On Friday, if no comet destroys the earth first, I’m going over to FibreArts Design to pick up two photos by Yao-Pi Hsu. The pictures I am buying aren’t on her website, but they are from the series she has posted there under “abstract”: scenes of water and reflections that are markedly abstract, to the point that one might look at them a while before realizing that they are water. I’m fascinated, and moved in ways I can’t quite articulate, by the way branches, sky, and crops are transformed by the water into something resembling brushmarks or ink writing.

I could call it a “Christmas present to myself,” but I have never been in the habit of buying myself Christmas presents. I just went by the gallery a couple of months ago, saw a few of her photos, and said, “Oh my, I could live with one of those and never get tired of its company.” A few weeks later, I went by the gallery again to ask about buying some of her work, and the curator invited me to sit down with her and Ms. Hsu and pick out the images I wanted. I went home with about a dozen on my hard drive, and with much, much difficulty, and many, many slideshows at home, I narrowed them down to two. I have never done something like this before, either, but why not buy art I love, if I can afford it?

She will have printed and framed them by the end of the week. I’ll be so happy to be able to look at them, full size and as long as I like.

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