Pactolus is a river in ancient Lydia (now Modern Turkey) where the ancients once mined gold and electrum. It was said to be the very place where the legendary King Midas divested himself of his golden touch by washing himself in the waters.
“The Sands of Pactolus” is also the title of Pop Surrealist/ Neo-Symbolist Gromyko Semper’s first solo show in Singapore (c/o Artesan Art Gallery). If you are in Singapore tomorrow please catch the opening on Thursday 7pm, May 28, 2015 at Artzpace 1, Nassim Road #02-02 Singapore 258458.
From his bio:
“Semper’s drawings are executed in the manner of Japanese wood-block prints, whilst embodying a personal, invented mythology like William Blake and J.R.R. Tolkien; the symbolists, surrealists and decadents; and up to and including British artist Patrick Woodroffe’s Mythopoeikon (1976) and The Pentateuch of the Cosmogony (1979) and the forerunner of Vienna School of Fantastic Realism, the visionary, Ernst Fuchs. Whilst Semper’s work has some affinity with Albretch Durer’s woodblock style, it stands apart, drawing on Filipino supernatural folk traditions, Christianity, Jungian psychology, the mysteries of the Kabala and Gnostics whilst employing elements of quantum mechanics, alchemy, world mythology, the occult, classical art symbolism, art nouveau and erotic drawings.”
Gromyko also illustrated one of my short stories “A Secret Map of Shanghai” (which originally appeared in Strange Horizons). This will be included in a future collection of my short stories. Here’s a teaser:
The Quarterly Literature Review of Singapore (QLRS) has published my experimental poem “Objets trouvés de Singapour”. This was a post-internet piece where the text was mined from Singapore government slogans and local commercial advertising from the last 49+ years.
Signs from MyHomeTown.sg
“Another monster jumped from behind and the two rolled down the small mountain outcropping, with the aswang’s bony hands clutched around his throat. Pipit struggled to fight it off but was instantly mesmerized by the creature’s face. Despite the yellowed eyes and the pallid grey complexion, its features were almost comely, like that of a young maiden’s. ”
Check out the new mystery post on #whereghostwordsswell
Aswang by ejieart on DeviantArt
A big “Thank you!” to the editors of Likhaan Volume 8 — Gabriela Lee (Managing Editor), Rosario Cruz-Lucero (Issue Editor), as well as associate editors Heidi Emily Eusebio-Abad and Eugene Y. Evasco for the great intro to my story “An Excerpt from the Philippine Journal of Archaeology (04 October, 1916)” which I quote, in part, here:
“An Excerpt from the Philippine Journal of Archaeology” unfolds in the same way that an archaeologist sifts through the sand and dusts off the crust of soil stuck to a piece of ancient pottery. It adopts as its fictive mode an archaeologist’s report about a race of people whose remains are discovered on a slope of Mt. Pinatubo. Thus, one might mistake this piece of fiction as a handful of pages actually torn from a fieldworker’s journal. However the American archaeologists names allude to H.P. Lovecraft’s own fictional characters and an urban legend about Rizal’s kinship to Hitler.
And here is the very interesting cover –