The Watcher

“The Watcher”

I was inspired by the song – “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart” by Chris Cornell, an American rock musician. The lines “And it did me wrong but it serves me right”, specifically, brought up the idea of this art. The words put me in an emotional state as it was a song that I had listened to for about a dozen times but not until then I started to pay attention to the lyrics and submerged myself with the emotions of my own and the singer’s. I like to see things from different perspectives and I like to experience them myself, to the deep core, to live it. “The opposite!”. Then the idea of crossing the contradictory states of “words” from the lyrics came up. I put “me” in the middle of the art and placed the 4 terms “did”, “serves”, “wrong”, “right” around it somehow I believed it was referred to a wind mill that spins. It can look like a wind mill when it is still. When it spins, more meaning is generated as the words can now be put together in different orders depends on who is the spinner. I personally see it from the perspective of the lyrics itself, similar to how “great power is heralded by great pains” – I thank the lessons that brought me to where I am and what I am doing at the present moment. As expected, it was very interesting to experience a couple people whom I showed this to, see the meanings in their ways, simply by switching the orders to “it did me right but it serves me wrong” , like how one can lose themselves to the temporary luxurious comfort and live in sufferings as their presents without even noticing. Or dwelling one’s self to the cycle of “wanting to feel loved” and “wanting to love”. When it’s repeated over time, eventually one won’t feel good with life, relationships or anything until drama starts. Because it has became a habit. Because it just happens. 

In an interview in 2015, Chris Cornell talked about the inspiration behind the song:  “..someone is so distracted by a new person or a new thing in their life that they kind of forgot that they had given up on life.” (Via Wikipedia)

Around the lyrics, you will see the familiar four math symbols, “addition”, “subjection”, “multiplication” and “division”. The idea was how they are somehow the same thing or was made by the same material. Yet they are different. 

They could be identical on some levels if placed a little bit differently. Imagine if you hadn’t learn the symbols and their meaning, would you distinguish them? Would there be “plus” and “minus”. Or would the symbols appear to you as the same thing just “arranged different” ? This now turns back to the original idea, “it did me wrong but it serves me right”, how would you know if something is wrong or right if they were never defined? I think the answer lies in your individual instinct. 

I am and you are if you want to see it that way, “The Watcher” outside of all of that. Observe it. It can be overwhelming at times, because your world is filled with “definition”, this is what is it, that is not this? Oh my god. It freezes your mind. How are you being the special audience to your own movie? Is the audience satisfied?

Commonly said, “Symbolism is in the eye of the beholder.” Those are my meanings, how about yours? What do you see out of this?

Thank you,


The Watcher. 2021. Using flat canvas, spray paint and sharpies.

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