MULTINATIONAL PATRIOT: Korean Diaspora Flags by Onjena Yo

KOREAN DESIGNS BY ONJENA YO

KOREAN DESIGNS BY ONJENA YO

The more we learn, the more we realize how much we don't know... 

I was informed by family members that the Republic of Korea (South Korea) is no bigger than the state of Ohio with a population of 50 million (Having grown up in Ohio, I knew first hand how small this was). It wasn't that long ago that Korea could barely feed their citizens just after the Korean War of the 1950's. Now, they are the 13th largest economy in the world. And their cultural output... K-Pop, Korean dramas, movies (um, Joon-ho Bong, yes, please)... I am just at the beginning of my binge...  

WE ARE KOREA MULTINATIONAL PATRIOT FLAG COLLECTIVE 1.0

WE ARE KOREA MULTINATIONAL PATRIOT FLAG COLLECTIVE 1.0

A recent conversation with a new friend prompted me to research the Korean diaspora. According to Wikipedia, there are over 7 million Koreans, give or take, living abroad. Here are the Top 10: 

  1. China (2.54 Million)

  2. United States (2.09 Million)

  3. Japan (893,000)

  4. Canada (206,000)

  5. Russia (176,000)

  6. Uzbekistan (174,000)

  7. Australia (157,000)

  8. Kazakhstan (105,000)

  9. Philippines (88,000)

  10. Vietnam (86,000)

50,000 Koreans were living in Mexico and Brazil. The United Kingdom was 13th (45,000) which surprised me. And Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in the Top 10? Who knew?

I had to look up "Korean Diaspora Africa" to find the numbers for African countries: 

  1. South Africa (4,000)

  2. Libya (< 1000)

  3. Nigeria (< 800)

  4. Kenya (< 800)

  5. Egypt (< 700)

It seems I may know more about North Korea than South because of the news... I have much to learn and thanks to organizations such as the Orange County Korean American Cultural Exchange (OCKACE), I've already begun the process with some new friends. 

We designed our Korean-American flag many years ago and, based on direct feedback, it appears to have resonated with Koreans in the United States. It's been a long time coming, but we've now expanded our designs to reflect the Korean diaspora for the other 5 million Koreans living outside the U.S. & Korea.

Always lovely to hear from you. Connect with us at @MultiPATRIOT

Thanks for reading. 

~ Onjena Yo

#MultinationalPatriot #HonorBoth #OurPatriotism #OurGateways

Designs available exclusively on Redbubble

WWW.SHOP.KOREA.MULTINATIONALPATRIOT.COM

Don't see your flag? Interested in licensing? Tweet us @MultiPATRIOT

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Designed by Onjena Yo

PATRIOT SURVEY SAYS: Korean-American: Onjena Yo

I. Name/Meaning:

  • Karen - "Pure"

  • Lynn - Named after one of my aunts. Means "Pond, Waterfall, Pool, Lake."

  • Onjena Yo - "Onjena" means "always" in Korean; the "-yo" is a common ending in the Korean language; "Yo" is also the last name of a family of robots featured in a children's book series that's been brewing for sometime...

II. Nickname/Backstory:

  • Kare-bear - Some say because I am tender-hearted.

  • Hye Su - Given to me by my mother as my "Korean name;" named after a prominent Korean personality.

III. Country(ies) of Origin and Residence:

  • United States & South Korea

ONJENA YO ROCKIN' HER "BOSS" HAT (A GIFT FROM HER SISTER)

ONJENA YO ROCKIN' HER "BOSS" HAT (A GIFT FROM HER SISTER)

IV. States/Regions Lived/Visited in the United States:

  • Lived: Ohio, Texas, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Florida, California and, currently, New York.

  • Visited: Vermont, Maine, Louisiana, Maryland, D.C., New Mexico, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee

V. Languages Spoken:

  • English

VI. Favorite Dish:

  • My mother's spring rolls, seaweed soup, kalbi and sesame-fried chicken dishes.

  • Bacalao (traditional Portuguese dish made with codfish and heaven)

  • Sushi

VII. Favorite Phrase/Slang:

  • It is what it is.

