Mixed Media Paintings & Art with Found Objects
Since our natural world is built from numerous, complex and diverse elements, I like to emphasize this by creating meaningful art collages with mixed media. I also enjoy experimenting with the concept of how combinations of geometry, colors and textures trigger emotions, so that I seek to understand what the mind perceives as beautiful, interesting and satiating. By having uneven texture, shine and layers in my artwork, this allows them to appear organic. Oftentimes, I peel away a bit of the top layers to reveal the inner materials within the artwork.
Found objects from streets and trash stimulate my mind to think of how to incorporate them into my art. It’s like problem solving. I once volunteered and exhibited for a program promoting reuse with a non-profit organization, Building Materials Resource Center (now called Boston Building Resources). Its warehouse contained donated or re-purposed materials for home improvement.The goal of the program was to inspire others to see trash in fresh ways. We used supplies from the organization to create art that celebrated recycling.
I thought about where each of those discarded items originated from and empathized with them. Why were they now garbage? While in an Artist-in-Residence program in Amsterdam, I became increasingly fascinated with abandoned scraps on streets. I strived to observe things that most other people overlooked. These discarded objects pushed me to see in new perspectives. When I grew, so did my art, and vice versa.
Art to Benefit Communities
Creativity can be applicable in multiple ways and environments to benefit communities. For one of my art commissions, I had the privilege of painting a mural in a nursery room. The expecting parents contributed their vision to the design. Overall, it was a rewarding experience to be able to imagine how the art would someday impact a child’s life.
I exhibited at healthcare facilities, a courthouse, libraries, museums and schools. These shows were often centered around raising diversity and cultural awareness, as well as on revealing the environmental status of our world. I also exhibited at Open Studios and international shows that placed a spotlight on less-fortunate children, including a fundraising show for UNICEF. Many of my graphic designs were created to promote specific causes for non-profit organizations, e.g. Asian-American empowerment programs with “NAAAP”, programs with “Art Without Borders” such as shining the spotlight on women composers, mentoring programs with “Over My Shoulder Foundation”, and science in the medical journal, “Infection and Immunity”.
Listed below are further examples of volunteer work where I was able to use my creativity to benefit communities. Click to read the blogs.