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Learning To Live

“and the one who afraid of dying, that never learns to live.”
-Amanda Mcbroom

The project entitled Learning To Live is my response, and reinterpretation to a song from my childhood memory; a song entitled The Rose, by Bette Midler(Songwriter: Amanda Mcbroom). From late 80’s, precisely Seoul Olympic in 1988, every citizen was possible to issue passport and some of them started to travel outside of the country. For the reason, there were many ways to study English in education market. 'Learning English through pop-song' was one of those. Even though I was living in Seoul and I did not speak English at all, I heard that song and translation of lyrics since my mother listen to the cassette tape on her way to go to work and on her way to back home after she picked me up from school. On my early years of elementary school, the lyrics were one of the fear for me. It seemed to about love and life. I did not know what is love, so I didn’t care that part, but there was a quite depressing part about life for a child; “and the one who afraid of dying, that never learns to live.”

What a curse. That did sound like telling me ‘you won’t be able to learn how to live forever and ever.’ How can a human being does not have fear of dying? The memory came across my mind during these two years when I keep heard the news about someone who lost someone. It made me watching rose garden more carefully. Before I really observe the rose, I thought rose is a flower that very slowly fades away. But I realize that they do not last longer, the one that start to bloom and the one is dying coexists together in one root; unlike flowers like cherry blossom, just like our life does. Hence, on this project I tried to investigate the beauty of the roses, neither by cutting them for rearrange, nor by nipping off withered leaves, just as they are in the middle of their lives. Now I know that life and its end is not a matter of ‘being afraid,’ it is something that we all inevitably accept. But sometimes I don’t know how, since I am still learning to live.

Ahn Jun