a mix of many different colors of my life :)

Aug 29, 2008

keeping a log

My hands float in the air awashed by the last sun rays of this fading summer of 2008.

These days, it is not only my hands that float but also my mind. They move and I simply follow. I vaguely feel where they are leading me, but at this moment, I cannot be sure. So, just in case, I am keeping a log along the way.

hwa hyun's temple and a battleground

As it happens, when you think it's over it comes back to you; only three times stronger. The wave of heat made my mind dizzy and fuzzy.

But thanks god, i knew where I was going; the second solo exhibition of my dear friend of over a decade! Today I'll see what she has painted for A Temple and a Battleground

And she has painted what she has always painted;.

Beautiful boys through the lens of her manga-inspired aesthetics.

The General Contemplating War

The undercover Assassin

She has done an excellent job and I am proud of her!

On my way home, still the heat was pounding on my head.

when it's over

When it's over - whatever it is - there's always something inside that dies. Even when the ending is exactly what you wanted. Even when you know you have made just the right decision, there's no escaping a bit of death. Three days left before I break my three-year routine. Suddenly, I feel this urge to remember what will soon be the past.

So, I decide to take some photos of what I see; for instance this morning, when I ride a subway as it crosses the Han River.

When I go through the main entrance of the company.

When I leave for lunch around noon.

When the day's work is done and I take off to go home.

When on the road the sun sets and the headlights of other cars fly away.

And when my long-time road companion starts the music. Maximilian Hecker's Sleep Lady and Muse....

Then finally, when Iam back to Seoul as the day ends and when my new day begins.

Aug 20, 2008

italian cities that i don't know much about

First time, first day in Bologna: I was alone. It rained. The sky was gloomy. My hotel smelled of rotten fish. My proud Italian didn't work at all anywhere. And my bed was way too small. I was not loving being in Bologna until the next day when my friend, a girl who never travels without a complete pack of aroma therapy arrived and infused the room with the sweet and relaxing fragrance of lavender!

Three times in Bologna, still, I feel like I don't know the city at all. I haven't yet found that hidden well, the one that when you pull up the water bucket it starts singing. And the same goes for Rome. In my mind canvas it is a mere contour drawing with its shadow and light.

I remember W.S. Kuniczak writes in Quo Vadis about the old gate of Porta Capena and a little chapel with a small tablet sunk into the wall that asks: Quo Vadis, Domine?

Is it still there?

Oh, well. Next time. See the details.

Aug 19, 2008

perfect day

It's been a while that I take my camera out. So, despite some raindrops I decide to take a long and lazy walk to ssamziegil. During weekends, cars are not allowed in Insadong. Instead people become a traffic - so many of them - that flow like in a slow-motion picture. On a weekend in Insadong, nobody is in a real hurry.

This young girl carrying a baby on her back seems to be heading to the marketplace where she knows for sure she will find a wide variety of artifacts, smells, tastes, and flux of people - so many of them - that can be quite amusing at least for a while. I feel a bit like that little girl. Instead of a baby, I carry my camera.

What immediately attracts my attention is this mobile dancing at the whims of the wind; Ordinary mobile objects of our life made of white cardboard now turned into one big mobile. In lieu of all flickering images, today they show constantly changing world of ours.

Somebody has drawn a tiny ripplet in a rain puddle in the sky. I feel tempted to step on it and splash over...whomever.

And not happy with the space the eyes see (maybe), that somebody has gone creating a replica of the real thing. I move just a few steps if I fancy seeing an empty building upon the sky. A whole new perspective, modest but good enough (maybe) for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Then the light bulbs, some naked and some others caged, still hanging there, doing their time (maybe).

And when I least expect it there it is: a rainbow. When was the last time I saw the rainbow? Oh, I do remember; I am standing at the playfround of my elementary school when it appears all of a sudden, just like a magic. I realize then, for the first time in my life, that a rainbow is a beautiful thing. I am still like that kid standing still in the playground looking up the sky, following the way of rainbow.

Today, I have a perfect day - even without Sangria in The Park ;)

798 Art Zone in 2006

September of 2006 was my second visit to Beijing and the year that I really got to learn a bit more about China. I was attending Beijing International Book Fair and had no plan to visit 798 Art Zone a.k.a. Dashanzi Art District. But when Metra, my long-time friend and also business partner, asked me to take a few hours off from the fairground to go take a look at the 798 Art Zone I agreed immediately. I needed to take a break.

It was dead quiet when we arrived. The afternoon sun was shining still strong and few people that we could spot from the distance looked like a mirage in the desert. We entered a few galleries but left unimpressed.

In the garden, here and there, we could find artworks that seemed more interesting than those inside the galleries we had visited. And I realized right then it was the Light that made all the difference. All that I had seen that day was like black and white photographs without a hint of light. Insipid.

We entered a bookshop where Metra bought two porcelain dishes for Agatha. Then left the 789 Art Zone. It was getting dark. We were getting hungry.

meeting sid in tokyo: reinterpretation

Sid just published her first book. It's a translated book from English: Japan, A reinterpretationby Patrick Smith. With this book she also launched her career as a literary agent.And I am very proud of her.

It was during last year's Tokyo International Book Fair that I met her for the first time offline. We had known each other for almost 7 years, first through many weeks of online chatting,then sporadic emails after both of us took off to the US and stayed there for several years studying.Eventually, we lost our contact altogether for almost two years. So, when she emerged again with an email of her latest news from Tokyo,I knew the time had come for us to meet, for I was going there in a week!

Our first meeting happend at a very crowded and noisy fairground where the edge of the bookswould merge with that of people. Then we went to a
cafe in Ginza and talked about books among the impeccably clad people in their forties and fifties sipping their tea in silence. As the evening set in, we left the cafe and walked toward the end of Ginza strip to have our sushi at the oldest restaurant in the area. The restaurant was practically empty with just one moretable by the window occupied by a young man and an old lady. Sid told me about life of a very famousspy, Richard Sorge over dinner. Nobody has ever told me a story about a spy in such a fascinating way.I don't know what I have enjoyed more; sushi or the story.

By the time we left, it was dark and the shops were closing. Sid took me to her favorite bookstore,searched for something and came back to me with a book in her hand, Japan: Reinterpretation.

That was a year ago, almost. And Korean edition is out all because of two passionate women who believed in the book; one is the literary agent, translator and the other publisher.

Now I can't wait to read her second book; a fiction this time. :)