Category Archives: *Photography

Some Kind of Garden: A Journey Into Zen [Kindle Edition] is now live on the Kindle store

Some Kind of Garden: A Journey Into Zen [Kindle Edition]

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.

Some Kind of Garden: A Journey Into Zen
Some Kind of Garden: A Journey Into Zen
by Mirena Rhee
  Learn more  

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My Book Some Kind of Garden – A Journey into Zen is up – Get Your Copy and Enter Zen Now !

It is a gorgeous Zen Book with Very Large Photographs and Very Small Poems.

Some Kind of Garden A Journey Into Zen

 

 

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.

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100 percent Ultra Violet

I went to Ultra Violet’s studio this past weekend to take photographs of her and her work. Ultra Violet said the first person she met off the boat ( arriving from France in the 60’s ) was Salvador Dali.  She became his muse, and later on, became a muse to Andy Warhol and a superstar in his Factory.

Ultra Violet with her piece 99 percent, in her studios in Chelsea
Ultra Violet with her piece 99 percent
Ultra Violets piece IX XI in memory of the 9/11 attacks
Ultra Violet's piece IX XI in memory of the 9/11 attacks
tiny versions of the IX XI pieces
tiny versions of the IX XI pieces
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Bay to Breakers Portraits

Mirena Rhee - Bay to Breakers portraits. I run the race and took the photographs - all images are Copyright Mirena Rhee
Mirena Rhee, Bay to Breakers portraits, 2009. Last work with the old Canon camera – I signed up for the 2009 race and ran/walked the 12k course with my 128mm eye.

This series for me is a collective reflection on the human condition. Behind the funny hats and painted faces are the anxieties we face in the 21 century – terrorism, global disaster threats like the Swine flu, freedom to choose partners, freedom to accept other people’s choices, the environmental Health of our Spaceship Earth, globalization, multiculturalism and the extinction of identity.

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Christmas

I will spend Christmas in the Netherlands again, although for a very short amount of time and afterward I am heading to Madrid to study at the Prado, mostly to look at Hieronymus Bosch work, hope it’s not travelling somewhere. Especially interested in The Garden of Earthly Delights, the museum site says it’s in room 56, so I’ll be there.

The prettiest Christmas tree in San Francisco is in the Neuman Marcus store downtown
The prettiest Christmas tree in San Francisco is in the Neuman Marcus store downtown

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Fashion Feud

My favorite sport is base jumping, I practice a special version of it where you have to perform some aerial acrobatics and go through a series of hoops to get the chute to open. I really enjoy this.

Occasionally I look at fashion and the display of fabrics accompanied by beautiful lighting.

SomeKind_of_Fashion_Feud_mirena_rhee_02

SomeKind_of_Fashion_Feud_mirena_rhee_03

Fashion Feud is a live "Project Runway" like competition on stage. Designers are given an hour to create a design to prepare for a runway on stage. Models will have a walk-of on stage with their newly designed outfits. The audience will judge who the best designer of the evening by their applause. Fabrics will be provided from"Mood Fabrics New York". This event is sponsored by "SCION".
Fabrics provided from “Mood Fabrics New York”. This event is sponsored by “SCION”.
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On my second visit to Alcatraz…

The Sun sets over the Walls of Alcatraz
The Sun sets over the Walls of Alcatraz. You can purchase a print of this photograph @ FineArtAmerica -->click on image for link

I felt the oppression embeded in the walls and the pain of the inprisoned ghosts, I wouldn’t say this was very attractive to me. I find it very strange this place is a tourist attraction.

Looking out of the rock and towards the beautiful city across the bay I can think of only one thing – how very priviliged we are to enjoy our freedoms and to enjoy the freedom to do the things we love.

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Waiting for the astronomical twilight on my hands and knees under the dome of the Palace of Fine Arts

I returned to the palace of Fine Arts to reshoot photographs I took a month earlier – back then I had wondered into the space by chance and didn’t carry a tripod… which resulted in grain and noise. I looked up the time stamps on the files and then googled for the sunset time for that day. Turned out besides sunset there are all these interesting terms associated with sunset data like Civil Twilight, Nautical Twilight and Astronomical twilight. According to the charts I had taken the picture (below) 20 minutes after sunset and 10 before civil twilight when wild things come out, obviously, beasts are partial to beautiful light.

Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco near Astronomical Twilight
The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco near Astronomical Twilight

Today sunset was around 7:30 pm so I waited 2o minutes for the twilight to set in and some amazing things happened during that time – a guy stood under the belly of the dome and sung with the most beautiful voice a song called “Salve Regina” … after that I lied to a couple of Tourists that the Palace was a part of a pre-earthquake bathhouse, absolutely not on purpose and out of sheer ignorance.

So Here it is San Francisco palace of Fine Arts – round Two:

Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco at Astronomical Twilight ( almost 2 hours after sunset )
Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco at Astronomical Twilight ( almost 2 hours after sunset )
Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco at Twilight
Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco at the onset of Twilight
Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco at the onset of Twilight and at Twilight
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