AwareNow: Issue 19: The Source Edition

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Page 87

“I really love stories. I think that’s the key to people and humanity; it’s our stories. ”

Allié: It seems your wanderlust has not been restricted by your wheelchair, Kam. You’ve gone and seen more of the world than many do in an entire lifetime. What is it about travel that you love most? Of all the places you’ve gone to, where would you like to go back to again? And why?

Kam: What I love most about travel is it forces you to think about someone else's life and see their life. Usually when we look at imagery of a culture across the world, we think it’s so distant from us, but when you go and see they have the same daily activities as you do. They are the exact same person, except they have privy to different experiences or perspectives than maybe I haven’t had in my location in the United States. I really like being forced to see what other people see. That’s a form of exploration. I like being mobile, which is interesting for someone who is immobile. In a recent post, I shared where I’ve never waited to be invited to have access to someplace. I’ve been doing road trips for years. Me and my husband, we just go. We’ll go, and we’ll just figure it out. We’ll figure out how we can make this work. Times when it didn’t work adds to my repertoire of understanding why access is so important.

Exploration for me is the biggest thing. It’s why I love travelling so much… being able to see different things, being able to hear the stories behind weird art installations that I’ll find in the middle of the desert. I really love stories. I think that’s the key to people and humanity; it’s our stories.

I definitely want to go back to Korea and Japan. I’m from Korea. So, I’ve been there twice. I just connect more with the Asian cultures. I loved Europe and I want to do more of South America, but I think next on the list is going back to Korea and Japan. And Thailand. I really loved Thailand. We were only there a few days.

Allié: Nature has a way to nurture so many and in so many ways. Please describe your connection with nature and its impact on you both personally and professionally as an artist.

Kam: I’m a designer and artist. So, I think nature is one of the greatest designers of all. Everything is bouncing off of a previous thing. Everything has to adapt to one another, whether it’s plants or animals. They all have to coincide.

When I came to California, I discovered Joshua Tree. When I saw the desert for the first time, I felt so connected to it. It resembled a lot of how I felt through a lot of my life. When I was an adoptee and being different in a different culture and society that was all white, when I was in my early 20’s going through the diagnosis stages of my disease, and in general just going through the progression of my disease, I felt very different or isolated sometimes. Nature is quiet. It allows you to think and really look at what you’re looking at. Often times, we’re consumed and distracted, we’re online, there’s a million things we have to do when we’re at home. For me, I’m just going, and I’m gonna roll. I’m gonna look at some freaking beautiful nature and just have quiet conversations with myself. I think that’s where a lot of my thoughts come to fruition. It’s when I’m in nature… or on a road trip.