It’s Business Time

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Victoria Son Photography: A New Online Portfolio

I’ve been forming my temporary online portfolio displaying my art and photography work – now, I say “temporary” because I’m sure in the year to come with immigration still playing its course that once I feel settled in the United States I will then have time to sort out my ‘brand’ and be able to more firmly represent my ongoing photographic goals. Therefore for now I am hesitating from purchasing my domain until I become more full-time invested in this venture, rather than being distracted with looming immigration details πŸ™‚

So check it out!

v i c t o r i a | S O N


Sip In Style: A Beautiful Etsy Site

Beautiful product from a beautiful artist. He’s a fantastic ceramic artist from Indianapolis, and I thought I would pass on the launch of his highly anticipated Etsy site (at least by all those who know him) and share his work with you!

Check out his Etsy site – P Thompson Ceramics -and own a piece of his work while it lasts πŸ™‚






Before and After of My Kitchen Table titled ‘Dinner with Patrick’

Dinner with Patrick Kitchen Table

Having found a pine door at a local salvage and antique shop, I worked hard getting ideas together and bringing out the beautiful grain in the door. Two weeks to finishing the piece I decided to name the table, and what came to mind was simple. Thoughts that I treasured and sat aimlessly daydreaming about were surrounded by the domestic symbolism of the kitchen table. All I wanted was to be able to sit down day to day and make dinner with my partner with whom lives at a distance. And so the title of the piece became, “Dinner with Patrick Kitchen Table Series I”.

If you’re interested in any of the pieces photographed, please message me as my lad makes gorgeous porcelain artwork and we both adore making art and design pieces.

[Construction ideas for table legs can be found HERE]



I spotted the door at a salvage shop for $40.


A big bag of galvanized piping materials from Lowes.



Stained and finished table pictured with antique typewriter my lad found in his grandfather’s basement and handed down to me.


Porcelain ceramic mug with celadon glaze made by my lad
Flowers that arrived at my workplace last week as a surprise
Antique typewriter… from you know who.


Porcelain mug with celadon glaze
The beautiful grain of my pine top coated in an English Walnut stain


Tabletop decorated with two porcelain cups in a celadon glaze, antique typewriter and rolls of Japanese paper.


Pine table with galvanized piping for legs


Table set for writing


“Dinner with Patrick” Kitchen table decorated with items from the lad.


Most beautiful mugs, lovely flowers, and gorgeous table.


Bottom detail.

Turkish Artists Open Up in Response to Riots in their Streets


To You,

I have remained a huge believer and advocate regarding the movement that art influences, highlights, and bring focus to amidst political and social chaos. Within matters concerning freedom of expression and human rights, citizens have taken to a silent medium allowing them to re-define the voice for change through vibrancy, metaphor, and illustrious accents to the surrounding politics.

Artists, although provocative and eccentric to some, are key vocalists to the fight regarding freedom of expression and the threat of its demise. Ai Wei Wei is a prominent example to the notion of artists balancing a profile as political advocates, however it’s not always the artist on the central stage whose voice beckons thoughtful focus. Throughout the Arab Spring citizens took to the city walls to demonstrate their need to be heard illustrating political response to the social chaos surrounding them – however not including them within its consideration. Street graffiti grabbed the attention of journalists and brought a voice to the once silenced, threatened and disregarded.

Riots in Turkey surrounding the battle for human rights, women rights, and freedom of expression have once again sat in the minds and laps of artists, citizens whose acting presence is fully affected when freedom of expression is threatened. ARTINFO recently reported on Turkish artists and their perspective on the riots, and for me, what’s refreshing is to find stories considering the roles of these citizens in opposition to those on the central to the political arena. Artists – professional or frustrated citizen – have an invested perspective on these issues, and should be taken into consideration when chaos arises.

Click on the following link to check out the article, “Turkish Artists Respond To The Wave Of Protests Rocking Their Country” which is posted on Huffington Post’s site.

Happy reading,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

10 Days Worth Waiting For: Durham, London, Cassis, and Paris all wrapped up into one perfect holiday

To You,

I have been rather withdrawn, so to speak, the past couple of days. I have wanted to write a little diddy on my latest travels with my dearest beau, however the energy and inspiration has escaped me. Overall, I don’t think there’s a way for me to relay it all as it was absolutely wonderful even through the arguments, the moments of tension, the minutes of settling into complete time with one another. Therefore I shall write only briefly with a few pictures to add to the ocular amusement to this picture-book story of the past two weeks.

