I. Out of the Blue

Set in an imaginary landscape of the present day, one man’s confrontation with the unknown leads him on a journey of self-discovery. His ordered existence comes crashing down when he encounters a fissure in the ground. This discovery triggers a chain of events that send him to the ends of the earth and force him to face what his life may or may not be. 

In this story that fuses autobiography and fiction, I try to understand our eternal search for meaning and hope in the face of the unknown future. We once looked up at the stars to divine the future. How do we find this future now? Will there be a sign or a signal?

Using images that are collaged, montaged, erased, and drawn on, I portray my belief in the future’s unlimited variations. Collage is like creating the future—we combine experiences and circumstances and move them around to see what fits and what makes sense. At any point, we may choose to go left or right, turn back or move forward. Each choice alters the trajectory and overall shape of our lives. There is a great mystery here: we are on a journey where there is no map—it is pieced together as we go along. Thus, we become the traveler and cartographer, the origin and the destination.

For this one man’s quest, his journey is about to veer off its projected course and into a land of a million suns.

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Related Writing

How to Make a Decision (carl jung, james hollis, art exhibitions by year)

I have some art news! My cyanotype artwork graced the catalog cover of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) based out of California State University! A big thank you to Ann Jastrab, Executive Director of the Center for Photographic Art, for recommending my work to OLLI. 

This catalog is beautifully printed and features the cyanotype art of other artists like Christina Z. Anderson, Brenton Hamilton, Heidi Kirkpatrick, Robert Langham III, Emma Powell, and Brian Taylor. If you want to see amazing cyanotype work, download a pdf copy of the catalog. Also, why not sign up for a continuing education course? The classes will be through Zoom this fall, so anyone can join! Their offerings run the gamut of art, history, literature, writing, and current events.

For the front cover, OLLI chose The Unremembered Gate—an image I created in 2012. Reflecting on this image, I realize I’ve changed a lot. For example, the way I approach choices now is more “grown-up” than before. In this article, I explain what I mean by recounting my journey and referencing the ideas of psychoanalyst Carl Jung. If you’re deciding between two jobs, two choices, or two life paths, I hope this article helps!

How Going To Work Is Like A Hollywood Movie (storytelling)

Could we look at going to work as a hero’s journey just like in the movies? How would that go? Hollywood movies like Joy follow the arc of the Hero’s Journey, popularized by Joseph Campbell who first identified this universal pattern in mythological stories from around the world.

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