Hometown: Santa Clara, CA
Generation: 1.5 Shin Nisei
Biography: Rino Kodama is currently a 3rd year at UCLA studying Art and minoring in Asian American Studies, specializing in drawing and photography. Their work strives to be a constellation of tracing steps back home while simultaneously looking forward, reflecting how they navigate the world as a queer, gender-nonconforming person (who also happens to struggle taking care of their mental health). They hope everyone takes a moment to breathe today and ask themselves what they need—a listening ear, a cup of tea, or maybe just sitting in the comfort that you can heal over and over again.
Name of Piece: Healing
Sometimes I don't give myself enough credit for how far I have come to take care of myself, to better my mental health and overall well-being. I created this drawing while reflecting on small, everyday victories that felt impossible during rough days: getting out of bed, cooking a meal, just being a human being. It's easy to fall into a head space of wondering if I am still stuck, going around in circles, when I am slowly expanding on how to honor myself: listening to the aches of my body and mind and asking for help when needed.