Fragile Humans

“People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.”
– James Baldwin

1 part Pretense

1 part Earnestness

Bubble. Smooth. Leaven.

Add new voices.

Mix.

Bake New.


Holding onto the promise and truth that my God makes beautiful things out of dust.

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Youth and Beauty Culture In Seoul

Pale faces. Straight eyebrows.

Girls walk around with rollers in their hair in public.

Guys walk around with masks covering their nose and mouth (and I’m not sure it’s for the air pollution).

Guys wear foundation.

Girls’ hairs here are impeccably blow-dried, waved, or flipped.

Red-orange lipstick is very popular here.
I walk down the road, and I see a visible, consistent, pattern of young adults staring at other young adults doing the down-up, check-out thing.
There is a pressure to be “thin,” 105 – under thin.

In a moment of relapsed insecurity and all things folly, I think to myself, “thank god I’m tall. It stretches me out.

Speckled on the streets, faces pass me by, similar to the ones I’ve seen on the ads which have accompanied me up the escalators many a commute in Gangnam.

In good humor, I ask myself, “would I have survived in this environment of intense scrutiny over appearance?”
(as a young girl, surely not.)

Gehard Demetz, my modern day Geppetto.

Formally trained in religious sculpture, Italian artist Gehard Demetz has progressed to become one of the most talented artists of our century. He wields his art technique and experience to create works, many with children as subject, that explore the dichotomies and marriages of contradiction… between that which is evocative and whimsical – provocative and contemporary. His sculptures often carry an energy verging on the socio-political.

He relies on mediums like wood and bronze and certainly knows how to make dry wood come alive.

These are my favorite works of Demetz throughout his career as a sculptor:

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Introjection. 2017, Wood

 

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Life Without Christmas. 2017, Wood

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Dirt on my Shoulders. 2016, Wood

 

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Restoring My Blisses. 2015, Wood.
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My Parents’ Stories Sound Different. 2015, Wood.

 

Personally, I would say his best works were made in 2013.

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Stones In My Pocket. 2013, Wood.
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Mom’s hands and daddy’s nose. 2013, wood.

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Complement these visuals with a contemplative rendition of Bach’s Christus, Der Uns Selig Macht, BWV 245, arranged by one of my favorite composers and pianists, Chad Lawson.

Speaking Too Little, Too Much

An artist has to understand silence
An artist has to create a space for silence to enter his work
Silence is like an island in the middle of a turbulent ocean -Marina Abramović

So….. how does one get to the island?


Verbosity comes easy to me, and unfortunately, there’s no shortage of words to be found in my being.

Over the past few years, my sisters and I have increasingly recognized my need to be both succinct and precise (when I speak, when I think, when I write…when I text!), for the sake of my future livelihood.

My sisters often rightly say, “the length or loudness of one’s message does not substantiate its actual quality or substance”.

Consequently, pithiness has become that far-reaching virtue of mine to cultivate since end of 2016.

Granted, this is easier said than done, and it conjures up from me many a sigh as I attempt (with the ferocity of Hercules as he battles off the great beast!) to remediate my little big habit.

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Hercules and the Nemean Line. Painting by Pieter Paul Rubens. What’s great to know is that he overcomes. So shall I– one hopes.

So what can I do, except write a haiku?:

“My mind moves too quick

Can I really control it?

Silence, come quickly.”

I thank my mother for never telling me I should become a poet. That would have been a lie anyways. 

Echoing David Ogilvy, king of witty and considered locutions, I plead tonight for endurance, for charm, for silence.

Bises,

Soo

“There are many fine things which we cannot say if we have to shout,” Henry David Thoreau
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Illustration by Maurice Sendak