MORE ART

Some older pieces / Click on illustration to reveal its story

 
 

What We Knew When We Were Small


Toy Stories: We all remember playing with our favorite toys and creating stories from them.

Sometimes we were the hero, sometimes the villain.

 
 

"In a castle high on top of a hill lives an inventor's greatest creation - Edward, a near-complete person."

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On Display

2013: I originally did this one for my last art show but decided it wasn't good enough to

include. I used some of the little Kam characters that I have drawn in previous drawings

and collaged them within a stack of glaring TV sets that sit front of a Kam character who is

watching herself.

I am not only physically tied to HIBM on a full time basis while learning to cope with the

constant progression, but the pressure of being public, fundraising, sharing, advocacy and

constantly talking about HIBM in order to raise awareness looms over me.

I feel responsibility and accountability on my shoulders even though I would rather

escape it and not give it (HIBM) the attention it so desires. I deeply wished that

people did not know me for my HIBM.

It is an inner tension and personal struggle between what I want and what is deeply a part

of me. Seeing myself as the center of fundraiser, an event and the center of attention for

something I so deeply hate or the subject of a drawing is often times unbearable and

surprising. I try to distinguish the Kam I know - a normal girl who always

intended to live life to the fullest - and the Kam that has HIBM.

They are very different characters, yet the same.

 
 

She's Got Legs, She Doesn't Know How to Use Them

A commentary on how society projects how women should look and be.

There are many ways to be a woman and most of them don't involve how one looks.

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Brace Yourself

A little pop art, a little superhero meets my leg braces in bondage.

 
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     When You Have A Disability, What Happens To Your Sex Life?   KoreAm Column / July, 8, 2014  When a completely life-altering event happens, like a car accident that leaves you  paraplegic or, in my case, an extremely rare muscle deterioration disease sets in at the  age of 20, you might possibly think that, because you’re in a wheelchair or disabled, your life is over. Not true. While there are many things you may no longer be able to do, much of it is a matter of reinventing yourself.  Let me explain.  Growing up, I never saw “sexy” and “beautiful” figures offered to me in the form of a “disabled” person. This inevitably fed an initial perception of disabled persons being essentially “asexual.” Obviously, now that I am an adult with the intimate experience of being “disabled,” I know that such an idea is completely wrong.  And, yet, I have to say that, while perspectives are slowly changing, society still largely looks at disabled individuals as objects of care or somebody one is obligated to be nice to.  The disabled are often desexualized, ignored and babied, and if one happens to have a partner, then that person is deemed some kind of saint for even considering taking on the wounded—as if disabled individuals are incapable of inspiring romantic love or eroticism. A person’s physical dependence on others is automatically equated with emotional and intellectual dependence, and many can’t seem to fathom how one could even have the brain space to think about sex.  Well, I am here to say that yes, we do think about sex, and yes, we can have sex.  It’s a subject most of us love, but avoid talking about, especially when related to disability. Yet the often unspoken question in the minds of many spectators is, “How can a disabled person have sex?” I have had people ask me with furrowed brows, “How can you have sex if you can’t feel anything?” Such remarks provide insight into how some in the “able–bodied” world thinks, clumping all disabled persons together. But every disability experience has different dimensions and doesn’t necessarily void sensation, desire or ability.  When my body began to deteriorate, I think experiencing the juxtaposition of sex being once so much easier and free versus an added challenge only deepened the desire and appreciation. Which makes sense. When we have, we take for granted. When we don’t have, or what we have is slipping away, we appreciate more. It may sound strange, but post-disability is when I became more sexually confident. Call it getting older or a survival technique, but when you have nothing to lose, it is easier to liberate yourself from all the rules and expectations.  It’s worth remembering if you ever feel like you can’t understand the position of someone different from you, remember that we are not so far from each other. Everybody has the potential to become disabled unless death reaches him or her first. And, disabled people are still people: we have fantasies, expectations, desires and sexual frustrations, perhaps more than anyone.

When You Have A Disability, What Happens To Your Sex Life?

KoreAm Column / July, 8, 2014

When a completely life-altering event happens, like a car accident that leaves you

paraplegic or, in my case, an extremely rare muscle deterioration disease sets in at the

age of 20, you might possibly think that, because you’re in a wheelchair or disabled, your life is over. Not true. While there are many things you may no longer be able to do, much of it is a matter of reinventing yourself.

Let me explain.

Growing up, I never saw “sexy” and “beautiful” figures offered to me in the form of a “disabled” person. This inevitably fed an initial perception of disabled persons being essentially “asexual.” Obviously, now that I am an adult with the intimate experience of being “disabled,” I know that such an idea is completely wrong.

And, yet, I have to say that, while perspectives are slowly changing, society still largely looks at disabled individuals as objects of care or somebody one is obligated to be nice to.

The disabled are often desexualized, ignored and babied, and if one happens to have a partner, then that person is deemed some kind of saint for even considering taking on the wounded—as if disabled individuals are incapable of inspiring romantic love or eroticism. A person’s physical dependence on others is automatically equated with emotional and intellectual dependence, and many can’t seem to fathom how one could even have the brain space to think about sex.

Well, I am here to say that yes, we do think about sex, and yes, we can have sex.

It’s a subject most of us love, but avoid talking about, especially when related to disability. Yet the often unspoken question in the minds of many spectators is, “How can a disabled person have sex?” I have had people ask me with furrowed brows, “How can you have sex if you can’t feel anything?” Such remarks provide insight into how some in the “able–bodied” world thinks, clumping all disabled persons together. But every disability experience has different dimensions and doesn’t necessarily void sensation, desire or ability.

