Some Experiences of 2018 and Goals for 2019

Experiences of 2018

1. loved

2. made life long and diverse friendships from my time in California in the summer

3. tested myself as the CEO of my own company– and dealt with and am continuing to deal with the everyday prospect of rejection and personal rejection and observing myself responding to and living these moments, well, or not so well.

4. saw the fruit of my strong relationships with the women in my life

5. revealed a personal long term trauma of mine from childhood to a room of 60+ colleagues and strangers > which unintentionally sparked a wonderful and effective road to recovery, healing, closure, and peace in my life. It was a mixture of owning the experience and being of the age and emotional maturity to really own it. I’ve talked about this trauma to other people before and when I was younger, but I was never “there” emotionally and mentally to free myself from the burden of my experience. This time, it seems I was.

6. actively sought to support, pray for, and aid the people in my life and colleagues I met once or more than a couple times through my work.

7. experienced very little depressive thinking and anxiety

8. had the opportunity to travel and experience the most wonderful new things nearly every month

9. lots of family loss and pain because of health problems + dealing with the painful history my immediate family shares.

10. learned to love my body and myself even more. Not over exceedingly. Just accurately.

11. practiced killing my pride and the areas of my close-mindedness

12. Experienced both the bliss and fortitude of not comparing myself to anyone and the pain of putting myself down or making myself insecure by comparing myself to others throughout intermittent months

Goals of 2019

1. Be a better listener. More actionably, stop interrupting and learn to put pen to paper if my thoughts keep overruling my desire to listen to the other and overwhelming my head and tempt me to interrupt conversation.

Enforce the mindset that a conversation with ANYONE = a precious time to show my appreciation for and understanding of them through LISTENING – action.

2. Stop my pattern of mumbling.

3. Last year to become fluent in French

Take it as a black or white scenario. Winner takes all.

(This kind of harsh mentality might not work for everyone, but I’ve found that for me, when I deal with mental absolutes when setting expectations for myself, I end with half or half + the expectations I set myself. )

4. Be increasingly there for my family members, H, W, J, and J while keeping boundaries for the life and identity that I am uniquely constructing for myself on my own terms.

5. Learn how to say NO – two reasons – 1. protect my wellbeing, and my limited energy (if I keep saying yes, I’ll run myself to the ground) and 2. check bullshit from others as the first sentence is uttered or written. Find a way to stay kind and respond or ignore messages without feeling guilty and without bile to people who seek to take or have an agenda that is not wise or in service to you or others?, or… I feel like there is a wiser way of going about this. But I haven’t come to the answer yet.

6. Have ATEM succeed

7. Work better to protect the marginalized and misunderstood, particularly those with issues I am personally passionate about:

  • sexual harassment
    • check people, even if they are people who are more powerful than me or men I have a personal attachment to.
  • gender discrimination
    • grow as a woman who denies expectations prescribed to her present and future (be independent! Be a wife! Don’t be a wife! Don’t quit your job! Quit your job! Be more dependent! Be less dependent!). Grow as a woman who determines what it is to be herself on her own terms. Grow and inspire by example. Currently, it means being secure and proud of the fact that I want to 2. continue doing fulfilling and meaningful work, and 1. [In the future] devote all of my resources to be the best family woman there ever was. I want to have a wonderful husband and I want to have children. I want to devote myself 100% to my partner and am okay with throwing myself 100% to support my partner’s career aspirations (if and when a family exists), so long as when the time comes that I am asked to make a sacrifice, the changes are decided on “together” with the mutual understanding that it was needed not because I am a woman and it’s the responsibility of the woman to fulfill the family rearing needs, but because it was my choice, my honor, and my joy to take that choice for the family; I am 100% supportive of any partner making career changes or stepping back from something for the family as a whole. That is my definition of being a woman and a person on my own terms.
  • racial discrimination
    • be more vocal in the public sphere and during my day to day commute when I see this happening for example on NY subway platforms.
  • domestic violence
    • explore and identify projects I might want to get involved in either with my resources with time or finances
    • think proactively about the future: while there are not many in my personal network that are married, the numbers will rise with time, and it is important to be diligent and create a strong foundation for my female (not excluding males too) relationships now of openness, compassion, and willingness to listen, so that if the time ever comes these people (or even me) have someone to fall back on and trust or send an SOS too.
  • lack of access due to socio-economics – financial/human capital
    • immediately actionable: use the professional and personal network I have to nurture and help individuals in the ways I can.

