Monthly Archives: July 2010

Contraband by Taryn Simon

Over the course of five days, Taryn Simon took 1,075 photographs of items seized by customs at Kennedy International Airport. Some items don’t come as a surprise (drugs, weapons, counterfeit Louis Vuitton), but others are just plain odd – and fascinating (cow dung toothpaste, insect larvae, a pitcher of salami). Her work will be published this fall in a book titled Contraband.

Memories of Seoul

All this talk of South Korea lately had me sifting through my photo archive today. A colleague headed there over the weekend and, having lived in Seoul for a year, I was called on to give my advice on all that is Korean. Rusty as my knowledge is, I was also proud that I could remember how to navigate from Gyeongbokgung palace to Jogyesa temple, where to find green tea ice cream, how to say basic phrases, and why sundubu jjigae is the best.

Above: A small alleyway in Insadong. Below: Colorful lanterns in celebration of Buddha’s birthday; rocking in Hongdae; dining on curious cuisine on the islands; a rock star and a monk; and looking over Oido.

Light Boxes

Browsing the shelves of the bookstore this weekend, my eyes landed on Light Boxes by Shane Jones. A small book and the only copy in sight, I nearly missed it. Once I had seen the cover design, I was sold. Isn’t it intriguing? Just like the description:

February is persecuting the townspeople. It has been winter for more than three hundred days. All forms of flight are banned and children have started to disappear, taken from their beds in the middle of the night. The town’s priests hang ominous sheets of parchment on the trees, signed ‘February’. And somewhere on the outskirts of the town lives February himself, with the girl who smells of honey and smoke…

Fascinating. And my post-purchase research tells me that Spike Jonze is making an adaptation.

Yellow and Red

Just walked in from an evening of badminton in the park and I had to appreciate the fact that summertime is here in full force.¬† Fresh fruit every day, bbqs galore, beach trips on the weekend, flowers throughout Amsterdam and long hours of daylight to sit on a terrace and enjoy a drink and conversation. I won’t censor the sweat and humidity, but the sun is setting now and the misery seems far away. My holiday to the lakes and forests of Germany doesn’t come for a few weeks, but until then I plan on fully enjoying the city. Lovely photo by James Nord.

Big Bang Big Boom

A new stop-motion animation by Blu, a street artist from Argentina who is always amazing. In this latest work, he consumes a city to sketch ‘an unscientific point of view on the beginning and evolution of life … and how it could probably end.’

The Pacific

The Oregon coast is one of my favorite places in the world with its long open beaches, scant visitors, dramatic weather and unique vegetation. Some other reasons I love it: the entire beachfront is public (no gating off sections for beachfront properties), sleeping on the sand next to a campfire is a normal (and awesome), and, with an average water temperature around 50 degrees Fahrenheit/10 degrees Celsius, swimming in the water is for the truly brave at heart. A fact that gives me a great deal of respect for the surfers who take on the icy waves. Another reason why I like Jake Stangel‘s project The Pacific which captures the beauty of the surfing culture in Oregon. Mmm, yes I am missing home a bit now (via GOOD).