VIII. Favorite Quote:

  • Every blade of grass has an angel that bends over it and whispers, "Grow! Grow!" (Talmud)

  • The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. (Pablo Picasso)

  • Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. (Dalai Lama)

  • When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? (Eleanor Roosevelt)

IX. Favorite Song/Artist:

  • Most of the artists from the Motown era (thank you Daddy) and my mother. If I had to pick a more recent artist, it would be a tough choice between Whitney Houston, Prince, Maxwell, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Massive Attack, Tracy Mothershed and Asen James.

X. Three words to describe each of the following:

  • USA: Bold, Strong, Arrogant

  • YOUR “OTHER” COUNTRY: Honorable, Competitive, Vain

  • YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE UNITED STATES: Outsider, Exception, TBD  

  • HOME: Family & Friends, Brooklyn, My dogs

XI. Which cultures do you represent?

  • Black/American and Korean

ONJENA YO INSIDE " CASTLE GRAYSKULL IGLOO "

ONJENA YO INSIDE "CASTLE GRAYSKULL IGLOO"

XII. Where do people assume/guess you are from?

  • Many who have served in the military are fairly accurate at guessing my background (Black/Asian...even guessing the correct country). Most common: Filipino, Hawaiian, Samoan, Dominican, Jamaican/Chinese. Least common: Bangladesh. But the common theme was that I could not possibly be from the United States (this same sentiment carried over to my travels abroad and domestically). My height threw most people off (apparently there are not that many documented six foot Asian women...). The curious thing to me is why are people so curious...still?

  • For those who have concluded that I indeed was "American," many couldn't believe I grew up in a small town in the Midwest (Ohio). However, native New Yorkers always knew that I was a transplant to NYC. One New Yorker told me it was because I smiled too much. The others weren't so forthcoming with how they knew...

III. What is the most "creative" way (positive or negative) someone has expressed themselves to you with regard to your cultures?

  • Often something offensive, assigning my various qualities to a specific culture or race (e.g., athletic because I was Black, scholarly because I was Asian). The worst was "Freaky like a Black girl, submissive like an Asian..."

  • My saddest experience was when a Black woman asked me why I didn't "choose" to pass as anything else besides Black since it would make my life easier.

XIV. What are the biggest differences between your cultures?

  • The expression of pride and beauty.

XV. What are the biggest similarities between your cultures?

  • Respect for elders/ancestors.

  • Love of odorous food... (kimchi & chitlins...)

XVI. Share your experience/observations returning to your "other" country after living in the U.S.:

  • Too young to really remember any real observations.

XVII. Share your experience/observations returning to the U.S. after travelling/living abroad:

  • My how loud and entitled Americans can be...

XVIII. Share your experience/observations traveling to different regions within the USA:

  • Mixture of curiosity, kindness, awkwardness and suspicion ("where are you from?' to "you ain't from around here")...

XIX. How do you define patriot/patriotism?

  • I used to associate patriotism with elitism and arrogance until I realized I was really thinking of White supremacy. Having pride in one's culture/country doesn't necessarily mean one thinks one's country is better than all others. Despite what some may think based on my answers to this survey, I am proud to be from this country.

XX. What does it mean to be an “American” to you?

  • I would like it to mean "using one's fortunes, strength and wisdom to care for others, regardless of borders." It's probably somewhere between this and "bullying sovereign nations under the guise of spreading democracy..."

XXI. How would elders in your "other" country define an “American”?

  • Fame-hungry, instant-gratification seeking narcissists.

XXII. How would the youth in your "other" country define an “American”?

  • Perhaps the same as the elders but in a more positive light.

O'BOTIFIED  VERSION OF ONJENA YO

O'BOTIFIED VERSION OF ONJENA YO

XXIII. What “American” qualities/traits do you most admire?

  • Perseverance and ability to reinvent itself.

XXIV. What “American” qualities/traits do you least admire?

  • Greed

  • Refusal to acknowledge the role free and discounted labor had in creating (one of) the biggest economies in the world.

  • General hyper-sensitivity to criticisms of "America." Criticism is not renunciation!

XXV. What makes a country exceptional?

  • How it cares for its most vulnerable.

