while in paris, i was struck by the fascination that (some of) the french had for american culture. I was asked if I liked paris and when I gave them that affirmation and expressed how sad I was in leaving france, the response was “why?! you’re going back to new york city!” I guess comparing the two cities will be another topic for another day, but it speaks to the tendency to be fascinated with something new. Which is to say, if a new yorker arrived in paris and a parisian arrived in new york for the first time, both of them will be more apt to say “THIS PLACE ROCKS.” it’s just different, and as human beings we’re all attracted to a new experience.
the people i spoke to were on the verge of heading to the states and driving from texas to florida all in two weeks, stopping off along the way in austin, new orleans, and orlando.
they were excited to see the vast openness of america with their own eyes and when i asked them what they specifically wanted to experience in the states, they came up with things so quintessentially american that it threw me for a loop as to how much I really took these experiences for granted. they wanted to stay at a dodgy motel, eat diner food with a cup of coffee, and to see remnants of the old west. and in the end, they wanted to go to disney world.
stuff straight out of movies, television and pop culture.
it got me thinking about how much of the country i really haven’t seen. i still have memories from family trips to yellowstone and idaho falls from my childhood, but those memories have sadly become hazy, just as sepia-toned as the dirt roads leading into Jackson, Wyoming. there is still so much i want to see in the world, but often times i forget that there’s a whole world right in this country, right in my own backyard.
as with my previous entry, i guess this is a long-winded way of me trying to point my work towards a more personal documentation of america and what the country means to me, warts and all.
all of these thoughts came back to me when i was in ogden, utah last week. as is always said, i didn’t shoot as much as i would have wanted to in utah. however, here are a few that i did take, and happened to like.
david, an old friend of mine, drove me around the hometown a bit last week, with no real purpose but to catch up and see if i can capture any good shots around Rockville. it was a good time, and much needed after a few months of feeling a little erratic in my work and personal life.
and all of this is really to say that i’ve been encountering some roadblocks lately and maybe i’ve run out of things to say in a creative sense but this recent visit back home showed me that’s not true. there are details or aspects that are different each time i physically capture an image, but ultimately it’s the same feelings, the same perspectives, the same emotions every time in my work.
if anything, i’m reinvigorated
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
i was talking to a friend about this quote recently, and it’s absurdly relevant in this day and age. it’s so easy to lose yourself in the endless stream of content made by people far more talented than you, who seemingly have their shit together. your appreciation for beautiful work always outpaces your ability, and it’s hard not to judge yourself harshly amid the crushing chaos of meticulously curated content.
i am often filled with doubts about my work, and the idea that if i’m not creating amazing content at all hours of day, then i’m washed up and my time has passed. but i have to remind myself that i am not those other people, nor will i ever be. and as long as i can imbue my work with elements of myself and my values, then that’s all that really matters. if my work can make real connections with other people, then that’s beautiful in it of itself.
i think it’s important to remember that everyone supports your creative endeavors when they have the time, opportunity and inclination and the fact that it happens at all is wholly beautiful.
when i see beautiful work from talented artists, my reaction is no longer self-loathing. it’s alright to be a little jealous - as long as that jealousy does not fuel loathing - and is instead used as a catalyst for growth.
i love everyone that makes shit - whether you’re a writer, painter, sculptor, ANY creative - for even trying to tap into the occasional magic.
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