Archive for February, 2010


Taipei Contemporary Art Center

Here are some images of the Taipei Contemporary Art Center grand opening. The center is located at 10042台北市中正區延平南路160之6號 l 160-6, Yanping S. Road, 10042 Taipei, Taiwan

An ancient gate located on the street corner down from the gallery.
O.K. Yoda and Spike were not at the exhibit but here they are nonetheless.

Artwork for the 2010 NAEA Women’s Caucus Exhibition: Visualizing Social Justice

Here is my take on the notions of pregnancy/visual culture for the 2010 women’s caucus exhibit.

Image 1,
Two images that represent the glamorization and sexualization of pregnancy in our visual culture.
Left: Demi Moore, Vanity Fair, 1991
Right: Britney Spears, Harper’s Bazzar, 2006
Image 2
Here two images depict a woman who is grasping her pregnant belly. The focus is on the life inside the womb instead of the constructed material world.
Image 3
Here two images depict the naked abdomen of a pregnant woman. The linea negra, a black vertical line that appears in about three quarters of all pregnancies is visible. In these images the pregnant body is celebrated in its sensual, imperfect form.

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Catherine at 7 months

This is the second part of a photographic series that documents Catherine’s pregnancy.


Taipei Artists Inaugural Members Show Photographs

Here are my photographs from the Taipei Artists Inaugural Members Show.

Painting by A.R. Gittelson

Painting by Darcy McCabe

Darcy McCabe who organized the Taipei Artists Inaugral Members Show.

Painting by Derek Murphy.

Painting by Derek Murphy.

Derek Murphy with Jenny H. Lin.


Alton Thompson

Photographs by Alton Thompson.

Andrew Huang.

Jenny looks at Andrew’s painting behind her is Derek’s painting.

Andrew Huang.

David Reid

Darren Melrose

Cecilia Ciou

Jennifer Huang

Phoebe Bark LeGustav

Photo by Phoebe Bark LeGustav.

Photo by Phoebe Bark LeGustav.

Photo by Cecilia Ciou.


How to pay off student loan debt

Today I paid off my student loans.  The amount owing was originally $38,000 CDN but I’ve probably paid an additional $5,000-$6, 000 in interest over the past four years.  When I first started paying the loans off I was spending over $6 a day in interest.  Several years ago I worked as a high school teacher in Canada and had a hard time paying off the interest and principal.  Making anything more than the minimum payment was a real stretch and I remember feeling like paying off the loans would be impossible.

Try and make as much money as you can in your current occupation: be aggressive.

As I worked as a high school teacher, I thought it would be a good idea to move to Asia and start using my Masters in Education degree as a university instructor.  A higher paying job I wanted that was not available in Canada.  In addition, I’d heard that frugal hard working teachers in Asia were able to save between $10,000- $20,000 a year which is true.  While this might seem like a clear choice it is hard to just give up your job, home, and culture to embark on a professional adventure.  The first year in Taiwan was a very hard adjustment and many people thought I was crazy to have left my settled former life behind.

Work a part time-job in addition to your full-time gig: if you need to make money you have to take every opportunity you can to do so.  Work in the evening and on weekends when you have spare time.  To budget, I would live off my part-time income and save the majority of my full time income.

Live below your means: while this is an obvious piece of advice it is something few people follow in our consumer society.  The apartment we live in is not fancy but it only costs $450 a month.  I walk and take the subway instead of using a car.  This does not mean I don’t splurge but it is within reason and usually on sale.

Pay for everything in cash: it is a lot simpler, less hassle, and you don’t have to worry about credit card debt.

Anticipate unexpected expenses: understand there might be that unexpected $500 expense, tax return that doesn’t come through, or expensive travel bills.  Accept that unexpected expenses are a part of life and be ready for them.

Develop yourself professionally: go to school and continue your education, gain new marketable skills, attend conferences, network, and volunteer.  Often your employer will pay for part of your tuition or conference expenses.  If you go back to school you could get a scholarship that brings in more funds.  Attending conferences are a great way to network for graduate school or meet contacts for a new position in your field.

Stick to your guns: this piece of advice is a lot easier said than done as it takes real discipline to stick to a budget.  In our society we are conditioned to brag about how much we’ve spent not how much we’re saving. Many people have shown disrespect towards me for choosing to go to an international conference over spending money on a vacation in Asia, working on Saturday mornings, not owning a car, and living below my means.  “I could never live like that” is something I’ve heard often enough.  Just ignore it and keep making those deposits in the bank.  As your income grows, increase your monthly deposits and start paying off the smaller chunks of your debt until it’s gone.

It feels amazing to be debt free!!!


Salary Breakdown for Professors at Penn State and Association of American Universities (AAU) Member Institutions

This week while revising my paper on the Women’s Caucus Enacting Change project I came across this report on the salary breakdowns at the Pennsylvania Sate University and Association of American Universities (AAU) Member Institutions.

The pdf report is available for download here.

Here is the Penn State report on faculty salaries for 2008-2009.

What troubled me most about the report was the discrepancy in salary for the Business college vs the college of Art and Architecture.  This highlights how little the arts are respected in society/higher education.


Association of American Universities-Main Campuses, 2007-2008 Salary Ratio

Agricultural Professor 110,292

Arts and Architecture Professor 93,468

Business Professor 180,284

Communications Professor 106,680

Earth and Mineral Sciences Professor 125 119

Education Professor 105,786

Engineering Professor 129,675

Health and Human Development Professor 121,650

Information Science & Technology Professor 132,514

Liberal Arts Professor 113,548

Science Professor 117,592

Here are two tables taken from the report that illustrate gender discrepancies in faculty ranking.

Table 13 describes The Pennsylvania State University salaries of full-time faculty at University Park, Fall 2008, at the College of Arts & Architecture.  Most strikingly at the highest ranking of Professor there are sixteen females to twenty four males.  The mean salary for female Professors is 92,355 compared to 93,492 for male Professors.  Female Professors have a mean 5.8 years in rank compared to 10.3 years in rank for male professors.  At the rank of Associate Professor there are 25 females to 34 males.  Females earn a mean salary of 70, 128 to 73,568 for males.  For the rank of Associate Professor both sexes have a mean ranking of 7.4 years.  At the ranking of Assistant Professor there are 14 females to 29 males.  Females earn a mean salary of 61,219 in comparison to 62,343 for males.  Only at the lowest rank do women have greater time in rank with 3.1 years at Assistant Professor compared to 2.5 years for males.


Taipei Artists Inaugural Members Show

Three of my photographs from the ‘wet drapery‘ series will be featured in the  Taipei Artists inaugural members show Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 4:15pm & Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 7:15pm at the Mayor’s Residence Art Salon, 46 Xuzhou Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei 100, phone: 886 2 2396 9398.

wet drapery

My goal with the piece was to merge the classical aesthetic of wet drapery into a feminine activity which is often overlooked in our contemporary visual culture.

The act of a woman shaving is a private activity which is typically hidden from view. Women are presented at the final part the process once their grooming is completed. I wanted to express part of the transformation alongside the aesthetic of wet drapery.

From creating these images two things have become clear. Firstly, that the role of women has greatly evolved from classical times in which they wore wet drapery and secondly that the act of shaving is a very sensuous activity. Hence there are many contradictions present in these photographs.

Over the past few days I have been questioning why we shave our bodies. To fit in with the culture of grooming in our society? To attract attention to out skin? To signify or encourage the need for physical affection. It is a very complex grooming process.

These images were created as part of my PhD course work at National Taiwan Normal University.

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