March 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Gabriel!

He turned two on Sunday. He was so excited he kept practicing 'blowing' all weekend and was only sad when he couldn't turn 'four' like his big brother. "No two! Yes four!" he shouted. He's still figuring out verbs.

Amazing things about my #2: He potty trained himself at 16 mos and was night trained within two months. (This was the first thing Raul and I'd blurt out in conversation for weeks after because we still couldn't wrap our minds around it) He eats kimchee, rinsed kid-style, almost every day. Loves drawing on himself. Has broken 2 DVD players, our toaster, our Birthday present to ourselves Bosch IPod Player, crayoned our TV screen, and popped off the 'enter' key on our portable. All this under constant supervision! He just gets around. (His brother broke not a single thing in all his four years.)

We can't imagine life without him...




March 3, 2009

Korean Cinematography

Thanks Grace for the heads-up! We saw the episode last night and was rolling. They've got every shot down and Brett's Korean is pretty good.

March 7, 2009

Sci-Fi Us

A social anthropologist once said of 1.5'ers that our experience here was the same as if our children were being raised by our grandparents. That the cultural mind-jump was profound, spanning from an agrarian post-war mindset to post-post modern in one generation. There was more said about this but this statement captured it all for me...

It captures my feeling that we are a generation of time travelers, of sci-fi characters able to feel at home in a tin-roofed home with an outhouse in Pusan, S. Korea and just as easily go to our jobs manning a register in the inner city while spending our days in academia. We can receive our local prayer lady without batting an eye, she'd come in and pray over us in tongues and things might even become more christian-shamanistic and your mom will be in the other room getting bruised black and blue (what IS the name of that practice?) and you will be in the kitchen preparing the watery instant coffee doused heavily with coffee-mate thinking of what movie you'd like to see, and if there was time to do a Starbuck's run for a latte.

I think this is the main reason Korean-American's have been able to assimilate so quickly and so successfully, the reason why there were recent studies done on the absurdly high percentage of Korean-American's who have made their way into the top tiers of entertainment, fashion, and art including the more traditional model-minority pursuits of law and medicine. We are a generation unfazed by the speed at which our times are progressing, we can twitter/game/Youtube as fast as we can help our mothers get out of the weird illegal DirectTV deal a Korean man approached her with (my mom in PA got somehow hooked into New York DirectTV but only got about eleven channels total) - how many times have we had to write letters, call companies on our parents behalf starting with "My mother doesn't speak English very well..."

It also explains why a K-A college girl from Los Angeles on vacation with her mom was able to whisper/mime to us one night by the camp fire in Yosemite that all the Korean's she knew were f***ed up. Pure and simple. And it was the reason, she said louder, that she knew she would not ultimately marry a Korean guy. She looked at her mom, a cheery energetic sort who loved driving all over the country on these mini vacations with her daughter and her mom said batted her eyes innocently and demanded to know, Why you look at mommy ?

If you think about it, the east-west factor alone is pretty astounding. At the same time we have to be both inter-dependent and individualistic; authority revering and authority critiquing; thinking of other's feelings first and thinking of how we feel first; obedient and unique; financially enmeshed with your parents and family, and expected to earn your own way. The list goes on and on and I for one think it's no small link to the high percentage of immigrant K-A's and mental illness. Because it is an impossible jump, bigger than a move across an ocean and half the planet- it's a move into an other way of understanding, opposite to all the meaning Koreans had ever known.

I think of all the times I witnessed a profound culture conflict, from something as little as a customer who'd misunderstood my parent's manner for rudeness to as big as legal events where a beloved family member tried to show respect to the law with silence and cooperation, and how the legal system exploited this to profound damage. And like all sci-fi characters, because we're a unique generation, caught halfway here to there, we're marked by what we see and can't share.

March 9, 2009

Sci-Fi Us, Part II

Hence, David Chang.

I was sent this link ages ago about the superstar chef and owner of Momofuku Ko, Ssam Bar and now Bakery and Milk-Bar. The profile is well-done and captures much of of his immigrant upbringing and I was asked along with the link what I thought about the article, about David's conflicted genius and his compulsions towards religion. And I could not come up with an articulate response no matter how hard I tried.

What came out finally was the blog post from yesterday and how David Chang to me is a poster boy of our generation. It touches on his obsession with perfection, his compulsion toward religion, his conflict-ridden psyche as well as his ability to deal with the madness of the professional world of cooking. Also, it touches on something close to my heart, probably a subject most sensitive to me recently - KA men and their identities. But that's another blog post entirely.

Can't wait to hear what you think.

March 12, 2009

Saelee Oh

painted a mural on her dad's laundromat wall.


I've been a fan for years....


She's doing a group show March 18th-April 11th at:

Sloan Fine Art
128 Rivington Street
(corner of Norfolk)
New York, NY 10002

with Caroline Hwang another favorite...


and Seonna Hong whose work I am looking forward to seeing... !


March 17, 2009

Park, Ho Sang


Most recent offering at 20x200 (I know, I'm such a tool but isn't this lovely!)...

(I don't know if you can tell but these are large format photos ... a rush of both detail and perspective at the same time, not to mention the colors! )

March 18, 2009

Korean Dance Party

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