XXVI. When you watch international competitions like the Olympics or the World Cup, who do you root for?

  • I almost always root for the USA teams. I get conflicted when they are competing against South Korea, Australia or one of the Caribbean countries.

XXVII. In what countries have you eaten McDonalds or Starbucks?

  • That would just be the U.S. and Mexico. I'll never forget ordering a "McPollo" sandwich...

XXVIII. Favorite country/place you have visited or lived or want to visit/live? And why?

  • I've loved Brooklyn before I arrived in this city. It will always be one of my homes.

  • I would love to visit Accra, Ghana as a starting point and make my way through the continent. Why? For love.

XXIX. Share a significant memory (or memories) involving both/all of your cultures.

NKOTB

NKOTB

  • As a child, I remember being pressured into being a fan of the boy band "New Kids on the Block (NKOTB)." It was never a question of whether I liked them. It was always "Which one is your favorite?" I attended a concert with some "friends" and sat very still throughout the event, trying to ignore their screams and glares at me for not participating in the mass hysteria. It wasn't until more than 25 years later that I recalled this experience during a conversation I had with a childhood friend who had come to visit me in NYC. He refused to purchase Bieber-related art for his young daughter during our stroll through Chinatown. We never discussed why...but I knew...

  • I was placed in speech class when I began elementary school. My parents then decided to forbid us from speaking Korean in the home. It is still a source of shame for me that I cannot speak my mother's tongue, but I still have time to learn... Repeat: "Can I borrow your roller blades?" The R's and L's still get me from time to time...

  • In first grade, I was sent to the principal’s office because I had used the word “too” on a writing assignment. We had not been taught how to use “too” yet. I thought I was in trouble, but to the contrary, as a promising new student, my teacher wanted to introduce me to the school’s leadership. So much anxiety over a three letter word... Over thirty years later, I think of the “Black Lives Matter” and “Black Girls Rock” movements and the vitriol for the “exclusion” of this same three letter word from their message. To these haters, you really don’t want the shared experiences that lead us to this movement, do you? Black lives matter, too... Black girls rock, too... It ain't always about you, too.

  • Respect for all elders was absolute, but I will never forget that "talk" with my parents... trying to explain how some adults were wrong (e.g., the neighbors who told me I couldn't ride my bike on "their" sidewalk or use "their' hill to go sledding with the rest of the neighborhood kids). That day my neighbors chased me home, I defied them. As I ran home, my 8 year old self was in more fear of the repercussions of disobeying an adult than what would have happened if I had got caught...

  • My junior high school recognized ten students from each grade as "extraordinary" during an annual year-end awards ceremony. After they called the 9th student, my family and friends giggled as they said the school was saving the best for last (I was a straight A student, named "most valuable player" on many of my sports teams, active in various extracurriculars, blah, blah). I was devastated when they did not call me to the stage. The next day, I was called into the principal's office (where I was a student aide). "A mistake has been made," they said as they handed me a plaque, "but please don't tell anyone." I nodded enthusiastically as I hid my plaque in my backpack. I was thrilled to show my parents that I was indeed recognized for my efforts. They were furious. We had another "talk." I was 13 years old.

  • After watching a news clip about how some local police officers had shot a stray dog over 45 times, my dad glanced over at me and said, "Must have been a black dog."

  • One unforgettable day...spring break in the late 90's, while walking along the beach in Zihuatenejo, Mexico, two curious teens approached me and asked, "De dónde eres?" I replied, "Los Estados Unidos." They were puzzled. "Pero, cómo? Tú eres morena!" (Translation: "Where are you from? The United States. But how can that be? You are brown!"). Two elderly women, also on vacation, strolled by me just then, smiled and enthusiastically complimented me, "Bonita! Muy BO-ni-TA!"

  • Shortly after my Mexico trip, I traveled to Montreal with a few of my friends. On our way back from a dance club, we passed by a group of people who happened to be Black. We asked, "Where are you from?" When they responded, "Canada," we had to fight to keep from asking where they were REALLY from.

