Nourishment



Mural Commission for Pete's Pops and Near West Side Partners / 2021



Year of the Metal Ox 2021 is the Year of the Metal Ox. The Ox should have won the Great Race that determined the animals’ order in the Chinese Zodiac. But the rat asked her for a ride across the river, and he jumped at the finish line and stole the win. We thought 2020, Year of the Rat, would be a new beginning. But the steady Ox embodies us moving forward.

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2021 is the Year of the Metal Ox. The Ox should have won the Great Race that determined the animals’ order in the Chinese Zodiac. But the rat asked her for a ride across the river, and he jumped at the finish line and stole the win.

We thought 2020, Year of the Rat, would be a new beginning. But the steady Ox embodies us moving forward.

The Metal Ox is a part of my APA Zodiac, which celebrates hybridized, diasporic identities. My full APA Zodiac series was inspired by stories and conversations with my Taiwanese mother about our family’s history, immigration, struggles with colonization and assimilation, and future.

11 years ago, I moved to Milwaukee and started my career at 81st Street School. After starting my business 7 years ago, I worked with schools and organizations including Escuela Verde and La Luz Del Mundo Family Services. I fortified who I am as an educator and social practice artist in the neighborhoods surrounding Vliet Street.

The words “metal” and “mettle” were once interchangeable and quite literally meant the “stuff of which a person is made; their moral constitution.” I invite the people of this community to reflect on moments when they and their families, friends, and neighbors have shown their mettle. It is these stories of love, courage, and substance that define who we are individually and collectively.

Nourishment mural commission

Year of the Metal Ox mural, installed on silver brick wall

Nourishment mural commission

Year of the Metal Ox mural, installed on silver brick wall, straight on view


Nourishment mural commission

Year of the Metal Ox mural, installed on silver brick wall, view from across the street


Nourishment mural commission

Metal Ox mural on polytab fabric panels, hand painted, prior to installation, with artist Jenie Gao standing in foreground


Title: Year of the Metal Ox

Medium: mural paint on polytab mural fabric, installed on silver brick wall
Dimensions: 17 x 20 feet

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