A.K. Kimoto 1977~2010

March 27, 2010 § 6 Comments

Have to say goodbye to a friend… who passed away before his time. I’m swimming in conversations we’ve had and thinking about the amazing person who I wanted to have the chance to spend a lot more time with in the undefinable and always uncertain future. He always makes me laugh. Tells me to follow my dreams. He likes my blurry pictures more than my sharp ones. He always took my side. He rescued a puppy from the mean streets of Bangkok and would smuggle her in and out of his apartment in his backpack to go for walks. The number of photographs I have of his dog on my hard drive outnumber the photographs that I have of him by about 10:1… A single conversation would range from him giving his dog half his breakfast to warning me about not letting the establishment corrupt the way I shoot and how cool the ninja emoticon on skype is. In fact, AK’s last communication to me a few weeks ago was “ninjas are rad”.

Nearly a week on since learning of his passing and I still haven’t gotten used to the fact that I can’t quickly email him some silliness/seriousness and get a response. I have barely gotten used to the fact that the measly few photographs I have of him are the only photographs of him I will ever take. The good news is that I always told him what I thought of him and I have no regrets about leaving any words unsaid. AK always knew how much I respected him and how much I valued his friendship and support. The bad news is that when you find such a person in your life, enough is never enough. The loss of AK to the people in his life is devastating. The loss of people that were yet to meet him is a damn shame… And on one hand the sadness that sits like a stone in my heart, I wish would go away, but on the other hand I want to keep it close to ensure that my recollection of him remains sharp and true. So acute this fear of forgetting, I repeat the image of our friendship in my head every day… cementing, consolidating the old memories because there will be no new ones to take their place.

And if anyone knows me, they’ll understand how a conversation like this illustrates one of the very strong and simple foundation layers that our friendship was built on…

A.K.: 09:41:23
shit, I just had to print all my stuff on digital. I hate it.

Ying: 09:41:29
yah….

Ying: 09:41:35
it kinda sux, doesn’t it

A.K.: 09:41:38
I found out my monitor is very sepia

Ying: 09:41:44
oh really?

A.K.: 09:41:56
the printer guy was like “daaaaaamn your monitor is warm.”

A.K.: 09:42:23
so I said, “Shut up bitch!’, but sure enough, when looking at a straight print my monitor is sepia toned

A.K.: 09:42:25
boo

Ying: 09:43:08
HAHAHAHHA

AK Kimoto… Missing our conversations about everything and nothing and the laughter. Missing your single-minded determination to remain true to your work, your purity devoid of ego, your unflinching loyalty to your friends and subjects, your grumpliness (and I don’t care that no one else understands this word)… your knife-sharp humour and ridiculous stories from Afghanistan to Thailand.

Wish we had more time.

Siem Reap, Cambodia. November, 2008.

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