Shortly after graduating from the Maryland Institute College of Art,
a culturally secluded campus in the middle of Baltimore City,
I found employment at a metal shop in a neighborhood I previously spent little time.
“Mama” and “Pop”, an aging Korean couple serve Friendly Fried Chicken, what my coworkers and I call “Next Door”, through a bulletproof lazy susan.
Friendly’s feels like Baltimore. It is a heavily frequented Korean-owned corner store in the 91% black neighborhood of Penn North, a community that was the focus of much media speculation during the upheveal that followed the aquitted murder of Freddie Gray by local police in the Spring of 2015. In Next Door, I eat an iconic symbol of Baltimore, the chicken box, implicating myself as a “consumer” and transplant in both Baltimore and Penn North. How does my presence literally and symbolically affect a cultural architecture constantly in flux? What is my role and what is my agency? In 12 whole wings with hot sauce, salt and pepper, I consume Baltimore as the gallery audience consumes me, calling into question the ambiguously implied sexual connotations of mukbang, ASMR, and the docile Asian woman. 

(original installation in TAPROOT)