K-Pop and Art

Doom Dada by T.O.P

Who would’ve thought? but in reality, music is a form of art, and so is K-Pop. So Bigbang’s main rapper and now a successful actor, Choi Seunghyun (aka T.O.P)’s new music video is out and I couldn’t help but dig deeper into it because quite honestly, all the symbolism was just killing me… but with no official word from YG or TOP himself (who wrote the lyrics), I’ve decided to trust my intuition and approach it from my point of view:


(Image source:

Abstract-Surrealism. Dadaism.

An informal international movement that began soon after the World War I, Dadaism is more than art, rather an artistic reflection of the society, the ugliness of it.

“Dada rejected reason and logic, prizing nonsense, irrationality and intuition.”- Dona Budd’s The Language of Art Knowledge

Known as a political movement against the bourgeois nationalist and colonialist groups which were believed to be the reason for the war at the time, Dada can be considered a rebellious behavior of a group of artists against the cultural conformity.

What’s ‘reason’ and ‘logic’ when not everyone agrees with it? Who sets the standard and rules anyway? If there is no way I’m going to be able to fully understand what the others are trying to force me into believing, is that ‘logic’? Such questions seem to be what motivated the Dadaism movement- it was a way for them to express their rejection of the ideology through art. While some say Dada was more “anti-art” than art, as I mentioned in the previous post, then what is art? Well, if a work is only considered art when it’s beautiful to look at, is that art? But that doesn’t mean that everyone, 100% of the world population to be exact, will agree that it’s beautiful, because after all, we all come with a different level of understanding for art, and simply just conflicting preferences. Hence, in essence, art should not be constricted in one criteria aka aesthetics, but various types of art should be embraced and enjoyed (i.e. Pop Art). Art is a way to express and celebrate individual freedom, which sometimes acts as a soundless communicative tool to convey a message that contains social issues.

A central figure in New York and France, Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) was revolutionary in that he turned industrial objects into artistic pieces, illustrating how industrial revolution had changed the everyday life with technology as part of everyday life. If Henri Matisse created what’s called “retinal art” that pleases the eye, he wanted to create one that stimulates the mind. And his works did just that, with initial response being. ‘what is that, how is that art?

Dada was not made to impress the general public but “offend.” Hugo Ball, a Dadaist was spot on when he said, “For us, art is not an end in itself, but it is an opportunity for the true perception and criticism of the times we live in.”

I am not an artist nor an art historian, but I do understand how certain traumatic world events breathe a new life into something innovative and experimental. It can be disturbing and obnoxious for some, but that is the exactly what makes the world amazing, the diversity and beauty of it all.

Even though Dadaism is often described as “a phenomenon bursting forth in the midst of the postwar economic and moral crisis, a savior” and sometimes a monster, it was a voice and cry of people seeking help, a historic event that acted as a groundwork for new breed of art such as avant-garde, surrealism, and pop art.

It’s not clear what “Doom Dada” really means, but from what I see and feel from the music video, there is more to it than the Space Odyssey reference, more than Choi’s beautiful face. This is a message to the audience, the media- what the technology has fundamentally done to the human race. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider Korean Pop Music. It’s grown, and grown quite a bit.



Constructive Sincerity: about a man who lived a beautiful life


There are many new things learned during my rather spontaneous trip to Barcelona that just happened this past week, major one being about the most talented architect of all time, Antoni Gaudi. It is through him that I first heard about Organic Architecture who 100 years ago introduced something called “modernism” entirely inspired by nature. Gaudi, a man of many passions which included art, architecture and religion, had an extraordinary observation skills which allowed him to continually introduce new techniques and ideas into the field of architecture. On that note, I’m forever thankful for the audio device that we decided to rent at the very last minute because without it, the trip wouldn’t have been complete- actually, I would have walked out of his unbelievably amazing works without any knowledge of how and why they were built, and what the artist tried to achieve through them.


While there is no doubt that Gaudi is a world renowned architect who was revolutionary not only during his time but even on modern standards, what I find most inspiring about him is his passion- passion for architecture, passion for learning, analyzing, observing the world… and most important is his passion for spreading God’s love to the world. When I walked into Sagrada Familia and looked up at the magnificent ceiling, within a few minutes, I found myself filled with emotions while sudden tears rolled down the cheeks… not only because of its inexplicable beauty but because it reminded me of what I saw a few years ago: unconditional love, promising future, and He, himself… I saw them all in Gaudi’s work, which reminded me once more why I’m where I am now, and where my life should head from here.


People ask why I cry… if I’m sad.


In fact, it’s not because I’m sad. Rather, it’s because I’m so happy to a point where I’m unaware of what is happening around me, my physical self included- which is reflected in a bodily activity (i.e. crying) without my knowing, sometimes.bcn10

Have you ever felt uncontrollably happy because you are so thankful? If not, I highly recommend you to experience it. Your life will turn upside down, literally. ;)


You will want to live life like you’ve never had before. You will want to grab it and never let go. You will have grown a new passion and purpose for life, a motivation and persistence you had always wanted but failed to possess. It will all be yours, forever. That’s what made Gaudi different- he had a passion for life and knew what his purpose was. How amazing is that not only his works are considered best in the world even after 100 years have passed- seven of which, by the way, have been designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, a UN organization, but even more amazing is that so many people are able to use his works as a place of prayer and worship, to communicate with God, the very reason for their existence.


