KHO, RACHEL MARIE's blog

Final Project Proposal: Chemistry and Art Conservation

My parents have always been an “art couple”; they went to Europe on their honeymoon and spent their dates walking through old museums, admiring sculptures and architecture, and fostering an appreciation of art within me from a young age (even when I would have rather gone to a playground than a stuffy art museum when I was a little kid). My mother and grandmother were also painters in their youth, and my house is full of original paintings and portraits completed by them.

The Spiciest Meal—Fit for a Dragon

I’ve always been quite fascinated with birth charts and the concept of nature versus nurture—whether the year in which people were born affected the way they carry themselves more than their circumstances. My horoscope (Sagittarius with a Leo rising and Pisces moon) as well as my dragon zodiac have always been referenced as a reliable narration of my life and personality (which retrospectively, may have been largely contributed to by self-fulfilling prophecy?).

The Sound of Music (was the first play I was ever in)

In class we discussed noises in the form of a heartbeat (a connection to my anatomy course last quarter in which we needed to be able to analyze electroencephalograms, or EEGs), frequencies, vibrations, and the scale of a sound. As my life is constantly filled with music and exuberant voices, the sounds of walking in a bustling city, and birds chirping outside my window, I decided to focus a little bit more on the larger scale in order to dissect my life and the way it relates to the noises I constantly hear around me.

Fungi = A Fun Guy

Mushrooms are, in my opinion, a highly underrated food. As a plant-based eater, I always have mushrooms in the fridge—cremini, portobello, oyster, enoki, and more. They’re so versatile in the kitchen, and you can use them in almost any recipe! I have encountered mushrooms in the wild of course, but as I do still live in Westwood, I found that there wasn’t a lot of opportunity to go out into nature to find some, and that the conditions for mushroom growth may not have been the most optimal either.

An Existentialist Perspective

For this week's assignment of visiting a location through serendipity, I decided to print out a small map of UCLA and toss a hairpin onto it. I was excited to find that my hairpin landed on the Fowler/Janss Steps (soon to be called Kuruvungna Steps) area, so I put on my mask, grabbed a notebook and pen, and made my way to campus. It was a beautiful weekend afternoon--sunny but still cool, and there were a plethora of small groups lounging around in the sun.

Deforestation and Stationery

My intention for this drawing exercise was to be somewhat meta—I sketched my own hand gripping a drawing of a pencil, which was in turn used to sketch a carbon allotrope on a drawing of a paper, all on a real paper. I also depicted tree branches stemming from the pencil drawing, the body of which functioned as a tree trunk; the tree-pencil-contraption-drawing signified deforestation in order to satisfy the market for pencils.

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