In 2007, my family founded a non-profit that provides aid to homeless unaccompanied youths - Starting Right, Now (SRN). Because of this work, I grew up in a large, unconventional family, with hundreds of brothers and sisters. Faced with this population of adolescents who live independently, without their parent or guardian, I am grateful for the loving relationships that enrich my own life.
My paintings and videos feature my chosen family (relatives, friends, and/or students from the non-profit), all people with which I share an intimate connection. I portray my subjects cheerful and free-spirited to offer affirming representations and celebrate this diverse community. The work functions as a means to deepen connection and make other people feel important. In this way, my art is not only about intimacy, but also it actively cultivates it.
In addition, I am a gay man. My queer art provides countless examples from which I feel love and belonging. This sort of optimistic portrayal of the gay experience transgresses beyond the ubiquitous representation of gay life that is confused, lonely, and full of self-loathing. My art is not about reckoning with my sexuality; it is about joy.
My hopeful art practice challenges the symbolic violence of pain narratives that pervades presumed stable discourses around oppressed groups. It exemplifies how closeness and familiarity can be forged even across supposed difference and how this sense of companionship fosters freedom and self-esteem. The paintings and videos direct attention to the prosperity of intimate connections, an undervalued wealth.
M.F.A. Painting & Drawing
B.A.Sc. Physics & Psychology
Proficiency Notation - Mandarin