RICHARD PRYOR &amp; GENE WILDER IN "SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL"

RICHARD PRYOR & GENE WILDER IN "SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL"

  • In college, I participated in a domestic exchange program with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and got sick. I visited the student health center and asked the receptionist if my health insurance from my "home" college carried over to UCSD. She politely nodded her head and asked me to wait as she got some help. Shortly thereafter, another woman from the back office approached me, and speaking slowly and deliberately, asked me how she could help me. It took me about half a minute to realize that they thought I was a foreign exchange student and needed a translator. I grew up in the Midwest. But, apparently, my appearance affects my perceived "accent." I get it. When I don't have my glasses on, it's difficult for me to hear. I wasn't offended. Just tired.

  • I spent an "alternative spring break" volunteering on a Navajo reservation (affectionately referred to as "the res") in the late 90's. We were scheduled to host a traditional dinner for two "medicine men (hatáli)." However, we were running so late from our earlier excursions, that not only did we not have time to cook a traditional Navajo meal, we were late to the dinner itself. The two gentlemen were patiently waiting for us at the youth center where we were bunking. A decision was made to pick up some buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken en route. I was mortified. When we finally arrived, I literally grabbed a bucket of chicken, sprinted into the youth center and began serving these men while profusely apologizing for our lateness and the inappropriate meal. They were silent. One of the two held up his hand, palm facing me and said, "We don't eat chicken." My.heart.stopped.beating as I just stood there clinging to my bucket of chicken. Then, they both cracked huge smiles and said, "Just kidding," and helped me serve the rest of the chicken. I once read that tragedy plus time equals comedy... and there it was...

NATIVE AMERICAN SYMBOL:  WHIRLING LOG

NATIVE AMERICAN SYMBOL: WHIRLING LOG

  • The whirling log symbol (the swastika) appeared in many of the textiles and art on the reservation. Makes one question who's history matters when determining the cultural significance of a symbol...or a flag...

  • It was during this time that I discovered "Native American" CDs were filed under the "International" section at the music store... (Maybe this has changed since then. If you check, I highly recommend R. Carlos Nakai).

  • Jaw-drop. The reaction of my environmental studies professor to a student's response to her question on what levels are "safe enough" (e.g., parts per million, # of deaths) when developing environmentally-friendly policies: "It doesn't matter because it will never happen in my backyard." Glimpse into the minds of our some of congressional leaders when sending someone's children to war...?

  • Because I didn't appear "Black" to some, I've overheard things like, "Black people are good to taste, but not to marry."

  • A few years ago, after a bad snowstorm nicknamed "Snowmageddon," we "built" an igloo in the shape of Heman's Castle Grayskull in the front yard of our brownstone. We received a lot of love from the community (cameras flashed all day and night) and from a few local publications. A theme emerged in the comments section of some of these online articles.... when readers found out that the "Castle Grayskull Igloo" was in Brooklyn, the assumption was that it must have been in Park Slope.... (it was in Bed-Stuy). It was a fringe element, nevertheless, it was a reminder of something toxic...and familiar...

  • Why do I feel compelled to hide my love of watermelon...still? (Please watch Wanda Sykes' comedy clip "Dignified Black People." If you are short on time, start at the 2 minute mark and enjoy!)

  • Years ago, I commented on a friend's behavior as being "typically American." To which she responded, "Weren't you born and raised here?" I was immediately struck by how I had unknowingly internalized this into my own identity as an "atypical American." Ironically, for me, being "American" was feeling like I was not an "American..."

  • When the USA flag fell during Serena William's gold medal ceremony during the 2012 Olympics, I felt a slight twinge of anxiety for how some would interpret it as an omen... But, like the champion that she is, Ms. William's won with her response:

 
...it was probably flying to come hug me because the flag was so happy.
— Serena Williams
 

XXX. How has living in the United States impacted/influenced you?

  • I do believe in the American dream....it may be easier for some to achieve than others, and it may not be a true meritocracy and public schools may be failing to truly educate, but I am filled with hope and tenacity and believe there is enough for us all. Is that uniquely "American"? No. But it is my story.

BONUS: Which would you rather have named after you... a mountain or a theory? Why?

  • A theory. Even if it were disproved, at least I would have contributed to thought leadership that in some way, advanced our civilization.


Share your #multinationalPATRIOT story with us by participating in our PATRIOT SURVEY SAYS!!! blog series. Click the pic below to learn how to get involved! 


