Second Hand Second Story 1 Year Anniversary Poster

I had the pleasure of working with Hyo on the 1 year anniversary artwork for Second Hand Second Story. Hyo heads Chengdu’s first consignment shop, where her creative talent and attention to detail dresses each article of clothing, pair of shoes, home decor, or accessory in the shop with the value of a story.

I love this idea and concept because it expands on mindfulness and conscious consumption, rather than the main stream ‘fast fashion’ attitude that’s laid waste to our earth and tends to drive our self worth towards fleeting, materialistic constructs.

In China, graphic design can be a challenging profession to make money because people are used to a level of copyright infringement, or low production quality/value– indeed, I attended a freelancing panel the other day where they featured the success story of a graphic designer in Chengdu who I know has ripped off other people’s art and passed it off as her own. She’s still respected as a graphic design artist and books large accounts/clients (i.e. Ducati, and other department store brands), but I can see how the culture/ trends have Chinese clients (and even Western-facing brands) unwilling to pay less more than $10USD for a poster design (~50RMB).

On that note, I wanted Hyo and Second Hand to have an original design to connect with her awesome, local community of independent, stylish women who look good while kicking ass.

Inspired by these very women, I added the idea of ‘coins’, wealth, as symbols of prosperity. The original color scheme was taken from the new fixtures she had up in the shop (she re-feng-shuis regularly), but we worked together to come up with the final palette.

To learn more about Second Hand Second Story, you can follow them on Facebook or WeChat @ershoergushi.

 

Advertisements

Photos Of My Mom Enjoying Things

My mom has fallen into the Asian stereotype when it comes to cameras and phones: no pic, no proof. Therefore, all the pics, all the proof. Our recent trip to Berlin (my sister lives there; she visited her, and I skipped over from Chengdu) proved a conflict of lifestyle interest; as she tripped and stumbled across towns and attractions with the screen in front of her face, we became a bit impatient with the whole concept of ‘needing’ a picture. When she asked me to take photos with my camera, I became belligerent and refused– unless she posed like this.

Here is a series of my mother hopefully enjoying the view without a screen in front of her face!

DSC04217
Neue Castle
DSC04232
Rose marble corner in Neue
DSC04262
A garden by Charl
DSC04268
Roman bathhouse
DSC04278
An ivy terrace garden
DSC04389
Canola field in Poland

March Resist With Action Calendar

March’s calendar is out!

A couple of crucial dates this month: Women’s Day Strike, International Day Against Police Brutality, and the deadline of the debt limit. Participate in local activities that raise awareness! That’s not the only thing you can do: show appreciation for women you work with, or if you feel your local law enforcement team have done a good job of protecting your community, thank them for their hard work.

While the average citizen might not be able to directly influence our representatives re: deadline for raising the debt limit, participation comes in the form of educating yourself. How does the government deal with the debt limit? What will change? What might the world look like if the U.S. defaults on its loans? Read about the history of the U.S. debt ceiling, and what might happen on and after March 17th.

Click here to download the free 11″ X 17″poster.

screen-shot-2017-03-01-at-4-02-53-pm

Supplementary resources for March’s calendar will be published soon!

For more information on the calendar, visit resistwithaction.com.

Resist: February Resources

Check out the free February edition of the #Resist with Action calendar.

Learn about our 115th United States Congress. Brush up on how power is Constitutionally divided in the American government.  You’re already caught up with that? Learn how ‘Executive Orders’ aren’t in the Constitution, but also how they’ve been utilized often and in the past.

It’s Black History Month! A few interdisciplinary approaches to learning more about the civil rights movement, black oppression, and black culture:

angela_davis__page-bg_13867

Raw and brutal honesty: the Black Power Mixtapes, shot by Swedish filmmakers drawn to the urban unrest of the Black Power movement. Featuring an incredible collection of clips: stories and experiences of black Americans, political activists, and cultural icons. This interview with Angela Davis in particular reveals the astonishing gap of empathy and experience when people ask her about the Black Power movement’s association with violence. 

Angela Davis recently spoke at the Women’s March. Hear her calls to action here. 