8. Visit my mom in Korea

9. Go back to France. 🙂

10. Find a new system to reincorporate an optimal rate of reading and doing/seeing art (things I love) as I continue to build ATEM – system I continued into 2018 with and worked with throughout the year doesn’t work anymore due to the immense time suck I’ve had with my personal time due to work demands and stress (stress, because when super drained, it is hard to read, even if you do have that hour).

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Glossy Co. Beauty & Wellness Summit 2018

Attending Glossy Co.’s Beauty & Wellness Summit gave me the wonderful opportunity to connect and discuss issues the wellness & beauty industry is facing with leaders and new players; it was also a moment that made me, a relatively young founder of wellness company ATEM, realize just how disparate the opinions of notable leaders were on:
– what the future looks like in both personal care sectors
– how brand leaders, beauty conglomerates, and partnering software companies have very polarizing views on how to systematically define how a business must scrape customer data [in these modern times of multiple revenue streams across multiple sales channels in digital and offline)
– software companies and b2b companies in beauty not having clear guidelines for clear beauty and taking these murky definitions to the analysis stage
– lack of agreement industry wide on a general process for validating an authentically wellness focused good, brand, or business.
 
Wellness at the summit was a topic discussed from a product standpoint, rather than a movement or values POV. I believe and hope that in the future, leaders might look to considering and incorporating the full implications of marketing and branding their businesses as “wellness” and take this self-identification with wellness more seriously.
 
Because I sadly have little time to elucidate these thoughts in writing, I’m just going to leave you with these surface-scraping comments here and my photos from the summit which are more readily available. 🙂

IPSY’s Executive Chairman Jennifer Goldfarb primarily speaking on her company’s strengths: personalization.
NARS Cosmetics ‘s Benjamin Lord, Executive Director of Global Marketing
HUM Nutrition CEO Walter Faulstroh
Taking an hour break with a quick jog on Santa Barbara’s shores
Dash Hudson, a data partner of major companies, researches topics like clean beauty using hashtag identification, when in fact, hashtags are often mis-attributed and mis-allocated by content creators and brands.

 

Thank you Glossy Co. and Digiday for having me on this wonderful and intriguing summit for beauty and wellness.

I look forward to the next year.

 

Bises,

Soo

Musings & Tucans in Le Marais

I am sitting in a very pretty coffee shop called the Yellow Tucan.

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The cafe owner decorates the cafe with bright spots of yellow: oranges, tulips, architectural chairs, and truly brightens up the spirits of anyone stopping in.

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It’s been 4 days since I’ve arrived in Paris.

Outside of my meetings for work I’ve committing to a practice of solitude as that’s what I have been looking for as I chose to take this trip– to recalibrate and deepen my focus.

After a sprint of work here and finishing this letter, I will go out to meet a friend, Pierre, to do what’s perhaps some much needed socializing. We will be going to the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature. It will be my first time, and I am so very excited to go as I know the decorative art pieces there are splendid!

It hasn’t been difficult at all to find new friends here. There have been the hiccups of having to ward off men though. …on runs, during walks between meetings. But it’s nothing.

Work is going very well, although I’m shy to share with you the details of the project I have been working on just yet. It takes a lot of preparation, a lot of risk, and sharing sometimes feels scary because it feels like I am putting all my eggs in one basket, when I myself am not absolutely sure where this heading. But this I think is the scared me talking. 🙂

Things are moving very quickly forward though. It’s enough to excite me and frighten me simultaneously.

