The Art of Philosophy

Contact

Do you ever look closely what technology default functions do to you? What data are they collecting and what information does it provide you with these data?

If there’s no manipulation with these settings and if you input everything in those empty boxes (because you feel obliged to when you see an empty space plus some you must input anyway), what this information says can tell you whether you are on someone’s contact list (you’ll figure out the formula if you really want to…) 

Now what is a contact? Someone you would like to be in touch with? Someone you want to be able to identify (because you can input as much details as you’d like to label that person)? Someone you want to develop a relationship with? Now does it matter whether you are on his/her contact list or vice versa (since your name – if you choose to put your name as your name – will be displayed anyway when you message that person)? And why do you choose to add someone to your contact list and some don’t?

Probably this isn’t something you care about… but it is something that I came to think about. 

What is relationship? and with the advancement of technology, how does the data you give (probably without you noticing) indicate/influences our relationships with others nowadays? 

And now once you noticed, what information do you choose to share with these technology? And even if you don’t, do they secretly keep them anyway in their server?

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Photography Today, The Art of Philosophy

Graffiti – a form of art or vandalism?

 

 

 

Graffiti isn’t something that we usually come across with in the walks of Hong Kong streets. Here the streets are almost always clean and free from street and public art. In these 4 months and counting of the political outburst from the anti-extradition bill, there’s been a blossom of graffitis, spray-paint wordings, sticker arts, poster arts, street installation arts etc in all 18 districts of Hong Kong.

Almost everyday I have to take a cross-harbour bus to work, and everyday I walk on this footbridge from where the bus stop was to the MTR station, a journey of less than 5 minutes. On that footbridge, each and every time I walked along it, I am surrounded by graffitis and poster arts about the current political movement, slightly different every week.

One day from almost a month ago, out of the blue, the footbridge was swiped clean. The graffitis were wiped out and the posters were torn down, as if nothing happened – life goes on and the footbridge walkway becomes just as how it was before. This change threw me,

why does the society (well government) wants these to be cleaned? Were they “not-clean” beforehand? If so, what is “not-clean” about these graffitis? Is it because of the content? If so, surely only people who have knowledge of Chinese can understand it, or else it’s just a bunch of symbols? Or, is it because it is damaging properties? That it is somehow destroying the artistic minimalism of the property? What is the intention behind wiping these out? Is it really just about “cleanness” or are there hidden agenda e.g. induce the idea of forgetting / erasing what happened? There are actually street arts in parts of Hong Kong e.g. the one on Hollywood road, what makes someone / a group of authorities to say this can be on the wall and that can’t? What values are they judging by for these types of “art”?

During the movement these 4 months, there were actually street installations of origami cranes e.g. outside Fortress Hill station, why were these being removed? If the phrase 「時代革命,光復香港」were spray-painted with a bit more artistic quality and aesthetics elements, would they be considered more art than vandalism?

So many questions popped up from the experience that day, which led me to read up and research about the history of graffitis, the type of graffitis there are, why and how graffitis came about and how it relates to culture and politics (which will be discussed in the next blog post).

 

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The Art of Philosophy

Alone

How often do you spend time alone?

Not alone watching tv, or reading a book, or doing exercises…

but alone with your body, alone with your own thoughts and alone with your own soul?

Just you being in present, and being aware of that, and then being okay with it?

What we spend most of the time is to escape that state. We either turn to TVs, or alcohols, or social media etc. It feels as if we constantly need to be “doing something”, “feeding or numbing our brain”.

Why are we so afraid of being with our own mind, and being with ourselves? Maybe we are afraid of not liking who we really are? Or afraid of loosing time? Afraid of emotions outlet? Or…?

One thing I can say is, when you do, when you do start to spend time with yourself, and with your soul, and with the present of time. It’s addictive. You don’t get enough of it. And you want more. You finally connect to the “you” inside. The true you. And that encounter is a bliss. Creativity blossoms. And it’s unique to you. And yours alone.

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The Art of Philosophy

A great photograph.

If you study enough, the patterns is like this. Most, I do mean most, of the masters of photography point towards the same direction for making a great photograph:

“Photograph with your soul.”

Only then you get to have your own voice. Only then it is genuine. Only then it’s something that you care the most and you would be so passionate in shooting.

So how do you get closer to your soul? Or, how do you shoot with your soul?

First, reading more photographs won’t give you that. However excellent you are at interpreting other’s work, or knowing their work… that’s their work. What they are passionate about. Their voice.

Your voice? You have to look inside yourself. You have to look at your experiences. And what interest you. Not other people. Experience. Go out to the world and interact. You won’t know until you are pack full of experiences and on the way figuring out who you are. Nothing will come by when you just study.

So. Find your voice. Find your photography.

No one can help you other than you yourself.

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Poetry, The Art of Philosophy

Karma. 

The results of today,
is what you did yesterday.
Do good deeds, and one day
you’ll have the fruits that you seed.

Everything is a journey,
to whom you eventually want to become.
Love all the mysteries,
for what you can’t control,
often are the ones that leave a big history.

Enjoy the ride,
follow the ups and downs,
Someday soon,
all there is will come around.

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The Art of Philosophy

Root. 

Nature is what it is.

Bird sings, you don’t ask why they don’t paint;
Tree grows on the ground, they don’t grow on clouds;
Dandelions are dandelions, they are not sunflowers;
Leave falls in Autumn, snow comes in the Winter;

Everything is what they are. Because that is what they are. That is the law of nature.