I separated myself from digital communication for the time that my lad was visiting me, and it was lovely. I refrained from updating my blog, from posting up-to-date status posts on facebook, or checking my mobile for texts or incoming calls. And so, I am way behind on updates on my little diddy, aka this blog πŸ™‚ So here goes nothing…

First Days: June 26th – 27th
Location: London, United Kingdom

I slept the night in Heathrow Airport the night of the 25th since from Durham to London there were no trains that would arrive in time for me to greet the dear boy at the arrivals gate. After a rather noisy night of construction and a group communicating at high volumes behind me, I dolled myself up in the ladies room and awaited his emerging from the gates. After standing for nearly an hour after the boards had updated his arrival, his beardy-face emerged, and I attacked πŸ™‚ And when I say ‘attacked’ I mean it in the loveliest of terms. I dropped my bags and ran up for a hug. After many hellos, our first stop was the barber shop where he was scheduled to shave that furry thing off his face πŸ™‚ Clean shaven complete, it was off to our hotel and then the city. In the evening we checked out the Phantom of the Opera (one of my all time favourites), and the following day we explored the sites a bit more, heading to Tower Bridge and further south to Bermondsey to see the exhibits at the White Cube Galleries.

The evening of the 27th we were off to Durham where all we were to do was sleep, drink coffee, and relax.

White Cube, Damien Hirst ‘Two Weeks, One Summer’

Olympic Rings

Next of days: June 27th – 30th
Location: Durham, United Kingdom

Our time in Durham was so relaxing for the most part. Our first morning, we had a much needed sleep in after not being able to sleep the night before until the early hours. Eventually, we woke up and headed into the town for some food and coffee – both essential things for our single and co-existence. After some cakes and sandwiches and many shots of espresso, we wondered further around, heading up to my college, the Castle, and the Cathedral. Later in the afternoon we were scheduled to visit my workplace at Mary’s College and the minute we decided to leave, we were hit with a massive downpour which flooded the streets. Needless to say we were drenched by the time we reached work, and he was drenched to above the knees after pushing a man’s car through the high waters on the streets. Saying good-bye to my old work mates was bitter sweet – I will say I will cherish them more than most people I had courses with, and I’m very glad to have met them all. That evening we watched the Italy-Germany match at a local pub next to my flat, and relaxed for the duration of the night. Durham was lovely – having him here even for a couple of days made me miss him that much more after he left, because it felt so lovely having in my home for once. I wished he could be here always.

Running through the flooded streets

Walk along the river

Days to follow: June 30th – July 3rd
Location: London, United Kingdom… and ???

In the early morning hours of the 30th, we jumped on our train and headed back to London. On the train, I let something out of the bag that I had been hiding from my beau for months. I had told him the plan was to head to London and then take the Eurostar to Paris that evening. So, I kind of lied. Big time. On the train I let him partially into the secret: we were neither going to Paris just yet, nor were we taking a train there. We were to fly to France the following morning, but to where, I was yet to reveal. So, upon our arrival to London, we checked our bags into storage so as to not have to lug them around with us throughout the day. Our plan of action: art. First we headed to Camden Town for some food, where we briefly perused the markets and later took a pit stop at some food stalls. After this, we headed south to the Tate Modern to check out Damien Hirst’s retrospective which was stellar. Although his prized piece was no longer up for viewing, the remainder of the collection was gorgeous – my favourites were the butterfly paintings. Stunning. Post art perusing, we munched on some bread I had made the night before with some lamb sausages we had cooked up as well for the ride. Then we wandered to the Thames where we laid under the sun for a short nap since we were both exhausted.

Pat taking photos of me whilst I attempted to cleanly eat a peach whilst not being able to breathe through my stuffed up nose

Arrival to King’s Cross

Camden for lunch

Time for a siesta by the Thames

Panoramic of the Thames

Later that night, we picked up our luggage again and headed to Gatwick. Now, I had picked up a cold during our walk through the flooded streets of Durham, and so I was not in the best of places. My head was stuffed, my body aching, and I felt a little less than attractive unless you like the puffy face, bloodshot eyes, red-Rudolph nose look. So to cheer myself up, I decided half way through the night to show the dear boy photos of where we were going.

