Cindy and curve and hand. Saigon, 2017.
Cindy and curve and hand. Saigon, 2017.

Where do you get the desire or the will to make photos?

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Why Does ERIC KIM SHOOT?

Cindy.

For myself, I shoot because I fear death. I feel the transitory reality of living. I (wrongfully) think that by taking a photo of something, or someone… I will make that moment, person, or scene immortal.

Therefore, one of our wills to make photos is for immortality.

Cindy in elevator. Saigon, 2017
Cindy in elevator. Saigon, 2017

Most of us fear death, and want to (in theory) live forever. Therefore, we seek immortality through the pictures that we whole. Of course we will die, but we don’t want our photos to die. Our photos are like our children, we love them, and hope that their presence will give our lives more meaning.

Cindy reflection in elevator. Saigon, 2017.
Cindy reflection in elevator. Saigon, 2017.

We fear the death of our memories and our lives. Many of us have a concept of“self” or “ego” through our memories. If we didn’t have memories… or a sense of continuity from us as children until now, we wouldn’t exist as a human or individual.

Therefore, we are afraid of losing our memories. Why? Because once you get dementia, forget your memories, and forget who you are… you are technically dead. You are like a ghost in the machine.

Cindy fingers and shadow. Saigon, 2017.
Cindy fingers and shadow. Saigon, 2017.

We shoot photos to NOT FORGET our good and past memories. Consider, we started with film, to imprint our celluloid memories onto the film. Now with digital photos, we invest hundreds of dollars into storage solutions and preservation systems.

We try to preserve our memories by backing up our photos. Or “backing up our memories”. We do this with physical storage, also now on the “cloud”.

Cindy fingers and shadow. Saigon, 2017.
Cindy fingers and shadow. Saigon, 2017.

But what happens if you lost all your photos? If an EMP destroyed all of your hard drives, and your memories in the cloud? Would you still exist… and would you still be you?

Of course. Because you are not your memories. You are not your photos. Rather, your memories and your photos are you.

Blurry Cindy. Saigon, 2017.
Blurry Cindy. Saigon, 2017.

We are stupid. We think that we are our photos. This is why we don’t like “unflattering” photos of ourselves. We are afraid that ugly photos of us… mean that we are ugly in “real life”. But the truth is:

You are beautiful in real life. The photos of you are ugly.

You can be beautiful and have ugly photos of you.

Similarly, you can have beautiful photos of you, but be ugly in real life.

Cindy in elevator. Shot on Ricoh GR II. Hanoi, 2017
Cindy in elevator. Hanoi, 2017

Taking this a step forward, you can have pretty photos and memories from the past, but in reality… you could have had a fake or “photoshopped” version of past reality.

Nobody has a perfect family. Yet all our family photos… we are smiling, pretending like we’re all happy. If our family photos were more accurate and truthful, we’d look pretty rowdy, perhaps stressed, or frustrated/annoyed.

Shoot for joy.

Saigon, 2017 #cindyproject
Saigon, 2017 #cindyproject

To conclude, we have the WILL TO SHOOT PHOTOS because we fear death.

I think it is good. If we know we will die, we will never waste a day in vain. We will ignore the pain and pettiness of our day, and always smile, blissful and gay.

Shoot out of love and appreciation for life. Shoot to clear away all the strife of everyday life.

BE STRONG,
ERIC


PHOTOGRAPHY PHILOSOPHY

Selfie kiss. Saigon, 2017
Selfie kiss. Saigon, 2017

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