Tree Sculptures

I'm captivated by the formation of clouds, the way trees grow, aerodynamics, and fluid flow. This is the stuff that really gets me excited. This fascination was the driving force behind these works, and my constant mission to blend the organic world with the manmade. 

FIRESWEPT

Powerline Cable / Wood – 2011

"Fireswept" is about standing ground amidst delusion and ambiguity. Setting priorities, standing up for Truth, and sharpening focus. This piece depicts a tree being swept by a storm so harsh it scorches the ground. Despite branches blowing in the wind, the roots of the tree stay fixed and protect the ground beneath them. Under the base of the tree, the wood remains untouched while surrounded by charcoal and ash.

 

INDUSTREE

Aluminum / Stone - 2011

This is the piece that got me into doing sculpture as a sophomore in high school, and ultimately got me to USC! I had seen the artist, Mark Golomb, do a similar piece and loved it so much I gave it a try. This piece really helped me understand my strengths. It was so fun to sculpt this organic figure out of such boldly manmade materials. Being able to mold something, and change it over and over until it moved just like I wanted it to really helped me realize how much I love to work in three dimensions. There's something about flow that absolutely fascinates me so molding the branches of this tree so they all flowed perfectly was really fun. 

 

LIFE GOES ON

Powerline Cable / Wood - 2014

This was a $600 commission piece inspired by "Fireswept." Stress from school, finals, and work had been hitting me but I'm lucky enough to call Hawaii home and the thought of being back on the beach at home with my feet on the sand was keeping me going. The tree and wood base look like they've been battered by the wind for so many years that they show signs of continuous ware in the same direction. I thought this was a cool reminder that although life is hard at times, time doesn't stop and those hard times will come and go, so I named the piece, "Life Goes On."

 
 

Woodworking

Woodwork is what fostered my love for working with my hands and product design. There's nothing quite as satisfying as using pieces you've made from scratch. 

ULTRA-THIN FOLDING CHAIR

Steel & Monkeypod - Spring, 2014

I made this chair in a furniture design class during my freshman year at USC. The concept was to design a collapsing chair that captured some of the appeal of more exotic furniture – folding chairs usually get a bad rap for their looks. This piece played with contrast between the harsh, angular geometry of the frame and the fluid shape and texture of the wood, which was sculpted to look like it was almost melting over the frame at the edges. I learned to shape wood like this during my very first job in high school, working for a carpenter in Hawaii sanding Monkeypod and Koa tables, and this project was a chance to revisit that. The folding mechanics worked very well and the thing folded surprisingly flat – however, freshman Johann folded his chair up and decided it would be a good idea to balance the thing on a platform while taking the final photos and the chair fell and the wood pieces broke. They were too thin the first time around anyway, and the stability depended primarily on the rigidity of the wood components so it does need a revision, which I hope to do soon! Sometimes there's too many new projects on the list and they keep you from looking back. The framework is really solid and once I make version 2.0 I'll most likely use it for years to come!

 

BACKGAMMON SET FOR MOM

Koa, Monkeypod, Wenge, & Cuban Mahogany - Christmas, 2013

First semester finals, freshman year. I turned in my last paper and had 2 days before coming home for Christmas. My mom was going through a hard time and I wanted to do something special for her, so I locked myself in the shop and cranked out a travel-sized backgammon board I could bring home and play with her when we're out at dinner or on the beach. The airport taxi actually picked me up from the shop! I had pulled an all nighter but finished it just in time. I love working with my hands and building this so much that sometimes I forget to eat/sleep/be a responsible person, but sometimes that's the price you pay for passion! Worth it in my book. 

 
 

Mixed Media Sculptures

These are just a few miscellaneous sculptures I've made in high school and college. Enjoy! 

PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS

Spray Paint / Wood – 2013

This is a piece from my senior year, a really turbulent time in my life. I was influenced by Banksy and his tongue-in-cheek street art to do this piece. I took 2 months off school to take care of my mom while she was going through cancer treatment at City of Hope in Duarte. My mom was complaining to me about all the drugs she was being fed by her nurses and I came up with the idea for this project. There are all these adorable little squirrels running around and during my time at the hospital I made friends with a few of them, and fed them almonds. They would gently take them from my hand and go bury them and come back for more, and it was so fun to watch them play. I used one of the pictures I took to make my stencil and create this work of art. These squirrels really brightened my mom's day, and this was a response to the hospital's 'No feeding animals' policy. 

 

BOXED IN I & II

Cardboard – 2011 & 2015

In an age of social networking and new technology, we are constantly trying to categorize our lives to fit ourselves and others into boxes. "Boxed-In" is a piece about trying to break free from these categorizations and displays a figure physically struggling with this mental battle. This piece captures him mid-transformation; no longer human, he is turning into an inanimate object, a simple cardboard box to be filed away. 

My Boxed-In pieces were made to make a statement. My second piece was specifically made to send a message to the dean of an elite program at USC in "Arts, Technology, and the Business of Innovation." As an artistic engineer, I was drawn to the program because it seemed like the shining light amidst the overwhelming amount of majors that didn't seem to fit my polarized strengths. Unfortunately my application was dismissed without even an interview, and I was super upset so I made this over a period of 32 hours and installed it in front of the dean's office at 2am with a letter. I was still dismissed. It was probably for the best. I'm doing very well in Engineering right now, and I'm still working on projects and developing my artistic skill, and I know I'll end up in a place I can use both sides of me in harmony. 

 

BASHFUL

Copper / Solder – 2012

This is a functional piece of art. He hangs on the wall by my door and holds my keys with his tail. Bringing this little guy to life from only copper and solder was a meditative process and my first experience with soldering. I love to make things I use every day (wallets, bags, furniture, etc.), and this was one of the first functional pieces I made. It's been hanging by my door, holding my keys every day for 6 years now!