China
Postcards: Huashan, a sacred Taoist mountain

Postcards: Huashan, a sacred Taoist mountain

It was foggy and drizzly when I walked towards the bus stop in Xi’an that morning, but I didn’t care. I was going to climb that damn mountain. Accompanied by a quiet Belgian guy from my hostel, I held a flimsy umbrella over my head and ate steaming buns filled with mystery meat that I’d bought...
Instagram as a visual diary

Instagram as a visual diary

Seoul, South Korea: Buddha’s Birthday lanterns. Love it or hate it, call it photography or not, there’s something romantic about Instagram. Captured spur of the moment with a smartphone, these digitally-enhanced, square-formatted images are both visually appealing and a great tool for documentation. For about a year, I’ve been uploading photos on Instagram, and in some...
2012 In Photos: the year that I never fully unpacked

2012 In Photos: the year that I never fully unpacked

Last year I summarized my travels through a photo essay called, 2011 In Photos: a year of transition and travel, so I decided to do the same for 2012. This year, thanks to my three extensive vacations and a slew of Adventure Korea-sponsored weekend trips, I never fully unpacked, continually leaving items throughout various backpacks...
Postcards: Hiking in Shaxi

Postcards: Hiking in Shaxi

August 11, 2011 Shaxi, pronounced sha-shi if you are reading it in English, was once a bustling village during the Tang Dynasty, where traders passed through to exchange tea and horses. Now Shaxi is eerily quiet, save small groups of tourists who pass through the deteriorating Sideng Market Square, named one of the 100 most endangered...
Postcards: the Chinese calligrapher

Postcards: the Chinese calligrapher

August 24, 2011 On a bright summer morning in Beijing, the calligrapher skillfully ran his brush along the smooth, gray stone of the Summer Palace’s pavilion, making curvaceous strokes with lines as beautiful as the ancient, upturned rooftops in the distance. Each character was written quickly and boldly with water for ink, appearing for an...
Postcards: The Great Wall of China

Postcards: The Great Wall of China

August 19, 2011 It’s hot. A middle-aged Mongolian woman sits with a cooler full of plastic water bottles on the crumbling edge of one of the lookout towers on the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall. She wears long pants, a long-sleeved shirt with a pink t-shirt on top, and holds a floppy hat in...
My first blogiversary

My first blogiversary

Yay! I made it! Today is my first blogiversary. One year ago, in the midst of an unraveling relationship and frustration over my visual artwork, I signed up for a MatadorU writing course, bought this domain, and I decided to write again. My first MatadorU assignment was to write an evergreen article, so I wrote,...
A Cultural Education in Beijing, China: art class at the China Culture Center

A Cultural Education in Beijing, China: art class at the China Culture Center

I close my eyes and place my hands on my lap. There’s rice paper spread on the table in front of me, along with three ink brushes, plates and a porcelain water bowl. I take a deep breath and smile slightly. I’m content. Today I’m not brushing shoulders with thousands of tourists in the Forbidden...

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