This post is imageless, due to the fact that all public domain bubble images are cheesy and I can't find the photo of me with my bubble gun that makes giant bubbles the size of my head.

I'm going to start this post with an excerpt of the post-election e-mail I sent out yesterday:  

I hope everyone is doing ok. There's not much to say that hasn't already been said. I'm completely shocked. I went to bed at around 2 am, and although things were already looking bleak and it was apparent that Hillary was going to lose, I still held out the tiniest iota of hope that when I woke up, just maybe things would have turned around...because it ain't over till it's over, right?
After hitting snooze several times and finally getting up at 7:25am, I looked at my phone and just broke into tears. I'm taking this loss personally, as I'm sure many of you are. I could elaborate on my thoughts, but I've been posing status updates throughout the day, and I'm sure you're all seeing messages similar to one another come up on your feeds as well, so I won't go on.
The one glimmer of happiness today was spending the morning with my Target Margin fellows in SoHo, where we vented our frustrations, supported one another, and had a discussion with Richard Foreman. We asked him questions about his work, but of course, we could not avoid talking about last night's election, which led to us asking whether or not art has the power to change people.
Richard said no, and I don't blame him. Right now I don't know. 

I still don't know. I just interrupted my practicing to write this because I guess I want to try and see if it's possible to effect change. And I really need to get back to practicing because I have a recital this Saturday and I still need to get Mary's piece up to tempo (getting there!) so this is going to be quick, I'm going to be thinking out loud on (digital) paper, and possibly be a little sloppy. I feel an urgent need for us to come together as artists and figure out how we can engage with people outside of our collective city bubbles. I, for one, live in a city that nurtures outsider art and embraces PoC and LGBTQ folks. But this isn't the case everywhere, and if we're making pieces about race and gender equality, perhaps we should reach those not in the proverbial choir.

Why can't art just be a job like everything else? Art is about engaging with people for many of us. And this election, which has illustrated both the explicit and complicit racism of this country affects all of us. PEOPLE. "...the government of the people, by the people, for the people" is going to be led by a megalomaniac that according to the popular vote, most of us don't want to be our president. 

Something I know I'm capable of doing is organizing the shit out of anything and making things happen. There's strength in numbers and I want to hear from my fellow artists about what we can do to #popthebubble and reach people outside of our current spheres through art.

Or we can just keep making art apart from this, and keep donating, signing petitions, etc....ain't nothing wrong with that. But we need to try. I feel a responsibility as an artist to just step the hell up already. Stay tuned for a meeting in the coming weeks (no more than two because I hate when things lost momentum). In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

I'll be eloquent another day


I’m currently doing research for a project that I’m going to start digging into later this summer. And I’m aiming to finish this blog post by 3:30 pm, which is in 15 minutes, when I have to head out the door.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been reflecting deeply on race and gender. And not in the general sense, but specifically about being a woman of Asian descent, being Filipino, and a Filipino artist, in America. There are so many contradictions and I’ll be eloquent on another day, but now I’m down to 10 minutes. With the way I’ve been brought up, there’s a mixture of pride (lumpia is THE BEST type of eggroll, #sorrynotsorry; Pacquiao (as an athlete, not as a person!); Boracay is one of the most stunning beaches in the world) and self-loathing (stay out of the sun to avoid getting dark; use skin-bleaching soap; looking more Chinese=better). I’m proud to understand every word of Tagalog, although I do need to brush up on my speaking. I love so much about the country where my parents come from, but it can also be such a sad place. Last night I watched the movie Metro Manila and it pained me to see the slums of the Philippines that are all too real, and the way most of the world sees us.  

Us? I was born in the United States so I’m American...wtf am I even talking about? But as I’ve gotten older I’ve been drawn to investigating how my upbringing as a daughter of Filipino Immigrants have affected my worldview. It’s become undeniable, unavoidable. Being born female and having the natural inclination to prove I can do anything boys do definitely complicated things, as Filipinos still had a “traditional” view of women when I was growing up: I had to beg to play volleyball (luckily I did; I was good and played varsity for 3 years of high school…in fact, I often thought I’d pursue volleyball instead of piano) and when I wanted to skateboard, my dad was resistant and asked if I was a lesbian. (And of course I didn’t back down without a fight. And of course I won. For the record, my dad is actually a really nice, open-minded guy…he’s grown a lot, so please don’t hate on him! Plus I keep him in line. And I’m a shitty skateboarder.)   

I need to finish this up so long story long: I’m creating a piece that incorporates a Filipino dance called the Tinikling. I’ve found a lot of metaphors in the dance itself that I think I can really expand on. This week I've been reading through various texts and I thought I’d try writing this (very rushed) post as part of my process.

If you are also the child or descendant of immigrants and want to share anything related about your own experience, please feel free to comment!