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Personal Narrative-Mottled Fish

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I unfold a snow-white paper; rub down a jet-blank inkstick; pick up my favorite brush and carefully dip it in Chinese ink. There’s no hurry. Without hesitation, I begin to leave the mottled fish down on the paper. The fish seem dumbfounded for a while, but soon understand that they regain their bodies, their freedom. These inky creatures, one by one, lazily stretch their fins, wriggle to move along, and finally nestle down at the each corner of their new pool. It’s done.
Catching my breath, I turn around to look at my grandfather. He has been already right by my side and watched my “conjuring.” Breaking his silence, he begins to talk.
“Too much.” He gently smiles.
“Are there too many fish, grandpa?” I ask.
“Nope, I mean, you didn't leave enough space.” He continues, “See this pottery, we shape clay into a pot, but it’s the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want. So
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Again, my grandfather began to tell me a story of some length. “I watched my mother, your great-grandmother, being beaten by my father simply because she drew something with her own brush. Guess how harrowing she might feel, to be trapped inside a woman’s body.” With a sigh, he closed his eyes and continued. “I also remember the day when I left the art college and decided to work at a factory. From then on, I had to put aside my ‘art instinct’ just like my mom did.” He dropped the cigarette to the floor and crushed it out. “That’s why I’m always proud of your dad, succeeding that ‘art instinct’ and being celebrated as an oriental painter.”
As I grow older, I get to know what it really means by “art instinct,” the leading spirit which has driven me to organize the exhibition for the colorblind; to travel alone to Louvre and Vatican Museums; to work as a teaching assistant at the university program “Korean Art & Asian Painting” aimed at foreign students. It, inherited throughout the ages, has been always my underlying
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