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A Landscape: Buhok Ko

Entering this new decade with a goal of creating and being authentically me. The first work I'm sharing as a 30 yo is made possible with a whole lot of loved ones and dedicated to the one who has brought me into this world @melissa.projectpearls .

This visual poem is my love letter to those before me, myself and those bearing similar wounds. May we heal and build together.


Nearly every piece I create

Hair is depicted as a landscape

or something to embrace.

And every time I paint this,

It serves as a love letter

To my mom's and my own overcoming

Of the colonized teaching

That her curls and my waves are not beautiful.

For every time someone said we should straighten our hair

For every time we listened

For every time an elder compared it to those in the mountains, as if condemning where our roots may lead

I accept how those moments may have touched tender wounds

Passed down from our ancestors

Since the day we became othered on our own lands.


I demand for myself and for those to come

The passing down of those wounds

End with me.

Our hair reflects the curves of ocean tides, the lows and highs of mountains, the sways of wind

Our hair -- as it often tells us-- has a life of its own, inhaling and exhaling as it pleases

We may not know exactly where our roots lead

I'm honored whether it be to the people of mountains or valleys or seas.

Whoever and wherever

These roots are rooted to,

I'd like to think that each of these paintings

Are not only healing my wounds

But those I've descended from


Camera assistance by Celestine Urbano, Christopher Nguyen, and Raymond Balthazar Makeup by Celestine Urbano Outfits by me Song “She’s the Moon” by Carl Storm


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