pièce en vers

je crois à mon chien d’être fidèle

le chien sait que je partirai un jour

j’ai donné un regard à une ligne

elle est devenue la vérité

sèment les feuilles à terre

ce que je désaccorde je ne sais pas

je suis naturellement désespérée et décidément sans future

je ne peut plus viser le pistolet à toi

je préfère à peindre mon corps nu

si on donne un rendez-vous à

la ligne de chemin de fer?

il est honte de dire que ça a été bien passé

je voudrais au moins la rencontrer


A Short Bio_Scene 1. London. Year 2012. Wintertime

 I was half asleep and half awake in a place near a Salsa bar in Charing Cross Road, London. It was past the midnight but the streets were still very busy. People were stumbling and shouting with alcoholic beverages in their hands. Some men were alone and lost, oblivious of their loneliness by intoxication. Some women were struggling with their purses and skirts.

There were old professors, bankers, bookkeepers, thieves, pseudo-hippies, dealers, writers and police on the street. Some were there since they were born but some were there by wrongly turning the wheels of fate.

Each and every one was after the same thing: to find something to fill (feel) their heart with. It was money for some, it was woman for one night for some. But for the two Polish men who were lying on the floor near where I was, it was food.

I felt heavily sleepy but I could not close my eyes because the two guys were fighting in the corner of the bar that smelt urine. One stood up from his sleeping bag and started to beat up the other guy in his sleeping bag. The reason they were fighting was apparently that one of them had to bring food for them that night for it was the man who was lying in the sleeping bag’s turn but didn’t. That’s why the other guy got so crossed. Anger, with hunger made him beat his friend, who was trying to sleep off the hunger inside his sleeping bag smelling people urinating in the corner of the bar. Then soon the guy who beat his friend left. I dozed off a bit and when I was awake to leave, I saw the guy coming back to the friend who was sleeping. He had some food in his hand, for his friend and for himself. He looked like the mother bird.

런던의 차링 크로스 로에 있는 어느 살사 술집 근처에서 나는 비몽사몽간에 빠져 있었다. 자정을 지났건만 길거리는 여전히 소란스러웠다. 많은 사람들이 술을 손에 든 채 곧 넘어질 듯 비틀거리며 소리지르고 있었다. 어떤 남자들은 혼자였고 갈 길을 알지 못하고 있었는데, 술에 취해 외로움도 잊고 있었다. 어떤 여자들은 지갑과 스커트를 챙기느라 바빴다.

길에는 나이 지긋한 교수, 은행원, 회계원, 그리고 도둑, 가짜 히피, 작가, 딜러, 경찰관 등이 있었다. 태어날 때부터 그곳에서 살고 있는 사람들도 있었지만 단지 운명의 수레바퀴를 잘못 굴려서 와있는 사람들도 있었다.

그들이 각각 추구하는 것은 단 하나, 마음을 채워줄(느끼게 해줄) 어떤 것을 찾는 것이었다. 어떤 사람에게 그것은 돈이었고 어떤 사람에게 그것은 하룻밤의 여자였다. 그러나 내가 있던 곳 근처에 바닥에 누워 있던 두 폴란드인 남자에게 그것은 먹을 것이었다.

나는 몹시 졸렸으나 오줌 냄새 나는 술집 구석에서 싸우고 있는 그 두 사람 때문에 눈을 감을 수가 없었다. 하나가 결국 침낭에서 일어나더니 침낭에 들어 있는 다른 하나를 때리기 시작했다. 그들이 싸우고 있는 이유는 오늘은 침낭에 누워있는 그 남자가 그들의 먹을 것을 챙겨 와야 했는데 제 할 일을 하지 않았기 때문이었다. 그래서 한쪽이 크게 화가 났던 것이다. 배고픔에 화가 나서 사람들이 술집 구석에서 오줌 누는 냄새를 맡으며 침낭 속에서 배고픔을 잠으로 잊으려고 한 친구를 때리는 지경까지 간 것이었다. 친구를 때리던 남자는 곧 그곳을 떠났고, 나는 잠깐 졸았다. 내가 눈을 뜨고 그 곳을 떠나려는 순간 아까 때리던 남자가 잠든 친구에게 다시 돌아오는 것을 보았다. 손에 자신과 자신이 때렸던 친구가 먹을 것을 들고 있었다. 그는 어미새 같았다.

