the earth tells me i am too small and i grin back all bloody corners and chapped lips. i have never looke innocent a day in my life, i know, i know. my smile has always been too hungry to satisfy. i am continuing the long tradition of men i am wanting more than i can have i am biting off more than i can chew i am running faster than my legs allow me to.
the earth tells me i am too small and i know it's true, i have known since childhood that i am nothing, i am a single lamp in the cacophony of light that is a city. the universe is cold like a biting winter's day, you can feel it, i swear, from all the way inside, i can feel it just sitting on my bed sometimes the chill of the universe has seeped its way inside of me, the dust settling into my lungs like something we call allergies.
the earth tells me i am too small and i scream, scream until it feels like my lungs will give out.
Sometimes inspiration is derived from an unlikely source. That was the case in this particular work which features Ben Cayer and Mindy Brock, married nurse anesthetists in Florida. The couple shares a common duty of placing a breathing tube down a patient's throat for surgery, a particularly high-risk job during the coronavirus pandemic. Brock and Cayer have been married for five years and met in nurse anesthesia school in 2007. The couple says they hope the image inspires others during the pandemic. I chose to paint this image on a mask as I feel it serves as an inspiration for all of us during the pandemic. People like Brock and Mindy are a shining example of those who put themselves at risk for those who are less fortunate so that they can have their health, happiness and freedom.
Around the time this work was produced, a survey for the BBC by Ipsos MORI of more than 19,400 people in 27 countries found the majority of people in all but two countries felt their society was divided. In fact, seventy-six percent of people globally believed their country was divided, and 59 percent believed it was more divided today than it was 10 years ago. This sense of division is a symptom of the times as there has been a decline in trust in traditional institutions and a rise in the belief that the current system is broken. Citizens in general no longer believe that governments, politicians and other institutions can deliver on their promises.
As an international student, I have lived in a diverse social environment all my life. Having (and continuing) to live through this experience, Asian discrimination is nothing new to me. This project underscores the power of words and text and the impact that they have on our freedom. The purpose of this book design project, which is manifested from the context of Asian hate crimes as well as the power of linguistics, is to collect and display people’s daily experiences from the standpoint of an Asian living in a western country. This work functions as an opportunity for the Asian community to share their voice and to share their experiences. My intention is to provide those living outside of the Asian community an opportunity to empathize with what we as Asians are experiencing and how it affects our liberty. To best express this idea, text was extracted from the original book used for this work.