"Michelle and her family removing her braids". (Unni Project)
"Unni"(a term used by Korean females to address or refer to an older sister but also used to address an older woman to convey respect, friendship or closeness) is an intrusive exploration of the lives and relationships of my Korean-American and Korean born women friends living in Los Angeles. It is a documentation of a group of friends, their experiences and how they define their identity. Many of my Korean-American friends talk about the frustrations of growing up with American culture while simultaneously having certain family members wanting them to fully immerse themselves in "traditional" Korean cultures and practices. My friends face criticisms for the way they dress, the way they talk, dating outside of their race, being anti-religious or not wanting to get married. Many friends either don’t like speaking Korean or refuse to speak it altogether. One friend expressed her dislike of Korean culture by telling me, "Don’t ever fucking call me Korean again!" Growing up black in the suburbs of Huntington Beach, a predominantly white community, I’ve been accused of not being “black” enough. So I became interested in how different people interpret their identity. My ex-girlfriend was asked by her roommate (both of whom are 2nd-generation Korean-American women) what her parents thought about her boyfriend being black? She replied, “I don’t want to tell my parents because I know they won’t approve because they’re very traditional but I will never date a Korean guy." Her roommate replied, "I will only date Korean guys because it’ll be easier." I spend a great deal of time with my friends from Korea and recently I began to see what a lot of my 2nd-generation friends want to reject. I have also noticed the dual identities that these 2nd-generation friends face. My Korean born friends also have to cling to one culture while simultaneously embracing another. "Unni" is not about traditional vs. non-traditional but it’s a project about cultivating your own identity.
Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.
On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar”, every “supreme leader”, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there—on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world.
These black and white sugar skulls are made from Wasanbon, a fine-grained premium Japanese sugar, traditionally made in the Shikoku prefectures of Tokushima and Kagawa.
They were designed by artist Nobumasa Takahashi and come in 18 pieces of black and white (9 each). The black sugar is made all naturally from bamboo charcoal and can be used just like regular sugar (via).
Belgium-based ad agency Soon used paper as the medium for make playful little insects and beautiful flowers. Each sculpture was handcrafted out of recycled materials, photographed, and used in a brochure to advertise company IGEPA Benelux’s new line of recycled papers (via).