The Importance Of Art

Ever since I was young, I have always been surrounded by Art in some shape or form.

My Mother would spend a fair amount of her time at her light table, working on inscriptions she was hired to do. Her expert hand-painted watercolour images and master calligraphy beautifully came together in a harmonious display.

It was a memory I won’t soon forget. I really enjoyed art class in my early years. It was one of the only classes I didn’t have to stress over. I knew I would not fail.

Museums and galleries are some of my favourite places to visit. I have had the pleasure of visiting not only local galleries but galleries abroad. I’ve been to the Louvre in Paris and the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, Netherlands. A shining moment for me was being able to see Piet Mondrian’s work in person. That brought me a lot of joy.

In the Royal Palace, Amsterdam
Standing in front of the Louvre
Posing with some Mondrian

I started really getting in to my own art around the time I was transitioning from a teenager in to an adult. It was a reliable source of comfort and expression.

I was lucky to show my art at a gallery in Vancouver’s Gastown, as well as headline the Here Be Monsters Festival in 2011. My achievements have been more extensive than I could ever have imagined. So much so that I had to make a list.

I find that having the ability to integrate my activism with my art has been a great way to build bridges and bring my many messages to the forefront.

My process of creating very rarely relies on an idea. It generally is a subconscious, intuitive movement, picking up colours and seeing what happens. It amazes me that I am able to make such vibrant pieces of work even in my darkest moods. It’s nice to have an outlet to help me cope with my depression and anxiety.

I still long for more immersive art experiences. I also really enjoy watching theatrical performances and some genres of live music. I think that getting to absorb creative expression is one of the best ways to get inspired.

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Kim’s Convenience is BACK!

I’m so excited to announce that Kim’s Convenience is BACK for Season 3!

I think as a collective whole, we can agree that the wait has been long but good things come to those who wait and I can assure you it’s good, really good.

I want to thank CBC for giving me the chance to watch the first episode, aptly titled “New Appa-liance”. I honestly don’t want to give too much of the plot away. What I can tell you is it starts with a fart and ends with a dishwasher.

Janet’s has her struggles in her photography program and grapples with her name. There are some wonderful moments with Jung and Appa. Umma is a bit more emotional in this episode, but I find she has good reason. If you haven’t watched the show and you’re looking for laughs, you can catch up on previous episodes on CBC Gem & Netflix.

Premieres on CBC January 8th at 8/8:30NT.

Read my previous article about the play & meeting Paul Sun-Hyung Lee here.

Reliving my (painful) past

I want to preface this post by saying that these are things i’ve experienced and at the time of writing this, I do not have a PTSD diagnosis. I, in no way, want to make those with a proper diagnosis feel less than or devalued in any way.

Often times I find myself in these dizzying spells with negative thoughts running rampant. They flood my mind: terrible, painful memories that I wish would vanish.

Discovering deceased pets, multiple instances of being bullied which included: thumbtacks, sharp side up- They would be left on my chair with an audience that consisted of my entire class, watching and waiting to see if I would notice and sit on it, purposely having dodgeballs thrown at my face, having friends-of-friends find out personal details about me and they would attempt to humiliate and berate me based on it, being excluded from birthday parties, having the whole class turn against me while the teacher was out of the room – that’s just some of the bullying that occurred during my elementary school years. Can’t forget the workplace bullying with all kinds of instances that included customers yelling at me, management making me cry or not believing things I say (I am very honest) and being fired – which was one of the most humiliating things i’ve ever lived through, co-workers being nasty to me for reasons i’ll never know.

I also can’t forget all the things my Father did: the daily verbal abuse, screaming so loud that you could hear him down the block, chasing me to my bedroom and holding the door closed so I couldn’t leave, yelling at me for questioning things he said and having friends witness his emotionally destructive behaviour which was embarrassing and continued to pile the stress on top of me. 

This is just a small portion of the hundreds, maybe thousands of memories that flow through my mind.

Even though I had the support of my Sisters and my Mum, I still felt so alone and depressed. I didn’t think I would survive so I failed to look after myself. I think sadness was one of the first emotions I remember experiencing.

I want these painful memories to subside. Easier said than done. I can’t seem to shake off things that happened as far back as I can remember. 

People often say things like “Forgive and forget”, “don’t dwell on your past”, “move on” and “live in the present”. It’s NOT THAT EASY. Diminishing the valid feelings of those who often have to suffer in silence is not something that sits well with me. It’s hard enough to allow those feelings to come to the surface, let alone feel comfortable enough with anyone to actually allow the words of pain to flow out of ones mouth. It’s a PRIVILEGE to listen to such agony. I don’t think it’s okay to interject comments telling someone to forget, move on and live in the present. It makes things worse.

I have reached out to some people that have caused me pain and forever haunt me in my memories and I was unsuccessful. I also was left feeling as though what happened was my fault. I do my best to cope.

Forgiveness is so much harder than its made out to be and it has stages that are very similar to grief. I would say that one of my biggest faults or personality flaws would be the severity of my anxiety. Many thoughts continue to haunt me, not only during my waking hours but even during my sleep.

I’m talking about those nights where my mind and my heart feel like they are racing in unison.

Trying to fall asleep, I toss and turn. Sometimes, I wake up at 3am and lay there, trying so hard to go back and sleep peacefully when my mind is at war with it’s self. My body becomes warm, clammy and my night sweats are the worst. I try to find something to think about or something to do. If one of my cats happens to be awake I will gravitate towards them; their soft hair, their therapeutic purring – it helps me stay mindful, it’s calming, it puts me at ease.

Every day is a new chapter but my story starts with pain and my book is still being written. There’s still a chance for happiness.


Introducing: Retrophiliac & Co.

My Mother and I have always talked about working on a project together and we never got around to it. Finally, my vision is taking shape and it’s turning in to reality.

Introducing:

Retrophiliac & Co.

https://www.facebook.com/retrophiliacandco/

I create the one of a kind fabric. My Mom takes care of the the technical aspects: making patterns and sewing. We come up with the designs of each accessory together and turn it in to something really amazing.

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They will be available for purchase online really soon and will be working out some details to bring them to local Vancouver shops.

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Stay tuned for more exciting announcements and I hope you join me on this new endeavour!