the occurrence of thought
The 1960s and 1980s marked a period of upheaval, witnessing the emergence of new ideas amidst events like the Cold War, the Vietnam War, space exploration, the civil rights movement for black individuals, policies for people of color, environmental concerns, hippie culture, anti-government sentiments, and anarchist movements. It was a time of turbulence, shaping diverse cultures and leaving a profound impact.
These influences reached me as a child on the opposite side of the globe through mediums like movies, magazines, and the Internet, alongside interactions with peers. I grew up listening to the music of iconic rock stars and musicians (such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, etc.) featured on the covers of magazines like Dali Life, Time, and Rolling Stones. This initial interest in music naturally led to a fascination with the lifestyles I admired and yearned for. Exploring their fashion choices, the design of their era-specific products, and encountering artists like those associated with Pop Art and Minimalism who coexisted in that time, I envisioned the Hollywood streets they inhabited and even developed a desire to experience that era.
This imaginative endeavor found its expression vicariously through the autobiographical and socially accusatory documentary film “And the Wanderer,” produced and directed by the curator of the Toy Museum. This film delves into the director’s personal history. The tragic loss of the director’s mother, an early Korean immigrant who studied design in Hollywood during the 1970s, unveils a tangible history beyond my media and internet-driven perceptions of the era. The film delves into the lives of artists, featuring her fashion illustrations, alongside archived materials documenting the period when Koreans were exposed to the allure of that time. It became evident that while certain aspects of her visualized memories aligned with my imagination, there were also profound distinctions.
The era she had vaguely yearned for since childhood was one where light and shadow coexisted in turmoil. The tumultuous history and ideas of that period have evolved gradually, shaping the landscape of the 21st century. However, alongside the progress, there have also been regressive ideologies marked by self-centeredness and a lack of respect for others.
“the occurrence of thought” represents my contemporary perspective as I reflect on the past and present, a fusion of my gaze on the yesteryears and the world I inhabit today.