RELATED TOPICS: If you liked this, you may be interested in the following:

SAY IT LOUD: Black Power in Every Language by Onjena Yo

These concepts have evolved over many late night conversations... born out of pain and love and laughter. As a Black woman and a Spanish language teacher, it was quite natural that my sister would translate "Say it loud, I'm Black and I'm proud" to Spanish. This and that 30 Rock episode starring Tracy Morgan, prompted me to research how to say "Black" in every language.

I’ve learned the word ‘black’ in every language, just so I know when to be offended. Russian “tcherny,” Korean “heug-in [hooking],” dolphin “eeee eeee eee eeee.”
— Tracy Jordan, 30 Rock: Season 4: Episode 17

Source: UnlikelyWords.com [*hooking edited to "heug-in" or "흑인"]

I came across an abundance of enthusiastic databases of ethnic slurs (for the sake of academic research, of course..). Digging a little deeper, I found that Black people were often called a term that was rooted in racist etymology by the "majority" of that country (e.g., derivative of slave, non-believer). I was on the hunt for what we called ourselves around the globe...a color in some cases... a tribe in others. The time frame deliberately spanned beyond the "transatlantic slave" era. This activity led me inward to a memory of my father, who, during parent's weekend, drove around my small New England college campus blasting James Brown's song, "Say it loud, I'm Black and I'm proud!" I've only begun to scratch the surface on what identifying and celebrating Blackness means to me, as an American, as a woman and as a person raised in a third culture *mix of Black and Korean.

Our translation of "Black" in our "Black in Every Language" design: 

Black – English
Negro – Spanish
Noir – French
Nwa – Haitian Creole
Oji – Igbo
Dudu – Yoruba
Preta – Portuguese
Nyeusi – Swahili

Whatever the language, we encourage all to #sayitLOUD! We would love to hear your thoughts! Connect with us on twitter at @MultiPATRIOT or @populistdemand

OUR DADDY

OUR DADDY

Thank you for your time.

~ Onjena Yo

[For the folks in the cheap seats passing notes, you can be proud, too... Black is beautiful, too... Black lives matter, too... Black girls rock, too... but it ain't always about you, too...]

 


BLACK: SAY IT LOUD Design Series by Onjena Yo

Sold exclusively on Redbubble

WWW.ARISE.POPULISTDEMAND.ORG


SAY IT LOUD:

ARABIC: 'AQUL DHLK BISAWT EAL

FRENCH: DIS LE BRUYANT

HAITIAN: DI LI BYEN FȮ

IGBO: EKWU YA OKÉ

PORTUGUESE: DIGA ALTO

SPANISH: DILO ALTO

SWAHILI: SEMA NI KUBWA

TAGALOG: SABIHIN MO MALAKAS

YORUBA: SO Ọ TI NPARIWO

 

 

I'M BLACK:

'ANA 'ASWAD 

JE SUIS NOIR

MWEN NWA

ADḷ M OJI

EU SOU PRETA

SOY NEGRO

MIṂI NYEUSI

AKO ITIM

DUDU NI MI

 

AND I'M PROUD:

WA'ANA FAKHUR

ET JE SUIS FIER

AK MWEN FYĖ

NA ABU M MPAKO

E TENHO ORGULHO

Y SOY ORGULLOSO

NA MIṂI MPAKO

AT AKO MAIPAGMAMALAKI

ATI EMI LI AGBERAGA


Do you speak any of the above languages? How did we do on our translations? Want to add a new language? 

Let us know via twitter @MultiPATRIOT & @populistdemand


Designed by Onjena Yo

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CANVASS44: Art Inspired by President Barack Obama

 
In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.
— Mark Twain
 

CANVASS 44 was born out of the desire to highlight art inspired by our 44th president and to raise awareness for charities with missions that are in alignment with President Obama's and First Lady Michelle's values such as education, healthcare and veterans and military families.


