MY FIRST BLOG POST

Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it.

— Rapunzel

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

ARTIST CONVERSATION #5

Artist: Kiyomi Fukui
Exhibition: Conversation on Conflict
Media: Sculpture, Print-based
Website: kiyomifukui.com
Instagram: @kiyomimiz

taken from http://www.kiyomifukui.com/2019/10/21/opm6n1xod3xg61qsxw8sm3clvuykte

Kiyomi Fukui is a Japanese-American who lives and is based in Long Beach. She was a former CSULB student and received her MFA in Printmaking from California State University Long Beach and a BFA in Graphic Design from La Sierra University. Her motivation is comes from the idea that things do not last forever and that its okay. She is also fascinated by the spiritual connections that can be discovered.

In one of Fukui’s projects called Conversation on Conflict, she had her audience fold sheets of paper to create cranes; each sheet containing the conversation between her father and her. Fukui told her audience that each crane made represented a prayer to the impossible. She has an emotional relationship with her father that is difficult to describe. Her father was a second generation Korean and a pastor with strict views which caused many discrepancy between the two. In this piece, it was told that Fukui’s father was able to become naturalized and that he had to undergo many transitions to fit into society. By hearing him speak to her, she was able to find a sense of humanity within him. For Fukui, the prayer of the “impossible” was that she hopes her relationship with her father gets better.

When reading through the passage between Kukui’s father and her, we find that there is a struggle between the two thoughts of old Japanese culture and the culture that they live in now. Both her father and her want to find this middle ground and they both want to forgive each other for what had been done in the past. Her father however couldn’t get past the idea that “maybe the foundation of Japanese religion does not stem from forgiveness, but rather to let water wash away. It’s to forget the past, which is different from forgiveness.” Which in the eyes of Kukui isn’t what she finds true however because of her intents, she wanted to be closer to her father so she accepts this.

To me, I find that this piece is close to my heart to some extent. My parents are not first generations to the US and a lot of their views are strongly connected to both old Vietnamese and Cambodian views on life. Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents and for all that they have given me but we also have had our differences when it comes to certain view points. When I think more about it though, many different people come and go in life but who will always be there waiting for you? Your parents. Family. Those are the people who will always have your back no matter what and that’s one of the reasons why I love them so much and why I always try to have the best relationship with them.

PANDEMIC PAINTING

For this week’s activity, we had to write our name using bubble letters then color it in using paint. This could be done on whatever background and if possible in graffiti form. Since I am in quarantine, I was not able to go out and get these materials so I had to do my name on paper. I first started with simple big letters which I then tried to draw a “bubble” outline around each letter. After, I tried adding little marks to show more depth in the drawing. I actually had no idea how to do that so I looked up some examples of bubble letters and copied the marks. I then colored the letters using a blue and orange color pencil that I found laying around. I don’t even think I’ve used them since middle school or sometime then. In all honesty, the drawing above was my 3rd time drawing my name. I just couldn’t get the letters to look correct the first two times and I was pretty happy with how it turned out since I am not that great of a drawer. I think it would’ve been fun to try to graffiti since it isn’t something that is done normally and I have no experience in working with spray paint but I guess I would need to try it sometime later in the future when I have both the materials and not be stuck in quarantine.

SUSTAINABLE ART

  • What was your idea?
    • I wanted to make a “sculpture” out of aluminum cans since it’s something that could build up in a house because we are on the quarantine. I also made the cans into a tower, to show how unstable we our diet is while we are inside.
  • What materials did you choose?
    • The material I used was aluminum cans since they are reusable and that they are easily removable.
  • Do you think your piece was able to express your idea?
    • I think the material expressed the idea I wanted but maybe not the idea.
  • How did your choice of materials influence the experience of your artwork?
    • I think that it did since I spent almost an hour looking around for an idea of material.
  • How long should a kiss last?
    • I kiss should not last longer than 3 seconds.
  • How long should a great meal last?
    • I think the time of how long a great meal should last depends on who you are spending the meal with.
  • How long should a work of art last?
    • For me, I like the idea of art only lasting only maybe a generation. That way, it would be imaginative for future generations and be something that can be told to future generations too.
  • How long should a marriage last?
    • A marriage should last until both parties doesn’t agree to be together.
  • How long should a human life last?
    • I think life should last as long as it can.
  • Does the fact that some things, like ephemeral artworks and human lives, have a finite time and then are gone make a difference in the way we experience them?
    • Yes it does since you know that it will never be seen or heard of again but only in your mind.
  • Should other things, like clean water, air, and land be sustainable and long lasting?
    • I think that these things should be long lasting and sustainable.
  • Can one person, like you, make a difference in a global problem like Climate Change?
    • Of course, the difference starts with one person and from there it will make a differenc.

