This pic was taken in Sotheby’s, the famous auction house founded in 1744, in the heart of Manhattan. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I’d have a piece in a show there.

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But it turns out, I did—in the AD ART SHOW last February.

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AD ART SHOW, organized by MvVO, took up two floors of Sotheby’s. It was hung like a museum show, rather than a gallery, thanks to curator Isaac Aden.

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MvVO is an organization whose intent is to create opportunities for artists by negotiating the junction of art and commerce. The show itself featured an international roster of artists, including a few luminaries from the advertising world.

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My piece, to the right of the sculpture, had a luxurious amount of space around it.

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Below is the piece I had in the show: “Camp” (2012). Consisting of loops of used Scotch tape on paper, this conceptual collage is a meditation on both the tenacity of internment camp survivors and the erosion of their cultural/racial identities. The ample white space and grid formation are meant to suggest the geographic isolation of these military-run camps.

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This is one of many conceptual collage pieces I’ve made around racial politics, using everyday materials. You can see more on my website here.

The opening to the show was packed; it seemed like the NYC art world was out in full resplendence. It had been 24 years since I’d last been in Manhattan, and I was completely smitten at the scale, magnitude, and density of the city. It was mind-boggling to me that I was standing on the polished floors of one of the most venerable auction houses in the world with a piece on display.

I never forget my humble roots in Seattle, showing at cafes, then eventually the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience and a few well-known galleries.

Soon I’ll have 15 pieces for sale on Artsy Premium, where global collectors go. It’s exciting (and a bit nerve-wracking) to be entering this arena, but I’m thankful for the opportunity and will see how it goes.

But in the meantime, I’m enjoying working with Franklin High School art club students on a mural commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Seattle Black Panther Party. These diverse kids are such an inspiration, and it’s a gift to be able to work alongside them and Lauren Holloway, the organizer of the Art of Resistance & Resilience club to which they belong.

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(pic by Lauren Holloway)

The art world is its own interesting organism, but community activism is vital. I’m in the odd position of straddling both right now, but so far, so good!

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