We were to fly to Marseille, France in the early hours and then take a short train to Cassis, a small port-town on the Mediterranean. I think it took him a few minutes to believe me after I showed him photos of the beach we were to visit, les Calanques d’En Vau during our stay. So not to dive into details, his reaction was priceless and it definitely lifted my moods as I had been so excited for months πŸ™‚

After our arrival in Marseille, we trained it to Cassis, France, and lo and behold, it was stunning. We walked along lavender gardens, olive tree pastures, and rows of grapevines as we made our way to our hotel, HΓ΄tel le Cassiden. The location was beautiful, romantic, and absolutely perfect. The day as it progressed was a culmination of exhaustion, and with those few moments of worry as I mentioned at the start of the post, it held it’s times of tension and anxiety. I think it’s always hard when you pair someone who is used to throwing herself into foreign situations with someone who is trying it out on literally foreign territory, but after some sleep, we triumphed. The second day was bliss. We took our rented boat out to the beach, and relaxed under the perfect sun – not too hot sitting at 27 degrees Celcius, and the water was a cool chill that refreshed you throughout the hours. The evening, we ate dinner port-side, and later smoked a cuban cigar on the beach. Lovely.

Walking from Cassis train station to our hotel

Our window view onto the market streets

Driving our boat to les Calanques d’En Vau

Assessing our swim from boat to shore… with our bag..!

Calanques d’En Vau

Seafood dinner on the port. Gorgeous.

After dinner walk. πŸ™‚

Onto the next one: July 3rd – 4th
Location: Paris, France

After a stressful morning of getting to our train on time, we jetted off on the train from Marseille to Paris, arriving mid-day. After a well-needed nap in our cozy hotel room at Hotel le Petit Trianon in the St. Germain-de-PrΓ¨s district, we walked out for dinner and then the Eiffel Tower. Again, we had had a stressful evening – exhaustion was getting to the both of us I think. But after a break-point in our discussion, we laid back and smiled under the glittering Eiffel Tower.

Gorgeous Duck Confit.

The following day, we merely walked around the city. We were a little tired of paying city prices, and so gathered some fresh food and made our own meals throughout the day. We walked to the Louvre, along la Seine, through the gardens, and around the ancient streets. Neither of us were up for museum gazing, or tourist attractions, I think we just wanted to wander the city at our own pace and just chill together. To be honest, Paris was lovely – I’ve been told to go there by, well, everyone. However, I would have much preferred to stay in Cassis. We had a few incidents that definitely put us off fully enjoying our time there, but I would definitely return, however I’m not in any rush. I’ve always tried to explain to people why I’ve never gone, and now that I have, I stand even truer to it. If I have the chance to go, I’m typically in London. So why would I leave one city for another? If I leave a city, I prefer going to a completely different scene, like the countryside or the mountains, or the sea. But overall, I am so glad I got to experience Paris first with the chap. But now, it was back to London.

Oh my goodness, yes.

Book stalls along la Seine.

Giggles in the gardens.

Last stop: July 4th – 6th
Location: London, United Kingdom

So, after a major fault on my part (something of which I will not go into), we eventually made our way to London once again on the Eurostar train. Arriving in the late evening, we were both starving and so headed out quickly for food. The following day we wandered to the British Museum to gaze at the brilliant ceramics collection that they hold there. After much inspiration was found, we walked further to Kensington Gardens to find the Ai Wei Wei installation and Yoko Ono’s retrospective at the Serpentine Gallery. It was so lovely to just walk around the gardens with an ice cream cone under the sun. Eventually we made our way to the Thames where I showed him Buckingham Palace along route, and then Parliament Square and Westminster. We sat on the Thames, ate our fresh food purchased from a farmers market in Tavistock Square, and drank our Elderflower cordial that I have also purchased at the market. Yum. Hopped on the tube, hopped off, and then later had dinner in Covent Garden at Herman zee German, a little hole-in-the-wall joint with great German eats. And then final stop was the Maple Leaf, a Canadian bar in London πŸ™‚ As we made our way back to our hotel in Euston, we stopped off at Euston Tap, a bar he had read about, where he purchased some beer to drink later on through the night. Now, it was off to pack as he was set to fly the next morning.

Royal Mile Whiskies, London

Kensington Gardens

Ai Wei Wei’s installation outside the Serpentine Galleries

Me outside the Maple Leaf pub.

So on July 6th, I took the Picadilly Line from London King’s Cross with him to Heathrow where we were say another one of our airport good-byes in the underground terminal. I was set to catch my train back at King’s Cross at 10:30AM to head back into Durham. I did not want this trip to end, and was so sad to be Paddy-less in England now. I know it’s pathetic, but it was nice having my best friend with me for at least 12 days in the country I’ve lived without him since September. He made every location a little brighter, and it was all rather dulled slightly once he left.

And that’s that. The two weeks I had been waiting for for so long, and to be honest, the days didn’t fly by, but instead were enjoyed through every second of it. Not all the moments were easy, and frustration was definitely felt, but I will never say that relationships that are meant to last are never without their worries. Long distance makes that even more difficult – we are not a couple that never argues, as both of us have too much that has happened in our pasts to make the present silky smooth. I do think we’re working tremendously hard to understand each other better, and come to a point where we’re not worried about possible hurt, possible disappointment, possible heartbreak.

