Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

That's omedeto gozaimasu in Japanese, hau'oli makahiki hou in Hawai'ian, and Happy New Year in English. Welcome to the Year of the Earth Rat! Let's hope that all of our entrepreneurial dreams manifest into solid, material reality in this fresh time. (For insurance, remember to clean your stoves and hang a mirror behind it to reflect extra burners--the more burners, the more money to burn!)

Speaking of fresh, as I left yoga class today, I was NOT thinking about race at all. You know, yoga does have that effect on you even when you're a double-minority surrounded by the dominant majority as I currently am. Anyway, as I entered a supermarket to purchase orange juice (non-concentrated so that the vitamins are still intact), a young Caucasian woman (again, I wasn't thinking race--this is an afterthought) attempted to hand me a flyer offering a free Valentine Day's card if I purchased three. Refusing, I explained to her that I was an artist who made my own. Instead of being angry, she was overjoyed because, she told me, she was a musician and singer who writes her own tunes. When I uttered the word "artist", it sealed an unspoken spiritual connection between the two of us and, for the next 20 minutes, we engaged in an inspiring discussion of just what it means to be a creative person in this world. During our talk, we both expressed our frustrations about having to perform work that we didn't like just to earn a living. And, it's not just about doing meaningless work, it's also about not having any time left to express the natural talents that we possess.

Here, this lovely creature was handing out flyers in a grocery store instead of sitting at her Mac and mixing sounds. As I revealed some of the challenges surrounding my film, Watermelon Sushi, she told me about her aspirations to cut a record deal. Then, she relayed a story about how she was casually listening to her TV the other night when she heard a familiar song. Shocked, she realized that it was one that she had written and licensed to MTV. She had been so thrilled hearing it then, yet today she found herself standing in the cold draft of a chain store handing out coupons to shoppers. I had few words of comfort to offer the girl. You see, I'd done similar gigs (and worse) just to pay the rent--all the while resenting the time spent working at jobs I didn't want while putting my REAL work on the back burner to deal with late at night, on weekends or on holidays.

Even though our conversation veered towards the depressing, it felt good to link up with someone who still believes in herself. I walked away feeling uplifted, and ready to tackle more creativity.

One of my many upcoming creative projects is a documentary about mixed-race people. I'd like to get a good cross section of ethnicities, ages, and sexual preferences. As with most documentary projects, it's hard to predict exactly how these stories will unfold. However, I'm interested in all aspects of multiracial stories. For instance; how your parents met and the kind of challenges they faced for crossing racial lines; what your early life was like and any repercussions you encountered in your environment. Also, how you identify racially, and why.
So, if any of you knows a biracial person who would like to share his or her thoughts onscreen, please let me know. You can find me at:

Meanwhile, I send you all creative vibes. That's me above with two of my illustrations sitting on the futon. Both pieces feature palm trees, and one has a Rastaman playing a guitar. Irie.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Your Hip Hapa,


Anonymous said...

Hey Yayoi! I have bookmarked your blog and will be checking it out! Hope all is well and here's to a great 2008...yes Happy New Year for both of us!!

I have my own blog

so u can check it out as well, but mine is not written as nicely and yours! HA!

Kiyoshi said...

Hey. I'm Miwa's friend, Kiyoshi. Just wanted to tell you that you forgot the "Akemashite" in front of the "omedetou gozaimasu". Otherwise it just means "congratulations". Just an observation. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Gigi Pique said...

Hey Yayoi. I like your blog, very lively and interesting. Your contact with this woman looks very enlivening for you.
It's hard for me to give any temoignage about bi-origine, as I'm just belgian. Sure you'll receive others feedbacks.
Hug you.