秋高气爽！这个周末去闺女学校参加一年一度的Family Weekend活动。上午观赏了音乐系主办的Music Recita，其中有闺女的古筝演奏。这次闺女演奏了她自己谱曲的游子归。等我从百忙(吹牛)之中挤出时间，一定会给这个曲子填上歌词。
闺女在音乐方面，早就青出于蓝，让她爹望尘莫及了。她谱写的Dream of the Ice, Universe Dancer, 兼合了西洋与中国风的特色，非常有想象力与灵性（尚未发表，暂时为闺女保密哈）。她自编自导自唱的In Ten Years（厉害了，我的爪闺女！），得到了音乐界专业人士的中肯。当然，最令我为之感动与骄傲的，是她为纪念奶奶专门谱写的Journey（原创歌曲：天堂之旅-献给妈妈）
闺女的艺术与文学细胞100%来自她爹的 X chromosome, 跟她得到的您那根儿 X chromosome没半毛关系。所以，辛辛苦苦拿三个博士有个啥用，啥也没传下来，哈哈哈哈...
Family Weekend，是闺女学校一年一度的盛会。全国各地的爱心父母包括爪哥的偶像，当年Hollywood超级巨星Richard Gere，纷纷来至滨海小城，巴结巴结地与乐不思蜀的孩子们重述天府之国的美好哈哈。可惜俺比老帅哥晚到一天，无缘见面，太遗憾啦！
My artwork, "The Parts of Me that you Don't See" is about my struggle to come to come to terms with my Chinese identity as I grew up. If you look at this girl in the red backpack, this symbolizes that when I was younger in elementary school and early middle school, I had about equal influences of my Chinese culture and American culture. After all, even though I went to regular American school, a huge deal of my time was spent at home--where I was speaking to my parents in Chinese, learning how to play the guzheng, a 21-stringed Chinese harp, memorizing chinese poems, attending Chinese school on the weekends.
However, as I got older, as academics, extracurriculars, sports teams, and friendships outside of home formed, I began losing that part of me, and by a certain point, I started seeing the Chinese side of me as bad. I lived in a 95% white town, I was the odd one out, the person who looked different and was plugged under stereotypes of what it means to be Asian: someone who's nerdy and studies too much, someone who's unathletic and only good at ping pong, someone who doesn't have an active social life. I've had people ask me "Did you parents drop pots and pans down the stairs to name you?”I've had people pinch their noses in disgust from the smell of my lunches. In highschool, in attempt to defy those stereotypes and just be "normal", I turned my back away from my culture and embrace the "white" (which you can see in my artwork. I pretended to be stupid, I bought school lunches, I played sports like basketball and volleyball, I tried not to integrate myself into east-asian friend groups or post pictures on instagram with Asian friends. In the process of embracing the white, I didn't let the beautiful sounds, colors, and symbols of my culture touch me. I even stopped playing the guzheng, I even grew uncomfortable with saying my own name. The red only became just a small sliver in my hair.
But the important thing is that this red is not all gone, and it will eventually come back.
Now, The interactivity in my artwork implicates the beauty and importance of exploration. Take this piece from above at a normal perpendicular perspective of how we view drawings, you see this girl hugging and embracing the white, and everything seems alright, perfect, beautiful, fluffy and pretty. It looks like a welcoming dream.
However, it's only when you explore the piece from the side, take it from another perspective do you see excessively repeated phrases. (“?,”“who am I?”,“I hate myself") showing that I'm struggling to define myself, going through an internal crisis. all the perfect structures I've created are poised to shatter like a city of glass.
It's only when you explore from the side do you see the eyes staring back, my self-consciousness and anxiety that everyone's watching me, that I'm being judged and scrutinized wherever I go.
It's only when you explore from the back do you see a flap on the white that says silence; meaning I had cut out the music in my life which was so meaningful to my growth.
Lastly it's only when you explore from the bottom do you see a naked woman underneath the path of the little girl, symbolizing the vulnerability that comes with being stripped of all my layers and masks. This is a vulnerability I tried to hide, disguise, mask, and it's not easy to find unless you really get the time to get to know me, explore me, and understand me.
And it's a vulnerability that took a while for me to find in myself too. And that's the importance of exploration. Sometimes things in the surface may not always be what they seem. It takes time, approaching from a different perspective, examining with a different angle to truly understand an issue, or idea, or person
As for next My self exploration is also represented by the motif of a door that appears in many locations- sometimes it's closed, sometimes it's open, and it comes into larger force in the back of my artwork. There, my past self gazes at the path leading to the door, constantly questioning whether I should open or close my identity. Over the years, I have crossed out "open"and "close” countless times, and even now, I still haven't reached a definitive conclusion because my self-concept and identity are always wavering and shifting, struggling to accommodate both my Chinese and American side.
However, I think it's important that I've come to terms with this struggle, and one defining moment that helped me realize the power of my culture and give me a wakeup call was when I composed a guzheng piece for my grandmother. I've played the guzheng for a long time which was a connection to my Chinese culture that I never really lost, but this was the first time I was making something of my own heart and feeling, and it lifted me to such a different perspective, gave me a feeling of empowerment. The song is about how in my childhood, my grandmother came all the way from China to America to help take care of me. She not only ensured I was a healthy child growing up but she also taught me about my culture, etc. However, she left for China when I was ten and never came back to America again. I missed her for many years, and this period simultaneously corresponded with my loss of culture. However, in 2017 when I started picking up the guzheng again, I qualified to compete in a CCTV competition in Beijing, where my grandmother lived, and I knew I could see her again. I was so excited to meet her that I composed this song for her. The beginning symbolizes my love and longing for her and the second half symbolizes excitement of seeing her after so many years of separation. This song is called "Returning Home." It not only talks about returning home to my grandmother, but also a return to my culture, my identity, and how I've appreciated it so much after travelling away from it.