White Snake

Can’t wait to see this. It looks awesome!

Tuesday Snapshot

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO500
“Snapshot” Cedar Park, 2019

It seems that the Texas summer is really over… 😭 Temperatures have dipped into the 40s. Ugh. I dislike the grey skies and chilly air.

Left or Right, Inside or Outside

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO6400
“Left Side” Cedar Park, 2019

Due to a wrist injury, I’ve had to wear my watches on my right wrist, which has been a weird experience. But lately my wrist has improved so that I can wear my watches (loosely) on my left wrist and it feels so much more natural! And I am wearing them on the inside of my wrist, which is more comfortable and the way I wore them when I was younger. I sometimes wear it on the outside but my wrist will get sore after a while, so inside it is.

It’s a little silly, but I feel like I’ve completed some sort of achievement by wearing watches in all four positions. Do I get a medal for that? At any rate, I’ve learned that for me, the left wrist (standard for right-handed people) and on the inside (military-style) is best.

またね~

The Farewell and Being Mixed-Race Asian

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/120 sec, ISO194
“The Farewell” Austin, 2019

I went to see The Farewell today. Loved it. Seeing a movie from a Chinese-American perspective was interesting personally because it’s something that I can relate to, although not fully since I’m a generation or two removed from any family connection with China. However, I know a fair bit about Chinese culture so the movie felt special and the situations were familiar. Come to think of it, Billi is somewhat removed from China as well and is the same generation as my Mom, whose parents emigrated from China.

Billi is 100% Chinese-American (both parents are from China), but I’m mixed-race Asian-American, which is why I couldn’t more closely relate to her. On one hand, I’m a bit envious that Billi can identify as Chinese. On the other hand, as a mixed-race Asian-American, I am proud of my mixed heritage since I can identify with Japanese culture, Chinese culture, and to a lesser extent, Hawaiian culture. But I am not able to be 100% committed to one, and that is somewhat unsatisfying. It makes identity complicated. Hanging out with Chinese-American, Japanese-American, or Korean-American friends growing up, I felt like a mutt (albeit with a bit of pride) inside. My last name meant that people (at least other Asians) saw me as Japanese-American even though I am over 60% Chinese. I’m also 6% English, but honestly, I’ve never identified with that part of my heritage. Why not? Well, I’ll have to think about that… Anyways, it’s complicated!

Back to the movie, the character Aiko was one of the most intriguing for me. To most viewers, her role was kind of throw-away, but I kept thinking about her and Hao Hao and their future kids (if in fact they are getting married) since they will be mixed Chinese-Japanese like me. What will their lives be like in Japan? What will their family visits back to China be like? How much Chinese culture will they be taught while living in Japan? What kind of discrimination will they face there?

Aiko’s situation was actually the most palpable to me. I’ve been in similar situations where I was at my girlfriend’s family gatherings in Hong Kong, and could only smile and be polite. And of course in Japan to a lesser extent, I have to do the same. So when Aiko is at the dinner table and banquet, I could feel her awkwardness! I also know how isolated and lonely you can feel when in that kind of situation for days on end. Gambatte, Aiko!

I was also thinking about POC representation in Western movies – with so many different kinds of mixed-race Asians in the world… would it be possible to depict the cultural complexities for each combination? Is it worth it? Too niche? Or must mixed-race Asians pick and choose where to find their on-screen representation? I wonder what Awkwafina‘s thoughts are about it since she is Chinese- and Korean-American… 🤔

The Farewell has given me plenty to think about. But if I didn’t mention it earlier, go see The Farewell. It’s a great film! 👍

Second Visit to the Blanton Museum of Art

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO6400
“Art Tour” Austin, 2019

Today I dropped Koa off at UT Austin for his third and final band camp of the summer. The dorm he is staying at is right next to the Blanton Museum of Art, so after Koa was squared away, I decided to check out the artwork. As a bonus, I bundled my ticket with parking so I saved a few bucks. 😁

As luck would have it, I bought my admission at about 3 pm, right when a free guided tour was starting. It was “Best of the Museum” and we stopped at nine pieces of art and had discussions about each one. It was very interesting and illuminating! I’ve been interested in art all my life, but I find it hard to understand the purpose of it. Some of the art we saw today from the early 20th century was clearly made to make a social statement, but other Italian art from the 1600s was more of a depiction of a typical everyday scene. They were very different, but both are “art”. I suppose the hangup I’ve always had in understanding art is that for some reason I thought art should have a singular purpose, but that is clearly not the case. Some art is meant as a protest against the status quo, some art is religious and devotional, portraits can simply be a likeness of the subject, etc. I guess the art is more about the artist’s vision, rather than the objects in the art themselves?

Listening to the museum docent describe what the artists may (or may not) have been trying to say opened my eyes as to what art might mean to me. I’m excited to think about it more, and maybe I can use my creativity to make some more meaningful art. The first step is figuring out what I want to say, which honestly could be a challenge.

It’s funny to think that although I’ve been interested in art since elementary school, took classes throughout high school, majored in Art Studio and minored in Art History, then interned at a museum, that finally at 50 years-old I am giving serious thought as to what art means to me. All this time I’ve just been making things just because I liked the aesthetic. But there can be so much more, right?

I hope you had a nice Sunday!

またね~

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/50 sec, ISO6400
“Replicas” Austin, 2019

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Replicas” Austin, 2019