Dino-Ville

In the New York of my imagination, dinosaurs emerge from the Museum of Natural History to haunt the city “that never sleeps.” They roam the streets engaging in dinosaur activities: scaring people, stealing from butcher shops, and terrorizing the skyline. For one night, the fabled city is theirs.

My Little Neighborhood

Washington Park in Downtown Newark

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Newark Model Small(Above L to R) Broad Street Station, Polhemus House, YWCA Building, Newark Museum, Ballantine House,
Second Presbyterian Church, American Insurance Company, Newark Public Library

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When I examine old pictures of my neighborhood in the city archives, I realize how much of my city disappeared in the past forty-some years. This sad trend will inevitably continue, as it does in most cities where old buildings outlive their use. If not in the form of my city’s physical destruction, this loss is in the form of my gradual loss of childhood memories. To reconcile this trend, I built the below model as my own souvenir. This keepsake will forever remind me of my identity in Newark.

The landmarks depicted are selected from my neighborhood and include my childhood home. The buildings are drawn with ink and pastel on thick paper, which is then cutout to form a two-dimensional silhouette. The trolleys travel back and forth down the street and are magnetically operated by a crank and hidden string beneath the street. The tracks guide the trains up, down, and into the tunnel. These trolleys are modeled on those that used to exist in Newark, long before my time here.

Perhaps, this models presents a more romanticized and idealized Newark than the city that may actually exist.

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New York in Miniature

The impressive range New York’s architecture, from the humblest home to the slenderest tower, powers my inspiration to create. I aim to capture my perceptions of bustling New York in this model. With a base measuring only 28 by 36 inches, I have built an intricate model replete with subway entrances, lampposts, and people. Whenever I glance at my tiny creation, I rejoice in knowing that my love of New York is within the breadth of my arms.

 

NYC collage small

 

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Paper Cutout Models

Political Cartoons

The following images are political style cartoons, mocking nationalism, fascism, or communism. They are intentionally drawn in the pedantic and high-contrast style of propaganda images from the Soviet Union. The rigid use of geometry and symmetry is an intentional effect.

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McDonald’s Fast Food Slaughter Machine. This image is inspired by H.G. Wells 1895 book The Time Machine. The world above is a peaceful garden. Monsters live in the world below; they emerge only at night with their nasty machines to harvest people for “USDA approved grade A” burger patties.

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A Goliath made of corporate logos fights a tiny David dressed as Uncle Sam.

Water

The images below are a graphic reflection on water, ships, and the machinery that surrounds the movement of water. The stylized representation of smoke, waves, and night sky is inspired by Japanese woodcuts and Art Deco paintings.

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Handmade Dollhouse

Over the years, I slowly built this dollhouse. Using balsa wood, cardboard, and scraps salvaged from the garbage, I glued together the numerable pieces of furniture. Odds and ends (many from my sister) such as bottle caps, cloth scraps, and earrings complement the intricate displays. None of the materials are purchased from a conventional model store. They are all hand assembled – either for the sheer joy of it, or as a skill-building exercise in model-making.

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Dollhouse

 

World Cities

Suburbia

Suburbs in Los Angeles

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The panoramic style images below depict cities I’ve traveled to or one day hope to visit. Panoramic drawings in ink are among my favorite to create. The tiny details of windows, roofs, and streets give viewers rich material for the eye to wander.

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