Format: 473 x 614 mm, 56pages;
First edition of 300, signed & numbered, published by Jiazazhi in Aug. 2020.
My father’s burial held before Qingming after his death. The black tombstone engraved with his name, birthday, and deathday, sure as well as a hyphen between these two dates and the names of the whole family.
Staring at the simple-look hyphen, I cannot help wondering how many days father had lived, and how many days a man could live in this world. Is brief punctuation able to represent one’s whole life? These questions seem easy and boring, but no one can give a specific answer. A Lot of people care little about it. As for those who are still living, they hardly have time to consider this question. As for those who are dead, no one would be concerned about them because they had left the world forever.
My father had lived for 30219 days. Yes, through a clumsy method, I got this tedious answer, because I care a lot! Not only is every single day father had lived vital to him, but also me, though father might disagree.
I am not willing to merely engrave on my father’s tombstone with birthday and deathday, connected by a tiny hyphen to summarize one’s pale life, just like many others did. Also, I understand these two particular dates would be forgotten by us with time going by. I want to wipe the short hyphen out from the tombstone and restore the days’ father lived in the world. Guided by this conception, I started my long-period writing work.
Each of the dates, consisting of eight figures, is repeatedly written line by line on the photographs of the father’s body and heritages. Writing days and nights, the process is slow, through which I hope to construct and present the time father had existed to satisfy my fictional illusion and to write his life thoroughly.
The process of writing brought me back to the time when my father was still alive and helped me memorize and imagine those old days. My memories about father gradually transform from blur to clear, as if the last day in my father’s life was precisely taking place yesterday.
I would say the life father had led very ordinarily. He was a person who could be neglected entirely in the world. His death was as normal as any others, which people would forget soon. Nevertheless, I have been attempting to resist this sort of oblivion through my way for a long time, fighting the time weakening my memories and love.
By Li Lang