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I Really Need To Get Out Of Here

2020, 72x49 cm

Being stuck inside is hard for me. It leaves me feeling trapped and unfulfilled. It makes me feel depressed and unmotivated. With quarantine, it was getting to a point where I was feeling half dead, like I wasn’t going to be able to make it out of this in one piece. All the time that I spent in my head and with my thoughts made me face certain things I was avoiding. I was trying to get out before I lost my mind.

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Eg Vil Fara Til Himna

2020, 60x40 cm

I never feel consistently at peace. The first time I ever went to Iceland, I felt like I was in a fairytale. I felt like I found my own dreamland and I didn’t have this looming feeling of impending doom. After leaving, I realised how depressing real life is. Everytime I go back, I feel like I am in heaven. I have dreams about different places in the country that show up as a series of shots. I wanted to paint the shots of one of my dreams so I could see them when I am awake as well. 

I Wrote A Haiku” series

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I Wrote A Haiku

2020, 60x40

The haiku comes from a place of fear of abandonment and my tendency to run before I think it will happen. I wanted to make this piece more abstract in terms of colour, shape, and motif to signify my lack of touch with and understanding of reality in moments of dissociation. 

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Spoonfed Negativity

2021, 60x40

This piece makes up the second part of my “I Wrote A Haiku” series. Certain elements remain consistent, such as the mountains and colour blocked background. The words on this canvas serve as a reminder that I should not distort my sense of self according to how others may see me. I should be around people that make me feel good and help me see my growth, rather than be around people who remind me of my faults and shortcomings.  

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Hardhead

2021, 60x40

This piece makes up the third part of my “I Wrote A Haiku” series. The words “I think I ruin all the things that should be fun I don’t get the hint” alludes to my tendency to overthink situations and turn them sour. With overthinking comes anxiety, fear, shame, guilt, and doubt and it can be difficult for me to regulate those feelings when they come all at once. “Please get me out of my own head” is a cry for help, being in my head is too overwhelming sometimes. The quickest way to get out of it is by dissociation, but it’s not the best way to get out of it.

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Self Loathing

2020, 59.5x42 cm

Angry, upset, bitter, resentful, insecure, unworthy, scared, doubtful, unsure, sad, jealous, spiraling. Should I leave, or will they leave me? Are we together or are we not? You owe me apologies, where are they? Do I want to know where we end up?

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New Year “New” Me

2020, 36x32 cm

“New year, New me, the greatest lie I always tell myself” kind of makes fun of new year’s resolutions. I have never really taken them seriously but this year, I decided to actually make a list of goals and habit changes for myself. But I was feeling really pessimistic about it since whenever I tried before, it never really worked out. I also don’t believe in the ability to reform your entire self under the label “new year’s resolution”. I think growth as it pertains to my life is something I have to put effort into everyday, and just because I say I made a “new year’s resolution” doesn’t mean it’s suddenly going to improve. 

Remembering Chinese New Year series

As a child, I spent Chinese New Year with my family, either in Elmhurst or Flushing. I stopped going as I got older. This piece is dedicated to the memories and experiences I had at the gatherings with my family. My Aunt’s cooking, my cousins playing board games and tag with me, hearing all the loud conversations, the sounds of enamel chopsticks and spoons clanging on our bowls. 

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Remembering Chinese New Year

2020, 80x53 cm

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Remembering Chinese New Year pt. 2

2021, 80x54 cm

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Parenting Isn’t For Everyone

2021, 72x50 cm

I grew up in a household with a narcissistic parent who felt very threatened by my growing independence. Co-existing in the same space was incredibly difficult and affected me emotionally and mentally to this day. In a fit of rage, I was reading about Narcissistic Personality Disorder in parents and how it affects children and felt that almost everything hit the nail on the head. I was so angry thinking about the conditional love that my caretaker provided me, making me feel like my existence is merely a retirement plan. This piece’s main message essentially is that not everyone should have kids if they are going to end up treating them poorly. 

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I Thought We Were A Team

2021, 46x33 cm

This piece came from a place of deep insecurity in my relationship. A perpetual fear of my partner not being ready to face the world with me because I am not enough or they realise I am not what they may have wanted, despite the positive things we’ve shared. 

Communication series

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Communication pt. 1

2019, 59.5x42 cm

A reminder to myself that silence when silence is not needed is a relationship’s worst enemy. Silence doesn’t allow for a bond to grow stronger and flourish. I also don’t like silence.

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Communication pt. 2

2019, 59.5x42 cm

Silence instead of confrontation results in resentment. There have been so many times I didn’t say something I wanted to and it stayed pent up inside me, only to manifest itself into bitterness. I don’t want to resent the people I love and I don’t want them to resent me. 

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Communication pt. 3

2019, 59.5x42 cm

I was convinced that my partner and I’s inability to properly communicate was going to lead to us ending. And I did not want that. I did not want to risk us falling apart over a concept that seemed so stupidly simple: talking through our issues. 

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Identity Crisis

2020, 60x40 cm

Being biracial, I always found it hard to connect with both sides of myself. I was raised by my mother who is Polish and therefore, am familiar with many Polish cultural practices, foods, quirks, etc. The white skeleton represents the Polish side of me which I can easily connect with. The red skeleton represents the hazy connection I have with my Chinese half. But regardless of what I identify with more,  I can choose to learn more about other parts of myself. The lacking connection is self imposed, because I am and always will be Chinese and Polish.

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Antisocial Interactions

2020, 46x33 cm

While falling into a hole during one of my spirals, I started thinking about why it’s so hard for me to put myself out there and make friends. And I get frustrated when people advise me on my loneliness by telling me to just go out and talk to people. But it’s not that easy, is it? I know what I am like behind closed doors and I am scared of showing that to people. I’m scared of showing me to people because what if they can’t handle me? But at the same time, keeping people at arm's length is also pointless and further emphasises my feelings of loneliness. What can I do?

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Uncomfortable

2020, 116x80 cm

I made this piece bright and loud on purpose because I wanted all the thoughts I wrote on it to be seen. Some I wanted more noticeable than others, but I want viewers to look for all the text. Different phrases are dedicated to different people in my life, but I wanted to leave them anonymous. I put some questions on there directed towards different people as well for them to figure out since I’m too shy to actually confront them. 

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Madness

2021, 59.5x42 cm

One of the artists I admire most is Vincent Van Gogh. Van Gogh’s mental state is something that has always fascinated me in the sense that I feel like I can relate to certain things written in his letters to his brother Theo. I also have issues with impulsivity, and I related that to Van Gogh’s impulsive ear amputation following a buildup of emotional and mental distress. I wanted to make this as a homage to the artist, and compose the piece in such a way that it is formatted like the doctor’s note written in 1930 depicting his amputation.

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A Conversation With Kira

2020, 32x24 cm

“You move on or you don’t. But if you do, it has to be whole heartedly.” This is some of the best advice I have ever gotten from a friend. I am very sensitive to grudges, but at some point, they are not my burden. It is a reminder that after a certain point, we are not responsible for other people’s bitterness. Cheers to Kira.

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Distortion

2019, 59.5x42 cm

A representation of how my brain feels a lot of the time. Especially when I am dissociated or spiraling, text doesn’t look like text anymore and my vision starts to warp everything as it zooms in and out. 

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Toxic Positivity

2020, 33x24 cm

I think people that say depressed or anxious people should just “manifest their happiness” are full of shit. You don’t just stop being anxious or depressed because you tell yourself you’re not, that’s not how it works. That mindset is so toxic and so damaging, and very common in my family.