A Window, Another Beautiful World
Window, windows, windows,
Are you in, or out?
Window is a place you see,
Window is also a place where
you are seen.
A window is a symbol of human nature. While I work in subjects or motifs that look different, yet my interest always stays in human behavior: gestures, actions, and habits that derive from conscious and unconscious states of mind. There is something about people that we can only see from outside the window. My window paintings are about nonverbal communications between two sides.
A view from a window is common property for everyone. It captures, displays and mirrors the habits, behaviors and curiosity of human beings. A window brings us security and insecurity against potential harm from external forces. It gives us partial and mostly visual information of the things outside. At the same time, a piece of thin glass is too fragile to protect us from exterior dangers. However, windows are still present, from official residences, presidential palaces, to urban and rural houses of citizens around the world. A window is evidence and confirmation of our inborn nature to be connected to the rest of the world. Architecture can be seen as a material incarnation of values, economy, ideologies and what we are as societies and individuals. My window paintings are a metaphor of architecture as mind, art, our deep thoughts, communication and structuring ideas. A window is a source of awareness. From both sides, a view from a window is the closest experience of another world, one that also displays reflection of ourselves in it. Sometimes the reflection of oneself is very subtle, sometimes it is bold like a fine mirror. In reality we are part of what we see, the world, and each of us affects the world we see today to look like what it looks like. What we can see “outside” is also about each of us and part of us, at some level, but we are only barely aware of the world we are born, raised and grew up in, and someday will lay dying in.
A window is an opening and a surface that shows the most private and personal space in our mind and in real everyday life. A window exists as a connection one to another, inside to outside, you and me. A window is a place you see, a window is also a place where you are seen. A window is a connection and thus the most sensitive and fragile aspect of a space. Do those “sides” really exist, or do they exist only in our minds? A window connects and separates space at the same time, it only depends on how we understand the space, from small personal events that occur to individuals' mundane world, to the major current social or political issues, that they are all happening in the space. Even if we are not aware about everything that is happening, we are affected by it and we are affecting it to be happening. A small minimal unseen personal act influences the collective whole as society. We all know one way that a window changes a space, as a passage for the sunlight, it enables interior plants to grow.
A turning point , a window and me in Philadelphia...,
One day, I realized that I must paint windows, when I realized that my attachment to the window was my attachment to the world, to the society, to the people. It was difficult to prove but I was surely an extension of them as they are of me. It was when I was cat sitting at a friend's place on the ground floor of a historical apartment in center city, Philadelphia, I was half naked, a very sunny summer day. I felt something, and I looked outside the large open window. There was a stranger, a man curiously looking inside. Cat in my arms and I stared at him still and quietly, but he did not know. He did not find my nor my cat's gaze. He could perhaps feel us but saw nothing sharp from outside, unlike the same window at night when it shows everything much clear with the lighting. I was witnessing his pure curiosity for a few seconds. It was the human curiosity I saw through his eyes. It was an intimidating experience for me that I almost felt like the stranger had access to witness my inner cells growing.
About windows in Tokyo..., windows in Tokyo were made precisely and delicately, and they were much unfortified, and often kept opened or unlocked. Their ground floor windows are often from the floor to almost the ceiling, and there is no fence. I used to forget to bring the door key with me, but I always knew one of the windows was open. It used to be at least. Even if there were not much going on to see, I could always hear my neighbors, children running, vacuuming, a murmur, or faint music from open windows. I could always feel signs of life, daily life noises and smells. One thing it is universal, cats are always looking out the windows.
About windows and me in New York City..., I moved to New York City in late 2013, and I finally started to build window paintings as a series. In 2017, I signed a lease for my very first art studio in Brooklyn, NY. It was a shared studio with 4 other spaces, my space was a 85 sq. ft., and without a window. In the smallest studio I would ever own, there was an endless space to start imagining and create windows that we have seen something similar somewhere, but we have never seen them.