Sticking it to the Tiger Mom

I'm so psyched to see this growing movement in China as reported by Photo Booth in the New Yorker yesterday. The full article is here in the Feb. 3, 2014 issue, by Ian Johnson.

I'm tired of parents who just robotically push and stress out their children to be over achievers -- for what? To attend the 'right' schools, the 'right' universities? And then to end up in a career they are completely unhappy with not even addressing the damage it does to ones sense of self. As an artist, parent of two school age girls, I am realizing more and more everyday the importance of hands on creativity that has nothing to do with electronics (although I am a huge supporter of using electronics as well). Finding a balance in anything is key. Understanding what your school offers and lacks, then enhancing it at home is my approach. Although my kids' school is not so academically rigorous, it still is a traditional western, international school that, in the end, expects the kids to choose the college track and hence pedagocially is considered still 'academic'. I support this route for my kids, but writing as an Asian American, and commenting directly about the New Yorker article, it is refreshing to know about the Waldorf education and Steiner's philosophy as a growing movement in China. It's a cultural shift away from the Asian Tiger Mom approach, and that is a good trend in any country.


Image from the New Yorker reporting on the growing movement of Waldorf education in China.

The Fort by Sofia, Bella and Lilly.

The fantastic fort installation: Bella inspecting the backside.Fia posing in the window adding the last touches.

This is the installation titled "The Fort" by Bella, Sofia and their bestie Lilly. Using yarn, sheets, blankets, boxes and other miscellaneaous items. I'm very proud of their work. Now on view 24/7 at Bergstrasse 16, Berlin. 


Thread, acrylic, photographs, graphite on paper and mylar.

This past week my parent's dog of 9 1/2 years died of a heart attack in Madison, WI, one day after my sister Kristina's arrival from London. His name was Picasso named after the infamous artist, and in honor of my own career as an artist. Their cat, who is still alive and kicking, is named Schubert, named after the composer and a nod to Anna, my older sister's career as a musician and composer. Since they don't have other animals, Tina bemused if they did, what would they name it in reference to her career in IT? Zuckerberg? Gates, Jobs? (That would be kind of cute, actually). 

Picasso (Pico) was a loving and loyal golden labrador/retriever and although I only saw him twice a year, I will miss him. It's strange that Tina's journey, that was specifically planned to celebrate her birthday this week, coincided with Pico's untimely death.

I posted this picture in lieu of posting a picture of Pico because it evokes the sentiments I want to convey here. Besides, the photos I've collected of Pico and myself and my girls are so would be brutal to try and choose which one would best befit his personality.

The script in these drawings is the Baybayin, the pre-colonial alphabet of the Philippines. They all spell out 'mahal', and 'halik' which translates to love and kiss in Tagalog (the national language of the Philippines).

This might be a rather bizarre dedication, (but in the spirit of odd dedications -- Picasso the dog, named for me as an artist and Schubert, the cat named for Anna as a musician) I'm wishing Tina a happy birthday on this cold January day, and to Pico, a final rest in peace -- and to both, lots of love and kisses.

New work space, finally.

Wisbeyerstrasse at the border of Prenzlauer Berg and Pankow.

The drawing I'm working on in the new work space.As of yesterday I happily installed myself in a new work space that a friend has so generously offered in exchange for artwork -- a new 'Artist in Residency' of sorts. I'm working on finishing up the last few pieces for my solo show in Orlando, FL this coming March, so the timing could not have been better. We are also planning on organizing educational workshops for adults and children as well as curating artist exhibits and talks for international and Berlin based mid-career artists. It's nice to be able to commute from time to time so I'm not only grateful for the opportunity to work in this space, but also for the impetus to get out of my kietz (small neighborhood in German) that I'm so comfortable in--and get out to be temporarily uncomfortable (but not really) -- I really do enjoy taking the S-Bahn, occasionally. Once this cold spell passes, I'll be joy riding it up on my bike!

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