My name is..

I confess that the name Nietzsche is what drew me into reading him. And I much preferred the music of Beethoven to anybody else’s despite the fact that my music teacher insisted I was better at playing Bach. I believe that names are important. Imagine you happen to buy a copy of Crime and Punishment and it’s written by Martin Smiths instead of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. You might think it is about hammering down some historical buildings, might you not?

 When I was in my secondary school we were told to call our teachers with the title of Mr. or Mrs. My favorite teacher was called Mr. Gilbert. I would feel guilty to say that I don’t remember his first name now even though I admired him a lot at that time. Then when I went to the university, we were allowed to call teachers by their first names, Georgia, David, and Paul etc. I called my favorite teacher a plain ‘Sarah’ like I was calling my friends.

I have many different names myself. I have a name in my Birth certificate, which was made by my dad. When I was a kid my dad thought that my name could arouse a bit cold feeling to be called in winter, so he then made me a winter name that sounds much tender and soft. And my friends made various nicknames for me. Some are just short version of the full name, some are the combination of my and other’s name, and some are not related to my original name at all. It is interesting to see how all these names have different feelings. Naturally it largely depends on who calls it, but each name brings about not only different but also some particular feelings.

In Korea we call someone in various ways. We can call someone by full name like Kim Ki Duk – we Koreans put our family name first. Until we come of age we are called mostly by our first names that are added with ah or ya at the end. For example, if your first name is Sang Wha, you are called ‘Sang Wha ya’ and if it is Mi Ryong, ‘Mi Ryong ah.’ It depends on how the name finishes, with vowel or with consonant. Then we are called by our first name only, like Chang Dong but formally with ssi at the end, like Chang Dong ssi, that kind of means both Mr and Ms. There are some respect forms adding to the names like nim or sonsaengnim. When you would like to call someone who is below your age with respect you can put nim after the name like Kim Ki Duk nim, and for those your superior in age who are respectful we put sonsaengnim like Lee Chang Dong sonsaengnim. Sonsaengnim, combination word of Sonsaeng and nim originally means ‘teacher’ and the highest form of respect, but nowadays we use that word more broadly and tend to call people we respect or those socially respectful people. People feel flattered when they are called by their full name with sonsaengnim at the end.

 In Arabic when they address a person they use ya (يا). It should come before the name, so it is not optional, like ‘How are you, ya Layla.’ In Spanish, names are much longer. They normally have two sets of first name and two sets of family name. My Spanish-speaking friend in my secondary school told me that she fancied (something like) ‘Jose Antonio Gonzalez Marquez.’ I was like what you like both Jose and Antonio? They usually put their parents’ names in their own names. The weird and wonderful Spanish artist we know as Salvador Dali’s original name is Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dali i Domenech! They also have nicknames using diminutives. One I knew was called Isa, but sometimes she was called Chavelita or simply Bela and her ‘real’ name, of course, was Isabel.

South American countries like to put ‘ito’ or ‘ita’ at the end of their names, which means ‘smaller’ but is used for expressing something with affection. Chica is a Spanish word for a girl, and Chiquita is a small girl, but it does not necessarily mean that she is under aged. It is just used to show the affection for the girl and perhaps to indicate femininity of the girl. Russians have various forms of naming too. Maria is called Masha between close relationships. Then there is Machenka or Marusya when they are even more intimate. It is always so marvelous to see how every language has their own special styles in naming.

In an article in the Science section of Guardian in 2007 it was reported that apparently baby girls with “very feminine names, such as, Anna, Emma or Elizabeth, are less likely to study math or physics after the age of 16.” In this respect we can say that the naming now seems to be considered as more and more important part of our social background, recognition and status.

I have never yet met anyone from the States who’s named after Alfie, and yet it used to be the most popular name for boys in the UK. The name Charlie also is popular for both men and women. I remember when I met someone in London and I said my name was Cha, he did not get it straightaway but when I said “Well… Call me Charlie if you want” he started to call me by Charlie ever since.

