PhotoPhoto Essay
What Do You Collect?Charms in the art of collection
Seo Ji-hye  |  jihyeseo@yonsei.ac.kr
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승인 2016.12.08  12:35:40
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 MANY OF us have been collecting something since we were young. Why do we collect items? Some people may gather antiques as an investment opportunity, hoping that their value will appreciate over the years. In most cases, however, people collect things because they have an affinity for them and feel happiness and pleasure through the process of collecting. Thus, amassing items that we feel a deep attachment to can be an expression of pursuing instinctive pleasure that holds a special place in our hearts.

 
   
 PHOTOGRAPHED BY SEO JI-HYE
   Pottery requires a long time and considerable effort to make out of clean, fine earth. It takes a few days for kneading, shaping, and drying earth, and another several days for biscuit firing, glazing, and firing again. As ceramists prepare their pottery pieces with great care, it brings them an emotion beyond description as they see their hand-made works of art fill the empty shelves.
 
   
PHOTOGRAPHED BY SEO JI-HYE
 
   Human beings are infinitely small compared to nature. When we communicate with nature by listening carefully to its sound, however, we can, at last, keep Mother Nature in our hearts. In this regard, collecting fallen leaves with different shapes and colors is one of the ways to treasure nature in our own way.
 
   
PHOTOGRAPHED BY SEO JI-HYE
 
 
   For wine to acquire a deep bouquet and flavor, it must go through a ripening period that can last from several months to hundreds of years, depending on the character of the vintage. During this period, a series of subtle and complicated changes occur, affecting its color, scent and taste. Admiring the bottles of wine on display, some people hope that their lives will resemble wine. As time flows by, wine ripens and develops a smooth taste and a deep scent; people hope that they will mature with time as well.
 
   
PHOTOGRAPHED BY SEO JI-HYE
 
   There are various reasons for collecting toys. Some want to return to their childhood innocence by recalling their time when they played with toys. Some might wish to satisfy their desire for domination; since they can treat toys in whatever way they want. Others might derive comfort from the presence of toys in times when they feel lonely. As such, a box full of toys can trigger diverse emotions.
 
 
   
PHOTOGRAPHED BY SEO JI-HYE
 
   Unlike digital music, which gives us a rather cold feeling, long-playing records (LP) present us a sense of warmth with crackling sounds that bring us back to the past. Unique album jackets, the works of renowned designers and photographers, are another factor that adds charm to storing up LPs. As LPs cannot be replicated, phonophiles feel a sense of joy and pride when they finally obtain a record that they have wanted so much to hear.
 
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   Murakami Haruki, a Japanese novelist, emphasizes the importance of asking ourselves how much we understand and love the items that we collect and how long the memory stays vivid in our minds. Now it is time for us to ask these questions ourselves. What do we collect and why? What does collecting mean to us?
 
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