Wk 5 – Ethnography

It is interesting to think that only 100 years ago the light bulb was invented.  Before the lightbulb, people woke up when the sun rose and went to sleep when it went down.  In my opinion, that gives humans a closer connection with the earth.  Because of the invention of the lightbulb, humankind has advanced tremendously with different kinds of technology.  It has allowed people to work later into the night and possibly all 24 hours.  Because I was not alive during the time when there was no lightbulbs, I have not had to live without it.  Living without electricity for one night can be challenging, but it has the potential to be  a good breather being disconnected.

As the sun was starting to set Thursday 9/24, I had to quickly finish my homework and study before saying goodbye to my cell phone and laptop.  As the sun went completely away around 8PM, my apartment was getting darker and darker.  Luckily I already had some candles lit in preparation.  As the night went by, without having the television and fans on, it got extremely hot so my girlfriend and I decided to go outside where we could get a breeze.  There wasn’t much to do outside either so we decided to cuddle and talk in bed.  Without the distractions of technology, there was good conversation that flowed naturally free of any disturbing noises from phones and television.  Due to the complete darkness with the exception of a few candles, we began to feel sleepy and ended up calling it a night.

The following morning, I woke up around 7am with the sunrise.  I felt more well rested than any other night.  I think it is because I went to sleep earlier than usual, or possibly, my mind was free from distractions and stress that technology brings.  2015-09-27 19.59.08


Wk 5 – Classmate Conversation – Tony Nguyen

IMG_1414Before taking a look at the art galleries, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tony Nguyen.  He is a sophomore and nursing major.  He is also Vietnamese like myself and moved here in 2004 from Vietnam.  I asked him what he swims in and he said colors.  Because of such an abstract answer, he explained that colors make him feel happy.  If there were no colors, then it would be boring.  Seeing lots of colors makes him less stressed.  You can connect with Tony through his instagram page.

Wk 5 – Artist Conversation – Kiyomi Fukui

IMG_1417On September 24, I had the pleasure of meeting a unique artist by the name of Kiyomi Fukui.  Her pieces were presented in the Dutzi art Gallery at Cal State Long Beach.  She is a printmaker that uses an abstract medium to present her artwork.  She uses this special paper that will change colors and leave an imprint, to represent a physical memory of the encounter.  On this paper, Kiyomi drinks hibiscus tea while talking about her art.  She describes that a photo can also be taken to represent the interaction, however it is just a representation of the event.  The piece of paper that is on the table while people drink tea, create an impression left on the paper.  IMG_1425 IMG_1424Here are some examples to some pieces of paper that covered the table and having the impression left.

IMG_1418Here is a picture of Kiyomi having some hibiscus tea with me outside of her art gallery.  Her ideas of the world and art are abstract and represent a very free flowing mentality that I share with her.  Here is a little poem on her cards that she distributed at her gallery.  From talky ing to her, she seems like a driven artist that loves thinking outside the box to create her art.


After speaking with Kiyomi, I feel a greater sense of appreciation for the “moment” instead of just a representation of it.  Because of technology, there is less of a connection to real objects that create the memories.  Instead, there are a bunch of pictures, but it does not tell the same story.  After sharing ideas with Kiyomi, I feel that it is more important to enjoy the moment rather than to try and capture a representation of it.

Week 4 – painting 

As summer is winding down, I want to enjoy the most out of what is left of it. What better way than to head down to Venice Beach on a beautiful sunny day. Because it was my first time drawing on the walls in a public area, I was quite nervous as I did not want to paint over someone’s work and cause any problems. Luckily I found a spot on the wall that wasn’t tagged up nicely yet. Here are some of the photos that document my adventure!  

Overall, this was a great experience and I am glad I took the time to go to Venice. Thanks Glenn for making this such a cool assignment!

Week 4 – Classmate Conversation

This week I had the pleasure to speak with Forest Nutter.  He is a 3rd year electrical engineering student.  I asked him what his thoughts were about art and he said that because of his engineering background, he doesn’t have much of an opinion of art because he is more of a numbers guy.  But after discussing art with Forest, we agreed that his art is with circuits and inventing things.  IMG_1365 This here is the artist Jamie Strassenburg explaining her piece which is also Forest’s favorite.

Week 4 – Artist Conversation


I had the pleasure to meet with artist Jamie Strassenburg’s “Inuit Mythos,” located in the Merlino art gallery at CSULB.  She is a unique artist using photoshop to express her artistic beliefs.  Jamie was inspired to do this type of art from a Native American Art History class at Long Beach State.  Due to her interests in anthropology and fantasy, she is able to articulate legend tales through her drawings.  By utilizing photoshop and this drawing tool:IMG_1369

Her drawings have amazing contrast in colors and extreme detail.  After composing her drawings using this tool, she then prints them on photopaper and enlarges them to show off her masterpieces. Here is an example of some of her works:




The previous three pieces are all interconnected together in a story about the sun and the moon and the tale of why the sun is brighter than the moon.  In the first of the 3, she is known as the Sun Sister, who is carrying the sun across the sky.  The original tale shows the second character, her brother Annigan, raping his sister.  Because of the dark, she was not able to see her attacker, but when she grabbed a nearby candle, she realized it was her brother and began running.  This story is further shown in the 3rd piece.  It shows Malina, the Sun Sister running with the candle, also representing the sun moving across the sky.

