Discovered in a han

  • June 19th, 2012

    In my dreams I ascend buildings, while the stairs behind me crumble into a gaping abyss. Up and up I go while the way back down becomes impossible. There’s something of that feeling every time I discover a new, or rather, an old han. These old trade buildings provide endless inspiration for me, and I get lost in them in more ways than one. There are the sounds, the clink of hammer on metal, a distant voice penetrating a cracked door, a laugh. Silhouettes at the end of corridors, engulfed in blinding light. The feel, the mustiness of age and neglect. A wary look from a passerby. The whir of retrofit air conditioners. Then there are the other discoveries.

    In the absence of light, thoughts flicker through your mind …  It’s better to grope in the dark than to stay stuck in it. Cats find me wherever I go. It’s too easy for me to mistake curiosity for hostility. Life gets more interesting when you find a different staircase. I’m not the photographer I want to be. How something feels is more important than how it looks. Physical corridors can lead to spiritual passages, but only when you’re on your own. And I need to quiet my mind. It’s too noisy inside.

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