I hope I have the courage to continue on.  And if not, I hope I have the courage to take up something new again. To persevere, and also to be brazen when acting for the good things– the worthy things.

Arming myself for the days ahead.

Love,

Soo

 

 

 

The Wynwood Guide: Miami

Everyone has probably visited Miami once in their life, if not for Spring Break, or for the lovely beaches. If you’re tired of hanging out in the loud or sheltered parts of Miami, and want to venture out of South Beach and Collins Ave., here are some recommendations for you to explore the blossoming neighborhood culture of Wynwood.

Art:

Being the art lover that I am, I made it a mission to visit every mappable gallery in the design district; these are my recommendations for galleries that impressed me with their representation of artists and newness of objects that I would not see if I was in New York:

Art by God : A wonderful store and gallery that I can spend hours in. There was an amazing $4000 Queen of Congo piece I wanted to leave with on my last trip, but I contented myself with buying a small bust of an African boy made of serpentine stone and crafted by an artist from the Shona Tribe (for those interested, the Shona are a people from Zimbabwe, whose ancestors built great stone cities in Southern Africa in days long past!).

Tresart Gallery

To note: It’s a pleasure to hit up art galleries in Miami because they have such a fair representation of Latin American artists, something I haven’t seen much of in concentration in Chelsea or the UES.

Design:

Ranivilu Gallery – functions as part gallery, part design store.

 

There was also Glottman, which was very popular amongst the people there, but it didn’t do much for me. The products it carries look like that of every other design store, but perhaps you might enjoy it.

 

Ice cream:

Dasher & Crank: For ice cream tourists, this is a must.

 

Coffee (or avo-toast for the women):

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Dr. Smood: Great interior and awesome cafe concept. Healthy, but with a twist. They offer cashew milk as an option for their drinks, and it’s a great addition to the coffees I’ve drank in New York. I think in New York the extent to our coffee explorations are Nitro brews, grass-fed butter bullets, propolis/bee additive brews, and Australian concept brews.

If anyone knows of a coffee shop in NYC that offers cashew-milk based coffee, I would love to know.

 

Food:

KYU: A modern asian style eatery. Good for drinks.

Coyo Taco: A very popular taco joint. If you are into tacos. Me– not so much.

 

Stores:

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Plant the Future Wynwood: Recommended by my lovely friend, Thier, and I loved it. I’m not sure if the staff knows what they were doing and I certainly did not think they had a service mindset, but the interior concept of this plant store is cute and fun to walk through. The store has everything from modern potted plants to plants potted in animation characters.

ANTIDOTE: A sustainability focused womenswear concept shop. Owned by a stylish woman who owned a boutique in France and decided to open another concept in Miami.

 

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Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983

So much experimentation and fun in the 70s and 80s, I wish I was a part of it:

 

 

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Customized Matchbooks for Club 57’s 1983 Matchbook Show

 

 

 

Complement these visuals with the 1967 track of ze Vegetables  by The Beach Boys.

PSA*** Let me just say MoMA’s current exhibits are amazing (Specifically, three). This is a good month to go. I won’t spoil it for you, but there are some new, reckoning art for you to see.

Running through April 1 at The Museum of Modern Art.

Complement these visuals with the 1967 track of ze Vegetables  by The Beach Boys.

How To Fall In Love With Art

How long has it been?

Up until college, I had grown up with an appreciation for fine art thanks to my parents, but it was never really something I had sought out on my own.

I knew enough “art” to maintain my sense of weird, self-righteous adolescent pride in being cultured and artsy. My interest was driven by nothing else really of nobler substance.

At 18, I moved to New York for college, and I enrolled in an art crit class on a whim during freshman year: the Art of Now course at New York University.

