#3. 144 Hours of an Editor

On the second day of March, I started my job as an Editor at a Seoul-based magazine. Since then, my lifestyle has evolved to fit around the fast-paced, tight schedule of interview appointments and article deadlines. While the work is exciting and feeds my extrovert & creative self, it also looks like loads of hard work and discipline. The plus has definitely been meeting a diverse group of people, especially in the art and culture scene, all the while connecting, learning and being inspired. I'm also finding a knack in portrait photography, and the art of listening-turned-storytelling. Here is a week-long snippet of the places I go, the people I meet, and the work I do:

Sunday 4/16 Easter Sunday

Sunday obviously isn't part of my work week, but this day definitely kicked off the week for me. A day of reflection on new life. I felt the tangible shift of seasons in the air. Lush greens broke out through the atmosphere overrun by the cold. And I always appreciate my ladies' time!

IMG_9782.JPG

Monday 4/17 An interview and a delightful discovery

I spoke with the Chief Director of the local tea brand Tea Collective. I've been following the brand since the launch in early 2016 - and thought it would be a great fit for the May issue of SEOUL. The store officially opened last week and the magazine printed yesterday! I look forward to sharing the article soon. If you're looking for a quite and stylish space to relax and drink quality tea, be sure to check out the cafe in Cheongdam.

On my way home, I came across this gem of a store, and almost cried from happiness. I've been following & Other Stories (Sweden-based luxury women fashion brand from H&M Group) for years and love its art direction and sensible products. I especially love their collaboration collections called Co-labs. They opened their first store in Apgujeong earlier this year - and I finally got to visit its multi-floor decked out with beautiful clothing, accessories, shoes and beauty products. Thank you for coming to Seoul. :)

IMG_0003.JPG

Tuesday 4/18 Catchin' up and getting perspective

I caught up with a coworker from my old workplace after four months. Joni was one of the people I openly shared about my desire to move to Itaewon - and here we were months later, neighbors! I got perspective for the steps I felt led to take in the past few months. Some required courage and even risks, but every step has intentionally led me to where I am now. One visit home to California, move to Itaewon, and new job later, I can proudly say that I'm moving towards the life of my dreams. Doing what I love, and doing life with people I love. :) With age, the concept of "dreams" is getting simpler and more aligned with daily life.  

Wednesday 4/19 MMCA exhibition sketch shoot

I photographed the background sketch of the new When Art Becomes Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists exhibition at the MMCA Deoksugung. It was my first time at the Palace and fell in love with its regal and beautiful scenery. I also loved getting an insider look of installing an exhibition and being part of intro film interview of the museum's Director, Bartomeu Mari. 

IMG_0110.JPG

Thursday 4/20  Selby & Seoul Sunset

@ Daelim Museum

@ Daelim Museum

I found out that Todd Selby will be having his solo show at the Daelim Museum - and was absolutely ecstatic!!! I've been following his work for years - and Selby + Seoul combo seemed too good to be true. But true indeed! I attended the press conference earlier this past week - and met him in person (!!!). More on that later!

This is the bright side of one of world's most polluted cities. Or am I just being naive? Hah. I caught this unfiltered, beautiful array of palette across Seoul's sky on my way home - and was completely mesmerized. These moments make me thankful for living in this city.   

Friday 4/21 <Magazine B> COVER B TOUR

I got picked to attend Magazine B's <COVER B TOUR> opening party. It's a Seoul-based brand documentary magazine that features one well-balanced brand per month. The event continues until April 30 at the @walkandrest store in Hongdae - and features their sold-out issue about the city of Seoul. Get a copy for 10% off and get educated about your city! Side note: Korean magazines have been my main source of inspiration. More on this soon!

#2: Conquer Your Ocean

In this day and age, truth is relative. My truth is truth, but yours is too. Or because your truth sounds nicer (how about this - "trendier"), I'll discard mine and hop on to yours. 

I stumbled upon this Youtube video and it's been on my mind. I didn't plan to develop posts around the theme of education, but my train of thought is going in that direction - and I'll follow.

How will you imagine anything if the images are always provided for you?

To defend ourselves and fight against assimilating dullness into our thought process, we must learn to read. To stimulate our imagination, cultivate our own consciousness, our own belief systems... to defend and preserve our own minds.

This month, I met and photographed three artists this month. Their work is featured in the MMCA Gwacheon's newest exhibition Lesson Zero. It aims to "pose questions about teaching and learning, the customs and circumstances of education... and remind the viewer of the individuals who resist group norms of socialization." (Coincidence? I think not.)

I was especially delighted by my conversation with an Italian artist Valerio Rocco Orlando. He shared how "learning is a constant movement" and discussed about his community-focused film work. He said how though he studied theatre and film in college, "my medium is encounters. It’s more about the desire to spend time together instead of just developing technical skills." I contemplated on how my personal value for relationships has shaped my thinking, artistry, and even lifestyle. 

I was brought right back to my last years of college. During my senior year, I taught art at the UCLA Community School for a quarter for my Art Education minor. Few months before, I experienced a life-changing summer after teaching art to students in Mexico for a month. I remember smiling and crying in the following months while creating this recap video. At the end of these experiences, I learned: 1) that I'm not classroom teacher material, 2) the utmost value of education and well-equipped teachers. Though I may not be a teacher, I'm an artist with a passion for public education. 

I was also reminded of this particular post I shared not too long ago:

Screen shot 2017-04-07 at 1.19.50 AM.png

I believe that the forming of healthy, original minds takes place somewhere in between a commitment to education and a supportive community. During college years, I became aware of the uncommon privilege I had of being educated in a western, forward-thinking culture. Not only that, my elementary to high school education took place at the heart of Silicon Valley - and after, in a well-respected institution in Los Angeles.

I'm still learning, and I constantly return to this: No one knows it all. Everyone is in their unique process. 

No matter where we are in life and how old we are, we're in the journey of discovery. As long as our hands are opened and hearts are willing for the new experiences and relationships that break and build us towards the better versions of us. Honestly, even though we're not actively seeking, waves of life sway and turn. So why not actively pursue the things in front of us? I wonder what will happen if we begin to look at our lives not as a flat pool, but unpredictable, risky, yet sooooo fun. Vast, terrifying, yet all the more wild. Feel the weighing magnitude of an ocean, breathe it all in, and pick up your custom-made rowing paddle. We'll never know what lies ahead until we get there.