Anyways, speak again soon – so much is speeding up right now, that I will write again shortly to update on that. But for now, I am hungry πŸ™‚

Peace & love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

p.s – No, I’m not self-obsessed, but I don’t typically post photos with others in them if they’d prefer me not to, and so alas, no photos of the dude on my blog. He’s lovely looking though, I promise πŸ˜‰

All things ART and PHOTO

To You,

A little bit of self-publicity, so I forewarn you, however overall it’s rather a harmless plug. So, if you would so kindly oblige, please read on. πŸ™‚

My personal artist site,, is set to expire in the coming month. Although I own the domain I am canceling my membership with the host company so that I may go ahead and design my own website from scratch after the completion of my dissertation. Therefore, I have created another WordPress blog in order to house my work so that it may remain on display on the ever-so-useful internet in the meantime.

[cue plug]

Please check out Victoria L. Son at if you would like to see samples of my work. Just click on one of the portfolios/works and peruse at your own will.

Okay, that is all. Merci, and adieu.

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Hire Me. Please and Thanks. :)

To you,

So the job hunt has begun. It’s quite daunting for once looking into the upcoming months and not foreseeing a grounded opportunity of employment, nor academic institution awaiting my registration. Nope. There is nothing. The future is empty.

Okay, perhaps I am being slightly melodramatic and a tad bleak on the outlook of future endeavours into the working world. To be honest, I’m rather ready for it and prepared to get going on a new set of learning experiences and projects.

The only glitch in my excitement: I need someone to hire me. I know –lame, right? But such is life. I’ve much experience in the arts, communications, nonprofit, and cultural projects and I would be highly enthused at the prospect of continuing my professional education of sorts.

So yes, as the title requests ever-so-politely yet with a smidgen of indelicacy – Hire me. Please and thanks. πŸ™‚

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Curriculum Vitae ONLINE

Lyrical Beauty

To you,

After deciding to look for some new music inspiration, I researched into UK hip-hop artists to find a rapper by the name of Akala, and I was rather impressed by his single, ‘Find No Enemy‘. Being a student studying politics and diversity within the realm of policies, religions, ethnicity, etc., these lyrics reminded me of the power of arts within politics and this time around the arts is in the form of hip-hop lyrical flow. It’s a beautiful song – even if you don’t care for the genre of tunes. It’s nothing hardcore, but rather cultural poetry. The beats are simple, the melody quite tamed but atmospheric. Enjoy.

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Apparently I’m second generation black Caribbean
And half white Scottish whatever that means
See lately I feel confused with the boxes
Cos to me all they do is breed conflict
It’s not that I’ve lost touch with the reality
Of racism, sexism and nationality
Just to me it all seems like insanity
Why must I rob you of your humanity
To feel good about mine
It’s all about crime
Dehumanizing, is how I justify it
So I must keep on lying about the history of Africa
So I can live with the massacres and repeat my mantra
Muslim, terrorist so I can sleep at night
As bombs take flight
Eyes open wide but I’m blind to the sight
Too busy chasing the perfect life
And the working class keep them uneducated
Truly educated men could never be a racist
To educate is to draw out what is within
Are we not all the same under the skin
I got a heart like yours that pumps blood and oxygen
And insecurities are a whole lot of them
I’m scared like you deep down
I really do care that the world is not fair like you
But I don’t even believe my own prayers like you
Chasing career going nowhere like you
Lost in a fog of my own insecurity
I hold myself up as an image of purity
And I judge everybody else
By the color of their skin or the size of their wealth
But it’s not good for my health
As the only one I ever really judge is myself
The oppressor must suffer like the oppressed
Though I pretend I’m in control of this mess
By inflating my ego, puffing my chest
I see my weakness and need to show strength
For what we think strong is
Cos if were honest, true strength is the strength to be honest
And if I’m honest, I am just tired if I’m honest I am just tired
Tired of everyday filling up my car
And knowing that I’m paying for the bombs in Iraq
Tired of pretending like it don’t hurt my heart
Of wanting change but not knowing where to start
Tired of listening to all the conditioning
And all the forms that they got me filling in
Next time you see what is a thug and despise him
Please know I was just like him
Cos I was like eight the first time I saw crack
Same time I first smoked weed chocking on blowbacks
First time I saw knifes penetrate flesh
It was meat cleavers to the back of the head
As I grew and teenage years passed
Many more knifes pierced and the shots blast
And I ain’t saying I had the worst upbringing
But there’s a million young men just like me in prison
We complain about racism and elevate clowns
With their trousers down, swinging their dicks round
Maybe that is not quite literal
But everything they do is just as stereotypical
To my real fans I feel your pain
And I get the messages but don’t complain
That we ain’t got more fame for paying our par,
They can keep the charts all I want is your hearts,
They can keep the charts all I want is your hearts,
They can keep the charts all I want is your hearts,
Call it black radio don’t make me laugh
So is black music all about tits and arse
You don’t represent nothing, you’re just pretending
When was the last time you ever played Hendrix
Or Miles Davis or John Coltrane
Or Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday
We can call it urban to me that’s cool
If urban means street that includes jazz to
And rock for that matter, Go ask Mick Jagger
Or Jimmy Page what they were listening to, the blues
Not discrediting love Zeppelin too
Just giving credit where credit is due
That blood soaked word rappers still use
All it really shows is that we still self abuse
That was the word that was used to kill
Kelso Cochrane and Emmett Till
That was the word that the conscience eased
And made people pleased to hung you from trees
That was the word that let there whips crack
No matter what you say you can’t take it back
And I can say they’re black so I feel their pain easier
But 1915 look at Armenia
It’s the whole world this human stupidity
Though we choke ourselves to death quite literally
And I can talk with my comfortable mouth
With my comfortable cloths in my comfortable house
The tables will turn, We can but stall them
Every empire on this earth has fallen
So unless we can find another way
Maybe not today but it will come one-day
And it may sound like I’m bitter
But in-fact truth be told I am quite the opposite
I wake everyday and am overwhelmed
Just to be alive and be like no one else
And the sheer weight of the thought of space
Is enough to keep my little ego in place
All that we chase and try to replace
All along it was right in our face
The only way we can ever change anything
Is to look in the mirror and to find no enemy
The only way we can ever change anything
Look in the mirror and to find no enemy.

