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My Story

As a child, I grew up amidst chaos where peace wasn't easy to find. Back then, I would bike into the ravines and hide under trees to escape. I would look up at clouds for hours, imagining what it would be like to sit nestled between the swells of a puffy cloud away from it all. I admired the textures, colors, and forms and wanted to understand them. This curiosity led to picking up a pencil, paper, and a paintbrush. 

In my early 20s, I started working as an architectural designer in corporate architecture, building shopping malls and strip centers. I know what you're thinking:  How did that little girl end up here?

Well, long story short, I followed the unspoken but widely known rule for Asian families:  do whatever it takes to make everyone happy/proud. In Asian households,  that's code for getting a respectable job like a doctor or lawyer. But I was a creative and artist, and I was definitely not lawyer material. So becoming an architect was the compromise I made to satisfy family obligations. 

 

But I slowly realized I was living someone else's dream.  I was getting sick a lot and wanted to find a way to be that creative, happy girl I once was. Each free evening after work, I would paint something to make myself feel better.  By the end of each evening, I thought I had accomplished something I was proud of.  I began to wonder, "how was it that I had architecture projects that I got to build and design, but couldn't feel an ounce of pride or joy?"  Is there something wrong with me?  So to feel more like myself, I kept returning to painting. 

 

As years passed, developments in central Florida took over the natural land to become neighborhoods and shopping centers. I began to realized how connected the industry I worked in was so connected to the devastation I saw. I would try to remember what once stood there, only realizing those 400 year old native trees are irreplaceable. The land will never be the same again. The large tree canopies that sheltered the land, the plants, the animals...where do they all go? their home, their peace was stripped away from them for convenience, consumerism. I saw myself in them, and in a way, we are all searching for the same feeling;  peace.

Today, as an artist,  I hope to capture the essence of these landscapes before they are altered by mankind and ripped from our memories. 100 years from now, I want future generations to look at these paintings and feel the warm sunrise, the morning dew that glistened on tree leaves  as the sun passed, the beauty of what once was. I hope it will allow those future humans to ask the question, what are we willing to give up? 

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