World of One: Resisto

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” Henry David Thoreau Resisto is one of those images I think are technically terrible, but somehow easy to look at. By technically terrible, I mean the focus on most of the suits is slightly off. It was an overcast day and we had very little light, so there are bits of motion blur here and there. The horizon line is skewed. I only shot one roll for this image when I usually shoot three to four, and I ended up using nearly every …

What It Feels Like to be an Artist in NYC Right Now

Surprisingly, last year was probably my best financial year to date. A combination of: qualifying for unemployment for the first time in my life, healthy art sales, some assisting work, and nowhere to go helped me build 3-4 months worth of savings. But this year all these streams of revenue have almost all dried up. I have been working, but even after we started to come back from lockdown, I’m doing about half the business I had during this time last year. If nothing happens, within 2 weeks I will be flat broke. As I always say, hoping that I’ll …

Yoga Master: Laura

There are few physical activities I dislike more than yoga. My impression of Yoga is that it’s the practice of standing uncomfortably. So I was surprised when Laura, a yoga instructor I met at a gallery opening, approached me about giving her the BBoy Monster treatment.  At first I was hesitant. Especially since I know next to nothing about Yoga. Plus I think a large part of my success with the BBoy Monsters comes from my knowledge of the dance, and each dancer’s specialty. For this shoot I would have none of those advantages. I felt like I was basically …

On the Value of Beauty

I’ve been thinking a lot about value recently. In particular, the relationship between value and beauty and art. Value is not to be confused with money mind you, as money is merely the medium in which value is exchanged. Instead value is tied to the things we need, but also to the things we like. Our values are a reflection of our beliefs, education, environment, and personal experiences. As the great street fashion photographer Bill Cunningham once explained: “Money’s the cheapest thing…liberty and freedom is the most expensive.”  Last month, a friend of mine asked me to take some video …

BBoy Monsters: Redaska

A few weeks ago my buddy Steve, a fellow BBoy/Photographer I know from Boston, told me he was moving back to France. While my focus this year has mostly been on binding books and expanding the World of One. As a parting gift, I asked him if he’d be interested in posing for a BBoy Monster. Steve, who goes by the BBoy name “Redaska” has always had a unique style. Blending creativity with athleticism, his dancing caught my eye from the moment I first saw him throw down. I’ve always thought of his style as a real dancer’s dancer. From …

A Spring Story

Around this time every year, I panic. As soon as the leaves start blooming, I start to feel the creative pressure to get out and capture their fleeting beauty. After missing out on spring entirely last year (lockdown will do that), as well as trudging through a tough and harsh winter. I feel like I’m appreciating this spring more than any other I have in my life. Between raising AAIP hate crimes and staggering death tolls, I really just wanted to go out and make something pretty.  So a couple weekends ago, I asked my friend Ann to go out …

Responding to Asian Hate

I grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts or what I like to call “Your suburb’s suburb.” Our claim to fame is that we are the site of the start to the American Revolutionary War. On our town green there’s a flag with an inscription that reads “the Birthplace of Liberty.” There’s a playground less than a mile from there, where I must’ve been around 6 or 7 years old when someone first called me a chink. It was by another little boy on the playground, who was trying to throw me off one of the wooden structures we were climbing on. I …

World of One: Memento Mori II

“When someone that you love dies..it’s like fireworks suddenly burning out in the sky and everything going black.” Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog A good friend of mine lost her mother last month. Even though I only met her mom a handful of times, she always made me feel welcomed. It made me incredibly sad. Especially since the one thing I wanted to do for my friend was to give her a hug, and I can’t. This experience made me think about all the other nameless deaths that have happened over the past year. As of writing this, …

World of One: Stand Together

In America, Asians are known as the “Model Minority.” But growing up here, I’ve always looked at how society treats black people as the real “Model Minority.” Because there ain’t shit they can do to us, that hasn’t been done to them. With this piece, I wanted to show my support for their struggle, and to say that “Even if your back is against the wall, I stand with you.”