Berlin, Treffen Wir Uns Wieder! :)

From March 22nd – 25th I will be attending the ‘Arts Diplomacy Festival: Cultural Arts in Practice International Conference’ in Berlin. I am most definitely stoked!! πŸ™‚

The Arts Diplomacy Festival 2012 will explore how the arts can be used to change theory into practice and express, create and improve social awareness and diplomatic relations. The arts include a variety of mediums through which emotions and culture can be expressed: music, art, literature and sports, to name only a few. The program will examine how the arts can be used within the field of cultural diplomacy to initiate intercultural dialogue and cooperation through movement, thought and active expression…

The following issues will be mentioned and explored:

Breaking Boundaries: Creating Unique Opportunities for Diplomacy

  • The Cultural as Political
    (Focus: Academics and Politicians explaining Practical diplomacy in domestic and international politics; events to promote cultural interaction; music as societal critiques)
  • The Artistic Tool in National Policy
    (Focus: Nation Branding and cultural identity)
  • Positive Propaganda: Influential Ideas
    (Focus: Reversal of ideas; cinematography as a tool for cultural diplomacy)
  • Physical Diplomacy: An Open Global Invitation
    (Focus: Sports worldwide; breaking cultural boundaries through a common passion and united goal)
  • An Examination of German Cultural Expression
    (Focus: Progression from Baroque composers to the jazz culture of the 20’s and 30’s to the graffiti on the Berlin Wall)

Practical Cultural Diplomacy: A Blueprint for Advancing Cultural Diplomacy through the Arts

  • Music
    (Focus: The evolution of music as a tool for illuminating sentiments in society; expression of nationalist pride and revolution)
  • Dance
    (Focus: Dance as cultural expression; dance as a tool for cohesion)
  • Photography
    (Focus: Evolution of the recorded image as a tool for the media; its use in the advancement of cultural diplomacy)
  • Film and Theatre
    (Focus: Political and national satire as methods to build stronger diplomatic ties through the realisation of common goals: e.g.Β  joint film and theatre projects in conflict situations)
  • Urban and Street Art
    (Focus: Art as modernist expression and insight into emerging cultural trends)

Progression of Practical Diplomacy

  • Sense the World: Finding Expression Through Practical Diplomacy
    (Focus: New forms of expression; peaceful protest; practical technological diplomacy)
  • The Tastes of Diplomacy: Gastronomy as Intercultural Exchange
    (Focus: Food as an art form; benefits and disadvantages of globalization; the international marketplace)
  • The Written Word: The New Global Literature
    (Focus: New media; magazines and blogs; technological takeover)
  • Cultural Combinations in Practical Diplomacy
    (Focus: Original practical diplomacy ideas; case study of the Ice Wheel Chair Project)

Practical Diplomacy: Exploring the Possibilities

  • Progression in Practicality: National Practical Diplomacy
    (Focus: Development of practical and cultural diplomacy on national and international levels)
  • Accessing the Decision Makers
    (Focus: Psychology of celebrity in cultural diplomacy; the UN Ambassador scheme)
  • The Student Revolution
    (Focus: Introduction of cultural diplomacy societies at the university level; lessons and workshops on diplomacy)
  • Selling Cultural Diplomacy in Practice
    (Focus: Worldwide cooperation; marketing cultural diplomacy to national and international organizations and NGOs)

This Is Who I Be.

