This week we got a chance to pick our own activity. I could have chose to do anything so I decided to put up an update on The Jay Show. This was from week four when we had an opportunity to create our own “Mina Show”. For that week I went to Olive Garden and bought “The Tour of Italy” plate for a homeless person. After that activity was finished I started to notice more and more homeless people come to my attention at freeway exits. Especially the South Street exit that I take everyday after school off the 605. But as I started to see more of them I started to realize that it would cost me more money to try and feed every one of them the “Tour of Italy”. One day I was looking for something healthy to eat in my house when I realized that all I had in the pantry was junk food; this gave me an idea. I decided to take all the junk food that no is going to eat in the house, except for my little brother, and keep it in my car so every time I see someone homeless I can give them some food. After about two weeks though I ran out of food. I was starting to think that there are just too many homeless people in this world to feed and that I would go broke if I tried to go buy more food to keep in my car for the next person I saw on the streets. Then I came up with another plan. Instead of buying more food to store in my car I decided that from here on out whenever I have any left over food, whether it be from home or a restaurant, I will box it up and make a trip to my friends alley. You must be wondering why I would go to my friends alley and here is a picture of why:
This gentlemen has been homeless for over a year and has been living on the ground floor of this dental office behind my friends house. We have seen him numerous times but the gentlemen is always intoxicated and unable to communicate with anyone. Also many times he is so intoxicated that we fear he may attack us if we upset him in some way. But there have also been times where we do spark a conversation with the gentlemen and he has a peaceful response. In the end, this was the perfect solution to my problem. I have driven by this alley many times after dinner at a restaurant or if I have left overs from home. Its not a difficult trip because my friend lives about 5 minutes away. Sometimes this guy is able to recognize me and at other times he’s too intoxicated to notice. But in the end I feel good because at least I am trying to make a difference.
Out at the art gallery this week, I had the chance to meet Joseph Lee. He is also a sophomore at Cal State Long Beach. He is studying to be a physical therapist. He was born and raised in Artesia. Joseph and I attended the same high school but I graduated a year before him. Come to find out Joseph is actually good friends with my cousin who he graduated with. He is very in to body building and spends a lot of his time working out. Working out is his hobby plus it helps him stay in shape and be healthy. Joseph wanted to join the navy once he graduated high school and never planned on attending college. But his mom told him to apply to Cal State Long Beach just to see if he would get accepted. Once he got accepted his mom told him to finish school first then join the navy once he graduates. So Josephs plan is to become a physical therapist and maybe after college he will join the navy. Joseph is taking art just for his general education because it is an easy and fun class. He does enjoy looking at the art in the gallery, he admires the artist creativeness and their ability to create such beautiful work. Joseph is a very fun person to talk to and I understand now why my cousin and him are good friends. We were able to strike a conversation pretty quick and had a good time getting to know each other. Hopefully soon enough we will be able to get together with my cousin so we can all hang out.
This weeks art work is done by Ralph Acosta and was posted in the Marilyn Werby Gallery. It’s called Home “Sweet” Home and it represents the many different places that the artist has lived throughout his childhood in the 1970-80s. This week I was unable to find an artist to have a conversation with. I know that Ralph Acosta was not present but I was also unable to locate any artist in front of the Werby Gallery. Either way this gave me more time to go back inside and think about this art work. The postcards made me think a lot about my own life and how far I have come even at the age of 22. The artist utilizes the size of these postcards to represent the serious issues his family experienced throughout this period that were too big for a child to handle. This is much like myself and my family who struggled to get our green cards and migrate to America. It all started in the village where my grandparents worked on a farm and lived in a house with 16 people. Then 8 of us, including my family, moved to Bombay. This was the city part of India. We lived there several years until finally we were granted our green cards. This gave us an opportunity to move to the U.S. But as a child you don’t understand many or the things that your parents have to deal with in order to get their turn to move out of India. This is when I realized how I connect with the artist. He struggled with his family for over 10 years in the Wilshire District just like how I struggled to live in a third world country for 8 years before finally experiencing life in America. After coming to California I thought life would get easier but since then we have moved about 5 different times to find a stable enough home that my parents can afford to live in. And after about 13 hard years of work my parents finally have a house to call their own. The artist also mentioned that the Wilshire District is the only place that felt live home throughout those disruptive years. This make me think about how even after all the struggle, in the end, my grandparents farm is the only place that truly feels like home to me. It was a crazy experience for me this week because even thought I did not get a chance to speak with Ralph, I feel that I was able to connect with his life experience through my own families life struggles.
