Public Health

Hung a painting of tree as online background Fall 2021


In recognition of Asian Pacific Islander Month May 2011

Public Health is in an ongoing process of despair and healing. We need to be aware of and prepare for both. How can we work effectively for the public well-being while at the same time preserves our own individual well-being?

In the spring of 2000, I took up a paintbrush after not using one for 20 years. I had enrolled in an art class at Vista College, now Berkeley City College. I missed the first day of class as my mother-in-law had passed away due to a house fire that very week. I decided not to drop the class, and I’ve taken various art classes ever since. The healing power of art is beyond words. I’ve especially had to struggle with two languages and cultures on a daily basis.

After 9/11 I did several acrylic paintings using images from newspaper pictures from the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The title of the small painting is “If I could catch them, I would”. The large painting was not actually completed at the time, and now I have sketched “the tree of hope” image of a lone pine tree. This is the only tree which survived in a pine forest of over 70,000 trees in Rikuzentakata after the 3/11 Tsunami which occurred after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan this year. I call this painting “the tree of hope”.

Original 2011 statement

Branching Out from Where You Are, Plant one T.R.E.E. at Time

Challenges and unknowns defined the year 2020, which was also designated the Year of Nurses and Midwives, by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the occasion of bicentenary of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910). 2021 is the centenary of Joseph Beuys (1921-1986, 7000 Oak Trees ‘7000 Oak Trees’, Joseph Beuys, 1982 | Tate ), in Germany, where Nightingale studied nursing. Nightingale once said,

“Nature alone cures … What nursing has to do is to put the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him”.

At the 2020 Commonwealth Nurses & Midwives Federation (CNMF) conference on March 6th in London, I presented my work inspired by Nightingale’s childhood word game. This presentation was titled, “From the Word Game B.R.E.A.T.H. to T.R.E.E: Branching Out from the Gilded Cage." I introduced the word game T.R.E.E. as a tool for people of all ages. This game asks players to reflect upon inter-generational trauma through the life of a tree by using four letters in sequence to write a short, haiku- length story. To celebrate human resiliency and creativity, I delicate three T.R.E.E.s of Hope.

Times to Ruminate, Emerging buried Emotions

Town of Kassel, Germany, Reach out, Embrace deep into the Earth

Travelers, Rest wings online, let Eyes and Ears free