It has been said that every single piece of his work (including details such as the ergonomic design of a door knob) was built to serve a purpose, whether it’s to provide more comfort or pleasing to the senses (all the while being mind-blowingly beautiful), hence the term “Constructive Sincerity.”

With Casa Batllo, Gaudi said he wanted every visitor to experience something they had never experienced; feeling like you are under water… with every detail designed perfectly ergonomic while being revolutionarily artistic, his goal was to provide as much pleasure as possible to everyone who visited, with light being part of the design… which he considered as an extremely critical element of his designs.


Known as “God’s Architect”, Gaudi lived a life that was “complete” in my book, perhaps most ideal that I can think of- he enjoyed everything the world offered: fame, friendship, prestige… and last but not least, he got to do what he loved to do all his life to produce works that have inspired and influenced people all around the world for the past 100 years, and many, many more years to come.

But what is even more inspiring is that despite the colorful life he seemed to have, he was a humble man- so humble to a point when he passed away in a sudden accident, he was mistaken as a homeless man.


What a life he lived.

He dedicated everything he had to one passion, one purpose- to please God through his talent, a true gift to humankind.


A life lived with passion is beautiful, but one lived with a purpose is one that cannot be beat.










Less is More

Says Mr. Kelly

Was at LACMA last week with Mr. P for Ellsworth Kelly’s exhibition who is famous for abstract art. I personally am conflicted when it comes to such subject because it always seems that the description is more interesting than the work itself… but then again, that may just be me.


Ellsworth Kelly: Prints and Paintings is the first retrospective examination of Kelly’s exceedingly prolific print practice since 1988. The exhibition includes over 100 prints, the majority from the collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation, and five paintings. The exhibition is organized thematically in order to explore Kelly’s mastery of key formal motifs: grids, contrast and curves. In the words of catalogue raisonné author Richard Axsom, Kelly’s prints “exchange the totemic presence, the tangible physicality and public assertiveness of the paintings and sculptures for the qualities no less genuine in registering Kelly’s vision: intimacy, delicacy, and in nearly immaterial veils of shape and color, an unmatched ethereality.”

Florence: A Colorful History

The first thing I noticed about Florence is the colors. It’s one of the major factors that differentiates it from other cities in Italy which I’m inspired to apply onto my wardrobe.

Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall of Florence where you will find rooms filled with art from top to bottom. No matter how hard you try, you cannot escape!

Michaelangelo’s Genius of Victory. Funny, I am truly able to enjoy these artworks now that I’m comfortably sitting in my apartment flipping through photos of them. I was always too tired by the time we got to each location that I wasn’t able to fully enjoy them at the time. Photography is a wonderful thing!

What the boobs..?! Seems that our imagination knows no end. People would come up with anything that amuses others. First it was the mermaid, the unicorn, then came a blossoming winged man with no arms but boobs.

Italian street artists. Whether through music or other form of art, they made my trip much more memorable.

What every meal consisted of while in Italy (note, I said “every meal”, that’s about 20 slices of pizza!). So delicious with just a right amount of sauce and mozzarella on a crispy thin crust; however, I’ve gladly put myself on a pizza-free-diet since leaving Italy and I don’t miss them yet.

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (English: Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower) which took over 100 years to build. I know, aside from the obvious artistic talent, how much patience and determination do you need to build something so grand?

The bell tower at the Basilica. I have a story to tell you, so after seeing a crowd coming out of this tower, we were encouraged to go up to get a view of the beautiful city of Florence. We bought tickets for about 10 euro each (I think) and headed for the stairs not thinking much. Little did we know, after climbing up for about five minutes, my legs started shaking and the worse part is that we were still far from reaching the top. When I thought we were there, my lovely hubby reminded me that we were only on the first floor. So the climbing continued… for another 10 minutes or so. As you can imagine, by the time we reached the top, I could barely breathe. I’m telling you, I must have grown another thigh after this trip. Thanks to my fear of heights and lungs that were busy gasping for air, it was the perfect occasion to deal with an unwelcome guest named nausea despite how beautiful (in fact, I can’t remember seeing anything so breathtakingly beautiful in a while) the view was. Oh, how many times I asked myself, “What have I done to myself?” and “Are you serious that I paid for this?” hahaha. Well, all in all, I’m very glad that we went up. We ended up spending a good 30-40 minutes on the top just enjoying the view that’s still very much alive in my mind. It was not just a good view of the city but a cultural experience. I felt the energy, love for art, and life of the people of Florence there.

Too bad we had to skip Uffizi… We will be back! Ciao, Firenze! Off to Roma now. :)

Florence: Home of Beautiful Things

Heard that the Statue of Liberty in New York was inspired by this. Do you see the resemblance?