To you,

Currently sitting in my living room with soft sunlight peering through my curtains as it starts to lower itself from its daily resting post above the housing roof tops, I’ve been thinking about everything that’s been circulating my life as of late. All tidbits from postgraduate work and studies, employment opportunities post-uni, creative projects to pursue, and life altering aspirations. I’m feeling an odd equilibrium of cool, calm, collected with a growing urge to organize and clean. I think that sums up my thought process as of late.

Its funny, but I’ve finally been finding strange inspiration through some of my readings within the past week. The most odd was surrounding a German geographer’s theory on the study of Geography within the theory of human rights and natural rights. The most random inspiration as of late for my creative artistically driven mindset! Somehow jumped from Lebensraum to the teapot song. I won’t go into that one any further, because I’m actually still playing around with it in my head! Also, I’m within a module right now that studies identity within varying contexts, which is always something I’ve battled with and have discussed heavily in my art work. Just being able to discuss this topic again has been refreshing, and is opening my mind to looking more into my insecurities amidst the identifying characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, and nationality. These are things as a mixed race, Asian female, dual nationality, third culture kid and immigrant existence that I have battled with for a couple decades at this point. I’ve always known that I was the minority of minorities – half Caucasian, half Asian; deceased parent; two immigrant parents from different countries; first generation North American born; British and Canadian; bouncing immigrant, etc. – but I feel that within my adult years an uncomfortable realization that the term ‘exotic’ was being attached to my characteristics emerged and I’m not sure how to deal with it.

'Tea Time' - a book I made on a Universal III letterpress discussing British and Chinese identity

'Tea Time'

I am not comfortable with people identifying me by my ‘exotic’ blend of ethnicity, or by my association with the minority component (Asian). Don’t get my wrong – I am proud to be a dual equation of cultural history, and I think culturally and conceptually there is much beauty in mine and my siblings existence since we do have rich stories. What I am uncomfortable with is the pure fascination with what I am, rather than who I am. People characterize me through an attraction to the exotic, but I hate to break it to you – I am 5ft 8″ and could snap you in half if I wanted to ;). I don’t do Asian stereotypes, and so I don’t understand where the attraction builds from my association to that culture. Of course, I proudly embody my attachment to my Asian history, but characteristics which fit with those of other Asians (mixed or full) can be viewed as cultural attachment, but should not be responded to with the notion that such is an obvious trait because I’m Asian. I do not take racial and ethnic assimilation lightly – in one reading by Maalouf he states that once you have been picked on or characterized and pinpointed by your race in an observation of being an Other, one doesn’t forget that experience. I certainly haven’t. From when I was very little to now – I don’t forget. And I won’t forget.

'On Identity' Amin Maalouf

I suppose the difference between my appreciation and my distaste towards topics contained within my identity and its questioning is that I am a proud individual based on my parents’ history of being immigrants, of being a mixed race couple in the 1980’s, on the traditions that I embody and hold dear within our cultures, and my strong, personal association with both the British and Chinese cultures. However, the associations made because I’m Asian (typically the exoticism lies with the minority characterization) are uncomfortable, demeaning, and not appreciated.

You’re Chinese, so then you’re fluent in Chinese, right?

You’re really tall for being Asian.

You must be good at Math and Science – help me with this!

[I won’t even include the questions I’ve been asked regarding Asian pornography].

Yes, I’m tall. No, I am not fluent in Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese). I love the sciences and math, but no it’s not my strong suit. Some may view these as harmless inquiries (with the exception of the porn questions, and at times even the language assumptions), but they are assumptions based on what I am, a purely objectified being situated within association with a culture.

