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.)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

9 Chicago art gallery exhibitions to check out in November

I have a new post on Time Out Chicago today: 9 art shows to see next month.

Fall in [love with] Chicago.

As suggested in an earlier post, another autumn event you can continue to attend is the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial. My photos from the festivities so far can be viewed on—deep breath—Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, 500px, and Pinterest (and, uh, spoilers at a few of those for the latest episode of The Walking Dead). Besides solarise, which I still can’t stop talking about, I’d recommend starting with the exhibitions throughout the Chicago Cultural Center.

Happy Halloweekend!

Monday, October 5, 2015

The mountains are calling and I must [know childhood icon Bill Nye acknowledges my existence]

Ive been selected as a Finalist for the National Park Service’s “Find Your Park: The Centennial Project” contest! Now, I need you to vote for my entryFill out the ballot here(Winners get to attend the NPS’ 100th birthday celebration, have people like Bill Nye the Science Guy—whose theme song was my ringtone for 5 years until I got a smartphone—turn their stories into a project, and more.)

(What I’d submitted: Inspired by my trip to Denali National Park in 2002, I drew the above when I was 15. Titled Land of the Midnight Sun, it was my first attempt at using oil pastels. My high school eventually purchased the drawing from me, and it’s still a part of their permanent art collection. Not bad for a piece in a new medium.)

Voting ends October 16 at 5pm CST. [Update: It’s been extended to Oct. 19, same time.] The limit is “1 vote per person, per email address, per day.” So vote everyday with all your addresses for the next couple weeks!

Spread the word. Thank you!

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