Art of the Eastern Kind

Feeling like I’ve had an awakening, an epiphany.

I couldn’t shut my eyes, not wanting to spend any time blinking.

I hadn’t slept in some double-digit amount of hours, but was wide-awake.

I had arrived in Asia for the first time, and couldn’t believe my eyes.


Stepping off of the airplane, through the sliding doors and sliding floors, then nearly sliding off  them as I look everywhere but down at my feet.

People of every eye, skin, & hair colour, of every hair type, facial structure, height, body shape, dress, mannerisms, speaking hundreds of languages and belonging to hundreds of cultures I knew nothing about.

Mothers holding babies wrapped in coloured woven clothes and adolescent boys walking by laughing and speaking in a language devoid of any latin, germanic, or slavic origins… a language I couldn’t place.

Mesmerised, I wished my head could turn 360 degrees, that I had eyes in the back.

People of every possible place on Earth walked around and passed me, I looked at them and tried to see through them, down to their core of a living being. People of latitudes and longitudes of dozens of Asian, African, Middle Eastern countries whose locations I couldn’t place on a map.

A strange feeling overcame me; I began to feel cheated, duped, deceived.

WHY hadn’t any advertisement I’d ever seen, magazine I’d read, television show or movie I’d ever watched, ever shown people of such diversity?

WHY should I feel like a scuba diver recognizing the numerous kinds of fish species around a coral reef for the first time?

Where is this shown in the western world?!

It isn’t.


Sad. Tragic, really.

These were other humans, my own species, our own species.. (our is more fitting as I know of no other animals that can read).. all so interesting and intriguing, from the way they looked, to their body language, to the words coming off their tongues.

I wanted to know them, I wanted to befriend them, I wanted to be them.

I wanted to photograph them and look at them forever.

and all of a sudden I felt terribly boring.


The word globalization appears, a hot topic of our world becoming more united, an entangled web of ideas, spreading with every swipe and click.
But, the fact is, it’s 2015, I am 21 years old, and I haven’t seen such people represented in any form of media, in my entire life.

These people just exuded culture, pouring out of them, not in any tiring-prideful (or boastful) apparel or action, but in a silent presence, a force amplified by the visible factors. Echoes of songs and and folktales and legends, dialects, scents of a local flower, of the spices present at every mealtime tabletop, and ideas and perspectives swirling around them like a magnetic field. Invisible, but known, aware.

I was in Asia, and I felt like I cam across planet Earth’s ultimate hidden secret, the people.