(MY) VIRTUAL ART GALLERY

For my virtual art gallery, I wanted to introduce what I think comes to mind when freedom and art combine. As a person who likes to dip his finger into the gaming world, the ones that pop out to me the most are those that allow you to think freely. These types of games give us, the player, the ability to be free from what the norm is and its constraints. For the games I want to present, each one allowing you to create and do whatever would please you. The three games I want to show is Minecraft, Sims 4 and GTA 5. The last game my not seem like a creative game however if fact, it is the complete opposite.

The first game that we take a look at is Grand Theft Auto 5 and at the standard of the game it isn’t that creative other than changing a player’s clothes. But if you introduce mods to the game, the creative thoughts are endless. Freedom from the actual game is now the big topic when using mods since you now have the ability to do anything. Spawn a DeLorean or even fly like Ironman. Each of these screenshots would never be represented in the normal game however it’s actually more normal on a modded server to have these types of vehicles.

The next game I want to talk about for freedom is Minecraft. To me, I think this game represents freedom to the best of its meaning. Minecraft allows you to basically build anything and nothing is stopping you other than the physics in the game. You want to build a big statue, go for it. Maybe a castle on a hill? That can be done. When I play minecraft, my thoughts on a build always becomes bigger and bigger because there is no limit to what you can build in the game. Lots of theses builds have a personality to each one and each one show a different build style. And that can stem from if the build is a statement about something to show others or just for self enjoyment.

The last game I want to talk about that represents freedom is Sims 4. In this game, you control a character who is basically yourself in a virtual form and you live out our life through it. The reason why I say that this game represents freedom is because in the game, you get to choose your life path for each and everything from what you eat to the type of job you get and even how you want to style your house. From the screenshot, you can live in a suburban neighborhood or live in the desert or even in the forest. It is all really up to the player and how they want to live their life that shows freedom from what they can do. There is no one that tells you that “you can’t do that.” And to me, this game shows freedom the best.

VLOGGING

What was your goal with your video?

I wanted to get a video out there of a home workout for those to do since everyone is in quarantine.

Did you accomplish your goal? Why? Or why not?

I accomplished my goal of getting a workout video out and also the workout also doesn’t use weights so that means everyone can do it.

Who is your favorite YouTuber?

Juji and Tom (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgkzrMGEbZemPI4hkz0Z9Bw)

What about their work appeals to you?

They also make vlogs that gives insight to the world of powerlifting and body building.

What lessons can you take from their work to apply to your own vlogging?

I took that they just act as normal as possible since it is their personalities that attract others to their channel.

What is Authenticity?

Authenticity is something in its realest form/ or true form. Authenticity comes from doing things that come first to mind that would show a true action.

What is Performance?

Performance is an act or presentation that doesn’t fully show yourself fully. It helps fit the image of what the context is going for. Such as if you were to go to a fancy restaurant, you would want to be more polite or not eat like a slob.

Are Authenticity and Performance opposites? Or can they exist together? Explain!

I think that authenticity and performance are opposites because a person can’t be authentic and do things in the realest form. If they were to act in a different way than their initial intentions then it would be a performance.

Below are 2 clips of Jennifer Aniston on the Jimmy Kimmel show – one in the studio and one from home during the coronavirus pandemic. Do you think either clip is more authentic? Is either more performative? Why or why not?

I think that in both clips of Jennifer Aniston, it was both a performance since the one live is in front of an audience. The one on video I also think is a performance since she knew that what she says will be shown to others.

ARTIST CONVERSATION #4

Artist: Mahsa Soroudi
Exhibition: Inner Fragments
Media: 
Gallery: Michigan State University
Website: https://www.mahsasoroudi.com/
Instagram: @mahsasoroudi

Mahsa Soroudi is an Iranian artist who has a BFA in Visual Communication from Azard Art and Architecture University in Tehran 2006. Her interest include interdisciplinary topics that evolve into thought provoking and meaningful exhibitions. She is also passionate with helping familiarizing other artist with the community.

From “Inner Fragments,” Mahsa helped and had three of her works posted up. From each of them, there would be a background and a girl in the middle of the piece. From the expression of each girl, we can see that they are not smiling and all looking away from where they are facing. There is a lot of highlighting with the colors dealing with each person to help show each’s emotion and direction. From each, I find that the background is a type of wall/ground such as tarp, metal sheet and wooden wall. On top of that there are blots of paint and then the girl at the top layer. The background tends to be dark in color with brown, black and purple.

What “Inner Fragments” wants to show is that lives of Iranian women is more than the typical cliches. Mahsa wants to highlight the new wave of contemporary Iranian art as an alternative mode of understanding modern Iran. She also wants to show that there is a universal theme that women experience in their lives which is more than being mothers, wives and daughters. She wants to focus on their inspirations, intimate moments, frustrations and confusion.

In this exhibit, I did find it hard to connect to the art since I wasn’t able to speak to Mahsa in person but I did like how a lot of art wanted to show the modern Iran. I too was one of those who thought that everyone in this area wore hijabs but I was wrong. I think its great that the women in that area are their individual people and that they all don’t follow the stereotype.

