#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:

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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.