Learn more about institutionalized segregation and its ubiquity just a mere 50 years ago: “That was how the community felt, and that was how the community wanted it. And that was the policy of this newspaper.”

quote-you-are-not-born-racist-you-are-born-into-a-racist-society-and-like-anything-else-if-jane-elliott-122-3-0353

Jane Elliott’s ‘Blue Eye Brown Eye experiments’ show kindergarteners to high schoolers a visceral glimpse of the injustice of oppression.

tumblr_odap3mvotc1rzmkjpo4_500

Black Contemporary Art Tumblr

Want a steadier stream to keep up with today’s civil rights communities or exposure to black culture? Follow these people:

Van Jones: political commentator, author, and grassroots organizer, he also hosts CNN’s ‘Crossfire’ political debate show.

Black Lives Matter: a political movement fighting for civil rights equality and police brutality against black Americans.

Henry Louis Gates Jr.: An American literary critic, and public intellectual on literature and African American culture

Museum Mammy: Social influencer Kim Drew is a social media associate for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and regularly contributes to Black Contemporary Art Tumblr.

Bell Hooks: Gloria Jean Watkins is an an American feminist, social activist, and author. Her latest essay (her most recent blog post) interprets Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ album with her own black feminist lens.

Resist With Action Calendar

It’s been a few hard weeks; seems funny to have celebrated the end of 2016 just a few weeks ago.

In seeking self empowerment through education and creative initiative, I found myself somewhat idealistically expecting precisely a ‘feed’ of a reliable political resource. I found none I could easily trust. So this is my way of 1. Educating myself, and 2. Normalizing political participation. And arting about it.

I will be releasing a new calendar each month with a list of dates and political activities to voice your vote, opinion, or support other political agendas that matter to you.

The images were composed from images of the protestors attending the Women’s March on the weekend of President Trump’s Inauguration.

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 11.40.23 PM.png

Click here to download the Calendar Cover, where you can write down the phone numbers and Twitter handle of your elected officials.

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-11-41-29-pm

Click here to download the month of February, with dates and ways to participate in current events in February.

Feedback welcome. For more political news stories and important events/ways to participate, connect with us @ResistWAxn on Twitter.

For future calendars and access to the archive, visit resistwithaction.com. 

If you’d like to donate to the cause, please direct your funds to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as they continue to defend and fight for our Constitutional rights.

New Digital Cat Collage

YAYCAKE lands in China.

Someone ordered a commission cat collage– the GoFundMe that funded my move from NYC sold the originals out, so I made a digital cat collage this week to fulfill the order:

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-5-00-29-pm

As the piece formed, I realized how much I’ve been influenced by my friend’s @LazyMom’s food-styles new wave internet art aesthetic.

I’ve been into organic textures for awhile though. There’s something helpful and magical of recalling a perfect palette/formula of colors through fruit, natural textures, plants, and landscapes.

Emails From Chengdu

Dearest Don ****,

You have your own style, darling ~ a casual attitude; no fucks given; all the lols.
My old New York room mate is a professional accordion player; when I hear accordion music, I think of him and his Tinder dates and his women, his cigarettes and Groucho Marx face; I think of New York, and his accordion music echoing in the subway, playing to himself and whatever mysteriously lucky red-headed devil leaning against the wall around the corner, getting sick from nostalgia as he reads tender emails from China.
I miss New York very much. I miss my friends. I miss being able to go to things I know I’ll have fun at, I miss the art & DIY scene..
New life with ***: *** is a monogamous person, so exploring that kind of intimacy is pretty new to me … he continually shows me what it looks, smells, and feels like to be in a healthy relationship; calls me out on my bullshit, down for bike adventures, and most romantically he’s been consistent in helping me find a good place to climb. The gyms here that are closest to me are are abysmal: dusty, grime-slicked holds that probably hold fossilized skin cells in the resin of pollution air that wafts in (the place is a cement shack on top of a roof top). What’s funny are the tires outside in front of the top-roping walls for people and (there are mostly pre pubescent boys taking climbing classes there) the kids to work out with. What is this, Rocky?
Many of the bouldering walls have no routes marked at all– it’s a haphazard mix of holds, and teachers use long pointer sticks to indicate which hold you’re supposed to try and grab next. The only clean/nicely matted bouldering walls we found are on the top floor of a mall, and pretty challenging for someone who hasn’t climbed in half a year. I feel like a blob. I am a blob. I am blobbified.
In any case, *** is the only thing between me and a blob drain. It surprises me how supportive he is in this search; sometimes, I feel like he’s doing so much for me to feel at home in Chengdu, which gives me a great ambivalent feeling balancing between love and fear.
In other news, Chinese clubs: you’ll be a star. There are plenty of clubs who give promotional table service to WHITE PEOPLE just for showing up. Because where there are white people, there comes expendable money. There is also a circle of young to older women: “Lao Wai Hunters”, which literally translated means “Foreign People Hunters”, but REALLY means “White Men Hunters”. It is not hard (*for white men) to get laid at one of these ex-pat clubs; in Sichuan the men tend to be a slim, willowy, short build, so the physical change is welcome and exotified to the spicy ladies of Chengdu. And they are certainly spicy: a common thing you might see on the street (day or night) is a girl verbally or physically abusing her boyfriend. They call this kind of man a “soft ear”: emasculated from the rest of his body, all he becomes is a funnel for abuse.
Just give me an overview of you cracking the whip at ****. Also, how is your own monogamous relationship with ****? Are you going to be a newly minted CEO with a newly minted fiancee? Are you terrified? What’s next in 2017 for THE **** ****?

