Life is Short, Photos are Long

I will die, but my photos shall remain.

Vita brevis, ars longa

What I find interesting about my grandfather and his life:

While he was an accomplished doctor and public figure, I think the only thing which remains from him is his calligraphy (art), and his children (and grand children).

It seems that during our lives, we are in such a hurry and rush to make money, to make a name for ourselves, establish our position in the community and society, etc — but for what?

Furthermore I find that most people toward the end of their lives drop almost everything, and generally focus on their artwork, or their families (legacy of their children and grandchildren).

Like what Nietzsche said (Latin pun)

aut liberi, aut liber: “either children or books.”

What lasts?

I’ve been studying the work of Robert Capa, who died at around age 40 when stepping on a land mine while in Vietnam. He’s dead, but his photos live on!

Why do Asians venerate scholars and scholarship?

In many Confucian-Asian societies, scholarship and intellect is seen as supreme. Why? The philosophy of Confucius, which prized academics above almost all other disciplines.

Thus thus most of the East-Asian world is under the tyranny of Confucius and his thoughts, which has lasted almost 2,000 years.

Art is almost everything

My thought is that beyond mere survival, food, shelter, clothes, and water, everything else is a luxury and “art”.

I also believe philosophy is a type of art. There are types of practical philosophy which are highly useful and applicable to our everyday lives, but also much philosophy which doesn’t have practical uses, but theoretically is fascinating.

Yin yang


Life comes and go, but art, philosophy, and more last!


Scroll to Top