DRAWING (AUTOMATIC)

COGNITIVE MAP

Experience: While drawing the map of LBS, I found that it was very easy to draw the map of the school from my memory. Apart from that, the most difficult part of drawing this map is drawing all the details and being able to fit everything on a sheet of paper. I wasn’t able to fit most of the parking lots, the pyramid and the track field.

AUTOMATIC DRAWING

Experience: I did this drawing with my girlfriend and we enjoyed the activity. At first we both thought it was silly and didn’t know what we were drawing. As we sat there for a bit we started to move the pen and it was kind of a fight between the both of us. Such as if one of us moved a certain direction, the other would try to move it the opposite way. In the end, I thought that the activity was very fun.

ARTIST CONVERSATION #3

Artist: Sienna Browne

Exhibition: Product of the Palette

Media: Painting and drawing

Gallery: LBSU School of Art, Indeterminable due to COVID – 19

Website:  https://www.siennabrowneart.com/

Instagram: siennabrowneart

Sienne Browne, 2015

Sienna Browne is a 4th year undergraduate student at CSULB who is about to graduate with her BFA. Sienna’s art consist of paintings made from acrylic, wood snap print, oil and mixed media. Her art portrays her past which started from high school. Her art nowadays consists of who she is as a person.

From the pictures that Sienna showed, most of them were made from acrylic, oil and charcoal. Most of the art was made with single stroke lines that form into different shapes. Most of her work involve her past involvement with eating disorder and body dysmorphia. A lot of her art also has a much darker background either black or a darker color to which she contrasts them with white or light colors. Sienna also said that her artwork is abstract which shows that a lot of her art has a deeper meaning behind them. From the pictures shown, the art seems to be large in size and easy to look at for detail. 

From the conversation with Sienna, we find that the art is made with her personal experiences. Her art first began as fun projects but soon realized that her art was coming from her eating disorder. From an early time, she didn’t seem to notice that it was an underlying theme. From her art now, she wants to celebrate her recovery and her future to finish and graduate. She also says that her art doesn’t come from one thought but from many that combine to make her art. In her future, she would like to take inspiration from thoughts that would help others express their own ideas.

Personally, I was able to relate with Sienna with that we don’t understand our views until we actually look at it closely. In my own view, I think I relate with Sienna that we will find a way to get away from mental illness. Through her art, even though it is abstract, I still think there is a meaning that I can pull away from it that is similar to Sienna’s thoughts.

WRITING A POP SONG

Verse 1

It began on a lonely summer day

Roaming the fields as a man against his country

Trying to escape the vicious Vietnam war

A fight that soon tore his family away

Verse 2

Fast forward a couple of years

Finding himself in a country, not his

Finding a girl who wants to leave for freedom

Escaping to a world that unfamiliar to theirs

Chorus

They did it for themselves

They did it for their kids 

They did it for their family

To soon be welcomed with open arms

In a country that they can find freedom

  1. From this song, I wanted to do a small story of the journey my dad took to come to America. 
  2. I had a long conversation with my dad about his story when coming to America. From there, I played around with some lyrics and tried to make it work with an easy beat.
  3. When writing the song, I had a clear view of what I wanted to show but making the lyrics fit with a beat was difficult.
  4. In terms of a song, I think that it jumps around in terms of the story but I also think that the song paints a picture of someone traveling to the US from a different country.
  5. I don’t think I will ever write another song again.
  6. If I were to write another song, I probably would write about when I first met my girlfriend.

COUNTERFACTUAL IDENTITY

This week, our activity was to go out into public and wear something out of the ordinary and try to interact with people. This task was very difficult for me and I couldn’t follow through with it. However, I did decide to try the task with something I wouldn’t wear normally. Rarely do I ever wear a suit but since we are on campus and I did have a speech to perform, I was able to try this activity. What I had done was sit near the nugget and looked around for anyone who could possible give me the time of day and talked to them. I was able to speak with two people, one a guy and the other a girl. Surprisingly, both guessed my name to be Kevin. I often get this since it is a popular name within the Vietnamese community. This led me to ask them what they thought my major was and one thought communications and other thought business which are both wrong. I am actually a biology major. I had asked why they thought so and one of them told me that being able to come up to them was someone they thought to be in a communications class doing an assignment. The other thought since I was wearing a suit I had a presentation in a business class to do and just thought I had some time to kill.

At the beginning of the talk, I did notice that the two students were stand-offish and I think that is due to the suit I was wearing. I think their first impressions were that I was going to offer them a promo or ask them to sign a petition. After explaining to them that I wasn’t going to do any of that, they seemed to relax and we had a normal conversation.

From this experience, I can see that in a split second a person can make up their mind. They can create a judgment on a person and that it would change their way of interacting with you. I had barely said hi to these people and it looked like their smiles went away and wanted to kick me in the nuts. But after some reassuring, they were able to reassess and interact in a friendly manor.