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Letter to Brice Marden 


“Abstract painting can take you to paradise.” Brice Marden


Dear Brice,


I never met you. But today I am very sad. It feels that something of myself had died too. You are my first love in painting.


I’ve been thinking about you all day. 


I remember when I was making drawings of scribbles, and no one was taking them seriously, even myself. It was just the scribbles on paper. And then, one day, my professor said, “Have you seen the work of Brice Marden?” And that’s how I fell in love with your work. I saw it, and I knew it was something unbelievably great. 


I didn’t merely fall in love with your work. You were the one who gave me confidence that I could do it too. You made me believe. I know you were a big believer. You had faith in painting and abstraction like nobody else. 


Even though we never met, I’ve been talking to you from time to time in my head. I learned quite a lot from you through your magnificent work… How to paint closely to the edge, how to activate all four sides, how erasure demonstrates thinking, drawing in painting, or the presence of a human hand. 


Nobody knows, but me wearing a hat in the studio also comes from you.  

At the same time, as everyone was saying the old unmindful phrase “painting is dead,” you demonstrated what can be done. The painting possibilities are endless if you stick with them. 


When you were diagnosed with cancer, you never felt sorry for yourself. You just continued to paint, and indeed, you followed the words of one of your heroes - Paul Cezanne, who wrote to Bernard very close to his death, “I am old and sick, and I have sworn to die painting rather than sink into shameful decrepitude.”


You were just in your studio making the thing. Perhaps that is what I should be focused on as well. While everyone talks and posts, I better make paintings and continue to believe. We are born, and then we die. But paintings live on. 


Thank you for everything.


Hope to see you on the other side,


August 2023

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