Born as a member of a second generation Asian American immigrant family I was versed in the disciplines of east and the west. The confluence of cultures grew to shape who I am today. It was not a harmonious mixture as both systems of thought clashed constantly with one another, vying for dominance. Immersed heavily in western ideology initially I hastily abandoned my Chinese-Vietnamese heritage for the doctrines of the west. My epiphany of my loss came when I realized I was forgetting words in my native language and could no longer converse with my grandmother, who spoke only Chinese, to the extent I once did. A sense of betrayal pervaded me. However I soon discovered neither system was 'perfect'. So on forth I began my rediscovery into my own cultural roots and my continual study of western philosophy that I so loved. My own perceived consciousness is none other than an eclectic selection of best of both East and West. The path I've chosen is to forever to walk in twilight. As a result of which, I was socially shunned by my Caucasian friends and was contemptuously called 'The Westerner' by my Asian comrades. Neither truly East nor West am I, but I believe that the path I've chosen, though not of the least resistance by any measure, is ultimately most rewarding.
Many challenges faced me as I struggled to preserve and ascertain; who I was, who I am, and who I'm going to be. I had eagerly embraced culture and arts after being raised in an authoritarian traditionalist Chinese upbringing. I thirsted for such things after being parched for so long in a deprived desert. Literature, history, philosophy, and its understanding captivated and entranced me. I suppose I found more meaning and purpose in my books than did I found in a reality in which such empyrean ideals were clearly absent. I looked on with stargazing eyes never too attentive to the trivial concerns of my peers, whom were ignorant of who I was and what I knew. It was esoteric knowledge that I shared only amongst my selected close friends often much older than I. Soon a new desire enveloped me. The books and movies, I've read and watched, they all contained the dreams of others. Too long have I lived in the dreams of others I wished now to dream on my own. Writing took me. I wrote of exotic wild worlds and of chivalrous knights. In my writing my dreams and hopes came to fruition. The artist was master and exerted absolute control over the dominion of imagination. The earth, wind, water, and fire were under his command. It was a control of one's destiny that was surely lacking in the mortal realm. The culmination of my efforts was a manuscript over three hundred pages of text and over two hundred pages of accompanying drawings. It was a tenuous labor of love that I still continue in earnest. However it was also a dangerous romance, for the sublime sky of imagination was forever endless and one could spend an eternity staring into stars. My passion is not unlike the monkey who vainly climbed the tallest tree wishing to grasp the moon in his palms.
My hopes and dreams are illustrated in my stories and my drawings. However discontent with the current state of our world; I sought to bring my dreams into our physical sphere. So did I attempt to tie those lofty ideals to real world with limited degrees of success. Such was the ongoing conflict between my inner realist and dreamer. But we cannot help but dream on for it is when we no longer dream in our slumber that we surrender mind and body to the abyss of that dark starless night. All that I was, am, and will be, I know wherever I go that I will always be Kash Chung, the first, the last.
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