National Gallery of Art


i saw this piece at the whitney and was instantly drawn to its deceiving simplicity. by byron kim, this artwork comprises of different colored panels in which every shade of oil paint and wax represent a skin color. the hues of yellow, pink and brown juxtaposed into a collective whole create a liberated sentiment of race and ethnicity — freeing the conception of skin color from the shackles of social and political construct to give each and every color equal status.

each panel is uniform in texture, dimension, and position. no one color is advantaged by its particular physical place in this piece. if one panel is featured in the center, it has just the same qualities as that of the panel located at the lower bottom corner. it is a radical metaphor for race and ethnicity based on a simple artistic vision of clean lines of color.

perhaps this metaphorical humanism founded upon such a simple idea is exactly the kind of message that we need to hear in today’s state of the world, in which we are bitterly divided by increasingly messy, dangerous, and complicated lines that have led us to lose sight of a shared basis of our identities.


a letter to my mom

today is my mom’s birthday, and as a token of my gratitude, here is a short letter to the OG female figure in my life. happy birthday mom, and happy galentine’s day.


dear mom~

remember when i’d sneak into your closet and play dress up with your clothes? there was this one bright red skirt i loved — adorned with a delicate print of tiny black flowers, it was long, flowing, and beautiful, like you. i would clumsily rummage into your makeup drawer and  experiment with your rouge cream lipsticks, while click-clacking all over the bathroom tiles in your black boots. even at the tender age of five, i still recognized your impeccable taste in fashion and discerning eye for beauty.

as i strutted around the house in your black boots, i would tell you how much i wanted to grow up so i could have my own closet full of red skirts and black boots. you’d laugh and tell me i was foolish, because i’d be grown soon enough. you were right, mom. now that i can and sometimes have to wear heels, i’d much rather wear flats. heels can be such a pain and leave blisters on my feet. rouge cream lipsticks get messy and leave stains everywhere. flowing red skirts are only socially acceptable for dates and special occasions. being a 25 year-old woman isn’t an easy course, with its myriad of societal rules and customs, blisters and lipstick stains, misadventures and detours.

for all the times we’ve fought and cried together, you’ve reminded me again and again that girls grow into strong, passionate women who work hard to achieve their dreams. we must find and ardently chase after what we hold dear, and our revelations about our mistakes and flaws will only teach us to become better versions of ourselves. wherever there was potential for growth, you would empower my sister and me to explore and commit to that potential. for all the times i’ve lost and fallen, you’ve stood steadfastly behind me, guiding me to move forward because there are more beautiful, lovely things to be discovered out there.

thank you, mom — for supporting me, for believing in me, for waiting on me, for loving me, and for teaching me to become the woman i am today.

with all my blessings and love,