I am a graphic designer and photographer by trade and I create a lot of digital content but my personal work is more diverse and hands-on. I express myself in a multitude of mediums such as photography, illustration, screen-printing, painting, textiles, and cooking — pulling from traditional recipes and home-cooked meals from my childhood.
I am inspired by oral accounts of my family’s immigration stories and activism with reverence to social justice, community, and the environment. I try to create work that narrates my cultural history, work that represents how I want to see the world, and work that inspires others to create, consume, and live mindfully.
Currently my personal work is centered around sustainability — creating paper from recycled grocery bags and sewing garments from repurposed fabrics. Unrelated to that, one of my larger, ongoing projects is producing a cookbook comprised of many unique cuisines of my Tai Dam heritage to celebrate the matriarchs in my family – an homage to my lineage.
UICCU's BENCHMARKS 6.0 2017
Iowa City Downtown District
This nationally recognized public art program was back for its 6th and final year. For 2017, the program continued with 20 benches – found throughout downtown Iowa City – completed by local artists chosen by a panel of judges. The theme for BenchMarks 6.0 was left open.
My bench, titled, "The Journey" was conceptualized as a response to the current political climate. No matter what a person's journey is, they are welcome here and they belong. I wanted to convey this concept as simply as possible, making it bright, colorful, and innocent — like the work of a child's. Graphic, exaggerated, blue waves ebb and flow with a rainbow wave among them carrying a small, delicate, white paper boat. The concept was inspired by my family's journey from overseas as refugees during the Vietnam War. The bench received honorable mentions.
UICCU's BENCHMARKS 5.0 2016
Iowa City Downtown District
BenchMarks was the first participatory public art project championed by the ICDD as part of the Community Gallery Program. The theme for BenchMarks 5.0 was "metamorphosis". The concept of this bench came about because I wanted people to be aware of climate change and how the monarch migration is affected by that change.
This bench shows the lifecycle of the monarch butterfly from caterpillar, to chrysalis, to butterfly — layered and collaged on top of each other to create an abstracted final image. I hoped it would provoke people to think about their own meaning of change. It’s location could not have been more perfect. It was situated in front of Iowa City’s downtown community garden. It was voted 2nd place for People's Choice.
BETWEEN EVERY TWO PINES
As a thank you gift to everyone who helped us along our two-week road trip to the Pacific Northwest, my partner and I hand-bound 8 books comprised of a little less than 90 pages of our favorite photos form the trip. The images were encased in a hard cover that we screen printed with our hand-drawn illustrations that reminded us of our time in the PNW. Read more about the process on my blog.
OUTRAGED, ENGAGED, ACTIVE
In response to the current administration, I screen printed two styles of t-shirts. For one style, I encouraged my friends to write a few words/reasons why they are outraged in this current political climate. The different handwritten responses are representative of the concerns shared by countless individuals. For the other style, the t-shirt read, "outraged, engaged, active" — a reflection of how I see our nation absorbing all of Trump's early executive orders.
80% of proceeds were donated directly to the Syrian Emergency (through the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)), while the other 20% covered costs for materials and shipping. Over $700 was raised through this project!
I’ve been doodling since I could pick up a pen. I remember being that one kid in grade school that always had more scribbles in the margins of her notebook than notes on a page. I loved all of my art classes and to this day there is rarely a time I do not want to create.
My drawing style varies greatly but when it comes to illustrating for design-related content or just for fun, I am very into linear drawings. –Crisp lines, flowing paths, and the precision of a line poses as an exciting challenge for me.
See What I've Been Up To!
Order in Chaos | BFA show | Iowa City, IA | November, 2015
This is Intermedia, Too! | Iowa City, IA | December, 2015
Intermedia Showcase | Iowa City, IA | Spring, 2015
Intermedia Shebang | Iowa City, IA | October, 2015
Earthwords: Spring Up Gallery | Iowa City, IA | April 2016
SAAH Group Honors Exhibition | Iowa City, IA | December, 2015
Graduating Seniors Show | Iowa City, IA | December, 2015
UICCU BenchMarks 2016 | Iowa City, IA | Spring-Summer 2016 (*Second Place winner for People's Choice)
Feminist Voices Spring 2016 Showcase | Iowa City, IA | April 2016 (view, here)
To(get)her: Iowa City's Meeting/Melting/Mending Performance | Iowa City, IA | October 2016
Nasty Women in Iowa | Iowa City, IA | February 2017 (view, here)
UICCU BenchMarks 2017 | Iowa City, IA | Spring-Summer 2017
"Cutting Fruit" | The Daily Palette | Iowa City, IA | February 2016 (view, here)
Little Village's Annual Bread and Butter Venue Guide | Iowa City, IA | 2015
"Cultural Incompetency: Racist Yik Yak posts target Asian students on UI campus" Little Village Magazine| Iowa City, IA | October 23, 2015 (view, here)
"Cultural Incompetency: Racist Yik Yak posts target Asian students on UI campus" University of Iowa International Programs via Little Village Magazine | Iowa City, IA | October 26, 2015 (view, here)
Little Village's Annual Bread and Butter Venue Guide | Iowa City, IA | 2016
New Pioneer Food Co-op's Catalyst | Iowa City, IA | Winter 2017 (view, here)
New Pioneer Food Co-op's Catalyst | Iowa City, IA | Spring 2017 (view, here)
Little Village's Annual Bread and Butter Venue Guide | Iowa City, IA | 2018