Artist Print Series

"xin lỗi - I'm Sorry" is about how cut fruit tastes like love and apologies to children of Asian immigrants.* In my culture, love is often expressed in actions rather than verbal or physical affections, so the phrases "I love you" and "I'm sorry" aren't spoken very often in Vietnamese culture. Cut fruit is typically offered after dinner as dessert, during homework time, or after an argument. It is a common experience for many children of Asian immigrants. Many of us have grown up with our moms picking the ripest fruit to cut into perfect bite-sized cuts for us, while they are typically over the sink nibbling on the less desired core or end pieces. My mom even used to go the extra step of peeling off every grape skin to eat when I was younger. Instead of hugs, kisses, and words of encouragement, my parents loved me through plates of cut-up fruit. So in a way, cut-up fruit is a way to see my parent's expression of their love, and it is a common way for Asian parents to express their "I love you" and "I'm sorry" to their children. Understanding the complexities of an Asian parent's love is no easy feat. But as I grow older, and as I am forced to cut my own fruit, I finally realized the full amount of work that went into all that fruit and the many "I love yous" and "I'm sorrys" tied into every plate and bowl of fruit that appeared in front of me. 

*In this piece, you will see a Chữ Nôm character that translates to "xin lỗi," which means "I'm sorry." Chữ Nôm is a logographic writing system formerly used to write the Vietnamese language.

Related Work