Monday, May 2, 2016


Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, everyone! To kick it off, here’s LEXICON artwork sneak peek #4:

Aisha Yousaf, Love & Oil.

More to get this glorious month started: A thought I had on naming, from the previous post.

And one of my favorite projects I came across this past year that’s always worth revisiting: “Chinatown Pretty,” a celebration of the street style of [adorable!] seniors living in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

In Bloom

LEXICON artwork sneak peek #3!

Sheila Arora, Pick Me, acrylic on canvas.

The exhibition opens in June, but you can also see Sheila’s acrylic paintings at a pop-up solo show tonight in the Loop!

And since it’s gonna’ be May / Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month next week:

I loved Fresh off the Boat showing how the Huangs chose their American names on last night’s episode. My parents, immigrants from Hong Kong, also chose their own English names. There’s something so powerful about that—being young, coming from nothing, literally making a name for yourself. My dad, a kid living in Shek Kip Mei public housing estate, named himself after Alexander the Great. How badass is that?

Monday, April 18, 2016


LEXICON artwork sneak peek #2!

Zoe Beaudry, Deathless Gods, Remember Me II.

And as a follow-up to this post: My Centennial Project prize package—including Find Your Park gear and an annual pass to all U.S. national parks in 2016—arrived! (A couple months ago, I was selected as a First Prize Winner for the National Park Service and National Park Foundation’s Centennial Project, all thanks to you who voted for a drawing I made when I was 15. Heart eyes.)

There's totally a code under my thumb.

Happy spring, everyone!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Release the Kraken

As I said last week, a record number of artists applied to LEXICON. Thank you, again, for sharing so much art with me. Today, I am thrilled to announce the selected artists! Hailing from all over Chicago, the country, and the world, they include:

Adrienne Glover, Adrienne Powers, Agnieszka Ligendza, Aisha Yousaf, Alba Margarita, Alix Anne Shaw, Allen Vandever, Amanda Mudrovich, Andrew Ek, Angie Redmond, Annette Hur, Arturo Mazon, Brianna Baurichter, Céline Browning, Christine Nicklos, Cristy Corso, David del Bosque, Emilie Bouvet-Boisclair, Emily Calvo, George Lindmark, Jamie Gold, Jessica Smit, John Brudek, Julia Mellen, Karen Hirsch, Katsy Johnson, Kelli Anthony, Kristin Ingram, Laura Lein-Svencner, Lisa Goesling, Mairin Hartt, Michael Coakes, Olivia Shih, Peggy Shearn, Peyton Michelle Rack, Rachel Dennis, Rita Grendze, Russ Revock, Sandra Bridges, Scott Fincher, Shane Small, Sheila Arora, Stuart Hall, Su Yin Zhou, Zachary J. Williams, Zoe Beaudry, and you. Congratulations!
Now, let the LEXICON artwork sneak peeks begin! Here’s your first look at the show:

Arturo Mazon, Oct on My Head.

Much more to come!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Windows and Mirrors

Thank you to all who applied to LEXICON! I’ve received applications from over 70(!) artists! That’s the most I’ve ever gotten for a show. (So know that if you aren’t selected, it’s nothing personal. I mean, it never is, but still. And if you are selected, it’s something to brag about.) I’m excited to go through all of these submissions! And get excited for the artist announcement—and the beginning of artwork sneak peeks—next week.

I don't always take selfies, but when I do,
I prefer to face a stainless steel and resin sculpture
at the VIP Private View of Art Basel Hong Kong.

In case you missed the previous post, I’m back from my annual Hong Kong trip that’s really an excuse for me to do cool stuff all over my parents’ birthplace and get fed and hang out with my dad’s side of the family and get fed for Art Basel, and you can view my photos all over social media.

Happy April!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Bel Canto

I’m back from Hong Kong (photos on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and 500px), and I bring a cold (quarantining myself), the most intense tan on the top of my forehead and the part in my hair (that’s what I get for using my hands as a visor?), and a reminder that artist applications for my next show, LEXICON, are due on Monday!

One of my favorite spots in Hong Kong:
The Tang Dynasty-style Nan Lian Garden and Chi Lin Nunnery.

And I love getting these kinds of emails. Thank you. (The “exhibition near the Damen stop” is I CAN DO THAT, and “this one” is, of course, LEXICON.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Primary Sources

Today I’m flying out to Hong Kong for Art Basel. (I know, I was, like, just there, but this time’s for art!) Speaking of art, as announced in the previous post, I have a call for artists for my next exhibition, LEXICON. Apply! I look forward to going through all your submissions when I’m back. (In HK I look forward to doing this.)

If you haven’t already, vote! When I went on Saturday, next to me was a 17-year-old (he’ll be 18 by the general election) who was there with his mom. I felt so proud of the kid.

You know the drill; follow along on Instagram and Twitter for live updates and photos of my trip, and refer to this post for my March art recommendations. See you at the end of the month, Chicago.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Call for Artists: LEXICON

Artists! Apply to my next show, LEXICONopening Friday, 17 June, 7-10pm, in the newly renovated 7,000 sq. ft. exhibition space of the Zhou B Art Center.

Part of the space. Photo courtesy of the Zhou B Art Center.

Everyone else: Spread the word, clear your calendars, and get excited!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


I’ve been selected as a First Prize Winner for the National Park Service and National Park Foundation’s Centennial Project! This means I get an annual pass to all U.S. national parks in 2016! And it’s all because you voted for a drawing I made when I was 15. Thank you! I love you!

Me basking in the morning sun and in The Marble Temple,
Bangkok, Thailand.

On the subject of travel, in case you missed the previous post, I’ve returned from a family trip to Hong Kong, Cambodia, and Thailand, and uploaded my photos pretty much all over the place. (And on the local level, here are my recommendations for Chicago art exhibitions to check out in February.)

