Da Zhao Temple, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China. 2018, 9×7 in., micron on paper.
Jogyesa Temple, Seoul, South Korea.2018, 9×7 in., micron on paper.

My wife and I left for Asia in February of 2018. We initially penciled out a two month Buddhist pilgrimage around Shikoku, Japan. While planning, the two months turned into six, then ten. The final itinerary started in Hong Kong and ended in Japan. The trip snaked north through China, into Mongolia, then over toward South Korea and Japan. This would be the longest trip we’d ever taken. We wanted freedom to change course, so we planned little ahead. When we left Seattle, we had no return tickets and only ten nights of accommodations booked in Hong Kong.

It’s hard to sum up ten months. A long trip is a chance to slow down and reflect. In the unfamiliar everything feels worthy of reflection. I’m inspired by the artistic advice of landscape photographer Jim Richardson:

“Our job is to take these unknown places and make people care about them.”

“If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.”

For ten months I captured what I saw, from the everyday to the unexpected, in my sketchbook. I was unprepared for how profoundly art would change my relationship to our surroundings. My humble sketches opened cultural doors to friendship, opportunity, and adventure.

I’m now in the midst of finalizing work and editing the collection into a book. Sign up for my book updates list to be notified when I release 10 Months in Asia.