Growing Up Asian American Competition: Bridges (2012)


Holding Onto Both CulturesSecond Place
(poster color, watercolor)

Growing up in America as an Asian immigrant isn’t the easiest thing to do. There are so many differences morally, culturally, even ethically. Many Asian immigrants have to try really hard to adapt to their new society or understand a rule or moral that goes against their own upbringing.
Every year, the Asian Pacific fund holds the Growing Up Asian American Art & Essay Contest. It embodies the Asian heritage while demonstrating the different hardships or wishes that Asian Americans face. In the 2012 competition, the theme was “Bridges,” in celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th anniversary. The Golden Gate bridge has always served as a symbol of hope and destiny to many immigrants that have come to the Bay Area for a better life.My second place piece portrays the way I embrace both my Korean and American culture with two hands that hold on to each other with a bridge embed inside. The marigolds and mugunghwa flowers (Korean national flower) that surround the two hands represent national pride, and if you look closely you will see the outline of the countries, Korea and the United States.
I’ve always felt grateful that I am part of two different cultures. It’s given me insight and perspective, and has even humbled me in different aspects of society. Speaking two languages makes me feel accomplished and happy since I have more ways to communicate with more people, and with the mesh of separate cultures, I’ve learned more about myself and awareness.

My piece was shown in the Korean newspaper. the Hankook Ilbo.
IMG_0006To learn more about the Asian Pacific Fund, visit their website at


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