This week I had an opportunity to meet Khoi Nguyen. He is a freshmen studying civil engineering. Khoi hopes to one day be a manager for many different civil engineering projects. This is similar to my career path which involves business and I also hope to get into managing one day. We both laughed and agreed that it’s better to put up with school and be the manager as opposed to working the hard labor jobs. Khoi attended Westminster high school and he also played sports, much like myself. He was part of the swimming team and also played on the badminton team. It was interesting to hear that Khoi played badminton because I played a little bit of tennis myself. When I told Khoi he laughed and said that tennis is much harder for him to play which is funny because I have a hard time trying to play badminton compared to tennis. We also play many of the same video games. All these games are played online with all kinds of people from around the world. We both have a PS4, which is the newest gaming conceal by Sony. Our conversation led to the pros and cons of have a Playstation as opposed to an Xbox. There were multiple points brought up by the both of us about Xbox but in the end we agreed that Playstation is better as far as graphics and gameplay. Then we started discussing our plans for the further and where we see ourselves after we graduate. The first subject that we both brought up at the same time was traveling. We are bout huge fans of visiting out of the country. The first place that Khoi mentioned was Germany. When I asked him why he said it’s because most of his family moved to Germany after the Vietnam war. Khoi was born in Vietnam and he migrated to the U.S. when he was 13 years old. He told me that he has no siblings and all his cousins that are his age moved to Germany, that’s why he wants to visit there. Khoi went on to tell me that most of his family in Germany practices medicine. His uncle is a surgeon and his oldest cousin is also finishing up his studies to follow his fathers foot steps in medicine. A few of his aunts also work in the hospital as nurses. Khoi says he misses all his cousins and all the good times they had in Vietnam. He hopes to visit them sometime within the next year. It was nice to meet someone this week with many cultural similarities and I hope to continue this friendship on further as we progress on our path to graduating from college. In the end, we not only exchanged phone numbers but also got a hold of each other’s playstation contact information so we can get online and play some games. It was awesome to meet a fellow gamer.
This weeks art work was in the Max L. Gatov Gallery East and is done by Nolan Reiter. It is a silk screened art poster that caught my eye because I love the color green. So when I first glanced around the art show this was the first one I walked up to. As I examined the poster closer I noticed that I have seen this logo, of a semi-bald man winking, before on the Internet. But I still decided to read the insert next to the poster. After I was done I realized that I love this piece more because of the authors experience more than the poster itself. Don’t get me wrong, the logo itself with the great mixture of green and blue would make an awesome shirt but it was the insert that made this my art work of the week. Here is a picture of the authors insert:
After reading this it made me think a lot about myself. I am from a traditional Indian family and I fall in that category of children who have to repay their parents for all expenses. But that doesn’t mean my parents are keeping tabs that say I owe them a certain amount of money in dollars. It’s more of a traditional respect for your parents that we are taught at a young age. Plus it involves arranged marriages and other religious beliefs that are bestowed upon us throughout our childhood. As I was thinking about how this insert had moved me, I made my way outside to speak with the artist. This week the artist, Nolan Reiter, was present and able to answer some questions for me. First I asked him if he had drawn all the images that he screen printed over. Nolan informed me that most of them are his drawing with the exception of a few, including the image that I have chosen. He found his inspiration through extensive research and exploration of lesser-known communities around us. Most people don’t pay much attention to the world around them but I found it intriguing that Nolan went out of his way to do research and have conversations with various individuals to understand the differences between America and other foreign lands. I feel that there are not many ways to interest other people in this subject because most people are too lazy to do research and others just don’t care. But Nolan’s series of vibrant colored silkscreen art posters respectfully present this wealth of information to all the viewers. It’s great how the colors on these posters help draw in the viewer and the insert helps pass along the information. For me this experience was mind blowing because I realized that I can get people’s attention on the subject of foreign lands through multimedia versus trying to serve information through a speech or a class in school. If we were all just a little bit more open minded then maybe we would be able to process such information like Nolan does and then present it to the world.
This week I had the pleasure of meeting Hoc Nguyen. He is a freshmen who graduated from Westminster High School. Hoc is studying marine biology in the hopes of one day working in an aquarium or zoo. This was awesome to hear because I love animals. Unlike myself, Hoc was born here in California and has visited Asia only once. I have also only visited India once since I move to America but I was born in India. We were discussing different animals we have seen over in foreign lands when I noticed these cool drawings on his folder. I asked if this was his art work and Hoc showed me more cool drawings. Hoc went on to inform me that he had taken AP Art back in high school and that’s how he learned to do all kinds of art. He also wanted to attend art school but applied to Long Beach instead because he only got a 5 out of 6 on his AP test. This still shocked me because getting a 5 is hard enough let along aiming for a 6. But Hoc said he was only going to pursue art if he got a 6 so instead he is hoping to work with animals one day. Which, to me, sounds a lot more fun than doing art but he tells me that art will always be his favorite hobby. I was telling Hoc about how horrible I am at art and he asked me about some of my favorite hobbies. As I was telling him about how I played sports in high school he started laughing because he is as bad at sports as I am at art. I found this funny too because at the beginning of our conversation we had a lot in common talking about animals and foreign countries. It was awesome to meet some one who has many of the same interest as myself but our hobbies and lifestyles are very different.
This weeks art work is done by Jesse Lubben. It is called Untitled – (Red rock with astroturf) and was posted in the Max L. Gatov Gallery West. This piece caught my attention because the proportion of the items in the image confused my eye. In my understanding of this piece I perceived that the rock could be big next to a small astroturf or the rock is small next to a big astroturf. It was also great to see that red and green colors to make both the rock and turf stand out. The artist main goal was to create a body of work by intervening with the landscape. The artist is inspired by modern ideas of metaphysics and perception. He wanted to disrupt man’s ordinary understanding of the nature of reality and destabilize his perceived realities. That’s exactly what this image did for me. I would have never thought about using such lighting and to bring in an astroturf to create dimensional disruption. To find out more about this I tried to find Jesse but he was not available. Instead to spoke to a female artist who gave me some more information about Jesse. She told me that he is inspired but nature and wants to create images that hopefully draw the viewer away from immediacy of contemporary culture and to contemplate the greater implications of existence. Overall I think that I connect with this artist in a special way through his work of creating hyper realities. I am also inspired by Mother Nature and I believe that more people should take the opportunity to examine these landscapes and create their own hyper realities like Jesse Lubben.