Art · Visual essay

Sleeping with a book 책과 자는 잠

Sleep with a book_sm

 

Sometimes, I can’t watch or listen to anything.  My head gets fuzzy and sounds from outside become unbearable.  When that happens, reading is the only activity I can enjoy.  During this time, I read a bit obsessively.  I usually don’t even bother to read when I’m tired.  But if I really like the book, I keep reading and I fight with my sleepy eyes.

One Sunday afternoon, after I came back from the dog park, I’ve been busy here and there doing some housework.  I finally sat on the couch to read.  After a while, I felt my body melting, and soon fell asleep.  I woke up to the sound of my dog, barking at me letting me know it’s his dinner time.  I remember that I was trying hard to lift my heavy eyelids.  They must have given up on me.  In the evening, I found a picture of me on my phone.  My husband saw me sleeping, with my face covered by my book, and he took a photo.  I finished the book later that day and I liked it very much.

가끔 아무것도 보고 싶지도 듣고 싶지도 않을 때가 있다.  머리가 멍해져 외부에서 들어오는 자극들이 견디기 힘들 때엔 책이 나의 유일한 즐거움이다.  이런 날들엔  책들에 사로잡히게 된다.  보통날들엔 몸이 피곤하면 읽는것을 포기하지만, 책이 재미있다면 졸린 눈과 사투를 벌이며 계속 읽는다.

어느 일요일 오후, 개공원에서 돌아온 후, 집안 곳곳 집안일을 보고 마침내 쇼파에 앉아 책을 들었다.  책에 빠져들고 얼마 후, 몸이 녹는 듯한 느낌을 받았고 결국 잠들어 버렸다.  우리 개가 짖는 소리에 눈을 떴다.  녀석의 저녁식사 시간이었다.  내가 기억하는 것이라고는 무거운 두 눈꺼풀을 들어 올리려 안간힘을 쓰던 것뿐이었다.   내 눈꺼풀들이 무거운 잠에 지고 말았나 보다.  늦은 저녁에 핸드폰에 저장되어있던 사진을 발견했다.  남편이 책을 얼굴에 덮고 잠든 나를 발견하고 찍은 사진 이었다.  나는 이날 밤 책을 다 읽었다.

Art · Visual essay

Panting Dog 가쁜 숨을 쉬는 개

Panting Dingo_sm

It was a hot afternoon. My husband and I took our dog to the dog park. Like most dogs, he is extremely excited about going to the park. We usually let him play with other dogs, but if there are not any, we fetch. He is a Rat Terrier mix, and is obsessed with chasing a rat (in his reality, a ball). We settled under a tree. After fetching for about 15 minutes straight, he finally laid down near our feet. He was trying to calm his breathing down.

It was a pretty quiet day. Since it was a weekday, not many people brought their dogs. The shade under the tree protected us from the sun. The summer breeze brushed the heat off us. Dragonflies came and went, and birds flew low, chasing bugs. We sat there quietly, waiting for our dog, ready for another round of fetch. His hard panting was suddenly amplified in my ears. And the beat of his breath made my heart beat stronger. He seemed happy… and I was happy too.

더운 어느 오후, 남편과 개를 데리고 개 공원에 갔다. 많은 개들이 그렇듯 우리 개 또한 공원에 가는 것을 무척이나 좋아한다. 공원에 개들이 많이 있다면 우리는 녀석이 다른 개들과 어울리도록 해 주지만, 그렇지 않다면 녀석이 좋아하는 공놀이를 같이 한다. 우리 개는 농장에서 쥐를 쫓는 일을 하는 랫 테리어 믹스이다. 녀석의 현실에서는 쥐 대신 공을 집착에 가깝도록 쫓는다. 우리는 나무 밑에 자리를 잡았다. 약 십오분 정도의 쉼 없는 공놀이 후, 숨이 주둥이까지 차오른 녀석이 우리 발 밑에 자리를 잡고 엎드렸다.

잔잔한 날이었다. 주 중이어서 개를 데리고 나온 이들이 별로 없었다. 나무는 태양으로부터 우리를 지켜 주었고 간간히 불어오는 여름바람이 몸의 열을 쓸어내어 주었다. 잠자리들이 날아왔다 갔다를 반복했고, 새들은 낮게 날으며 벌레를 쫓았다. 우리는 녀석이 다시 공놀이 준비가 될 때까지 조용히 앉아 기다렸다. 갑자기 녀석의 가쁜 숨 소리가 귀에 크게 들어왔다. 숨 헐떡이는 박자가 내 심장 박동 또한 강하게 해 주었다. 입을 크게 벌리고 숨을 빠르게 뱉어내는 녀석이 행복해 보였고, 녀석을 바라보는 나도 행복했다.

Art · digital art · drawing · flower · illustration

Early Spring

 

 


It is still a bit chilly, but spring is definitely around the corner.   When I rode my bicycle to go grocery shopping last week, I saw plum tree flowers starting to bloom here and there around my neighborhood.  They look very similar to Sakura but they bloom in late winter through early spring.  Sometimes they bloom through cold snow.  Because of this, plum blossoms in Korea represent a scholar’s fidelity.   I am always sorry when the winter ends.  But I love watching baby leaves are coming out from naked trees and all the colorful flowers start to bloom in spring.  Summer comes, and it is my least favorite season.  If I do not experience the summer heat, I probably do not appreciate winter’s coldness fully.  So I am very much looking forward to next winter.

 

Art · digital art · drawing · illustration

Friendly Parrots

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I saw these two parrots in Central Park Zoo a couple of years ago.  It was winter, and everything was pale with cold air.  These two parrots stood out with their colorful feathers.  They also look so friendly with each other.  It is always hard to represent nature’s color.  It is so bright and strong.  I think because it is so beautiful, people always wanted to express it in art for a long time.

