brown boy feelings
recolonizing space
Open Signal + Instrument Installation
the black woman's betrayal
a vessel
black bringers
eyes; future and past

'beauty is more than skin deep.' when your skin does not reflect the status quo, finding your sense of beauty is a constant fight for personal acceptance. a constant practice of restorative justice.

brown boy feelings
brown boy feelings

A true passion project, lending time, space and dialogue to the pressures so many boys of color face, in pursuit of being a 'man.' This is much more than just identity and gender. This is political, topical, ironic, intentional, racial, emotional and direct.

recolonizing space
recolonizing space

+Intersect Fest, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art

Space is integral to our understanding of self: the way we feel, are seen, perceived and physically fit into a space are all informed by history, time and geography. As a Portland native, who has seen the displacement of entire communities of color in North and Northeast Portland it has been a true hope and intention of mine to one time see and be apart of the cultural liveliness that once was. I wanted to speak to the gentrification of the Albina neighborhood and provide what it would look like if blacks took back that space.

The background imagery are structures and institutions that are historically white spaces: Harvard University, Columbia University, Georgetown University, and the United States Capitol Building; as well as neighborhoods in Portland that have been gentrified or historically white: the Pearl, the Albina neighborhood, Downtown Portland and the Mississippi District. Spurred on by the inspiration of the Portland Art Museum’s, Constructing Identity exhibition, I collected photographs of artists from Kara Walker to Archie Smith. This photographs of their art are intermixed with visuals of black faces: friends and family. I have drawn inspiration and insights from these professional artists, companions and the experimental work of Miles Davis, whose song Bitches Brew, is set in the background, serving as a symbolic recolonization of jazz and rock music from its historic black roots.

Visuals are fundamental means to articulating thought. Audio augments these visuals in constructing these realities. Objects bring this abstraction into the physicality of the world.



+on the ground: photographs, toys, symbols and memories in front of video

+background music: Bitches Brew, Miles Davis


White Noise

in a silent film created by two close collaborators, the filmmakers take on abstraction, silence and emotion with a creative lens.

Open Signal + Instrument Installation
Open Signal + Instrument Installation

Create videos and animations that explore what masculinity and femininity means to you, inspired by the project, Brown Boy Feelings, led by emerging artists: Tyler White, Ibrahim Ibrahim, Joti Mangat and Juma Sei. 

Media created during each session will be combined into a collaborative art installation and debuted in February 2018 at Open Signal in conjunction with the Portland Winter Lights Festival. Contribute your creative voice by attending as many or as few sessions as you’d like!

Pulsar Studio welcomes teens of all gender identities.

The collaborative installation created during Pulsar Studio will be designed and constructed with support from the digital brand and product innovation company Instrument. 

the black woman's betrayal
the black woman's betrayal


+sep. 3rd


In her eyes,

She died that night.


Surrounded and surmounted,

Suffocated and succumbed,

So diligently, she covered her nightly skin,

Every freckle like a star in the sky

And every bruise, a constellation.

Configurations of dark circle,

Enclosed her eyes.

And roses peered out of her fingertips,

Thorns forged from years of clipping and cultivation.

And leaves crowned her head,

With a tilted chin,

Heightened walk and

Hypnotic swaying,

Her body became a willow,

The willow that holds her son,

From rope built by men.

The willow that delivered

Young women, that saw their bodies,

As night skies, ashamed to be forever bleak,

The willow that uplifted the prophets and

Rooted the angels.

And with an unwavering slash,

Her sons, daughters, prophets and angels,

Cut every knitting of her biblically caressed hide,

Smoked every bee that constructed the hive within her heart

Captured every mystical butterfly cocooning in her ribcage

Sawed off each branch that connected every soul.

The sacrificial black sheep,

Her herd deserted her and the shepherd

Released her.


In her mind,

We survived that morning.

a vessel
a vessel


+jan. 9th 

You came in and the world stopped

My eyes neared end

My heart stopped and I looked so deep into you

I lost it within you

I gave it to you

And you bore me every love that could feel this heart

Every smile so kindred

A mess I stare back and see that you free me from me

You unleash the pieces that fragment, contract and


Display every safety and outshine every hope,

The dream that never made it through

I learn from you

You teach and speak

Captivated. Entirely we must grow

Grow in this

Never allow it to stagnate

To fester. But to build,

Peer out into this world

Blossom and open its mouth wide to softly take it all in

To bear something new

Continue a cycle

A metamorphosis

Each cocoon a lesson

Every butterfly

A new me

                                         I have come to love,


black bringers
black bringers


+sep. 3rd




And disappeared,


they came running to me,

whispered so sweet,

it felt a treat,

to for once know me.


passed down,

these figures,

knew unlocked secrets,

knew names and forsake nothing,

demanded me to be uncompared,

delivered a power so rich,



they floated,

so human and godly,

they resembled everything i knew to be bad,

and in that i knew they were my god,

my black bringers,



eyes; future and past
eyes; future and past


+dec. 28th


Face me.

A reflection and mirror blend so well

A face reminds me of me.

But how do we see ourselves?

Do we search in light of what we are told,

Fat, ugly, gay, stupid, black, dirty, poor.

Are our eyes truly ours or the instruments

Of social influence?

Can we truly look into a reflection and Turn from me.

Know it to be us. Can you see?

How do I know its me. Your vision is no longer with eyes wide

What if I lie so where far over there Rather eyes turned,

And nowhere in between? Eyes alive,

Does this reflection display me a truth, Moving and fresh

Or rather gratify me a lie? Harboring no bias or influence

What do we know? To the world in front,

Are we thinking? Are our thoughts ours or Freeing itself of any constraint to order

The accumulation of others, Disrupting the structure

Made manifest in our lives? Searching and not looking

Seeking and not seeing

How powerful the world behind us?

With shadows and lessons and experiences

A past, no pass.

A past, so clear

A future open to us all

One my eyes can see.

                                                                                      Sonu Okan