Time and distance

Writer: Ram Jung

Time, could the recognition of time be the proof of being human? With the existence of time, we recognize distance, which is physical and/or emotional.  I want to talk about the latter in this case. I, sometimes, feel that the space between people is close to or far from me. It could be physical that can be measured or emotional that I can feel from people around me, just like how I feel lonely while I am surrounded by my friends. The emotional gab used to be influenced and maximized by psychological, emotional deprivation, which is caused by waiting someone or looking forward to doing something.

A longing for someone whether a friend or a loved one is the one of the key element of emotional distance.

I have friends who are close to me and also cannot stop pining for each other. Among them, I have special ones who stay in a boundary of MiA. We stay in different time and locations; nevertheless we think and care for each other like a family. Ironically, this fact that we are geologically and physically far from each other constantly remind us that we are very much mentally close to one another.

Because of the fact that I cannot always be with people whom I love and miss, the feeling of isolation forces me to share the moments of my memory with them. The desire of sharing and communicating grows more intense when I am alone in an unfamiliar situation, like being on a trip.

We, MiA, planned our first show in Beijing, China. As part of the plan, I organized my trip to Beijing and help Chi and Yichen with the preparation. Unfortunately, Grace and Masa, who are in New York, could not join us in Beijing for the show. At the time, Grace was planning on a trip to Berlin. Until then, Grace and I did not have any idea what was going to happen between us. We were casually talking to each other and figured out we were going to be in same time schedule for Beijing and Berlin. It was so clear that the time and space will lead us to miss each other and want to share our memories. It was almost as if inevitable rather than accidental. We felt we had no choice but to do something about it.

We documented and shared the moments and memories from the other side of the earth through time. We set a simple rule, which was to take photographs with a watch or something that indicated time. It was, perhaps, too simple to do something to share special moments, but we believed that the process and result of the simple "play" would end not as a simple thing but as a brilliant one; our memories live long and they aren't simple. Below is a compilation of the pieces of memories from our play on my side.

The experience of emotional and yet physical distance of this trip made me realize something. The special tie between my friends and I was indeed stronger than the one coming from physical contacts. The mental and emotional touch of sharing small fragments of moments overcomes the physical distance between us and brings us the feeling that we are together no matter what.