• Bhang, Youngmoon

Contemplative Contemplation - Photographer's Notes

Far out at sea, during the sunset, at the moment of transition,

My photo-taking behavior is to be my Karma(業, कर्म).


According to the ancient Vedic tradition of the ritual yajña(यज्ञ), I was standing at the place that can look down the surface of West Sea of Korean Peninsular to take photos. I checked the time of sunset before the photo-taking, open my camera shutter and take a 11 minutes and 7 seconds long exposure photo. In my photo works, there are not shapes, no lines but only colors can remain.


Ocean Each photographs are 66 minutes, 33 minutes or 11 minutes 7 seconds long exposures of sea surface. “The idea of time as something homeostatic and recurring was represented by water”(Munesuke Mita) in many civilizations.

Numerology(數秘學) I took 66 and 33 and 11 minutes 7 seconds. 66 and 33 came from the Ancient Near Eastern Numerology and the latter number came from the idiom in Korean language of Buddhistic tradition ’50,000 charl-ra(刹那)’. According to the scholars, ‘charl-ra(刹那)’ was induced by the Abhidhamma early Buddhism schools. It was dogmatic approach of the early Buddhism schools but this kind of terms are sort of hermeneutical error.

Etymology Unfortunately, early Buddhist Schools such as the Abhidhamma made the following mistakes: conceptualization, hypostatization and acceptance of abstraction. A state of self-effacement and impermanency came from the process of deconstruction of falsifying conceptualization and hypostatization. It can be understand in the state of deconstruction of hypostatization, do not separate between principle and phenomenon, do not separate between essence and development. But the early Buddhist schools made such mistakes again and they developed concepts such as ‘charl-ra’, ‘mind’

  • Charl-Ra 찰나, 刹那 Kṣaṇa (क्षण, “moment”)

  • 'Charl-ra (moment; 刹那 Kṣaṇa क्षण)" is the smallest unit of time, of varying lengths depending on Buddhistic tradition, that can be converted to 1/75 second in modern measure of time. It's a cycle of mind. One thought is emerged, sustained and decayed in our mind in 1 Charl-ra(Kṣaṇa). According to this Buddhistic idea, our thought fluctuates from charl-ra to charl-ra without ceasing.

  • Human Mind 마음

  • Human mind never can be ceased. It's very similar to a fluid and the micro-world phenomena. It's come into existence, abided, changed and become extinct in Charl-ra'.

  • 50,000 Thoughts 오만가지 생각

  • In about 11 minutes and 6 seconds and half, our thought in mind fluctuates almost 50,000 times. "50,000 thoughts (오만가지 생각)" is very famous idom in Korean language and it came from this Buddhistic tradition.

My photography series <Contemplative Contemplation> is based on visualization of numerology, etymology and conceptual history. And it’s a process of deconstruction to realize that abstraction is not reality, as Alfred N. Whitehead’s “the fallacy of misplaced concreteness”.




At the moment of sunrise, at the moment of sunset.


When a human is born, when a human faces the death. One ancient people had ritual ceremonies at the moment of transition to avoid death and to inspire the order of universe. This is the faith of this people those who made yajña(यज्ञ). During this yajña(यज्ञ), priests took many actions. They called these actions ‘Karma(業, कर्म)’.


Accordingly, this ancient ritual respects the order of universe and the laws of nature. At the very first place, they wanted to get more livestock. As time went by, these people can understand the cycle of life, adequate moments and they could imagine the order of universe. Finally, they drew a kind of conclusion for this experience. I am the world and the world is I am.


66 minutes, 33 minutes, 17 minutes and 11 minutes 7 seconds, before the sunset I took long exposure photos at the West Coast of Korean Peninsular. In this photo work, the wild waves leave calm and delicate colors in my camera. Through this contemplative contemplation the form is disappeared, rough movement is disappeared and disturbance is disappeared and only calm and peaceful color remains.


11 minutes and 7 seconds, the cycle of 50,000 thoughts

‘Charl-ra (moment; 刹那 Kṣaṇa क्षण)’ can be converted to 1/75 second in modern measure of time. It’s a cycle of mind. One thought is emerged, sustained and decayed in our mind in 1 Charl-ra(Kṣaṇa). According to this Buddhistic idea, our thought fluctuates from charl-ra to charl-ra without ceasing.


In about 11 minutes and 6 seconds and half, our thought in mind fluctuates almost 50,000 times. “50,000 thoughts”(오만가지 생각) is very famous idom in Korean language and it came from this Buddhistic tradition. And this has been adopted to explain about transience.


And do not forget the conclusion.

There is no ‘charl-ra’ but only interaction is.


Nothing is unchangeable and eternal.

Accept the change and movement.

You can remain calm in most of situation.


I would like to present this photography series <Contemplative Contemplation> with my thoughts. Do not turn your face from the rough wind and wave of the sea or of your heart. Just allow to accept the unstable condition that you are feeling. Through this mien of contemplative contemplation, you can perceive the cause of your anxiety and at the adequate moment, you can enjoy your peaceful moment.

Accept your anxiety, you can enjoy tranquillity.


May peace be upon you, when you are exploring the pieces:

https://www.bhangyoungmoon.com/the-contemplative-contemplation-02


BHANG Youngmoon/ Photographer

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