Love you, miss you,

XO

Bangs Are Back In Chengdu

Bangs
Love the IDAGF look … #allforbangs

…and so am I! A few projects on my plate so far:

Freelance gig for a new client, a digital cat collage order, lady portraits continued, learning how to use a new mirrorless DSLR for pictures and video, and… resuscitating a plant that started wilting during the holidays.

So far, 2017’s bangin’.

Videos On The Other Side Of The Firewall

Taiwan has wifi.

Taiwan has wifi the way China has buffering. Except; there’s a void where you find yourself missing the croak and beeps of the modems– no feedback, nothing but the infinite, endless gray of buffering. Like the pollution. You have no idea why it surrounds you so thickly, and you get lost in it.

And so, on my last day on the other side of the Great Chinese Firewall, I’m consuming as many videos as I can before I’m back in the infinite gray.

Here are some that have given me a creative spark, some sunshine to guide me later through the haze of Chengdu. Enjoy.

MUSIC VIDEOS


Frank Ocean – ‘Nikes’ from DoBeDo Productions on Vimeo.

A Tumblr scroll through nostalgia, paralleled with Frank Ocean’s stream of consciousness and struggle through materialistic and overstimulated mainstream culture gives us just the right dose of beautiful, drunken melancholy.

Jamie XX- Gosh by director Sam Pilling

Shot in China in a city modeled after Paris, the sheer size of production and iconic imagery leaves you with a sense of awe bordering on religious.

DJ Shadow ft. Run The Jewels by director Sam Pilling

Political commentary makes violet puppets out of politicians.

DOCUMENTARIES 


Guerrilla Fighters of Kurdistan from Joey L on Vimeo.

Meet the guerrilla fighters of Kurdistan and their fierce female warriors. Listed as terrorists by the US Government along with ISIS despite their own battle against ISIS forces, documentarian and photographer Joey L. pursues more than their portraits as he ventures into the dangers of Syria– but their persistence in their democratic values and their fight for a better, more equal society.

Take me to the moon – trailer from Häns on Vimeo.

Watch the full 15 minute feature here via Aeon.co. As an ex-pat in China, this strikes me as a documentary many of my Chengdu community may be interested in. We may live across the world from America, but our perspectives and prospectives are still very Western. This feature reveals a deeper look into the lives of many Chinese workers and how they feel about their dreams and futures.

RELEVANT NARRATIVES


Obituaries from Ryan Moody on Vimeo.

A touching fictional narrative exploring the world of the victims of mass shootings before they were faceless victims which leaves us to feel the pain of the epidemic today.

11x HUMAN from John Merizalde on Vimeo.

Killer Mike calls for more humanity amongst the violence, crimes, and racism we’re experiencing in modern day America.

When We Were Knights from GoPro on Vimeo.

An incredibly moving and inspiring piece starring an everlasting friendship struck with an authentic beauty, respect, and admiration.

RESOURCES


NPR’s Best Music Videos of 2016

Vimeo: ‘Best Of’ Monthly Staff Picks

Aeon.Co