Where Leonardo Da Vinci, the greatest artist of all time, is buried. I actually found out that his tomb was located at this church after seeing his name there. I know most people get a lot of studying done before traveling to historical places but I really didn’t have the time because of my relocation situation so I’m actually learning either as I write on this blog or as I was walking into these 1000 year old monuments.

Yeah, same outfit from the previous post… how boring! but I just really liked the color of the door, that’s all. :)

A quick update: just got internet installed at my place in Korea. I’m getting close to 100 mb/sec which means I’m able to upload these photos within seconds. Compared to the 20 mb I used to get in California (and I used to pay extra for that speed), this is a huge improvement, hence you will start seeing a lot more pictures on my posts because uploading is so easy for me now! Yesss! Give me some time until I’m able to do outfit posts though, just started unpacking my stuff upon their arrival two days ago, and I’m suffering from some serious muscle ache thanks to 100 pairs of shoes and a room-ful of clothes which made me think of opening a clothing shop for a minute. Anyhow, it’s getting quite chilly here in Seoul and I’m just forever thankful that my things finally arrived so I can actually start dressing appropriately. I hear it’s quite windy in California- stay home and make sure there are no big trees around you!


wake up your senses

by Lucio Fontana
Struttura al neon per la IX Triennale di

by Julio Le Parc
Lumiére en mouvement-installation

by Carlos Cruz-Diez

Stumbled upon an interesting exhibition at MOCA Geffen over the weekend where large scale installations using light, color, and space were displayed in an unconventional way requiring active participation of audience to facilitate the use of various senses besides the usual visual perception. Too bad it was the last weekend of the exhibition, which I only found out when we were walking out of the museum. Wish I had known about it sooner so I could have shared it on my blog, but these photos should do for now.

As for my outfit, LA was supposed to enjoy a record low temperature that day complete with snow and all, so my focus was to dress as warm as possible without looking like a Teletubby. What’s funny is that I ended up going H&M from head to toe without even realizing it. Everything including the belts, tights, and the legwarmers are all from H&M. I named this outfit “Ketchup & Mustard.”

By the way, it’s my first week of Facebook fasting and I must say that I’m kind of liking all the free time I’ve found. I know that sounds silly but it’s an indication of how much time I used to waste on that thing. If I like the result, I may continue intentionally neglecting it for good. You will continue seeing the blog updates on my Tomimito “fan” page (not sure what else to call it) however, so if you’d like to connect with me, please don’t forget to “like” the page. You can get there by clicking on the Facebook banner in the (<—) left sidebar, or by clicking here. Thanks, and have a great week, everyone!



H&M Gray Coat, Wool Mini Skirt, Mustard Cowl Neck Sweater Dress worn as a top, Braided Faux Leather belts, Red Tights, Gray Wool Leg Warmers
Born Boots
Jennie & Cailyn Bag

Eye for the Sensual

It was a free community weekend at LACMA.

Sophisticated European paintings and sculptures on exhibition in the new Resnick Pavilion designed by world renowned architect, Renzo Piano

Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail 1700-1915

Imagine how different life would have been if we still had to dress this way?

I would’ve finished off with cute booties but with a foot that constantly swells up, I spent most of my time on a wheelchair at the museum… so these vintage boots are the best I could do at the moment.. actually they are life savers. Without them, I’d be stuck with my Chucks which would TRULY limit my outfit selections.

Life, uncomplicated.

Sometimes I wish I were a blonde.

When I was in college, there was a time when I wanted to bleach my hair really bad. It wasn’t because I wanted to be someone else or felt ugly with dark hair but simply because I wanted to experiment. but it never happened- because I was scared.

I wish I didn’t care so much about what others think of me. I wish I could live my life without letting anyone get in the way. I wish I had a full control over my life. I wish I were never afraid… of being myself. I wish I was a risk taker. a dream chaser.

Suddenly felt like drawing only to realize that drawing with fingers on a computer is much more challenging than I thought.

bringing art back in my life

got tired of being in bed all day, so played with Illustrator for a bit. It’s been way too long since I’ve used the program. FYI, I took a few graphic design classes when I was in college. Of course its not being an art school, what we learned was for business use but the professor was from a pretty well known art school called SVA (who actually asked me one day what I was doing in a business school instead of SVA- yeah, what the heck was I doing there again? LOL) from whom I learned a great deal. It’s unfortunate that I abandoned art for years. Relearning everything, but excited nonetheless.

Pop Art Fun!

Noticed the new window display at Kiehl’s the other day for their new Acai Damage-Repairing Skincare collection, which reminded me of works by one of my favorite American Pop Artists, Lichtenstein, who by the way, has been on the news lately due to his art piece from Lehman Brother’s US offices being auctioned off in Philadelphia last week. His “I Love Liberty” print sold for $49,000… Definitely not too shabby. :P

Click for more info on the auction



Compare the girl on the lower left corner of Kiehl’s display to Mr. Lichtenstein’s above- See the resemblance?