Hard to Photograph

“Even chance meetings are the result of karma… Things in life are fated by our previous lives. That even in the smallest events there’s no such thing as coincidence.”

― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Karma, Do-Ho Suh, 2011. Korea, Brushed Steel with Stone Base, The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

The most arresting sculpture in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden in New Orleans is Do-Ho Suh’s Karma. A faceted, polished steel man stands with another squatting on his shoulders, with his hands over the man’s eyes, blinding him. Another squats on the squatter’s shoulders, and one on his, so on and so forth. They get a little smaller as they go up and curve a little. The sculpture is only twenty three feet high or so, but it looks like it stretches to infinity.

I discovered it is hard to photograph properly. Especially, since I had ridden my folding bicycle there from Downtown New Orleans I had not brought any extra lenses (no wide-angle) to save weight, space, and danger of damage. I should have known – I have seen it before.

The sculpture looks very different from different angles – so here are a few:

Karma, Do-Ho Suh, 2011. Korea, Brushed Steel with Stone Base, The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden
Karma, Do-Ho Suh, 2011. Korea, Brushed Steel with Stone Base, The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden
Karma, Do-Ho Suh, 2011. Korea, Brushed Steel with Stone Base, The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden
Karma, Do-Ho Suh, 2011. Korea, Brushed Steel with Stone Base, The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Karma

“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”

― David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

Karma, Do-Ho Suh, New Orleans Museum of Art

Karma, a sculpture by Do-Ho Shuh, in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

I rely on those below me to reach this height, and support so many others above, yet we are all blinded by our duties to the beauty around us. Trapped by the darkness of our burden. All we feel is the terrible weight.