My acquaintances began to notice the same thing about me; “you have a strand of white hair. Want me to pull it out?” Since then, one or two more strands of white hair have caught my eyes in the mirrors under the bright lights of public bathrooms. I thought I probably should pull it out, slowly positioning the white hair between my fingers and pulling it downwards. Exaggerating a bit, if I pull out all my white hair I will need a wig soon. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Korea Kang Kyung-hwa, known for her chic fashion like the editor in chief of the Vogue magazine, has a history of career and age which suit her silver hair. But I could not give in to this color on me yet. Looking for any other reasons than my age, Seaweed came to my mind. I just wanted to turn the blame on my hectic and busy life for snatching away my youth.
In the past several months, I pressed on every day like there was no tomorrow. I had no time to spare from the end of 2016 to May 2017 when our first issue of Seaweed came out. Even after the first issue was published, there was literally no end to the distribution of and promotion for it. I learned that both jobs were bottomless tasks. It was totally different from the sense of relief when meeting the deadline and then publishing a book. I had been anticipating the moment of launching the magazine for a long time, but I was more anxious than happy, at times, about raising this baby whom I had brought into this world, and about how long I would be taking care of it.
The sense of responsibility for the magazine grew bigger that I had assumed whenever I reminded myself of the help of numerous people. It may have been the source of my white hair speeding up my aging process, rather than the busy and long work days. White hair for an ambitious editor in chief who wanted to capture the raw and vivid life of the young people! I may have began to move away from my youth, and I felt bittersweet.
At this very moment, I'm sitting by the window on the second floor of the Blavatnik building, the new addition to Tate Modern. It is a space that provides tired museumgoers a one meter long cushion by the window, and they comfortably lie down or sit on it.
I enjoy writing anywhere I go. I sat here and began to read Haruki's new book Killing Commendatore which was handed over to me all the way from Korea. I wrote a few posts on Facebook and finally began to write some this editorial piece which at first sounded like small talk. Come to think of it, those Facebook postings were not something trivial. It is about Seaweed being stocked at Dillon and Lee Gallery in New York and Lost Weekend, an independent bookstore in Munich.
After reading quite a lot at this comfortable sunlit seat, I began to think about “move”. I bought a canvas bag at the Palazzo Grassi gift shop in Venice, and an acquaintance carried a copy of Haruki Korean translation as she happened to fly to London from Korea. I sit and read by the window of Tate Modern and then post photos on Facebook that I received from New York and Munich. The exhibition I just saw today was the retrospective of Swiss artist Giacometti who spent most of his time in France and Britain. In the next few hours, a collaboration exhibit with Seaweed and Jeju Beer will take place in Jeju.
Countless things happen in numerous places across time and borders, and they all influence each other, connected in mysterious ways. A tremendous number of people work together around me and make things happen, and there’s no time to fret on one’s white hair. Rather than wasting time worrying about my white hair, I return to my familiar and easy plan to keep moving forward. Jack Kerouac’s On the Road has set fire in hearts of many young people. If I had to pick a part that sum up this book, here are my choices with no doubt at all: “We all realized we were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one and noble function of the time, move. And we moved!"