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Incense, for LA Times

LA Times Image Incense tearsheet, moving still life, motion

Here’s the spread of moving and still images that I created for the LA Times Image article on incense culture in Los Angeles. This was such an incredible dream assignment, building on still life symbolism to capture the ~*vibes*~ of incense, the heaviness of the smokey air, the strong sense-memories of each scent, the swirls of dreams that hang. We pulled from both cultural touchstones like home altars and LA-centric references like the desert and sea to create these images.

See above for one of the early planning sketches. And read the whole article here!

Nitro Cold Brew, for Bloomberg

It never gets old to see my work in print!

Here’s a before-and-after, concept-to-finish look at the spread I shot for the recent June 27 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, featuring Growlerwerks’ nitro cold brew canister. As in my sketch (pardon my third-grade sketching skills!), the concept that I pitched was to have an almost comic-book, Batman-y, graphic feel to the coffee, sitting atop city buildings, with a big celestial body in the sky–reminiscent of a sun-like moon or a moon-like sun. I cast a round yellow light filter out of resin, which I put a spotlight through to get the strong yellow hard light. Then we filled in the dimensions of the glass and growler with soft light from the front. Many thanks to beverage stylist extraordinaire David Probasco for making the nitro cold brew pour look extra yum.

Open Studio at Joshua Tree 🌵

I’m having an open studio for the first time ever, and would love to see you! I’ll be previewing not one but two (!!) new bodies of work-in-progress that I’ve been hammering away on (literally) during the past 5 weeks here at the Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency, right outside the west gate of Joshua Tree National Park. Make a day trip or weekend of it in the desert–go for a picnic and hike or brunch at La Copine or grab some coffee and stroll around Joshua Tree… Then come by the JTHAR studio from 4–6pm for some art and a reading from essayist Miles Griffis, my current fellow artist resident! Hope to see you here!

:: New works ::

sitting still/standing still is a daily still life meditation on the push-pull between artifice and nature. Set against the backdrop of the Mojave, the multimedia series follows the lives of two inanimate main characters—white gallery podia—as they experience the oft-surprising biodiversity of the desert and the undeniable human presence therein.

Nature Torte is the inevitable unification of the shared stories of two things that could not seem more different: the natural world… and cake. The two are both representatives of impermanences, though the timescales of their lives are drastically different. They both have extremely fragile natures that require balance, while being surprisingly sturdy in spite of their delicacy. And both are often viewed as objects of consumption—and thus, desire—in current media: the physical consumption of dessert and the touristic, environmental consumption of the desert.

New beauty work for the Spring 💋

nail polish drip loquats dark still life motion product photography beauty cosmetics, los angeles product photographer

You know that I can never resist a good drip!

With the markets bursting with flowers and fruits right now, I’m sharing some new beauty work for the season, with prop stylist Kimberly Swedelius. With these images, we went for a looser, natural, laissez faire feel, with drips and imperfections left on the foraged fruits, and typically-invisible T-pins and floral frog structures showing through in the still lifes. And I opted for a gentler light than is common in a lot of product photography these days to really emphasize the soft beauty—and drama!—of the cosmetics.

potluck group show

still life donuts brueghel violet gilded frame fine art contemporary art photography hashimoto

Two of my pieces from the Asian American Still Life series have been invited to the Potluck group show at Hashimoto Contemporary LA–a show celebrating all things food art, curated by Dasha Matsuura. The show opens on February 12 and runs through March 5. I’ll be at the opening in the evening on the 12th, so please come by and say hello!

The two pieces in the show are near and dear to my heart–“Brueghel’s Breakfast” (pictured above) and “Onggi with Six Kimchi” (below). I’m so thrilled that Dasha picked these two as a set, because both of them feature food staples that play a huge role in the cultural fabric of LA: donuts and kimchi! For the show, I wanted to do something appropriately loud to go with all of the other wonderful food art painting and sculpture that will be in the show, so I opted to go really wild on the framing. I sourced two ornate frames from around LA, and over the course of a month, stripped them down and refinished them by hand in a lilac-y violet and gold leafing. I love the levity that they bring to the serious tone still lifes often have, and the cheeky irreverence the color brings to these very traditional gilded frames.

Swing by on February 12th (1-8pm) or anytime throughout the month to see them and the rest of the show in person!

“Brueghel’s Breakfast” and “Onggi with Six Kimchi” will be available framed and unframed. For more info, please contact the gallery, LA@hashimotocontemporary.com.

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