Health, Po Kim, and a New Year
I got my body checked out. I am healthy. My mother was worried I might have diabetes, since my grandmother has it, but I don't have diabetes. I even got an X-Ray of my heart. I am healthy. My blood sugar is normal, and I even got an IV for extra nutrients. The only issue that the doctor said was me having a high count of muscle enzymes. He says I've been exercising too hard too quickly. I guess the running and hiking the mountain three days in a row was a bad idea. I have a tendency to do that. I am very overkill sometimes. I remember when Jonathan Richman gave me the same warning. That's another story. Anyway, I am healthy, and that makes me happy. I want to live for a long time.
Besides my health, it looks like I will be staying in Seoul for another year. I got an offer to teach at a prestigious university. I was worried about the new visa laws, because it would have required me to go home for a criminal background check, but I found that they are not taking effect until March 15th. That is a load off my back. Now I am just trying to make the contracts from these two universities overlap, so I don't have to leave the country. That would be an expensive ticket. I am hoping it will all work out.
I think it will.
Today Loren, Akiko, and I went to a museum to see the works of Po Kim. He is a very talented artist. I could see remnants of Rauschenberg in his work from the 50's. His later work was a cross between Debuffet and Pollock's early mural work. I was impressed with his color work. It was very refined. I took note of his use of purple and orange, and multiple layering technique. Apparently, this is common in Korean painters. I thought about this as I looked at how he caked on the acrylic so thick in some places that it had cracked. I don't think I would be able to paint like that. It would cost me too much money.
I would like to paint a few pieces though. It is that time for me. I often paint during the winters. It gives me a focus and clarity for how the rest of my year will take shape. I can also predict things by how I paint. It's not the future so much as what will end up being used in my other work. So far, I have had fun spending this year, trying to make the pop elements inherent in much of Korean advertising and the general attitude of its people, take shape in the painting and music I have created. I wonder what these next paintings will hold for me. I have already started a new piece with my usual tendency to repeat a motif. The only difference has been my symbolic choices. For some reason, I am drawn to depicting fruit, which is interesting, since Po Kim also had a period, where he was drawing a lot of vegetables and fruit. Maybe, it's because I miss the wide selection of fruit and vegetables available in the states, but I am sure it's probably more than that as well. We will see what turns up in the next couple days. I will post the new experiments shortly.
As far as writing, I have been having fun learning from Loren. He has been giving me some wonderful exercises. The other day we worked on this opposite scheme. It was quite hard for me. I wasn't used to working in that fashion, and I could tell that it was a good practice for me to do. That's a testament to how great of a teacher he is. Loren has an incredible knack to offer that which is necessary. It is quite uncanny, but what else can you expect from a genius.
My fiction is still rising from all of this. I think I am at the point now, where I am ready to embark on a new novel, but am simply waiting for the topic that will hold my interest. I have thrown around a lot of possibilities. Nothing seems to carry me past an entry point though. It looks like I am more interested in poetry at the moment. That might be an interesting thing. Who knows? We will see what happens after these paintings. For some reason, I can find a language in color and images, faster than I can in a pen. The only question is what I will find this time.