RENEGADE OBAMA BUST BY GREY WILLIAMSON &amp; KILROY iII

RENEGADE OBAMA BUST BY GREY WILLIAMSON & KILROY iII

cover of village voice: 2011

cover of village voice: 2011

metallique renegade obama busts

metallique renegade obama busts

RENEGADE OBAMA BUST

… Once the president is elected, he no longer represents one party, but the totality of the American politique… at least ’til the next election process begins.
When the Republican party politicians announced that, from the time he was elected, that their prime directive for the next four years was to remove him from office… it was treason… by definition, mutiny.
The people have the right to disagree, dissent, protest… exercise their voice in a number of ways, including the vote…
… but our political officials are hired to treat the POTUS as Commander In Chief… above party affiliation. Non-adherence to this destroys the political process and makes us as citizens slaves to individual party agendas, and therefore the personal interests of its individual leaders.
Mutiny…
Treason…
Capitol Crimes?
Truth.
— Grey Williamson

The Renegade bust was designed and produced by Carbon-Fibre Media’s team of Grey Williamson and Kilroy III out of their Brooklyn studio. Two different busts were produced. The first was cast in a “metallique” finish which includes a mix of metal, resin, and a few drops of pigment. The second “DIY” bust does not include metal, as it was designed to be a “canvas” for other artists to customize as part of CANVASS 44. 

When asked for about the inspiration for the design, Grey responded as follows:

I wanted to portray the inner qualities of the man. I asked myself how does his wife see him, because she married him... how does a wife want to see her husband. I tried to stay true to that.

I selected the posture of a boxer because he is currently engaged in the fight of his life. His pose is reminiscent of the fighting style of Muhammad Ali, Floyd Mayweather or someone like that.

Additional pictures of the bust can be viewed in an interview with Grey Williamson

"blank" renegade

"blank" renegade

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Grey Williamson has worked as a writer, artist and designer for almost every major comic publisher in the comic industry. He formed Carbon-Fibre Media as a home for his entertainment properties and productions.

Kilroy III makes his professional debut at Carbon-Fibre Media with his work on the Apollo, Val-Mar and Renegade busts. He has multiple projects under development that can be viewed on his blog, Kilroy’s Attic.


WET PAINT BY ANDRE WOOLERY

WET PAINT BY ANDRE WOOLERY

CLOSEUP OF THUMB TACKS OF WET PAINT

CLOSEUP OF THUMB TACKS OF WET PAINT

WET PAINT

Some choices we live not only once but a thousand times over, remembering them for the rest of our lives.
— Richard Bach
The Obama presidency means many different things to many different people, but it will not be capable of a complete evaluation until many decades later. Despite varying opinions the numbers will always ring true: 44th and 1st.
— Andre Woolery

Since 2008, many of us voted for then Senator Obama and have continued to support the President as he makes many difficult decisions on our behalf. And others, well, while we engage and respectfully debate the chronic nay-sayers, CANVASS 44 is not about that, but about celebrating and supporting President Obama.

The writing is not yet on the wall as for how the President has performed in his first term. But over 9,000 thumbtacks are on a canvas, thanks to Andre Woolery. Over 9,000 decisions to tell a story of inspiration and determination that is not unique to the subject, nor the artist, but representative of all of us who work hard, in short, to pursue happiness.

If we all had a cumulative record of the result of the many decisions we made each day, what would it look like? “Wet Paint” captures the warmth and humility of the most powerful man in the world. You can’t fake that.


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Born in Jamaica and raised in New Jersey, Andre Woolery creates art that is accessible and reflective of his journey. His work was recently profiled in Black Enterprise and Complex Magazine. Read his full story at www.andrewooleryart.com and follow him on twitter @undre2g.


PAINTED BY RODNEY JACKSON

PAINTED BY RODNEY JACKSON

OBAMA

A painting by Rodney Jackson featured in Art Basel Miami and on the cover of college lifestyle magazine, Back\Slash. One of my favorites...he captured President Obama's kindness.

The original painting has been sold but giclee prints are available. 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Rodney Jackson is the architect of the art movement known as DONŪ that is characterized by a fusion of classic and new school artistic approaches. His most recent work uses photos and textiles to highlight the labor class of people as they carve their place into the fabric of American culture. 


