10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #82

 

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Project: 10 Year

2015

#82/100


Finally, The Japanese visa process went through.  To obtain the visa, we went to Korea again. It was a very cold morning.  Before we dealt with some business, we had a small breakfast at a coffee shop.  I drank a glass of hot green tea because I could keep the cup!  I loved this cup.  The size was perfect for me and I like glass cups. Unfortunately, I broke it.  It was just a cup but I was very sad.

The coffee shop was next to Chungea Stream (Chumgeachun 청계천).  It’s a long stream you can walk along.  The embassy is close to the stream.  After we were done dealing with the visa, we walked next to the stream to the hotel.

During the walk, we saw a small ice mountain with its peak made up of water jars.  I think it was a fountain made with used water jars.  It was too cold for the water and made this awesome sculpture.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #80

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Project: 10 Year

2014

#80/100


One rainy night, we got raincoats from a local convenient store and walked around in the rain.  I could feel and hear the rain better without an umbrella.  All the light bounced off the wet ground.  It was very beautiful.  I spotted a pinkish house with no windows or doors.  The gentle shadow of the tree was soothing the mean pink wall.

It was a fun night.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #79

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Project: 10 Year

2014

#79/100


We started living in an apartment that was rented for travelers.  It was very small but better than living in the hotel, so we moved in.  We couldn’t get a normal house because we didn’t have the proper visa yet.  It was an interesting experience.  In the beginning, we chilled in the house.  It was nice being home even though it was tiny.  Eventually, we had to stretch our legs out and started walking around the neighborhood.

It was late autumn.  The sunset came earlier.  I was taking pictures and captured him right before he knelt down to tie his shoes.  Even though it was a bit chilly, the sunlight bouncing off his back made me feel warm.

Somewhere close to our place, we met this giant Totoro tree.  It was literally the My Neighbor Totoro.

 

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #78

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Project: 10 Year

2014

#78/100


While waiting for the visa for Japan, we went to Korea.  We visited a museum in Seoul and saw great light installations.  My husband took a picture of me with one of the works.

Being photographed by someone, I’m looking at the person rather than the lens.  I often feel awkward when getting my picture taken by a professional photographer.  In the drawing, my gaze is neutral.  It shows how comfortable I was looking at him without any additional effort with an unnatural smile.

I often stare at the light in the house. When the light shines into the house, it shows it’s obstacles as a shadow.  Many times, I want to draw or paint those moments but they usually don’t linger long.  So I just stare at it or take a picture if I have a camera with me at that moment.  Shortly after, a new light comes in with a different shadow or disappears.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #77

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Project: 10 Year

2014

#77/100


One day we decided to take a train and go to the last stop.  We ended up in a small village surrounded by mountains.  We followed a hiking path little bit until a sudden shower dropped.  We found a spot under some trees to block the rain.  I had a hoodie so I put my handkerchief on his head.

The village was very quiet, it almost felt like a ghost town.  But from time to time I encountered small things that reminded me of life.  Smoke was escaping from chimneys and cats were sleeping in the street.  When we were about to go back, we could see people coming back from work too.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #76

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Project: 10 Year

2014

#76/100


When we arrived in Japan, the first thing we ate was Japanese curry.  I was enjoying my curry until I saw a small fly.  I’m a bug-phobic. I’m so scared of bugs, I have very sharp eyes for them.  My husband was taking pictures of me and caught my stone face and body.

I think it’s ridiculous that I’m scared of tiny bugs, but I can’t help it.  I sometimes think about doing a project on bugs so I can get over the fear but I’m not ready yet.  It makes me cringe just thinking about it.

At that time we didn’t have a long-term visa, we couldn’t get a house.  So we stayed at a hotel near the base that we know well. Even though the hotel room was pretty small, it was nice to see the streets from higher up.

 

 

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #75

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Project: 10 Year

2014

#75/100


Before we flew to Japan, we went to Atlanta to see Bill Burr’s special. Bill Burr is my husband’s favorite stand up comedian. Stand up comedy is not popular in Korea, I heard it’s getting popular though. So I wasn’t very familiar with it. I watched quite a few specials with him and now I have my favorite comedians too.