From talking to Jamie, she is a creative artist wanting recreate stories with pictures to tell mythical tales of the Inuit Indian tribe.  Because of her amazing artistic skills, she can use this to help launch her way into creating video game art.  By being able to create these images from a story, is an essential skill to have in creating video game characters.

I believe Jamie’s art is very unique because of the medium that she chooses to articulate it with.  The artist has many ideas that she wants to share with others.  I am impressed that a course offered at CSULB could inspire her to do so much  with her art career.  Seeing her use photoshop in this way is impressive because I have dabbled with photoshop in the past and it is a difficult program to master.  Even though I have taken a photoshop course in the past, the level of skill needed to create these pieces of art cannot be taught in any class.

Please visit Jamie Strassenburg’s website

Week 3 – Classmate Conversation

While admiring William Brigham’s artwork in the Merlino Gallery, I was met by a fellow student by the name of Diana Solis https://solisdiana.wordpress.com.  We shared the interest in William’s art due to the intricate detail and precision necessary to create these vessels.  Diana is a senior graduating this semester and is a sociology major.  According to Diana, art is fun because there are no rules and boundaries.  It can be something you enjoy and allows you to express yourself and can be emotional. Diana told me a personal story about herself a long time ago when she was in an art class.  She used the color black to paint the background images and the teacher noticed and asked her if she was feeling down or not herself because she could sense it in her drawing.  This was a moment that make her realize that art has the capability to translate feelings.  2015-09-10 11.38.51

Week 3: Artist Conversation

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On Thursday September 10th, I had the honor of speaking to a young artist by the name of William Brigham in the Merlino-gallery.  William is a unique artist who admires the intricacies of combining patience with skill to create masterpieces.  On display he had porcelain plates he formed using a method called Nerikomi.  Using the Damascus method, William forged beautiful knives with intricate designs.  However, it was his Mokume-gane that had me amazed.   This is an ancient art style invented by Denbei Shoami born in Japan.  This is a special technique used by carving into thick layers of different colored lacquer; creating line patterns.  When he began welding metals together, Mokume-gane was invented.  The “vessels” as William refers to, are a combination of 3 metals: copper, nickel, and brass.  It all begins with the metal plates that are squeezed together and heated up with charcoal to keep the heat.  The electrons are then tricked to thinking it is one piece, therefore fusing together.  Once it is fused together, it is carefully molded into these beautiful vessels which have very distinct color and patters.  The patters of color are not repeated but create a very unique design.  The vessels have a very smooth texture due to the careful sculpting from the artist.

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According to William, his motivation to begin this type of metal forging derived from his interests in fantasy, myth, and legend.  Ancient artifacts like swords and relics captured his imagination in his spare time.  These magical swords in stories were thought to be only myths, but when he found out he can make them himself, he was instantly motivated to do it for himself.  Not only does William’s interest in fantasy stories motivate his artwork, but it is his curiosity with exploring physics.  He noted that it gives him a certain level of excitement of having control at the atomic level.  This allows him to know exactly what went wrong with his creations and to tweak it for next time.  Having the ability to heat up metal and bend it gives him a feeling that is beyond words because metal and steel are known to be the strongest and most solid material known to man.2015-09-10 11.38.39

Knowing how much time and patience went in to creating these pieces of art gives me a sense of motivation to do whatever I love.  William explained that doing these works of art has been an idea for quite a while but he didn’t pull the trigger to begin learning and testing his methods.  One day, he booked the art gallery so it gave him a deadline.  Once there was a deadline, he had no choice but to follow his dreams.  The artist ideas make a lot of sense about being able to control metal.  Metal has the stereotype of being indestructible, however when you or I have the power to control and form metal, it makes you feel unbelievably strong.

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Here is a link to William’s Instagram page.  William’s Instagram

Plaster Casting

It was a beautiful Saturday on labor day weekend. The weather not too hot and not too cold. Decided to spend some time with my girlfriend and my cousins dog Herschel at Rosies dog Beach.  

 Got my Rainbows on, supplies ready, and Herschel. 

Here goes nothing. Here’s the first hole!

Filled the mold with the player. Now, just enjoying the beach with the people that matter.   
I know he enjoys the day at the beach while the player cast is dying. 

Here’s the final product!