PAINTED BY BUNKY ECHO HAWK

PAINTED BY BUNKY ECHO HAWK

BARACK BLACK EAGLE: He Who Helps People Throughout the Land

Artist Bunky Echo-Hawk painted this piece live at the Native Nations: Uniting for Change event during the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

Earlier in the year, Huffingtonpost featured this painting with about 10 other pieces describing the works as “bizarre.” Hmmm… “bizarre” or simply misunderstood? The “re-imagination” of popular figures, whether historical or fictional, is actually not that bizarre…

Take a look at the varied representations of Jesus… brunette…blonde… brown eyes… blue eyes… wooly hair… flowing locks… “swarthy”… white skin… If you ask most people what the founder of Buddhism looks like, most would describe a smiling jolly and bald Chinese man.

And no, this “bizarre” phenomenon is not limited to religious figures… Have you seen an American movie in the past few years or, oh wait, since Hollywood began producing movies, be it original or remakes? Ironically, the most recent “backlash” against the “re-imagination” of a character was aimed at a young character named “Rue” in “The Hunger Games.” (FYI. It wasn’t Rue’s characterization that was wrong, but the imagination of many of the viewers/readers…).

I can feel the eyes roll… How fitting that I reference religious figures and Hollywood when Obama has been “accused” of being a fake messiah and a “celebrity.”

What I see is positive change… a shift in deep-rooted underlying assumptions that are being challenged more frequently and by many different voices. I read an article in February about the “Linsanity” phenomenom by Yellow Peril that described Jeremy Lin as an “Asian Obama.” Robert Deniro recently came under fire for a joke about it being too soon for a “White First Lady.”

Thank you Bunky Echo-Hawk, for sharing your perspective on how our heroes can capture our collective imaginations…

Bizarre? No. Assumptions challenged. Yes.

And what exactly is “flesh-colored” anyway…?

Proceeds from the sale of Barack Black Eagle prints will be shared with Organizing for America andNVision. NVision is a movement  that is “committed to the development of Native youth leadership and traditional and contemporary expressions of art, culture, education, and media from a Native core and perspective.”

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Bunky Echo-Hawk is a multi-talented artist whose work spans both media and lifestyle.  A graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts,  he is a fine artist, graphic designer, photographer, writer and a non-profit professional.  He is also a traditional singer and dancer. Throughout his career, Bunky has merged traditional values with his lifestyle and art.

He has exhibited his work in major exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally in NYC, Chicago, Denver, Santa Fe, and Frankfurt, Germany, to name a few. His poetry has been published in magazines and anthologies throughout the country, and his plays have been performed and produced across the nation. Bunky is also an advocate and an educator. He travels extensively, creating live works of art for auction.

Through his art, Bunky has raised thousands of dollars for several national non-profit organizations. Additionally, he speaks at conferences, conducts workshops, and teaches both art and writing. In 2006, Bunky co-founded NVision, serving as Executive Director until 2009. NVision is a nonprofit collective of Native American artists, musicians, community organizers, and nonprofit professionals who focus on Native American youth empowerment through multimedia arts. Bunky is a 2008 First Peoples Fund Business in Leadership Fellow, a 2008 United States Artist Fellow nominee, a 2008 Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellow nominee, and a 2008 Boulder County Multicultural Award recipient.


PAINTED BY ALEX KRASKY

PAINTED BY ALEX KRASKY

UNITED WE STAND: A TRIBUTE TO AMERICA

About our President, I think he will be reelected. He is a strong Guy. And if you saw all my webpages, I have a very special dream. I want to meet our President personally and hand him my Art. (It’s already signed: From Alex Krasky to Our President Barack Obama). My Mom is waiting that one day I will do it. I promised her I will. She is the only one who is still alive in my Family. I want to make her really proud of me.
— Alex Krasky

Alex has committed a portion of the sales of his paintings and art prints to the re-election of President Obama as well as to the American Cancer Society.

You can view his unique style applied to other prominent Americans at The Art of Alex Krasky. Alex and his work have been featured in numerous publications, most recently on the USA Patriotismwebsite.

What do y’all think? Can we help make Alex Krasky’s dream come true?