When my body began to deteriorate, I think experiencing the juxtaposition of sex being once so much easier and free versus an added challenge only deepened the desire and appreciation. Which makes sense. When we have, we take for granted. When we don’t have, or what we have is slipping away, we appreciate more. It may sound strange, but post-disability is when I became more sexually confident. Call it getting older or a survival technique, but when you have nothing to lose, it is easier to liberate yourself from all the rules and expectations.

It’s worth remembering if you ever feel like you can’t understand the position of someone different from you, remember that we are not so far from each other. Everybody has the potential to become disabled unless death reaches him or her first. And, disabled people are still people: we have fantasies, expectations, desires and sexual frustrations, perhaps more than anyone.

 
Raining in My Yukgaejang      
  
 
  
    
  
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  A good bowl of soup always drowns out the frownies.  Soup is especially heroic on those rainy days, even the days it feels rainy inside my body.   We rolled into the restaurant and on this particular rainy day I noticed alot of people staring at me.   Usually it doesn't bother me, but I seemed to notice it more so today.     I wasn't in the best of spirits anyways.        After eating,     we wheeled to the car through the pouring rain. And again, so many more stares. Jason threw   me into the car while the rain poured so hard that I couldn't     even see out of the windows. Or perhaps it   was my eyes. They were pouring, too. Most people never see this side of the condition.  They only see the   happy. They only     see "healthy" and happy pictures and composed poses on Facebook.  It is not a false representation, but there are some really, really dark and difficult moments. As I     stared out the window the city was a blur while the raindrops on the windshield came into crystal clear focus. I played connect the dots with   them as they dripped down.     I imagined out these raindrop's temporary existence  as well as their travels. We sat in the car for awhile.  I cried and cried.  Afterwards, we drove home.  And then I was ok.      Read More

Raining in My Yukgaejang

A good bowl of soup always drowns out the frownies.  Soup is especially heroic on those rainy days, even the days it feels rainy inside my body.

We rolled into the restaurant and on this particular rainy day I noticed alot of people staring at me. Usually it doesn't bother me, but I seemed to notice it more so today.

I wasn't in the best of spirits anyways.

 

After eating, we wheeled to the car through the pouring rain. And again, so many more stares. Jason threw me into the car while the rain poured so hard that I couldn't

even see out of the windows. Or perhaps it was my eyes. They were pouring, too. Most people never see this side of the condition.  They only see the happy. They only

see "healthy" and happy pictures and composed poses on Facebook.  It is not a false representation, but there are some really, really dark and difficult moments. As I

stared out the window the city was a blur while the raindrops on the windshield came into crystal clear focus. I played connect the dots with them as they dripped down. 

I imagined out these raindrop's temporary existence  as well as their travels. We sat in the car for awhile.  I cried and cried.  Afterwards, we drove home.  And then I was ok.

Read More

 

Highwire

A Thin Line. This is my current stage. Sometimes I feel like I am walking a very thin line between walking and not walking.

I am being pulled in by the waves of the inevitable, and my next (major) milestone is drawing nearer.

Sometimes it makes me sad but I have to maintain balance, not only with my physical shell but on the inside.

 
Monster on My Ankles   
  
 
  
    
  
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    You know those little floor or door ledges? Well, this drawing was inspired by that.  My home has little moulding ledges in each doorway.    Really, any SLIGHT rise or lift is problematic for me. I must stop, take thought and carefully guide my legs and feet over that 1/4" lift.    My entire being has to be dedicated to this moment.  Sometimes, I can achieve this in one try and sometimes it takes several.  This calculation would be while wearing braces. However, if I am not wearing any braces or shoes it is much more difficult to impossible.  One day I was stuck in the doorway having a problem with lifting my foot over this silly rise.  If you step back and watch me it is almost comical.  I mean, how can something so little give me such problem?  As I stood in the doorway trying to will my legs, I imagined that perhaps a creature or monster of some sort was preventing me from victory.    "Darn monster grabs my ankle and just won't let go...every time!" I thought.  Perhaps it is angry with me.  Perhaps it wants to be near me and has a crush on me.  Perhaps it has something to tell me I'm not sure. Whatever it is, it makes everything so much more difficult then it needs to be.   READ MORE

Monster on My Ankles

You know those little floor or door ledges? Well, this drawing was inspired by that.  My home has little moulding ledges in each doorway.  

Really, any SLIGHT rise or lift is problematic for me. I must stop, take thought and carefully guide my legs and feet over that 1/4" lift.  

My entire being has to be dedicated to this moment.

Sometimes, I can achieve this in one try and sometimes it takes several.  This calculation would be while wearing braces. However, if I am not wearing any braces or shoes it is much more difficult to impossible.

One day I was stuck in the doorway having a problem with lifting my foot over this silly rise.  If you step back and watch me it is almost comical.  I mean, how can something so little give me such problem?  As I stood in the doorway trying to will my legs, I imagined that perhaps a creature or monster of some sort was preventing me from victory.  

"Darn monster grabs my ankle and just won't let go...every time!" I thought.  Perhaps it is angry with me.  Perhaps it wants to be near me and has a crush on me.  Perhaps it has something to tell me I'm not sure. Whatever it is, it makes everything so much more difficult then it needs to be.

READ MORE

 

"It is something that grows over time...A feeling in the heart that becomes stronger even stronger over time.

The passion will soon blossom into a righteous power and through it, you will know which way to go"  

--Zelda, N64 videogame

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