I Wasn't Doing Nothing
One day in the morning I was so peacefully laying on my bed, and charmingly warm early sunshine came through the window. I felt the warmth of the season, softness of my blanket, and the generosity of time. Then, I started hearing the birds singing, although I didn’t know where they were singing from.
Mindfulness. The word I have forgotten for a long time. This year of 2014, to me, is somewhat different from the last 7 years. My days have been running like an unstoppable train. It has been unsettled and restless. A textbook example of “A time flies like an arrow.” But 2014 has been the opposite.
I was uncertain how. After knowing my departure to Korea, my home-home, all the clocks in my life, like magic, began to move in slow motion. I thought “Time crawls like a worm.” It was an emotional room that allowed me to study my neighborhood, the trains I routinely take, the food I normally cook, and the windows I would pretend there is none.
Don’t get me wrong. My neighborhood in West Philly is a fine area. But it isn’t much to look at from a conventional tourist view; it is a block with lots of houses and some trees. One evening I was on my way home from a grocery store and happened to spectate a thing on the road. It reminded me of a ballet – lightness, elegance, transparency, wrinkles, motions, shadows, and so on. The unknown dancer was a plastic bag flying in the air with a gust of wind.
I realized that usually I see the same scenery on the train/bus/car during my daily commute. Actually I see nothing. I mean I would see something, but it completely slipped my mind. These days I consciously look out the window, discovering things that I never noticed before. I had been so focused on the destinations that I skipped many things on the way.
While my practice as an artist fuels my sense of living as an individual, living everyday has also fallen into my studio practice demanding my willingness to give a closer look at the way we relate ourselves to the world by means of everyday practice. Not once did I move while living in Philadelphia. Nowadays I am listening to, to be more accurate, able to hear the birds singing better than ever in my neighborhood. I believe that the birds have always been singing there since the first morning I woke up in my bed. This renewal of consciousness and sense of living was the point of departure for this exhibition.