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Alex Krasky‘s journey to America began when he left the former Russia/Ukraine in 1997.  Although he expressed an interest in art at the age of 5, it wasn’t until seven countries and twelves years after his arrival in the United States that he took an oil painting class and picked up a brush for the first time.  “I learned, life is not a rehearsal, we go forward every day, regardless. I learned to savor the moment and take pleasure in small things in life. After all, life is made up of thousands of “small moments”.


thinking forward by tru soul

thinking forward by tru soul

THINKING FORWARD

This piece is meant to showcase the mental toughness and strain that President Obama faces every day. For killing Osama Bin Laden, to Bailing out GM and adverting a depression; to providing quality health care for all, ending DADT and equal pay for women. The President has been under the most pressure, and dealt the worst hand and still maintains his cool and connection to the american people. Republicans have called into question his qualification to lead based on the color of his skin and the name he is known by.

Thinking Forward is a piece that says despite the hardships we have faced in the past and are presently dealing with, the future is still bright and we must move forward. It showcases the seriousness at which the President has for those in his administration to the hard-working middle class and poor.
— Tru Soul

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Derrick Trotman’s Tru Soul movement is about authentic art that raises awareness and promotes originality. He is an illustrator, designer, poet and thinker who enjoys working in multiple mediums including pencils, prisma marker, deco paint, charcoal, bamboo wood ink, water-color and digital painting. His primary influences have been his mother, Stan Lee, Cezanne, Matisse, Jim Lee, The Itialian Renissance, Debroah Haverty, Justin Bua, African art and fractals. Learn more about Mr. Trotman by visiting www.trusoul.org


OBAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT

This is free for all to download, print, & disseminate. Go forth & spread the gospel. Put it on every street corner & lamp-post, every bulletin board & kiosk, every juke-joint & house of ill-repute, every cafe, campus & construction site, every church, synagogue, mosque, & Bahá’í Center, every library & schoolyard, every domino table & methadone clinic, every nook & cranny you can find…or… just stick it in your office.

Remember there’s no knockout in this bout, it goes the full 12 rounds. The judges’ decision is final on 6 November, so get out & vote, my friends.
— Robt Seda-Schreiber

Mr. Seda-Schreiber tells us that is not a professional artist, but simply an art teacher with a drawing table at which he sometimes sit & create little doodles, surrounded by far too many toys for a man of his age. Should you so desire, you can see more of his artistic shenanigans atsweetestbaboon.blogspot.com.

When I asked for  his twitter handle, this was Mr. Seda-Schreiber’s response:

 
I’m not on Twitter or Facebook… I actually don’t even text, if you can believe it. I’m so old school, I make Chuck D look like Meek Mill.
— Robt Seda-Schreiber
 
BABY GOT HOPE

BABY GOT HOPE

LOL. I was granted permission to quote him on this. Mr. Seda-Schreiber’s “Baby Got Hope” poster was featured in the book, “Design for Obama” during the 2008 campaign season.

He’s in it for the long haul. Respect.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Robt Seda-Schreiber is “an artist, a lover, a father, a teacher, a hustler of culture, an oh-so-tiny & not-so-private dancer, an imaginary boxer, a practicing solipsist, & a self-indulgent, egotistical, totally insecure, anxious & angst-ious little man.” A friend left a beautiful quote about the artist and the art: “Seda-Schreiber lets you into his mind, and it turns out to be a worthwhile place to rummage around… (His work) is like receiving a long letter from a friend you didn’t know you had.” (Cat Yronwode). Sounds like my kinda artist. See more of his works at sweetestbaboon.blogspot.com.


O'BAMABOTS

‘Tis the season… time for all the pundits to weigh in on the presidential election so let the name-calling begin… O’bamabots… O'bots… Mindless followers or politicians devoid of human sentiment… Ouch… Or maybe, simply, just enthusiastic investors in the political process… Our O'BAMABOT was our attempt at injecting some civility into the political conversation. Equal opportunity cuteness is our policy. If you like our O'BAMABOTS, please visit our POLITICO'BOT gallery featuring prominent world politicians. 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Onjena Yo makes her professional artistic debut at Carbon-Fibre Media with her line of toy robots called “O’BOTS” and a line of t-shirts for multinationalPATRIOTs. She is also an amateur scrapbooker. 


Twitter: @CANVASS44