INSPIRATIONS

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (Tokyo, Japan) 

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (Tokyo, Japan) 

Japan

Much of my identity tied to being Japanese. Every time I land in Japan, I instantly connect to the environment around me. The landscape is familiar. The smells evoke deep seated memories. I feel like I am home once more.

This connection leads me to activity involve Japanese culture into my everyday life. When creating, Japanese influences are recognizable in my work incorporating design aesthetics, patterns, ideas, and concepts.  

“Let your roots guide you to walk the path you cannot see” –The Venerable Prez Sa- Ngoun, Watt Dhammacakkaram-

Transnationalism

At the age of 5 I moved from Japan to America and I would quickly have to adapt to my new surroundings. As I was attempting to integrate into a unfamiliar place, I felt my Japanese culture slipping through my fingers. Through the years, I have fought through much confusion attempting to juggle Japanese and American cultures simultaneously. 

Even to this day this struggle lives on. How do I nurture both forces with the right care so they will continue to grow hand in hand?  To tell you the truth, I am most worried about my Japanese side. As I frequent Japan less and less, I am afraid that the Japan that lives in my mind has moved on leaving me a foreigner in the land of my birth.

This pressure creates a opprotunity for diamonds to be made. A collision of cultures lets me imagine new possibilities like California rolls. 

BreakFree Hip Hop 2016 Showcase (Cornell University) 

BreakFree Hip Hop 2016 Showcase (Cornell University) 

Dance 

Dance allows us to express in ways that words cannot. A raw reaction to the world around us. What I admire most is when dancers take us into stories and ideas. The ones that are fearless enough to put their whole being out in front of everyone to see.  When I create, I challenge myself to bring out this raw emotion inside of me. 

Through dance I have learned that my creativity flourishes when I break myself out of my overthinking tendencies. The act of letting go of all preconceived notions and creating without any boundaries is key to my development as a artist. 

Other Artists

I have been blessed to have interacted with so many other artists that bring so much skill and passion to their craft/disciplines. Their work inspires me to keep pushing my artistry to new heights. The work they produce, the mentorship they provided me, and the words of encouragement they have given me have had a lasting impact. I am so lucky to have met such amazing people. 

Thank you for the continuous inspiration! 


Family

I want to give a special shout out to my family for always being such a great support system for me. Without their love and care, I would not have ever made it this far. You all are the best, thank you!!

Brother's High School Graduation 

Brother's High School Graduation 

Love,  Michael  


Core Values/Concepts

  1. Empathy 
  2. Community Building 
  3. Each One, Teach One
  4. Self-Development