Names can reveal much information about the owner of the name, like where he/she is from, what background he/she is from, and sometimes it even gives strong aura whether he/she is strong or fragile minded. Studies show that names even affect the shaping of one’s personality. Sometimes you say you really are so ‘John-like’ whatever that means, or you really are ‘not like Natasha’ whatever that means.

Naming has a far more important and special meaning in one’s life in Korea. Name always has some serious meaning. I think naming a person is something like titling a book or a film, except that you don’t get to choose. Maybe that is one of reasons why it is popular in Korea to go to the naming house to change one’s name later when someone feels that he/she is not in good luck in life or couples going to fortunetellers to know whether they are ‘compatible’ through looking at their names. Two of my cousins changed their names too and I could never get that.

My name has a meaning too. It’s after one of the mountain ranges in Korea that can be seen far from the house I was born. Far-fetched or not, perhaps that is why sometimes I can be quite idealistic in my thoughts? I often feel that things people highly praise don’t touch my heart. I look for something that is not just good but has to be the ONE!  Although I much prefer rivers and seas to mountains, maybe someday I will need to move into mountainside and start contemplating as they do in Korea. Maybe then, I would become a person with the capacity for embracing life in my wide arms and soothing other people. Perhaps then I will be able to appreciate ‘good’ as good and not only ‘the best’ as good (!)

Writing exercise_2 (blog)

snowing over my bike dogs jumping high jars with their ass frozen trees fighting over snow mothers preparing lunch my eyes seeing the new drawing over the dots and lines on white canvas water colder than ever sun warmer than ever our minds set in future like tofu on the plate dreams are always set in the future it must not be the repressed desire the sum of your past has to melt away dreams move through the future line it is surprising ladybugs stuck on the walls in the labyrinth of traditional papers must we have flags must we talk at all? remember how you could not breathe remember how you had only 15% of air left remember how foods tasted bad how everyone looked like no friends at all your waste stood there like fungus dark skinned and hard as stones a merry-go-round in the middle of nowhere in my heart


Writing exercise_1 (blog)

that is it New Zealand zealous have i met her or is she gone the excited voice says yes yes yes that is it Candide but did you know that he would have not approved of you really thus the mushroom grows and i am with my selves once again the light on the globe is on i see asia oh no i meant china the just above the globe i have a perfumed pillow from Scotland i am a cow says she then i moo mow mew maw bababa patatipatata there is no such thing as an idea in travel but i must have one now is the time tranquil and dark the sun has set how calming i have eaten garlic three garlic everyday and onions too it is the garlicky delight the smell of them frying oh what can i say time has passed and it seems everyday i find something new how it must be something good remember the old days when you were bored like a middle-aged russian baron even wine tastes nice now sometimes it is good to keep some things by yourself and i think i have just done that well so far it is indeed a crime a crime of youth oh am i allowed to say that no a crime of cows where is my sheep no goat even i am not suppose to delete anything i write now i have to keep on writing something strictly speaking typing this is an exercise well for the labyrinth perhaps once again i will go back there into the darkness into the delight and into the nothingness and into the adventure but for now let me hide conceal but i wear no make up how cruel is that why is it that the word you is so weird now it is 28 degree in here very nice my hood is so big i look like a man from the middle age no it could have been a part of djellaba or something i remember losing one ring so i got rid of it then Sammy came in and he went mad he thought missing one ring was a symbol of some sort i love symbols yea babe but that ring was not a symbol it just went missing now my study involves nature and words words and nature natural words? it will take so long that my hair will turn white and oh no let me not go into that i have just eaten and am so full i think i will go out and smoke away this nonsense

Essay_Painting is a language without boundaries

IMG_5297   11.27.2013, Korea

It is as yet in the middle of November and we have already had snow in Korea. I hear people saying that this winter’s going to be bone-chilling cold. Just like every year of this time, we need to prepare ourselves for the winter: thick coats, boots, gloves, scarves and hand creams. Due to the climactic dryness brought in by continental high pressure all through the autumn and early winter my hands are already dry and chapped like some wild land that did not get rain for months.