 

10 year · Art · drawing

Project: 10 Year #28

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Project: 10 Year

2009

#28/100


It was Christmas day in 2009. I was visiting my husband in Japan. We woke up and went straight downstairs to open the presents. We prepared gifts for each other and we also got gifts from my parent’s in-laws.

After we opened all the presents, I took the ribbons from the boxes and put them on my head. I made a very cliché joke that I was the biggest gift for him. Even though I didn’t take a shower yet and my hair was a mess, he loved it and took pictures of me.

Later that night we went to our favorite Chinese restaurant near the base. I think we also watched Harry Potter late at night.

Christmas in Japan, around Tokyo, is almost never a white Christmas. I love snow so it is a bit of a downside about living here. But I remember I had a warm and happy Christmas with him in 2009.

 

Art · digital art · dog · drawing

My first dog’s 7th anniversary

One morning in Paris, I got an email from my dad. ‘The last pictures of Ho-e (호이), my girl dog’s name.’ It was the title of the email. There were pictures of her. She was laying on her side motionless. I froze for a while. I did not know what to do and how to feel. I cried all day. I could not go to the school that day. She was my first dog and she was the first one who taught me how to say goodbye.

 

I made these drawings 7 years ago.

hoe-1

“Dear Ho-e,
I’m so sorry I couldn’t be with you at your last moment… I hope you were happy for 12 years as our family… I wish you will be born again as my daughter… I hope you never suffer pain and be happy. ”

 

hoe-2

“I miss you my baby.
Are you resting in peace?
Visit me in my dream often…
Love you my Ho-e…”

 


This is my most recent drawing of her. I miss her so much.

It is available as a print from here: shop

Hoeunderachair_sm_2

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #27

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Project: 10 Year

2009

#27/100


 

Our first real hiking together was Mt.Fuji. We had a chance to climb up the mountain with his flight. To watch the sunrise from the top, we started hiking around 5:00 p.m. I used to hike with my parents often when I was young. Korea has so many beautiful mountains all over the country. Hiking is one of Koreans’ most popular weekend activities. So climbing Mt.Fuji wasn’t a big deal for me.
The climbing itself was fine but hiking at night was new to me. It was too dark and from time to time there was a strong wind blowing. When it happened, we had to stop moving to stabilize our feet. If there were not so many people heel to heel, it could be harder. Usually, I prefer fewer people during hiking for walking at my own pace. I can also enjoy the quietness of the wilderness. At Mt.Fuji, I’m glad there were people around me.
At the base of the mountain, we bought a long stick. It was for support while climbing and also for collecting all the stations’ stamps. We stopped at every camp, and got all the stamps on our sticks. A couple of times, we ate some miso soup and snacks.

Even though it was getting harder on my body, I didn’t want to rest too long. I wanted to have the same momentum until the top. We reached the top at just right time for the sunrise.

It was way more windy and dusty than what I expected. Because of the sandstorm, it was hard to talk to each other but we did not need to talk much. The sun came up soon after we got our spot. The view was breathtaking.

I made this drawing of the view I saw at the top of Mt.Fuji, a few years back.
It is available as a print from here: click

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Climbing down from a mountain is the relatively easy part of hiking. At least most of the time. For Mt.Fuji, it was definitely an exception. The trail was a long winding slope covered with small rocks. It was really hard on our legs. We got so tired, we did not speak most of the time. At the bottom, we were so exhausted. My husband was sitting down leaning the stick against of his forehead. He didn’t even want to hold it anymore.

I had some difficulty walking for a while. I remember every time my legs didn’t do what I wanted them to, I bursted out laughing. One day, I want to climb the mountain again.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #23+1

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Project: 10 Year

2009

#23/100


During my visit to him in Japan, I still had to study English for my exam so I usually stayed in his room while he was at work.  After I got better with my English, I started to read fiction written in relatively easy English.  I enjoyed reading them so much, not only because of the stories, but also the fact that I could actually read them.  I obsessively read them and it was a perfect thing to do during the time when I was alone.

Around lunchtime,  my husband often dropped by the room with mint chocolate chip milkshakes.  Then he quickly went back to work and I went back to my book tasting sweet mint hints.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #21+1

10year_21thing_2009_sm

 

Project: 10 Year

2009

#21/100


I’m not very good at teaching him Korean.  After I became pretty comfortable with speaking English,  it’s harder to speak in Korean to him.  I tried different things though.  I wrote simple names of objects in Korean on post-it notes and put them around his room.  A bed is Chimdae (침대).  A clock is Sigye (시계).  A picture frame is Aegja (액자).  He kept them for a while.  He told me that one time when there was a dorm inspection,  officers were confused with all the tags on the furniture.  After I heard it I thought they repossessed the property or something.

Here is his favorite picture of me in the 액자 he took at Mt.Seolack in Korea.  I brought my rabbit too!

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10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #21

10year_21Lamar_2009_sm

 

Project: 10 Year

2009

#21/100


When I was a young girl, I wanted to get married to a person who wears a uniform.  I was always fascinated by cops and military serviceman.  I even gave some snacks to the military people if I spotted them on the street.  When I was in my early teens, I even wanted to be a pilot in the air force only because they looked cool.

I totally forgot about these somewhat childish wishes.  When I met my husband, I didn’t know he was in the air force.  Even after about a year since we started dating, I didn’t think about my faded dream.  Then, when I was visiting him in Japan, I saw him wearing this uniform for his weekly meeting for the first time.

My heart pounded and my old memories rushed back to me.  I was so excited.  I told him that my dream came true! Well, just for a quick moment anyway.  Now he became a civilian.  I don’t see him in any of his uniforms.  I demanded him not to throw them away, even though he wasn’t going to.

 

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