Photos of the Week: Life in 1950s Seoul

Sometimes looking at a photo or artwork or listening to music, you can simply appreciate and grasp snippets of pure joy. Perhaps that’s what they call self-actualization. Best things in life are sometimes the simple things and you don’t need financial independence to start enjoying it.

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Photos taken by Han Young-soo of life in Seoul in the 1950s after the war.

‘The war had taken away many things,’ Youngsoo wrote. ‘Not only had it mercilessly trampled down on our beloved families and neighbours, but also their happiness, hope, and furthermore humanity itself. As if that wasn’t enough, by the end it had utterly destroyed everything on the face of the earth leaving behind ruins, despair, famine and sorrow’

Wars are indeed bad. I never been through one and I count myself extremely fortunate. Hope it stays that way.

Check out his other photos here.

Current exhibition at International Centre of Photography in Jersey City, New York till June 2017.

-FIREplanter

AD 2017. Lighthouse for the Cruising Ship.

Living is nothing but consuming time until you die.

-Tehching Hsieh

I came across this performance art piece by Tehching Hsieh, a Taiwanese where he explored the meaning of time and living. Within a year from April 11, 1980 to April 11, 1981, he challenged himself to punch a time clock EVERY hour on the hour. In his ‘Timeclock’ piece, he recorded his progress every hour by taking a single film exposure. And then he compressed into a 6 mins video of art.

As crazy as it sounds, 24 punches per day for 356 days equals 8760 hours that he has to be awake to punch the time clock on the hour. I think he only managed to get 8627 mugshots, which meant that he missed 133 punches. All basic societal routine is thrown out, in terms of sleeping, eating, being free to roam about and this brings his interaction to time as close as it can be.  This is in essence watching a deliberate human interaction with time and his reflection on his experience shows how we can reinterpret living and time.

Notes:

  1. Notice how he wears a prisoner-esque clothing, perhaps to reflect the ‘Life Sentence’.
  2. Missing 133 time records in his piece either due to human failure or mechanical failure. Very reflective of how life experience is.
  3. Doesn’t this remind you of everyone around us, punching timeclocks as our daily routine? We are a slave to this then. There are some freedoms we cannot attain.

I punch time for every hour; its repetition but another way to see it, its is not repetition because it’s a new hour

In life we are in a process

 And here I am punching my time clock. If life is as bleak and simple as he breaks it down to be, I think it is up to ourselves to fill in all the bits in between punching the time clock to make it what it meaningful to ourselves and to have to freedom to fill it up with what we value and find important.

Lighthouse for 2017!

There are certain goals I would like to set out to try to get myself going a little. I don’t want to be too focused on attaining too far-fetched goals but hopeful this can be a guide to give me direction when I get lost in my journey (too often this has happened in the past). This are some financial ones I have set out in a forum I am part of:

1) Save £15 000 in 2017
2) See Dividend in 2017 increase compared to 2016
3) Keep outgoings at a similar level compared to 2016
4) Complete a full years worth of accounts, including Savings Rates, Outgoings
5) Read at least 5 Books
6) Join Park Run and get it going.

Others I want to include to keep exploring myself and help me grow as a person:

7) Produce a short film (A simple one will do)
8) Travel more – Crazy idea to plan a hike from Chamonix-Zermatt (Hey if you are not going to do it when you are in your 20s, when are you going to do it?)
9) Write more. Poems, Prose, anything.
10) Spend time with people I love (more than anything, it helps you learn about yourself)

I think like FI, many other things in life needs that bit of planning and visualizing and working towards before you arrive there. For some, it might come naturally or society has pre-programmed it into most, but for others it will take some exploration and deliberation. No one said it was easy.

I am curious what else I will encounter in 2017. And you?

-FIREplanter

The world is much more than I.

Greece
Refugees in Greece. Mum feeding kid along railway tracks Photo: Tobias

Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in work and life rolling on. Seconds become minutes, minutes becomes hours, hours become days, days become weeks, weeks become months and then years and decades and at some point people reach a point when they pause and think ‘what’s the point of all this?’ ‘Where is the end?’ (Midlife crisis?) I think we all have our mini crisis on a daily and weekly basis hence needing to look forward to happy hump day and weekends!

Well we are lucky that time flows in one direction and all things must come to an end (sounds morbid I know), but that means all things good or horrible will not last forever. So we should just enjoy the view, appreciate the tears of joy and sorrows along the way and consider that everyone else is on the journey as well. It is one reason I enjoy stories, real or fiction reminding me there are others out there feeling the same worldly frustrations or wonders. Reflecting on other people’s stories also reminds you that the world is much bigger than your five senses or your internal narrative.

Hence the photo narrative can hopefully be a therapeutic break for the mind. The world is much more than I.