If you happen to know activists, who are fighting for green and/or human rights, please introduce them to me. I would like to go to see what they do, listen to their stories, and photograph them for my series. Thank you.
With this piece squared away, all 8 new sculptures are now ready to take to American Craft Show in St. Paul next month. This is my second year participating in the show. I'm telling myself not to let money matters stress me out. Show business is like a gamble. You cannot always win. I've done my best creating these pieces. Hopefully they will speak to the people for me at the show.
In our last play session, we made simple figurines. Mine became a sad boy clown, which I pronounced "crown." Well, my students will have to adapt to my Asian pronunciation when they take my Intermediate Hand-Building Class. I'll demonstrate how to construct one like this. It is coming up in Aplir (or April).
My friend recently wrote to me: "May you find the strength to continue your journey of empathy!" What is my journey of empathy? It was easy to identify it when I was a nurse. Now, as an artist, how could I continue the journey? Maybe, this piece is telling me, "Don't worry. You are still continuing it."
I wonder to myself what creations mean to me. It is to uncover what is smothering deep within me. However, I sometimes force myself to create a piece like this, solely thinking of what may sell. A professional artist may have to find a balance in this kind of dilemma. I then think what the role of art in the time of political upheaval like we are facing right now in America. I want my art to be a voice of the time however small it may be.
Finished coloring her. The Chinese character on her sash means "dragon." She has a dragon on her hair ornament as well. The imaginary creature symbolizes "perseverance" - the power to rise up through the thick clouds of hardship. Hopefully this sculpture arises, in each of us, a little dragon of our forward movement.
This is an image of high school student who has to fight the custom, tradition, and poverty in order to go to school in Afghanistan. Some girls endure even beating and poisoning just to have the privilege to learn. I would like to salute their perseverance with this piece.
A film that inspired this sculpture, "What Tomorrow Brings," will be available for streaming on the Point-Of-View Documentary site.
"The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself." - Mark Twain
"The courage to be is the courage to accept oneself, in spite of being unacceptable." - Paul Tillich
Even though I know the importance of self-acceptance, it has been difficult to not be disheartened by my own shortcomings. However, in comparison with my youth when I was laden with inferiority-complex, I have come a long way. This sculpture portrays my goal - with her beauty radiating from her confidence in the way she is.
A short story on my works was aired this week. Click here (or the above screen shot) to see how sensitively the award-winning news anchor captured my life with art.
After the interview, the news anchor asked me if I could introduce him to anyone for the series. I came up with three people who would make beautiful stories. At the same time, I was thinking of others, whose outstanding quality would be difficult to convey on TV. For example, I know a woman with extraordinary love and caring. She expressed them in the way she reacted to us, and everyone loved her. However, it will be extremely difficult to capture the inner beauty on a video, even though it is so obvious to anyone who comes across with her.
"It will be my job to express such ageless beauty," I said to myself. We shall see what I can do....
Betsushiki are women trained in swordsmanship in Feudal Japan. They protected female members of their lords. The custom required them to shave their eyebrows probably to make them appear unattractive. Love affairs across different socioeconomic classes were taboo, then. Wearing two swords just like their male counterparts, they accompanied the female members of their lords with a resolute air. Coming from the lower samurai class, they probably could not have wished for any better trade. Many of them might have stayed unmarried.
I tried to capture a betsushiki's resolute air with a tinge of sadness in her expression. Feminism movements have come a long way since her time. May her strength of character encourage us to push the movements even further!
About "Art in Process"
This page is an window for you to see my creative process. I would like to encourage you to leave your comments here. I hunger for a conversation with you about my art. What kind of emotions or thoughts did my art provoke you? What did you like/dislike? What viewpoint do you agree/disagree to? Your honest feedback will feed my art going forward. Thank you.