Human beings. They are the complex ones. Because they have the power to manipulate what are, to what may.

We manipulate our being, to what’s happening around us.
We suck at Maths, but you have to do extra classes for school;
We are told to control our emotions, but you have a wild horse inside;
We are asked to extrovert, but really you just want to stay alone;

We became having to e.g. at least pass Maths, minimise your sensitivity and to socialise…

When do we ever ask our hearts, for guiding who we truly are?

If you are a bird, be a bird. Don’t be a sheep.
If your element is Art, do art. Don’t try to be good at maths.
If you are sensitive, use your sensitivity. Don’t try to demolish it.
If you are an introvert, be that. Don’t try to outgrow yourself.

Go to the root where you are grounded. Forget the pretty branches and flowers. When you have a strong root, you will grow your own beautiful fruits.

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The Art of Philosophy

Conditional Love. 

Is love conditional? Or unconditional?

Some people say, everything you love is conditional. Either it’s because externally eg someone is being nice to you, you get something in return… or internally, you want to feel good, you want to be identified as that character of a person.

Let’s say, you love your son. The condition is he’s your son. That’s why you love him. You love him because he laughs, he makes you happy. But what happens when he cries? Do you still love him even thought you hate the fact that he’s screaming all night long? Yes, because knowledge tells you that he knows nothing, and you are accommodating to him because of that. So now, what if there’s a language that you have a way of knowing what he’s thinking as a baby? That he isn’t innocent, he was crying just to piss-you-off. Do you still love him? What was the condition then? Do you still love him based on his behaviour and his thoughts behind it? Or do you base your love with the condition that you set out in the beginning “he’s my son”?

Now the question is, if it is the latter, do you still call that conditional love?

Love is an emotion. An emotion is a constant state. Affection on the other hand, is a feeling, a fleeting state. Maybe you can’t show affection to your baby at the example above at that moment but you will still love him, because he’s your son.

Love, love is showing affection, and showing affection based on how much time you give. We all have the same amount of time every day. That’s constant and quantifiable.

To me therefore,

Love, is the time you give to something or someone by showing affection based either on external or internal rewards.

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The Art of Philosophy

Love and Hate

There will always be love and hate with any relationships: things, places, people and yourself. You love and you hate short hair. You love and hate Chinese food. You love and hate photography. You love and hate this person.

If you don’t have that, then you are numbed. Either because you just became indifferent or there are no other choices. When there are other options out there, during the hate time, you’ll always see better things in the alternatives. And if there are no alternatives, you can’t love or hate it because that’s the only thing you get. But this rarely happens.

So it’s undeniable, the love-hate tug of war.

But the thing is, you must love it/him/her more than you hate it. Because that is the only thing that can keep you going through the hate times. That the love is much bigger and enough to make you tolerate the hate times. So now, here’s the question,

What is it that you love the most? That no matter how bad it can be, you will still love it? 

What are the fundamental qualities / reasons / values / beliefs that are core to you, that no matter what else has changed, these will still be the very things that you stand by and you love?

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The Art of Philosophy

Passion

What excites you to get up in the morning to start the day?

What is the very thing(s) that you love so much that you cannot live without, and that’s what keeps you going in life?

Your passion? What is it?

Passion (noun)

  1. strong and barely controllable emotions
    • a state or outburst of strong emotions.
    • an intense desire or enthusiasm for something.
    • a thing arousing great enthusiasm.

Have you ever felt something or someone so intensely that you cannot even control your feelings? It’s like this burning fire inside you, or a roaring lion that lives inside you that’s trying to escape. It is something, or someone, that makes you feel so strongly that nothing can compromise. And that it’s meant to be. Your mission here on Earth. Your the one. In this logical world, the majority of the people see passion as something that you need to control. You have to… tame your emotions. Dial it down. Balance.

Somewhere I read and it says “Some people are not meant to be tamed. They are meant to run wild until they find someone just as wild to run with.”

If you are passionate about something, or someone, go for it. Don’t let the majority stops you because being crazy and loosing your sanity is okay. Every emotion is beautiful. Love it. Own it. Enjoy it.

Remember this: You can loose anything – people, money, courage, confidence… but you cannot loose passion. When you loose or give up your passion, you give up hope of living.

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The Art of Philosophy

The talk. 

Just because you can’t say something doesn’t mean you don’t want to. 

You may very much want to. 

The thing is, what you want may not be what the other person want. The same thing goes the other way round. And that’s why we need communications. You can say that’s the beauty with human beings. Or you can say that’s the frustration with people. 

Some people give up and turn to art e.g. music, dance, photography, poetry etc. Because all of this is too much to take, and get good at, and strike the correct balance. Communication itself is an art. 

How do you get it right? Be good at it? You practice. You make mistakes and learn from it. You try and try and try again. It’s the same with getting good at doing different things. Getting good at photography, or being excellent in woodwork crafting, or excel in doing business and stock markets. You do the deed. 

But exactly how much time do you have to spend on them? 

If you are lucky, or more so, stubborn, you focus on just being good at one thing. And spend almost your entire time in it. Even if you are not a master of it, you’d be good at it. No matter what it is. 

When you start to have more things you want to be good at, you spread your time between them. And if you are lucky and smart, you’ll still be good at them but just takes longer, or most likely the case is you’ll just be mediocre at these things. 

So, do you want to be good at something? Or be mediocre in a few things? 

I, I just want to be good at connecting with my heart, whether that’s through making soulful photographs, writing my thoughts or creating melodies.  

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