Arts in New York City: Baruch College, Fall 2008, Professor Roslyn Bernstein
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Category — Anna

Who She Is

The only people in the house were her mother, the house caretaker and the caretaker’s daughter. After eating, she had planned to accompany her mother to the post office to mail a letter to her grandfather. The caretaker sets a plate of food on the table and motions her to eat. Dutifully, she approaches the food but at a glance to the right she notices the caretaker’s daughter who is crawling on the floor and she offers to share her food. After half an hour, she dresses and looks for her mother.

In the distance, a crowd of people walk along the road with heavy footsteps. With the sounds drumming closer, she glances out the window at the wide steel gate and at once realizes that the guests were not the usual friendly neighbors offering food or the kind salespeople trying to sell a product. Instead they were Japanese soldiers wearing green uniforms, carrying a bayonet on one hand and a Japanese flag on the other. They break the wooden door and march into her house, heading towards the stairs to destroy the house from top to bottom. Immediately the caretaker’s baby begins to cry. She runs over to carry her and together they hide under the dinner table. Before long, she beings to cry with her and the screeching cries startle the soldiers. At the foot of the staircase, the soldiers start talking in Japanese and one points to the door. In an instant they leave and the children stop crying, sniffling and gasping for breath. The mothers, unaware of what had happened until they had heard the cries, come downstairs and embrace their children. [Read more →]

December 21, 2008   2 Comments


In a place like New York City, cultural diversity flourishes. With the theme of cultural encounters in mind, I decided to make my collage revolve around my personal cultural encounter between American and Chinese culture. I am known as an ABC, an American-born-Chinese. For a time in my life, I actually thought of myself as two parts participating in a competition. Both ethnicities, it seemed, were trying to win me over to their side. I felt like I was often stuck in between, much like the hyphen in the word “Chinese-American”. In this collage, I explored the different cultures and values that I grew up with. [Read more →]

December 16, 2008   2 Comments

Beyond Babylon and Time

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is now featuring “Beyond Babylon”, a special exhibit that explores the artistic and cultural traditions of the Near East during the second millennium B.C. With approximately 350 objects on display, “Beyond Babylon” explored the art created in the circle of network among affluent kings and merchants. What attracted my attention the most besides the shiny gold artifacts were small objects that belonged to royalty and alluded to divine presences/gods. Evidently, there was a story behind each object. [Read more →]

December 16, 2008   Comments Off on Beyond Babylon and Time


Dance is difficult to interpret and is subjective to each viewer. However, it can be interpreted in so many ways and by so many different people that it becomes a visual sensation to watch. At the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn’s all-female Urban Bush Woman and Senegal’s all-male Compagnie Jant-Bi performed a thrilling show titled Les écailles de la Mémoire, in other words, The Scales of Memory.
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December 16, 2008   Comments Off on BAM!

Sam Freedman

“There is no present or future – only the past happening over and over again.” Within this quote, Freedman explores and recounts his deceased mother’s life in his novel “Who She Was.” In an attempt to understand and discover who his mother really was, Freedman successfully goes through time and space to gather the pieces of the puzzle. After her death due to breast cancer, Freedman revisits her grave 30 years later and is filled with shame and remorse. He regrets not being a more attentive son and wishes he was better to her when she was sick. With unresolved penance and guilt in mind, Freedman goes on a compelling journey to piece her mother’s life and at the same time fill the void from the absence of his mother. [Read more →]

December 16, 2008   Comments Off on Sam Freedman

Coping Above and Below

At first I thought it would be a simple task. How hard could photography be? Little did I know that photography was actually harder than I thought. My biggest problem was that I had difficulty choosing a theme. I have always taken pictures of auspicious occasions, family and friends, landscapes and pretty objects. Therefore, doing this project was actually new to me because I would have to go looking for pictures to match up to my theme. After compiling about 200 pictures that I took and leafing through each one, I realized that most of my pictures related to one theme: people struggling to cope with everyday life for everyday living. With the amount of pictures I took in the subway and in the streets, I came up with the title I have because of the correlation between people trying to make a living on the streets and those doing the same underground but in a different way. [Read more →]

December 12, 2008   1 Comment

Frances Richey

Frances Richey seems like the typical mother. She is the mother of a Green Beret and feels like most mothers would feel – concerned and distressed because her son’s life constantly faces perilous situations, especially during war time. After her son, Ben, decided to be a soldier and serve in Iraq, she filled the void in her life by writing a collection of poems that portrayed her feelings to his being a soldier in an attempt to reestablish the mother-son relationship. [Read more →]

December 3, 2008   2 Comments


“Come inside, open up your ears up wide” to hear the story of a derelict 17-year old boy named Clifford who flees from his dysfunctional “family” and finds a home in the arms of Sir John and hip-hop. “Clay”, the one-man hip-hop musical held at the Duke on 42nd Street, certainly broke the traditional and ordinary mindset of a classic musical. Written and performed by Matt Sax, “Clay” opened its curtains with the night that Clifford is performing his major debut as a hip-hop performer. At once, we can see that this play twists time as it is loaded with flashbacks. [Read more →]

December 3, 2008   1 Comment

Susan Meiselas

The photography of Susan Meiselas captures the political conflicts and struggles in Central America during the 1970s and 80s. What is so great about her collections is her portrayal of the struggles of her subjects. Her images seem to reconstruct history and trigger the memory of those who feel connected to the time period of the subjects. [Read more →]

December 3, 2008   1 Comment

Dr. Atomic

As you walk across the glistening White Sands desert in central New Mexico, you would never have imagined that a historic event had happened there 63 years ago. You pick up a green, glassy substance. What lies on your hand is trinitite, evidence of the first atomic explosion. What happened here, the events that lead to the detonation, and the psychological fear and stress of those involved in the Manhattan Project is the subject of the opera “Doctor Atomic” with dramatic music by John Adams and a libretto by Peter Sellars. Doctor Atomic brilliantly revived the historic yet modern event that marked mankind’s highest ambitions and deepest fears. [Read more →]

November 26, 2008   1 Comment