The more we experience in our personal lives (through direct experience, or through the transmission of ideas to us through media and storytelling), the more our minds are filled with layers of memories, ideas, emotions, images, words, fantasies, dreams, philosophies, spiritual queries, and conflicting beliefs.
Indeed, in our sped-up world, where we all have access to so much
information through the internet, media and worldwide instant communications (not to mention our direct, personal experience), our own ability to hold onto
ideas, to process them thoroughly, digest them, and integrate them into a coherent, stable worldview is seemingly an impossible project. And the bounds of the project are expanding exponentially, at
Thus, it is not uncommon to have a feeling of bursting at the seams. Or, to use another unpleasant metaphor, to be overwhelmed by a tsunami of images, words, videos, advertising, propaganda, news, and ceaseless sensation.
In technology, memory storage capacity is almost limitless.
But how does one sort, define, analyze, find and keep what is relevant?
The young Korean photographer Do-yeon Gwon expresses these ideas and more with his series of still life depictions of “Dictionaries of Notions”—each book is well-worn and over-crammed with ideas, and literally bursting at the seams. The metaphor of a book or dictionary or encyclopedia that is unable to contain essential and fundamental knowledge and understanding is communicated perfectly well in this simple, excellent series of photographs.
Editor’s note: Do-yeon Gwon is just one of many exciting, new Korean photographers who I had the privilege to meet in person during formal portfolio reviews during the excellent Daegu Photo Biennale 2014 in Daegu, South Korea, just a short pleasant train ride from Seoul. The international exhibitions of contemporary photography presented in Daegu were brilliant, fresh and inspiring.