown, this Hong Kong-style "tea café"/restaurant serves up the most authentic dishes. With a menu that numbers in the hundreds – from noodles to Chinese BBQ to congee to rice to stir-fry to stews – there's always a dish to soothe that specific craving. The combination of the fact they’re open late, their brisk, no-nonsense service, and the custom of seating all solo diners at the same large banquet tables makes it the perfect oasis of solitude in a bustling city. Since it is mere blocks away, I often unwind and refuel there after a long day at Open Studio.

 

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