And on the subject of personal artwork, I haven’t forgotten my Scribble Sunday series. For now, you can visit this Tumblr tag, this Pinterest board, and Instagram for past doodles and sketches of mine. (And! I’m continuing to accept drawing commissions.)

Happy Chinese New Year!

Monday, February 1, 2016

11 Chicago art gallery exhibitions to see in February

I’m back from my travels! (First thing my parents and I do upon returning from our trip to Southeast Asia? Go to our local Japanese joint where most of the waitstaff is Thai Chinese and bond with them over all the places we visited in Bangkok. That diaspora.) I have some photos up on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and 500px and will [probably] add more.

On a canoe in a canal at Damnoen Saduak floating market, Thailand.

And I’ve somehow skipped (or soldiered through? stubbornly ignored?) the jetlag and compiled a list of local art shows for you to see this month, here on Time Out Chicago.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Temple Cities

Today I’m flying out to Hong Kong to celebrate my paternal grandma’s milestone birthday! (Here are some photos from past HK trips, and a bit of my grandma’s story is told in “Pearl” and “King of Kowloon,” which are always popular posts.) Then, for the first time, I’m visiting Siem Reap, Cambodia, and Bangkok, Thailand!

Me and a monk at Polin Monastery, Ngong Ping,
on Lantau Island, Hong Kong, December 1996.

See you in a couple weeks, Chicago. Until then, follow along on Instagram and Twitter for live updates and photos, and refer to the previous post for my top 10 January art shows.

Monday, January 4, 2016

10 Chicago art gallery exhibitions to check out in January

Happy New Year! Make a resolution to see more art; here’s my monthly highlight post on Time Out Chicago to help you kick start 2016.

Hope everyone had a happy holiday season! (This was my Christmas, and this was my New Year’s Eve. The geekery is strong with this one.) When I was little, I made “pet rocks.” (If I noticed a uniquely shaped rock, I’d clean it, then paint it into whatever animal it reminded me of.) I came to my parents’ house to see that they’d dug this guy out.

Every few months or so, I CAN DO THAT blows up (it probably gets shared somewhere). And it’s happening now. Love it! (Look forward to my next exhibition in June.)

And a PSA: Artists, beware of frauds / imposters / overall horrible people / etc. Thanks to June Keser for alerting me in this post’s comments to someone who went by “Hop Coplin” on Facebook stealing this doodle of mine and claiming it as her own, even changing my signature to hers. The charlatan deleted her post after I told her off, and it now seems like her entire account has been deleted. Success.

To everyone else: Cheers to a splendid year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Sithmas

Happy holidays, everyone!

IRL Disney princess Lupita Nyong'o, who plays Maz Kanata
in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which has consumed my life,
which I'm perfectly OK with.

So far, the drawing requests I’ve had the most fun fulfilling include cartoon versions of these sculptures interacting with one another and thinking up non-traditional superheroes for a baby room. Stay tuned for more scans and/or photos. For now, keep those commissions coming!

Also, I created a Wix site and Society6 and Redbubble shops. ¯\_()_/¯ ‘Tis the season.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Submitted two old doodles to Threadless: “Mood” and “Scruffy-Looking Nerf Herder.” I’d love it if you could give ‘em good scores and comments. Thank you!

"Those dresses, though."

And a reminder: I’ve started accepting drawing commissions!

(Update: I’ve submitted two more and they’ve been approved for rating and commenting as well: “Summertime Sadness” and “The Good Dog.” Thanks again!

Second update: Votings closed!)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Drawing Commissions for the Holidays

For the first time since I was 10 years old (yep), I’m accepting drawing commissions (yay)! Tell me your requests for black and white doodles.

Spot from The Good Dinosaur channeling Dug from Up.
Here's to the loyal dogs of Pixar.

My rates, using the same advanced art terminology I used in my prime:

Cartoon: $10
Combination cartoon & realistic: $30
Realistic: $50

(So you can get an idea of what in the world I’m talking about, some examples of my personal doodles and sketches can be found at and

How this works:

  • You pick the style and make a request (e.g., “a cartoon version of me and Santa riding a herd of jellyfish through outer space”) via social media (comment on this Facebook post or reply to this tweet) or email. If your idea involves a real person, like you or a friend, include a few photos for reference.
  • I [hopefully] approve your request, and you pay via PayPal.
  • I create the drawing and mail it to you.

Happy holidays! (During which there will be plenty of art events to attend; see the previous post for my picks.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

11 Chicago art gallery exhibitions to check out in December

Happy December! Here’s my Time Out Chicago list of art shows to see this month.

Last week I performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and it was great fun. The MCA blog has collected a roundup of highlights (thanks for including my tweet as one of them!) here.

And for those who celebrated, hope your Thanksgiving weekend gave you much to be thankful for! Mine consisted of affairs like my 10-year high school reunion, The Good Dinosaur (this is a PSA for everyone to go see the film, which is helmed by Pixar’s first Asian American director), and said director liking my tweets. Clearly, life’s simple joys.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

“I don’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas / I’m frightened of the old ones”

I’m performing at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago on Sunday! I’ve been invited to participate in Cage Unrequited, a 25-hour marathon reading of experimental composer John Cage’s influential book Silence: Lectures and Writings, organized by visual artist Pope.L, in association with the exhibition The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music 1965 to Now. (Thanks, Tempestt Hazel!) My group’s time slot is November 22, 9:54-10am.

Get out and relish the remaining weeks of autumn.

Also, congrats to my cousin Philip Ng on being cast as Bruce Lee in an upcoming film! (The link’s a throwback to summer 2013 when he took me to the infamously seedy Chungking Mansions to have, in his words, the best curry in Hong Kong.)

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