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mixed media painting by Farida Hughes


Oil, mixed media, resin on wood, 20 x 20", 2020 | "Both [my wife] and I are Chinese. She was born in Shanghai and moved to the US when she was nine. I was born in Michigan. Although fully Chinese, I’m considered an “ABC” (American Born Chinese) by the Chinese community and, to them, pretty much an American. We live in an area where there are a decent number of Asians, but we’re still different from the majority. Teaching ethnicity to the kids has been a bit of a balancing act. You want them to be “color blind” to race, but also celebrate and embrace peoples’ heritage and cultural fit in and also be different at the same time. Even though we try to speak Chinese at home and both kids go to Chinese school on Saturdays, “being Chinese” is a hard concept to grasp for a kid. ...[W]e took the family to Shanghai on vacation in 2016. After seeing all the people in the streets, [my daughter] remarked, “Wow, everyone here looks like me!” Going to China really drove home the concept of what it means to be Chinese. We live in the US and are Americans, but, at the same time, we have the history and culture of China within us as well."