One day I discovered that all of my plants had died from dehydration since I hadn’t watered them regularly. I wondered, "What if I grew a plant that lived underwater?" I found the answer to that which is a "pumila”. That is a plant which sustains itself immersed in water. At first I thought it was a great idea and kept the plant in a clear, beautiful jar full of water next to the window.
In two days, however, the water in the jar got so low that the roots weren't able to access any of the water. I had to water them periodically. It wasn't as good an idea as I initially thought it was. I continued to water them and wished the roots to grow longer and longer but it didn't make a difference.
Then one day I couldn't get into my studio for two weeks. After those two weeks when I came back to the studio with anxiety about my Pumila plant, I saw a strange thing. As I thought, the water was nearly gone, but the roots of the Pumila grew longer than before.
After that I could break off the yoke of repetitive living.
Indeed, living is easy. We just don't know how to do it.
Depth of life, Hand colouring over an aquatint, 50×90cm, 2008
Depth Of Life
As the water in a plant jar lessens, the root of the plant must stretch itself to survive. And no matter how low the water is, the long and strong root can survive beyond others.
This rule is not confined to the plant. A person who struggles and makes best efforts has a stronger will for a better life and can make the depth of life more profound.
Now I am pressed with work and have no scope but I think this is a process. I am in the process of making my root longer.
Truth Is All Around., 60 x 40cm, Hand Colouring Over an Aquatint, 2008
In the midst of elaborate and chaotic electric signs in midtown New York, I had completely lost my way one cloudy day. I had no idea which way was North or South. I wandered from place to place for awhile.
But this misdirection doesn’t happen only in the streets of New York, but anywhere or anyhow we may live.
In another situation, I found myself mindlessly surfing the web when my initial intent was to find specific information on the web or compose an email.
While you go through life, if you don't start by focusing on a particular task, you may find yourself gravitating towards an unexpected direction.
Lost Direction, Hand colouring over an aquatint, 60×90cm, 2008
An Early Bird.
I once owned a watch that was not accurate in telling time. One day I glanced at the watch to check the time. Surprisingly it was working just fine.
Coincidentally, I thought that this watch may have measured my relative time. The time accelerates when I live hastily and slows down when I live at a quieter pace. If that sort of watch really existed, I would buy one without hesitation.
An earlybird, Hand colouring over an aquatint, 40×60cm, 2008
Do You Know What I Am Saying?
An acquaintance visited me at the studio and exclaimed, "A rat just ran behind you!" I dismissed what he said as false because I had never seen a rat in the studio or even a hole that indicated there would be any rats. But he was quite serious when he said so. I assumed that it was just his imagination.
The very next day I heard that someone at the adjoining studio had caught a rat. I couldn't believe my ears so I went to see for myself. Sure enough, a little rat had been captured in a clear trash bag. I was speechless.
I wondered and questioned what I had believed up to that point. Now I am still questioning which reasoning is actually reliable.
Do you know what I am saying?, Hand colouring over an aquatint, 40×60cm, 2008
I once had a wonderful time with a teacher whom I respect. We started to drink two, then three different kinds of liquor and ended with a rare kind called "Windsor 21.” We were talking and drinking throughout the night.
I don’t even recall when I fell asleep. But I clearly remember the next morning when I opened my eyes, I found a completely empty bottle of brandy next to me. I was shocked when I realized that we had drunk the entire bottle. I had assumed that my friend had finished the bottle after I fell asleep. I was upset that I drew a complete blank of the previous night’s events and was more upset by the fact that I couldn't remember the experience of drinking high-end brandy for the first time.
It seems to mean nothing if I can’t remember the experience of partaking in something valuable. And what about my life? If no one remembers my work, does my worthwhile life mean nothing?
Was here, Hand colouring over an aquatint, 60×40cm, 2008