During my trip to China and Hong Kong a couple years ago with my childhood friend Stephanie, I deciphered some of my discomfort surrounding the subject matter. My father, the Asian component of my racial identity, died when I was 7 years old, and being the only members of our family that resided in Canada I was never surrounded with the Asian familial presence of my history. Therefore, my only physical connection to my Chinese identifying factors was my father – biologically, he was the connection. With him gone, associations and assumptions based on my racial features hurt deeply. My only association assumed by others to my father’s history was that I was supposed to speak Chinese. I was supposed to be short and slim. I was supposed to excel at maths and sciences. As pop culture and media portray, I was supposed to be exotic – to assume attraction based on what I am is complex, and I feel a little less because of it. This was the only affiliation assumed by others that I had with his history, and in turn my growing history. And it still burns. To this day, the assumed associated characteristics of what I am still upset me and make me uncomfortable. I am who I am because I am my father and mother’s daughter – no assumptions nor observations should be concluded upon because biologically it is also what I am.

Anyways, enough about that – I started to think about all of this after my first lecture within that course. Its something I’m hoping to explore further within my creative and academic studies, because I feel like I truly need to. Being mixed race in this global phenomenon is truly a gift, but one that deserves understanding and not fantasizing about.

Until next time, peace, love, and smiley faced emoticons! πŸ™‚

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

The City Where People from Dublin Have Irish Accents.

On Friday, January 20th after a short evening shift at work, I hopped on the train and arrived in London at 1:00 AM. Saturday was then filled with lots of food, a much anticipated trip to the Tate Modern, and an evening filled with more food, family, The Chakras (a band from Dublin, and friends of my brother’s) playing at The Borderline in central London, and a night cap at ‘The Maple Leaf’, a Canadian pub in Covent Garden. So here are some pics and vids of the weekend events. Enjoy xoxoxo

I Have Returned From Whence I Came. Well, Not Really, but I Was Hoping for Some Kind of Dramatic Proclamation of My Blogging Return.

To you,

Yes, I have been rather rubbish at writing for the past couple of weeks. For many different reasons I took a slight hiatus from the blogging-sphere, and now with the assistance of returned power to my lovely MacBook Pro, I am briefly here to proclaim a continuing existence on this little diddy.

Reasons for my hiatus: well, they vary somewhat. From the emotional and mental to the electrical, my oh my what a tale of such woes and fury these thoughts could dispel. Okay, not as such, but what a great description for my futuristic romance novel debut if I ever decide to choose that authorship path in life, eh? In all honesty, there were emotional, mental, and electrical dysfunctions of sorts but none so woeful and filled with fury. I have been having some on and off bits of stress and worry causing my moods to hit a rather low slum. I obviously miss those back home, but there are some definite significant kinks in my situation of which make living so far away that much harder. I’m still kicking though! Also, the battle of landing employment on this side of the pond has been rather frustrating, to say the absolute least. I have lived the past four years only being able to work a legal set amount of 20hrs/week as an International student in the U.S. and now here, I am fully legal to work whatever I can manage. And I have not been able to find anything past 20hrs/week. Having struggled for the past month being here without working – it truly has driven me mad some days – I have now found a ‘Casual’ position within catering at Durham University which is providing me with substantial wages to live. And when I say ‘live’ I by no means mean food, coffee, mobile phone bill (although that’s probably the least of the three). I of course mean rent, and rent alone. So I can live indoors, but I’ll be skin and bones. πŸ™‚ I am rather pleased to have found work though finally, because the few of you of whom I’ve spoken to most definitely know that my mood has suffered. So to those few, I will send you my employer’s address and you can mail him a letter thanking him for my halt in depressing phone calls and messages πŸ˜‰ .

In addition to said employment, I have also landed a week’s long gig of which I am extremely enthused with. I managed to secure a position as a Project Apprentice with the upcoming Lumiere Festival, which is a huge light-based art event in Durham. With local, national, and international artists collaborating and creating numerous light installations throughout the city, it is organized by a creative projects team from London and I’ll be working with them while they’re in the city. It also includes numerous workshops which will give further insight into what working within artistic related events on the grand scale entails. This apprenticeship alone pays almost a month’s work at my other job, so I’ll be banking a decent penny and working with people within the arts sector. Big air high fives all around!!

Apart from my employment updates, school is going well – the readings are still somewhat foreign to me and I’m having some difficulty with the fact that I am so academically behind these young grad students, having never studied European political history, or any political history for that matter. I’m indulging in some academic lectures of which I’m enjoying, such as the David Miliband lecture, and the lecture with the head of the Human Rights UK. More are approaching next week regarding the Arab Spring and other relative matters.

