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My Story is Golden

A community storytelling initiative that began as a year long residency with Artists at Work in partnership with the New Mexico Asian Family Center and CABQ Department of Arts & Culture. The project has been selected for a 2024-25 UETF Resiliency Residency.

Video filmed by Christopher Walsh, edited by Joe Aidonidggis, and produced by Artists at Work.


The first stage of the project was a series of story sharing circles with Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) community.

By sharing and witnessing one another, the community mapped new cultural knowledge and collective imagination in a space that centered our stories and voices. By sharing story, we are creating our own lore: a self-determined body of knowledge about ourselves. My Story is Golden is a response to prevailing cultural exclusion and the reduction of Asian Americans to ornament or threat. It is also a reflection of my own urge to root and belong, which is a longing shared by many of the Asian diaspora. The proposal integrates aesthetics, activism, spirituality, storytelling, community building, and protest. It has the impact of instilling cultural resilience, elevating identity and visibility, inter-cultural exchange, and acknowledging that our community’s stories and customs are thriving, grounded, and infinite.


APIDA identities exist in a liminal space of underlying erasure and loss. The name My Story is Golden is a response to a pervasive erasure of Asian people. We do not claim ourselves as a color in the way Black, brown, or white people do.

“Yellow” has been reduced to a slur. The intent is to transform yellow into gold. Gold is of value; it is the color of the sun; it is of the earth. Being of the earth means that we inherently belong. The Asian diaspora - whether immigrants, refugees, or born outside of their homeland of origin - grapple in a collective experience of wondering where we belong. Many of us speak of being perceived as foreign, being in-between, floating in space, feeling voiceless, invisible, and ghostlike. I am advocating for my community to become visible, place-based, and rooted by claiming a golden identity and by sharing layers of voice and story.


My Story is Golden connects the larger community body through rituals of storytelling as social sculpture. The next stage is to extend the sculpture as installation and honor the community in an immersive, multi-media, acoustically layered soundscape featuring their voices.

The interior space will integrate sound, video of natural forms, rope, remnants, tree, body, community, personhood, spirit, ancestors, and intercontinental connections between land. The multimedia environment will be anchored by the layered voices of the APIDA community of Albuquerque telling a collective story of rooting and belonging.


My proposal is to build a multi-media sound and video installation in a long-term temporary structure that is both enclosure and sculpture. The exterior will be a representation of a golden tree, one that is rooting into the very soil we reside on as uninvited settlers on stolen land. The audio-visual piece intends to respectfully connect human and community to land, and thus, narrate our belonging.


The project is in an early phase of securing funding and partnerships, site exploration, research and development, and experimental sound work. 


Work is ongoing to find a suitable location for the golden tree to live, with explorations taking place at various locations in the Bosque.



Conversations with a fabricator to engineer and construct the golden tree are in the inceptive stages. The vision is for the skin of the tree to be made of natural materials from the surrounding area: golden reeds, flexible plants, tree bark, twigs, and branches.

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