Unsolicited Advice for the Queer Asian Girls Just Trying to Make It
7 x 9” letterpress print on abaca with stitched hanji collage
“Some define jeong as unconditional love, such as a mother for their child; in Korean, this is known as mo-jeong. When I read this poem by Arhm Choi Wild, I am struck by the unconditional love of the child for their mother, despite years of pain and longing. I am reminded of the inextricable ties that bind us in our family relationships.
“In May, I made paper out of abaca in my backyard with Mikki Paek. In June, I printed Arhm’s poem on the paper at Bridget Lewis’s letterpress shop. Over the summer, I pieced tiny scraps of hanji together and stitched them to the paper. I consider this work to be a true collaboration with each of these fellow artists, with the poem, and with the materials and process, which allowed me to sit and reflect on these words for many days and nights.”
Steph Rue is an artist working primarily with handmade paper and books as her medium. She fell in love with the papermaking process while getting her M.F.A. at the University of Iowa Center for the Book. She went on to study traditional Korean bookbinding, papermaking, and printing in South Korea on a Fulbright Research Grant in 2015-2016. Steph is one of the founders of the Korean American Artist Collective and a member of the Book/Print Artist/Scholar of Color Collective. She teaches workshops and classes on papermaking, bookmaking, and related arts, with an emphasis on East Asian techniques. When she is not teaching or with her two young kids, she makes, prints, binds, weaves, and collages with paper out of her home studio in Sacramento, CA.
Arhm Choi Wild is a queer, Korean-American poet who grew up in the slam community of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Their debut book of poems, CUT TO BLOOM, was the winner of the 2019 Write Bloody Prize. Arhm is a Kundiman fellow with an M.F.A. in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and their work appears in Barrow Street, The Massachusetts Review, Pleiades, Split this Rock, and other publications. They work as the Director of the Progressive Teaching Institute and as a Diversity Coordinator at a school in New York City.