At the Saigon airport, enjoying a (strong) Vietnamese coffee, slightly hung over… and about to head to Kyoto. Some life meditations the last 2 months in Saigon.
1. Spirit of play and experimentation
I’ve been having fun experimenting with art, ideas, and life. Cindy has taught me that we should just treat life like a lab… like a crazy scientist. To have fun. To just “fux with it.”
I’ve been studying all art. Salvador Dali, Picasso, and a lot of Avedon recently. Adding more knowledge to my LEARN FROM THE MASTERS series. Doing lots of sketches on the iPad, and traces. Trying to understand what makes art… good, or worthwhile.
2. Lessons on visual sociology
Ok, I’ve learned that I get a LOT OF JOY just studying, and observing. This is the joy of observation in street photography. To enjoy just looking, studying, and analyzing other people. Cindy and I love to go to coffee shops or restaurants, and just observe, analyze, and often judge the people inside, or the social milieu.
To me, this has given me a second wind in studying Sociology— the study of the “science” of society. Of people.
The word Sociology is based on Latin, for “socius”— which means COMPANION. So to me, humanity is all about companionship.
I’m lucky to have Cindy as my life companion. I’m glad to have close friends as companions. Same with my workshop students, or other strangers I meet in the streets.
So through street photography, I am analyzing and creating meaning about living as a human being in society with my lens. With creating images… which help me find more meaning, understanding, or knowledge about humanity.
3. Why make art?
Been reading a lot of Nietzsche, his books “The joyful wisdom” and The Will to Power.
- To make meaning in life, make art. Art can be anything. Photos, dance, theater, sculpture, paintings (digital or analogue), poetry, prose, whatever.
- No such thing as “perfection.” Just make art that you have fun with.
- To be happier and more joyful, be more productive. Productive as PRODUCING MORE ART, not answering emails.
4. Never stop growing
I like to think of human beings like a tree. Dig deep roots. Grow tall. Have strong bark, and shed off your old bark, when growing.
Avoid insects and pests which are parasites, and stop your growth.
Grow in multifarious directions, meaning, grow not just vertically, but horizontally.
For example, to grow as an artist, don’t just study photos. Study painting. Classical literature. Poetry. Philosophy. Architecture, fashion. Generally the “old school” stuff is better than the new.
Observe how trees grow in a “fractal” pattern. Meaning, a tree starts from a trunk. Then grows to branches. Which turn to stems, and little leaves. And the branches grow into other branches, into more little branches.
Treat these additional branches, like branches of your knowledge. What new things can you continue to learn, and add to your tree of wisdom?
Off to Kyoto. Only a spots left for my KYOTO ZEN PHOTO EXPERIENCE.
I’m excited to study more design, fashion, photography, portraiture, architecture, interior design, and the zen aesthetics of Kyoto. It is seriously like my spiritual home and city.
Ok, so we have a bunch of money, just sitting around in a bank account. Instead of just letting that money rot, why not INVEST that money, into real people… aka our own family?
My younger sister ANNETTE KIM has been making lots of great designs. She actually went to OTIS art school for fashion for a semester, and she is damn skilled.
Cindy’s younger sister JENNIFER is also a talented artist, writer, and political activist. Very excited to see what she builds and makes.
Oops gotta go, th gate is open. Thanks for always being my companion in this crazy journey of life together.
More stuff to come.