Courage on Display: Warrior Games in Chicago

These images were taken at the swimming competition that was part of the larger multi-sport competition known as the Warrior Games. The competing atheletes received some form of disabling injury while in service to their country and are either veterans or on active duty. All branches of the US military participated, as well as representatives from the UK and Australian services.

The weeklong competition, held in July 2017 in Chicago, was the first of the games held in public venues, and not on military bases. Let’s hope that this is the first of many visits they make to Chicago and other cities!

The images were all shot using the Olympus OMD-EM5, using the M Zuiko 75-300mm-f4.8-6.7 zoom, or the M Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom lens.

Drama Review: More than a Rumor, “Grapevine” Is A Winner

Originally published in the “Korean Quarterly.”

What if Romeo and Juliet or any other star-crossed lovers took charge of their destiny? Forget vials of poison in the crypt and tragic endings, if they were as intelligent and motivated as the protagonists of the dark comedy “Heard It Through the Grapevine,” they might just have ruled the world!

From the punchy opening chords of the electric keyboard from “Heard a Rumor,” by Jang Kiha and Faces, used as the opening title song, to the scenes of the elegant and expansive Han household being run like clockwork, viewers should immediately be aware that they are not entering into the typical family drama. The atmosphere is one of money, but also of care and attention. The visuals of this drama are one of the most impressive, with a quality usually scene only in the cinema, and that’s particularly appropriate as the drama stars actors who have made their names in the cinema and use their talents wisely and well.

Cast of Heard It Through the Grapevine

Ah Sung Go may be a young actress, but she has an impressive film resume to her name, including the recent “Snowpiercer.” As Seo Bom, the radical Juliet of the drama, she deftly portrays a character that is practical, but with the ability to dream big, passionate, but with an ability to plan. And she is a fighter, ready to take on any challenge. She will need to be, because the drama opens to introduce her as a fully pregnant, unwed teenage mother and (by necessity) a high school dropout, living with her family in their cramped and worn house in a working class part of Seoul. Continue reading

Drama Review: Taking the Path Less Traveled: The “Misaeng” Journey

This review was written for and appeared in the Korean Quarterly

Do you (or have you) work in the corporate world in a “cubicle farm,” or do you love someone who goes into the office day after day? Perhaps you’re in the medical field, and fight a never-ending battle every shift to see to the welfare of your patients.

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Do you go to school, and crack the books night after night to keep on top of each day’s lessons, or do you watch over someone who does?

Is your daily life a harried blend of chores and obligations, with just enough sunshine to keep you emotionally fueled and able to continue?

Have you ever felt that you were an outsider and were challenged to find ways to fit in, or have you seen others on the outside and witnessed their efforts?

If so, then the special 10th anniversary drama from the Korean cable channel tvN, “Misaeng” will touch you and inspire you!

“Misaeng,” translated as an “incomplete life,” or one that is not yet lived, takes its characters on voyages of discovery, as they seek the paths that will lead each to find his or her own place in life, and fulfillment. Continue reading

Great minds think alike?

When I saw this (photo) sculpture outside of the Hong Kong Museum of Art in Tsa Shim Tsui, I immediately assumed that it was the work of Anish Kapoor, who had designed and constructed the lovely Cloud Gate sculpture situated in Chicago’s Millennium Park. I was very surprised to see that it was by another artist, Danny Lee. It got me wondering: when you’re working in something as time-consuming as stainless steel, can it be just coincidence that two artists would develop forms so thematically similar?

So, I did a little research. Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate was constructed between 2004 and 2006 (and commissioned for the park, which was to have been completed for, of course, the start of the new millennium), Danny Lee’s Waterdrop (above) was dated 2008.

Coincidence?

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