The Circle of Life: a gorgeous 4 minute video journey from infancy to old age and back

By Dave Andrusko

Drawing & painting: Stonehouse(석가)

As we have observed dozens and dozens of times, arguably the best way to reach the undecided is to show them the marvelous complexity of the unborn child through her developmental journey–and how what you see at fertilization is not only the same baby you will hold in your hands nine months later but also the same human being as she approaches the end of a long life.

Although I’m sure there are others I have not seen, for me the finest example was an incredible video from a while back in which the Korean artist and illustrator Seok Jeong Hyeon (better known as Stonehouse)traced a woman’s life from infancy to very old age, then finishing by flashing back to the drawing of an infant.

There are no words—none are needed–only gentle background music. Your eyes are riveted to this very brief (four minutes) tour of one person’s life.

I first saw the video linked to an article at the Daily Mail. “The four-minute video captures the poignancy of ageing wonderfully as the artist affects minute changes which thoroughly alter the painting, although the features of the ‘subject’ remain the same throughout,” explained Anucyi Victor.

Subtlety is the hallmark of this tour de force. The slightest changes, accumulating over time…

At the time I couldn’t help thinking of our grandson who was then not quite ten months old. The changes in him in just the previous month were astonishing. He was almost unrecognizable from the baby we toted around just three months ago.

At the end of the video, we see the proud grandmotherly figure, her eyes closed, her hands clasped as if in prayer. Then an abrupt reversal and we are transported back in time to this same woman when she was an infant, eyes closed, left hand almost posed under chin.

Take five minutes and go to