“It is in dialogue with pain that many beautiful things acquire their value. Acquaintance with grief turns out to be one of the more unusual prerequisites of architectural appreciation. We might, quite aside from all other requirements, need to be a little sad before buildings can properly touch us.”
― Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness
Something pretty amazing that I wouldn’t fully comprehend before living in Japan.
Baby Formula Map of China by Ai Wei Wei
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine Kamakura, Japan.
Medium format film
Education should be about critical thinking, challenging the status quo, and developing individual talents and abilities, not merely the rote acquisition of knowledge.
"Artists are also an inherently interdisciplinary bunch, learning—out of desire and necessity—to research and understand time periods, characters, conflicts, and methodologies, in order to complete their work. In a sense, they are part-time sociologists, psychologists, philosophers and historians. Ultimately, they are students of the human condition, and realize that learning is lifelong and does not stop at graduation day. Artistic examination of a subject is hardly arid, but meant to provoke, inspire, generate catharsis. In that respect, artistic endeavor is deeply community oriented, requiring a public and respecting an audience. Moreover, historically it’s those pesky artists who are often the most dangerously insightful, taking risks in creatively speaking truth to power, and suffering the political consequences. It’s no accident that artists are disproportionately overrepresented in dissident groups who often crazy enough to fight for and then successfully achieve some measure of societal change. We need artists to act as a mirror—to reflect back to us our shortcomings and failures—and demand that we deliver, and do better."
Working In Tohoku (northern Japan disaster zone)
Having consumed tens of books over the past few months on all of the complicated and disheartening things that have happened since the 2011 tsunami, I knew that I had to do something to help. Where one would usually digest images of the disaster and become a bit more numb to the cause, I have intentionally avoided this imagery. I don’t want to cling to the shock value or maybe I have really avoided it because it makes me feel helpless. Volunteering is a wonderful way to shift out of that helpless feeling and there is so much work to be done still…
“You cannot be truthful if you are not courageous.
You cannot be loving if you are not courageous.
You cannot be trusting if you are not courageous.
You cannot enter into reality if you are not courageous.
Hence courage comes first… and everything else follows.”