Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lineage

I had the most interesting exchange with Maria this weekend while doing what I love to do most in NYC: eat (noodles), eat (cake), walk a bunch, and have a drink before heading home. She said that when she talks about me to people who don't know me, she says that I am a scholar. I disagree heartily, because my idea of a scholar is so far from my idea of myself. But when I look it up in the dictionary, I definitely fit one category, the one where it says you're a student. I feel like I was born to be a student and can't ever give it up (which is why it can be so hard for me to believe that I could be a teacher, too--I did not grow up thinking you could be both at the same time). My father was the one in his family who studied the most, and that was a big deal in Korea. My mother did not have the same opportunities but also did well in school and still loves to learn things, whether it is about new gastroenterology techniques or a clever way to prepare inside-out rice rolls. I always assumed that all artists work this way, incorporating research (whatever that means! For me, it means reading, talking to people, looking at things, traveling, and making things) into their practice. I am too busy trying to learn as much as I can all the time that I haven't figured out if it's a function of feeling inadequate or if it is just human nature. I am curious to the point where it aggravates those closest to me. I want to know everything, though I remember from time to time that
[in the right tense, "I know nothing."]

Today was a looooong day but I managed to do a quick photo shoot with Stefan, and then meet Helena and Rob for lunch and then a stunning exhibit, "Nomads and Networks." WOW. It is so manageable--two rooms, with free admission, and then you can walk to the park or other museums or get fancy chocolate in the neighborhood (I settled for the latter). I loved how integral horses were to this culture and was stunned by the simple pottery work that was incised with simple cross hatching. I love old Korean ceramics that do the same, simple repeated lines scratched into vessels. There was gorgeous gold work, and the most curious scenes of animals on footed pedestals. I want to go back if I can to take another look. But I was tickled by how much I have changed: I used to walk past all this kind of stuff when I was younger. Now I wish I could break into all of the cases and handle the jewelry and horn and rocks. I think of how amazing it is that humans even figured out how to make these things, and how we could have inherited these skills if we cared.

2 comments:

  1. i love how you've woven your text pages into the structure of the twined pages, and also the little aimee's working with the texts. i, too, remember looking at endless glass cases full of weird objects when i was young and wondering why the museums bothered, and now i'm all about how. i remember the first time i "got" it, and made sketches at the r.o.m. of little coptic woven rabbits...who then showed up in my work.

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  2. I love them, too. I also love the colors and the shape. So beautiful.

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