Fast forward to 2013, when I studied abroad in Shanghai. I decided to take on a heavier workload of art classes and immersed myself in contemporary and Asian art. I don’t remember much of the art I saw in detail, but this period of time would leave an indelible mark on me, and it was a catalyst for my passion.

Hu Jieming, Casual Status, 1992

I returned, enrolled in some more art classes.. a studio class in drawing.

During my time as a student, I had more time in the afternoons and between classes to do other things (doing nothing, meeting friends at cafes or for lunch in the West Village, chilling near fountains – damn life from 18-22 was so sweet) and I began exploring gallery spaces and art exhibitions everywhere! pretty intensely.

A pic I snapped years ago on another trip to Pace Gallery.

I started taking random things at home: scissors, a tableweight, a pepper from the kitchen, a rose and draw.

 

So newly inspired I was by the intricate beauty in all things that held form, line, and shape.

I was falling in love with art then.

I began to accumulate a larger inventory of the things I liked and disliked, formulate stronger opinions backed by a latticework of thoughts and experiences built thanks to the plenitude of art I’ve seen in the years which have since passed post- college.

For example, I prefer minimalism and modernism. I like French impressionism, and abstract expressionism.

For some reason, Surrealism and Dada works get me.

Man Ray, Ingre’s Violin

Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele works are so luscious and rich. Contemporary movements like pop surrealism, otherwise knowns as “Lowbrow” art are so cool.

Mark Ryden, the father of Pop-Surrealism

I don’t find a lot of photography art to be impressive, but I’m okay with that. Installations with various forms of media are sometimes a hit or miss for me. I like contemporary art, but I’m not particularly fond of Jeff Koons (active from 1977 – ) or Damien Hirst (1988 – , or Jean-Michel Basquiat (1976 – ). But I do love me my Toyin Ojih Odutola (2008 – , Osamu Yokonami, and Chad Wys (2011 – ) :

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Toyin Ojih Odutola, Above all else make it look effortless, 2012. Pen ink, marker, and varnish on paper.
Chad Wys, Sculpture with a Spectrum 2, 2014. Collage on paper.

It’s 2018 and I love art more than ever.

I move and live every week, drinking in all the things I see, from the daily visuals of life to the more curated representations of art at institutions.

And the more I do that, the more I understand this:

Art is an instrument that instructs the way we see and live our lives. Our lives, in turn, are ripe, breeding grounds for art: new expressions and new manifestos… and who’s to say that the act of life and breathing aren’t art in themselves.

They are synonymous with one another– and I cannot see the difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          (on my best days- taha.)

Money Shot by Judith Bernstein

 

My friend Christine and I stopped by the Paul Kasmin Gallery yesterday to check out this LOUD art show, which represents the works of Judith Bernstein, a New York based artist, mainly known for her phallic symbol infused works and her ardent devotion to feminism.

Money Shot is a visual manifesto of some very explicit political commentary (truly, a no holds barred, lacking zero subtly situation). Asides from the strong messaging, the artist used fun and creative mediums like fluorescent paint and light for this exhibit to the delight of myself and the many other art goers that walked into the gallery (Exhibit A: it was fun to see anyone with hair lighter than brown with heads literally lit, and seeing men walk in with their stiff collared shirts noticing in surprise that the collars peeking out of their sweaters were brilliantly highlighted in spacey purple light).

Do I see a Darth Vadar, a skull, and a generic demon here or is it just me?

 

The Trinity Schlong

 

While this artist clearly shows her bias for the strong left, I believe this show is worth going to and seeing– regardless of one’s political affiliation, and preferably with an open mind.

It is worth mentioning and acknowledging the creative and intellectual risks this artist has made to voice out some very controversial and sensitive opinions, and the gallery that chose to represent her with this recent installation.

I applaud you, Paul Kasmin Gallery.

This show runs until March 03, 2018. @ 293 10th Ave., NY.