Tuesday, 18 September 2012

(Day 60) Hwaseong Immigration Detention Center-day 47

sit-ups push-ups chairlifts
100+ (am) 10 x 20 reps 5 x 20 reps 5 x 20 reps

Breakfast 2 hard boiled eggs
Almond soy drink
sponge cake with cream filling
Lunch rice
one egg in soy sauce
watery soy bean paste stew (daejon chigae)
watery veggie soup
corn & mayo salad

Sometimes I think the the things I write are cruel and overly judgmental towards a person or even a race, like Koreans, and then someone says something to me that echos my writing and I realize I'm not the only one. Maybe I'm a racist, or elitist, an asshole, condescending or think I'm more superior, but if people were more considerate, less selfish, less foolish or smarter than a doorknob, then I would probably feel different. So before you are quick to judge me, look in the mirror.

I should clarify that although I write a lot of shit about people, I usually keep most of my feelings to myself in person (I know a lot of my friends are laughing at that statement, but it's true-- for all the stuff I say, there's tons more I don't). Lately, I've been with a lot of English speakers who are also bitter because of their circumstances (who wouldn't be, locked up in a cage?). These same people make the same comments & slurs against the same people-- not always Koreans or against Korea. My comments about the unchristian Nigerian, the Egyptian who won't listen or the Chinese who showers 3x a day and watches Korean soap operas and shitty k-pop variety shows, are not sentiments just shared by myself. I'm just reflecting and repeating the opinions of others.

We got a Mongolian addition today. Apparently, he's been on a whiskey bender and is extremely hungover. I know how he feels, but I feel no sympathy. Because of the dead Mongolian from a couple of weeks ago, the guards are all concerned and afraid of a repeat. The other detainees keep asking if he's alright, to which he groans an affirmative. He's young, he'll be fine. Been there, done that, and I'm nearly twice his age.

Since I spend so much time drawing, many of the detainees request portraits from me and I usually refuse. First off, I think I suck at portraits. Sure, they sort of look recognizable, but they always look sort of warped to me and when it comes to representations of people's faces, anything short of photo-like perfection is garbage. There are so many artists so much better than I am at that sort of thing, I don't feel worthy of such a task. Also, if I do it for one person, I end up having to do it for everybody, and as I said, I don't really like doing it. I also find when I try to do artistic drawings by request (as opposed to requests more graphic design in nature), my heart's not really in it and I think it shows. The drawing (I think) lacks a certain Davidness to it.

Anyway, one of the detainees asked me to do a sketch of him after the lights had been turned off and everyone had retired for the evening. I forewarned  that I would do a quick sketch, but it might not necessarily look like him. So, in literally about a minute, I just did on a rough interpretation that actually turned out okay. I think it helped that the subject had long hair and was of East Indian descent because I could quickly draw upon the obvious features. I think that may have been the secret to the results.

The American was pretty impressed, as was the subject, because of the speed and rendition. He thought I could actually do portraits on the street as well as the pros. I don't know about that, but I suppose if I was ever hard up I can try "portraits in less than a minute..." The Pakistani (the subject) was pretty happy and showed everybody else. I'm glad you liked it, but I hope I don't have to do a bunch of portraits tomorrow.