Culture connector. Teacher. Artist.
I am an artist living in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. I am a calligrapher, illustrator, and educator.
I am a second generation Taiwanese American born in Chicago, IL.
Before embracing myself as an artist, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 10+ years.
During these years, I felt like I was performing based on expectations others had of me. And what I thought success looked like. For a very long time, I tried my hardest to fulfill the avatar that was created for me. The avatar was someone that focused on her studies and pursued a career in the sciences.
But no matter how much I grew in this career, there was always a part of me that felt empty. I was always stressed out and mentally drained.
Feeling lost and unhealthy, I decided to start over. I left my job to work on personal development through my passion for art—the part of me that I ignored for so long.
I had to learn new things, unlearn old ways, and be comfortable with the ominous unknown. I also had to rewire my thinking to prepare myself for this new journey.
I am finally allowing myself to discover parts that I have locked away. I am finally cultivating an untapped reservoir of creativity.
Through art, I am processing my personal experiences on what being Taiwanese American means. And through this exploration, I am finally allowing myself to develop my voice as an artist.
Through studying Traditional Chinese calligraphy and illustrating through westernized lenses, I am bridging traditional Asian and contemporary art. I struggled with never feeling Taiwanese enough and never American enough. But through this struggle is where I learned my super power. The power to connect the two cultures for those that wish to learn more—especially non-native speakers and second generation immigrants and their children.
And when I need a break from studying my Taiwanese culture, I like designing fun animals.
How does being Taiwanese/Taiwanese American and/or community ally play a role in your life?
Being Taiwanese American has given me the gift of connection. Knowing my heritage is a privilege in itself. The fact that I am able to easily access my culture and share one of the oldest written languages with the world has allowed me to connect the present with the past. It has also allowed me to connect those unfamiliar with the culture which gives me a reason to preserve our culture and pass it along to the future. Being Taiwanese American allows me to carry on Taiwan’s legacy in faraway lands.
If you could teach future generations 1 thing about being Taiwanese/Taiwanese American or Taiwan, what would it be?
I want to teach future generations that our history is in our written language and that it’s important to pass it along to future generations. Taiwan is one of the few countries that still writes Traditional Chinese characters. If you look deep enough, you’ll see the history preserved in our writing. Our values is in our writing. Our identity is in our writing. This is worth preserving.
What does the future of Taiwanese America look like to you?
The future of Taiwanese America looks like a community where there’s no more mistaking Taiwan for Thailand. The future of Taiwanese America looks like Taiwan is more widely known for its innovative contributions to tech, food, art, etc.
Favorite memory of Taiwan/Taiwanese America?
Spending hours in stationery stores in Taiwan
Favorite Taiwanese food?
Beef noodle soup