Roadside Attraction is an installation I thought of several years ago as an all American, amusement park type of work, a freak show on the side of the road or a wagon that could be part of a fair. Could be even setup on a remote country road, doesn’t matter. Without and far removed from formal art experiences but using the materials and methods that belong in an artist’s studio, and, of course , the provocation. Roadside Attraction was conceived as a circus at a truck stop.
I have always been fascinated by American truckers, hauling large trailers on American highways. Last year I drove solo 3000 miles from Florida’s Space Coast to the Silicon Valley in California where I spent a large portion of my life in a not so distant past. While on the road I had plenty of time to think, especially driving through West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. I am convinced that at that moment I had the tiniest car in all of Texas, In one small dusty town I suddenly feared that cowboys, who were prowling the nearby hills hunting boar, may actually decide to shoot my tires for fun.
So Roadside Attraction has probably lingered on the back of my head ever since I started moving across the Untied States – I once crossed the States along highway 80 ( Kansas, Colorado, etc) and once along 10 ( Mississippi, Texas, etc ), of course not counting flying. Mississippi had absolutely the worst roads I had ever come across as far as Federal Highways go. I thought I had broken an axel – my little Hundai was shaking so bad and I was in the middle of nowhere in the deep south with a tiny car full of luggage.
Recently I thought of changing the continent for Roadside Attraction which will change its spirit, which is okay. We can always make it a multi-continent adventure. More soon.
Mysterious and enigmatic, abstract and impenetrable, the Zen gardens of Kyoto are a product of enlightened and sophisticated culture whose aim was to transcend nature by means of a man made nature.
The empty space, the surrounding landscape and the frame of mind of the viewer are all part of the design. A design that transcends representation, meaning and ideology. A powerful idea distilled to simple ingredients, the evaporation of art as we know it.
The book is a collection of photographs I took and small poems I wrote during my journey to the Zen gardens of Kyoto. I felt it is impossible to untangle their mystery with the rational instrument of reason. It is a stream of visual and versed thoughts on the joyful occasion of simply being there.
Accompanying my photographs and poems are several short verses from Basho, Ryokan and other Zen poets. Their words have sometimes been modified to fit my own frame of mind, using their verses᠆ superior ability to express my own feelings.
This book is about the frame of mind and the geometry of calm that the Zen gardens of Kyoto represent. As there are no explanations on the walls of the gardens as to the meaning of the sand patterns, so is my book void of explanations and floats on a visual lotus, like an imaginary house.
This book is a photographic essay about the Zen gardens of Kyoto, designed specifically for the Kindle and features stunning, high-resolution photographs accompanied by small poems I wrote and small verses by Zen poets. It is crafted to create a calm space of the mind, a vision of tranquility and peace.
The title derives its name from an ongoing photographic chronicles I called “some kind of” project, of which Some Kind of Garden is the first volume.
It is a gorgeous Zen Book with Very Large Photographs and Very Small Poems.
I call these Zen Gardens the Geometry of Calm.
For me going to Kyoto was getting into the Zen space of the Mind. Japanese Zen Gardens have very little to do with Horticulture and a lot to do with sophisticated culture refined by the teachings and reflections of Zen Masters, whose sole focus had been to contemplate and distill reality to simple, vanishing abstractions.
Why some kind of? Some kind of is a larger body of work that started long time ago and contains Photographs, Video and Text. Some kind of is a thread that runs through all of my work and hops on various obsessions like one of those Stepping Stone Bridges in my book.
Enough said, Get Your Zen fix Now!
Featuring small poems by Shiko, Hanshan, Ryokan, Huang Po, Basho and myself. With my poems being the smallest poems.
Music – ( Public Domain recording ) Ride of the Valkyries performed by The University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Barbara Schubert: archive.org/details/uso-2004-10-31
I created Tokyo walks for my some kind of street series, for the some kind of project. Tokyo and Japan in general have never been a tourist destination but rather an obsession I have had to pursue. It is only appropriate that I picked the Ride of the Valkyries for this piece as my experiences during my solo trip to Tokyo and Kyoto were pure ecstasy and until this day I cannot unravel this feeling into anything that makes sense, on any rational level. I simply have the hots for Japan.
Every cake I ate, every fist of rice, every foot I planted on the pavement felt emotionally charged and even today I feel as much charged about my experiences as I was the moment I dropped into Narita airport.
The note in my diary reads:
My plane ride to Tokyo was a bit like a train ride on a train with square wheels.
I was flying from nearby Korea and despite the fact that the ride was fairly short – I was crazily afraid of flying, I still am afraid of flying and every flight I take is a rigorous test of my character.
Yet, the most exciting parts of my life have and are starting with a plane ride. After the rocky introduction to Japan I entered into an immigration procedure in a room with a sign that read:
PRIORITY LANE – only FOR:
Since I was fairly amused I wasn’t feeling bad anymore, neither too aged or pregnant, and proceeded without trying the Priority lane, into what I eagerly awaited to get into – Japan.
Dreams, 31 x 32 inches, dip pen and ink on hot pressed board
The purpose of this drawing was to implement a new language and the way it worked was that it developed into a language as it went. Never knew what a particular detail would look like until the very moment it was done. It was like a play with no script where I was the only audience.
Tiny changes happened along the way, and the world of the drawing changed incrementally.
By the time the drawing was fished – it had evolved into a dream tapestry that would draw you in just like a rabbit hole.
More on the happening of works here: