What has inspired you recently- what are you listening to, reading, watching?
Whether it is a viral video I accidentally came across or a silly meme I have received from a friend, I am fascinated by our online ‘sharing’ culture. Therefore, a lot of my time has been spent listening, reading and watching online content generated by other users.
Which artists are you looking at? Who are your all time favorite artists?
Since a lot of my friends happen to be art appreciators and artists, I’ve been literally looking at artists. It is tricky for me to pick my all time favorite artists because it is usually a specific artwork from an artist that sticks to me rather than the artist’s entire body of work. That being said, some of my favorites are Alex Bag’s Untitled Fall ‘95, Kalup Linzy’s Chewing Gum, Cecelia Condit’s Possibly in Michigan, Stan Douglas’ Monodramas, Nam June Paik’s Merce by Merce by Paik.
How has being in the Bay Area influenced your work?
Most of my work is made in my live/work space featuring myself. Therefore, I don’t think the Bay Area has influenced my work too much.
Your work is very playful. Do you have to be in a certain mood or mindset to perform or are you always “on”?
Performing with a live audience is always very exciting for me and, often times, I have to suppress myself to stay focussed. When I am performing on camera, I have the luxury to select the best shot that conveys what I am trying to capture. Therefore, I have the time to experiment with various mindsets. Oddly enough, the less controlled I am, the better the shots turn out most of the times.
What role does humor play in your work?
Whether it is in the artworld or the non-artworld, humor seems to be a great segway for communication and I have a great appreciation towards modes that can be accessible by anyone. Also, I personally enjoy puns and repetitive cheesy phrases, and thus humor seems to come across in my work naturally.
Can you talk about the content and subject matter of your work?
A lot of my work has been influenced by popular culture and the ubiquitous modes of communication that provides access and convenience for anyone to partake in the generation of what becomes popular. Nowadays, it almost seems to be a general understanding that anyone, anything, any animal can become a consumer and producer of content via the Internet - this is where my current subject matter is.
Who is your biggest fan?
I guess, myself? I make what I want to watch. Also, I truly believe that artists should be passionate about their own work. When I attend artist talks, those artists who are very much enamoured and confident about their own works do stand out and I think there is something beautiful about that.
Do your parents “get” your art?
I sometimes wonder if I ‘get’ my own art as well! My parents are music and art fanatics. However, I think they were initially surprised and curious to see what I’ve gotten myself into. Nonetheless, so far, whether they get it or not, my parents have been supportive of my love of art making.
Do you have a day job?
Yes, I do.
If you weren’t an artist, what other profession would you enjoy?
I started off college thinking I was going to become a pet doctor. I wanted to become a veterinarian to work with wildlife animals at the zoo or with pets at a pet hospital. I think I would have enjoyed it. However, even if I was saving animals and such, I’d still be an artist. So, end of the day, it doesn’t really matter which job I get myself into because I’ll always be making art one way or another;)
What are you working on now that you are super excited about?
I’ve recently started a blog called ‘tvdeadtv‘ (tvdeadtv.tumblr.com) where I am archiving photos of old tube TVs that are thrown out on the streets. I’ve collected 35 so far including many submissions I’ve received from my friends. I sure am looking forward to continuing my abandoned TV hunt!
Do you enjoy art openings?
Yes and no. Depends on what social mood I am in.
Would you ever want to move to NYC?
I have considered moving to NYC at one point and did have the opportunity to do so before I decided to move to SF. However, for now, I am happy with the west-coast lifestyle and don’t feel the need to.
How do you navigate the art world as an emerging artist? Do you have any tips for our readers?
Keep on trucking. Don’t burn yourself trying to get into every show. Also, time to time, it is okay to not produce and simmer your ideas - it does not mean that you are not an artist.
Do you have a critique group? How do you accept feedback?
I do not have a specific group but have many friends I share ideas or works with. In general, I enjoy having conversations and bouncing back ideas when I am about to work on a new piece or in the process of making one. When I determine a piece to be finished, I usually don’t go back and fix it. Thus, I am open to feedback but it will not affect the finished work.