Already gone

Last week Jane said goodbye to me.  I protested that I’d still be here another year, but she’s wise to me.  I am, truly, already gone.  We were both sad.  She’s been such a good friend to me.  I’m torn between loyalty towards her, wondering if I’m copping out, and then this incredible relief to just go for what I want to do, not what I should do.

My days are spent obsessively planning for that blessed day.  I’m already trying to figure out how the heck I can keep some of the nice stuff I’ve acquired and get rid of the rest.

I’ve already identified work for my art school entrance portfolio, and I think I’m already half way there.  So I only have to produce about six or more things.  (This is doable!  As long as I can find a part time job while in school, it is doable!)  But I think I’ll have to try and draw every day until then to get some skill back.  In my little dog-eared notebook I’ve already got enough art pieces written down to fill four gallery shows.  I have each piece in my head, bursting to get out.  I just need to build my skills to execute them.  I know that will take years, and that they will be enjoyable years.  But right now, I must start all over, like learning to speak after a stroke.

I went to Homi Art store in Hongdae towards that end.  I decided to buy watercolors, since that’s pretty much the only wet medium they teach you in Architecture school, and even though I like Oil bar, I can’t afford it at $10 a stick.  Surprisingly, the only foreign brands they sell are lower end but at about double the price, so it’s the Korean brand for me.  Also surprisingly, the Korean brand has a whole optional separate range of colors called Korean colors. I might have to buy these before I leave the country.

Ta-rae (bunched up threads or string in Korean) lamps made in traditional Korean colors. The word ‘Ta-rae’ simply means bunched up threads or string in Korean. Click on the photo to reach the makers, Design Virus

I never thought about there being a different color palette here, but just a cursory glance and the tubes were the color of hanbok, embroidery, traditional paintings, and even the food.  I guess the difference is they lie somewhere in-between Western colors:  they tend to be more restrained, subdued colors, natural vegetable dye colors that look somewhat faded. The philosophy behind them is called Korean five colors rainbow.

오정색무지개_140X70cm_장지.자연염 료.분채.먹.콩즙_2010 ■ 이영희 (Lee Young Hee)

From a blog (image is a link) they explain:

The Koreans’ old belief that the sky is black and the earth is yellow does not mean that the sky is really black, while the earth is yellow. The black in the sky describes the sky that is limitless, endless and boundless and cannot fathom its abysmal depth, and human consciousness can never grasp its nature. Also, it symbolizes the sky as the object of the ultimate and the fundamental.

The color of the sky is covered with black and red.  She uses gallnut – the closet material to black in the sky from the natural pigment – as a means to express black that is removed from the blue sky.

And the traditional idea of Blue Mountains and Green Waters directly contrasts with the Western notion that recognizes the color of the mountain as green and that of the water as blue. In our traditional minds, the mountain becomes blue as the mountain surface is covered with the blur atmosphere and the water becomes green as its surface is shaded with the trees. In the Western thoughts of colors, the green color in mountains and the blue color in waters are as such in them.

Artist Lee Young Hee explores the Korean five color rainbow

The white color in the Eastern world is not really white as such. It means the color of the outer boundary. The black color is not merely the blackness. It is the status of chaos before the formation of cosmos that precedes the division of ying and yang.  In the Eastern philosophy, the basic elements that constitute the universe are tree, fire, soil, metal and water, whereas the Western one considers water, fire, soil and air as the basic ones…

Anyway, I thought that was interesting, and I love sharing.


Turns out I can’t afford to go to school.  Even at a second-tier school in my home state, I still fall short many thousands a year due to my status as a Post-baccalaureate, which disqualifies me from grants and Perkins loans, and even with that I would max out my funding before my third year.  It’s too bad.  I have had so many experiences and am learning how to present questions instead of statements.  I had so many things I wanted to ask/other perceptions to explore, and words are just inadequate.

So, to the moon and back again.

There must be a way.  I will find a way.

3 thoughts on “Already gone

  1. Wow. What an amazing blog. I just spent the last couple weeks reading it all from the beginning to end and wow. I cannot express how brave you have to be to spend two years in a place where the culture is new and different and where you can’t speak the language. I don’t think you give yourself enough credit for what you have done. I hope you find the peace of mind you crave and the serenity you need, my friend.

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