We had so much fun during the special. I couldn’t hear well since everybody was cracking up non stop but I enjoyed the environment and the beer very much. After the show, we took the Ferris wheel to see the night view of the city. It was too dark so the camera flash was bright on his face. The result was great.

The next day, we went to Japan.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #74

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Project: 10 Year

2014

#74/100


We visited our storage unit to organize for shipping things to Japan. I dug out his old stuff and found this Air Force hat. I didn’t know at that time but I happened to be wearing a shirt that had the U.S. flag pattern. It’s a pretty good match I think.

From the moment I left New Jersey, I’ve been dealing with packing and unpacking. Working on more packing business was tiring. But this time I felt good because I knew we’ll be together from now on.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #73

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Project: 10 Year

2014

#73/100


His hair was getting too long for a nice afro. He started tying it in a bun. It was mostly my job. At first, it was difficult to gather all of the hair in my hand. Eventually, I got used to it, I could do it pretty fast. Usually, I tied it before his hair was fully dry. It was easier to manage it that way. When you tie your hair when it’s wet, it holds the shape well.

Every night when he untied his hair, it looked like fire. It was so cool looking, he said he wishes his hair stayed like that all the time.

The sunset was nice on the way back to our hotel after a long day preparing for the trip to Japan. I was very excited about the new chapter of our life.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #72

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Project: 10 Year

2014

#72/100


In summer 2014, he finally came back from Afghanistan for good.  We met at JFK and went to Virginia the next day.  The first restaurant we went to in Virginia was Buffalo Wild Wings.

Fried chicken is my comfort food.  My parents were both working when I was young.  When they were coming home late, my sister and I often ordered fried chicken for dinner.  The store’s lady knew us so we could order without paying.  My mom would pay on the way home.  I think because of that it became my comfort food.  And I can eat it very well.  If you see my plate after I’m done eating, the only thing you can find is a high pile of very clean bones.

After I got very comfortable with my husband, I stopped pretending to be a bit reserved and started tearing the chicken up.  He was surprised at first but now he likes to see me clearing them all.

One day, when he was still in Afghanistan and I was in New Jersey, I was talking to him via email.  Some reason, I was in a pretty bad mood.  I was complaining about something to him.  After about half an hour, somebody rang the bell.  It was delivery from our local fried chicken store.  My husband ordered it for me all the way from Afghanistan.  I was so moved and it still touches my heart.  I think this story will be one of our legends to tell our children later on.

 

 

 

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #69

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Project: 10 Year

2013

#69/100


In the U.S. the gas stations are self-service in the most states.  But in New Jersey, they have a person do it for you like in Korea and Japan.  On the road in the U.S., if you need some food or need to use the bathroom, you go to a gas station.  In Korea, we go to a service station and the gas station is a section of the place.  Some people visit certain service stations only for food.  Often they sell the local snacks and goods.

When my husband lived in Korea, he had to drive to Busan. He entered a service station for gas. As soon as he entered, he heard a very loud greeting from the air. He couldn’t find a person who said it. Then he saw a lady far away, bowing and greeting with a headset. He said he was so confused before he saw her. I laughed so hard.

When I visited a gas station in the middle of the U.S., I saw a snack called ‘pork rinds’.  My favorite meat is pork.  So automatically my eyes were fixed on ‘pork’.  I didn’t know what rinds meant then.  I asked him what kind of snack it was and he told me it was fried pork skin.  I gasped and snatched it from the rack immediately.  Since then, it became my favorite snack.  Pork skin is a big deal in Korea.  It’s a very popular food for drinking soju and I love it.

What kind of snacks do you like to have on the road?  Do you like pork rinds?  Have you had grilled pork skin before?

 

 

 

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #68

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Project: 10 Year

2013

#68/100


Going back to New Jersey from Virginia was simple. We put all my stuff in the storage facility and rented a smaller car. I was excited to be on the road again. It was still hot. Everything was yellow from the heat.

The small cornfield reminded me of when I visited my sister in Illinois back in 2007. She took me to Indiana to see her friends and there were corn walls next to us for almost the entire trip.

This kind of memory makes me realize how much time has passed and how we have changed. And I hope I’ve become a better person.