I have travelled extensively to many countries in several continents in different seasons, so I think I can tell something about the weather, and I consider the Korean weather and season as something distinctive. We have on one hand intensely hot and humid tropical summer and on the other hand bitter and almost arctic coldness with much snow and ice in winter. That’s why Koreans in the old times seemed to have learnt not a little wisdom from looking at the nature and going through the change of seasons. I myself love how the weather changes, even though I would complain about the mosquitoes in summer and the frosts on my feet in winter. In any case I learn to embrace whatever we have when it comes. Complaining would not get to anywhere for the seasons will keep changing no matter what.

harvesters    The Harvesters (1565)

When I first saw the paintings by Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525 –1569) in spring, 2011 in Vienna after being pounded with endless religious paintings in the museum, I was particularly drawn to the series on the yearly seasons. Dutch weathers and seasons are not like those in Korea. Nevertheless, I enjoyed looking at the ‘golden sea’, as I put it to describe the beautiful but somewhat lonesome fields gone gold with ripen crops in autumn, in The Harvesters (1565). The landscape was very different from that of Korea, but the way people enjoy picnics and the way birds carelessly fly around are the same. Above all, it made me feel calm to look at this painting.

gloomy day   The Gloomy Day

There was also The Gloomy Day (1565), where boney branches of the trees on a grey day with presumably strong wind and the small boats on the shoreline struggling to balance reminded me, except, of course, the mountains on the top left, of the cold and wet winter days I spent in England. How cold it must be, how chilly it must be! I sometimes thought it better for the temperature to drop below zero and start snowing than having grey chilly and rainy days in winter. As if to respond to what I was thinking, there was Hunters in the Snow (1565), where we see the hunters coming back to the village in deep snow and ice-covered land. Perhaps it is not much better than the grey and chilly days of earlier one after all.

Hunter snow   Hunters in the Snow

After seeing those wonderful work pieces it occurred to me that I would like to do the same kind of paintings myself, not with seasons but with different ages of people or rather ‘stages’ of people. From sometime after passing my mid-twenties, I do not count my age as it is. I thought that in the way we say when we become one year older every 12-month is rather strict and too frequent. I count the age from 1 to 10 as 1-year-old, 11 to 20, 2 years old, 21 to 30, 3 years old, and so on. Many of people who heard about this idea of mine liked it. Now I say that I am 3 years old. A lady who is in her fifties likes to say that she is only 6 years old. Unlike the seasons, there is no ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ of age. There are pros and cons, for sure, but who can really say one age is better than the other.


first draft of “One Year” (2012) of Nine Ages, A Series, by Tcha. K

Seasons change and people are different in choosing the season one likes. Some people prefer the spring season when the flowers start to blossom, whereas some others prefer autumn when Nature dyes leaves with some gorgeous colours and then the leaves fall off. Seasons are recurrent. I was not in Korea last autumn so I missed it, but this year I am here and have enjoyed all the stages of our long autumn season. We tend to care about our age far too much. It is only once when you are 21 years old. It is also only once that you are 30 years old. To live in the society and be part of it, it would be far better to do things that you are supposed to do at your age. Nevertheless, that should not be the golden rule of life. As with seasons, sometimes you miss one season but you can have it again the next year or the year after. Recently, a close friend of mine who is in his mid-40s called me to say that he is re-applying college. I exclaimed, “That’s wonderful!” I didn’t say that just to be polite. I was really happy for him.

Somebody from one of the ‘real variety shows’ on TV said the old saying of “It’s never too late” is just gibberish. He says, “When it’s late, it IS late.” I was laughing at this remark at that time but I don’t agree with his idea. Equality does not mean that everyone possesses two-storied house or a Mercedes Benz. It means that we can have a hope and dream as long as we can. Changing seasons teaches us that life is not on a straight line from number 0 to 100. I believe that life is a continuation of certain changing colours and lines and that even though we are affected by those changes we are in the end part of it.

Painting is a language without boundaries, and colours and lines are like words. Nature is truly a colossal painting. Everyone, whatever circumstances he or she is situated in, will always be part, at some time or other, of the lines and colours in this huge and wild painting.