Dear Jona and Toni,
I wished always, someone in my life would listen to me and think with me about things which I just couldn’t understand or wasn’t aware of that I had no idea. I am not saying, here I am giving you answers, but when you are reading these letters, you are already old enough and have once or twice thought of your mother and the trace of her life. I hope, at the most, I have tried and left for you kind of help and encouragement to keep on your own life journeys.
There’s the legendary phrase, almost kind of big law among designers and architects, ‘Form follows Function’. Since 1995, when I have started to study architecture in Seoul and Germany till a recent time, it’s more than the half of my life, this phrase was following me like the true hate-love relationship. I do understand what does it mean and I do believe, it’s absolutely right. But one point won’t make me satisfied. Who says, which functions are necessary and who decides, what kind of forms are available. There’s actually no right answer. It all depends on cultures, societies, interests, and purposes. I knew then, I am always looking for the ‘one’, which can have always the righteousness in any circumstances, in any time and in any space, always remain as the one and only truth. But the truth is, there’s nowhere what I’m looking for. It doesn’t exist and even if there were to find, it has no sense. Because it’s against the nature.
I tried to find this top-of-the-top-truth with my stubbornness through my whole life, but in vain. how many times was I disappointed and gave up in the middle of processes. How many times became I fiercely mad and angry at my greenness, optimism, belief and at the end to myself. Until one day, as the grandmaster once announced in the training about the ‘spirit’ of Taekwondo. With my sheer 3 year of Taekwondo – Korean martial arts experience, it’s almost impossible for me to understand what that ‘spirit’ can be. But I want to try to figure it out on the basis of my whole 3 year knowledge and practice. We learn Hyongs with lots of foot and hand techniques and train ourselves for self-defense. And then my architecture and design background brought me easily to connect Hyong to Form, which in fact means exactly the same in Korean. In Hyongs every movements have its meaning, just the same as Functions for design and architecture. And i saw, in Taekwondo there are lots of methods to define the Function as well as the Form. Just like in architecture and design.
In TKD I learn the Hyongs and to understand them I have to know the functions and purposes and the following techniques. When I understood thoroughly for which situations I do what kind of techniques, my Hyongs would be executed impressively, because it has been given the meaning. In training, lots of physical and mental principles should be trained to be able to execute feet and hand techniques, such as endurance, strength, balance, flexibility, reflection, also mindstate like willpower, concentration and respect. But the goal of training is not to do great kicks nor to perform impressing Hyongs. Like beautiful forms or practical functions don’t mean always the best architecture or design, to give the product or the building an special value, I believe, there should be the spirit of maker. We give much attention to handmade products and take them worthier than machinery products. Not because of unique skills or ideas of the artisan. But because of his spirit living in his work, transformed by his technique and design.
When I am training TKD concentrated, almost half-translucent, I could completely transform my mind, body and breath in one unique soul, and I believe, it is the moment when my ‘spirit’ starts to breed. this spirit is in any movement, at any time, in any space, and the most important thing for me, it can be alive in any heart.
Spirit is, I believe as long as I breathe, the highest and the most untouchable, unchangeable true nature what living creature can produce. The pure beauty I see in there and this is what I live for – raising and forming my spirit.
And I am trying to give my spirit in everything I am concerned with. It could be heard too ideologically, but it’s the only thing I can admit as meaningful living. And when there’s spirit to see, whether big or small, only the existence counts. For we have our whole lifetime to achieve bigger and powerful spirit by training, practicing, trying again and again.
With love, your mother 19th, October 2019