Having mentioned this to others, and possibly within my writings as well, I feel as though this was the year of all years thus far where me living on my own has been the right move. I’ve always wanted to experience living on my own, but have never had the financial means or opportunity to do so. It’s still a stretch here regarding finances, but I’m managing. I’ve definitely hit emotional and mental realizations in reference to the healing processes of which I’ve never given myself the time to ponder over in regards to numerous occasions tracing all the way back to Purdue (2003) and possibly even prior. I feel like my mind is slowly realizing that I have no roadblocks in making my way through the healing process – no roommates, flatmates, awkward unannounced interruptions, etc. I’ve a schedule, and I’ve my own space and time. Its been most definitely difficult the past couple of weeks, in trying to sort out my post-postgraduate plans because there is so much I want to start experiencing without hesitation, but unfortunately many of my dreams take place in numerous varying locations, and do not correlate with the others. Its been a struggle, and quite a significant one causing many days of feeling quite grey.. neither here, nor there. And as I mentioned, I have very significant things of which mean the most dearest of all my experiences right now and it can be very challenging to experience said things with my current set of events, a.k.a studying in Durham. I hate to be one of those people, but yes, I am sadly and pathetically complaining and crying over all the wonderful things occurring in my life right now. Go on. Looooaaaathe me. But to be quite honest, I think I am coming to realize and witness the surfacing of much hurt and pain that I’ve experienced over the past many years, which is refreshing to see it come to light, but not quite an assisting factor with all other stress occurring in the present! Oh well, one can’t control everything… or at least I haven’t discovered how to do so just yet..!

So that’s me right now. Part-time employed. Fantastic opportunity coming up in the next couple of weeks within the arts sector. Financing the dream of living indoors. And spending such a dream moping in said indoor space. Oh, and I’ve mailed out a bunch of letters, and more will be sent in the next few days. Watch those mailboxes people. I’ve yet to create my postcards, so you’ll have to settle for the even more old school letter writing. Pen and paper. My two most loved tools πŸ™‚

To add a brief catch-up to the not-so-brief tale of my woes and sorrows, here’s my latest timeline to catch you up even further!
Oct. 14 – Oliver (bruvah) and Georgina (pesty bestie) came to Durham in two separate yet highly coincidental visits
Oct. 17 – interviewed for Lumiere Festival, and received an offer πŸ™‚
Oct. 19 – Human Rights UK lecture (awesome awesome awesome)
Oct. 21 – went to Baltic Contemporary Art Centre for the Turner Prize exhibit in Newcastle
Oct. 21 – David Miliband lecture (fantastical)
Oct. 28 – did some temp work in a kitchen and was oddly offered a catering/front of house position literally as I stepped in the door
Oct. 29 – went to London for Oliver’s 29th birthday shindig
Oct. 30 – mysteriously misplaced my laptop charger in Oliver’s apartment only for it to be found after I had returned to Durham, therefore eliminating all computer usage until today
Oct. 31 – started my new job
Nov. 1 – discovered a small contemporary gallery in Durham which was to open an exhibit from the Tamarind Institute in New Mexico featuring one of my fave printmakers, Jim Dine’s pieces
Nov. 4 – my grand return to this blog thing, and my first night working a Durham formal dinner
Tomorrow – I shall longboard my way to the gallery to gaze at the Lithography featured pieces and attend a lecture from some art folk from London and abroad
Nov. 14 – 21st – Lumiere Festival and Apprenticeship take place
Dec. 7 – completion of the Michaelmas Term
Winter Hols – ???xoxoxoxox????

That’s me. How’s you?

Peace & love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Mariah Robertson – Artist within the Photographic Medium

As I wondered the galleries at the Baltic Contemporary Art Center in Newcastle yesterday, I discovered an artist by the name of Mariah Robertson who is a New York based artist working within the photographic medium, and more specifically, within darkroom processes alone. Her work, which spans over meters of silver gelatin and metallic photo paper is clearly in discussion revolving around the process of experimentation and boundaries regarding photography as an artistic medium. Collages of imagery with photograms, the viewer can find obvious to hidden visuals of nature, human presence, and quite typically, nudity. Having begun my Master’s degree in Durham over the past month, finding an artist whose work is so far from my own, yet at the same time what I’ve found to be of strong inspiration within the topics of creation and art throughout the medium of photography, has been a reminder of sorts that this is a medium of which I remain to hold great passion for. Her sculptural display of work is something I truly adored since I am not enamored to frames (as many of you know), and she clearly has a physical relationship with her work and wants the audience to have the same. My views are not in depth, nor thought provoking, but rather personal; an internal ignition to stay connected with my passion for the medium and desire to explore it further. xo

Mariah Robertson

Mariah Robertson

Mariah Robertson

Mariah Robertson

Mariah Robertson - Elbosco

Mariah Robertson - Elbosco

Mariah Robertson