On Tending


On Tending • Curated by Bainca Ng

Welcome to the “On Tending” community anthology, curated by Editor-in-Chief Bianca Ng, featuring the work of seven queer POC artists. Below, you can see the original call for this anthology, which is what folks submitted their work to, as well as an editor’s note from Bianca, which gives insight into the words, artwork, and pieces you will find in this anthology.

What are you shedding these days in order to become more yourself? Caring for yourself is much like nurturing plants — it requires attunement and patience. And in order to grow, you need to tend to your decay. How much old growth are you carrying that hasn’t been tended to, impeding you from sprouting? When we stop changing, we stop growing. But this process can be lonely. If no one sees your change, how can you continue to honor your growth? A form of healing is choosing to care for your needs and no longer being able to disassociate from your body. It is integrating different versions of yourself, younger and adult, and allowing them to take up space. The process of healing means you’re no longer fearful of your decay. As we tend to our gardens, we listen to our intuition and cultivate the environment we thrive in. What are you letting go of? How do you honor your decay? I invite folks who exist in the in-between space of creating. Someone who experiments with a combination of mixed creative expressions (words, visuals, photos, materials, motion, audio) to communicate their stories.

On Tending contains various exceptional multi-media works by queer POC creatives: hybrid epistolary, painting, digital exhibit, poetry, photo essay, collage, accordion story, audio poetry, watercolor, lyric essay, and oracle decks. This call explicitly solicited queer BIPOC creatives to highlight underrepresented voices and perspectives. Within this issue, you’ll uncover themes of nonlinear healing, intergenerational trauma, grief, and self-compassion.

When I curated this anthology, I was fixated on the idea of “change”: What it means, what it holds, and what it can be. Change can feel scary, but we don’t actually know what’s on the other side of it. Sometimes, change is about digging deeper into what we already know in our core and about standing firmly in our buried truths, no longer hiding in other people’s expectations of who they think we should be. The biggest freedom is in feeling seen. But can you see yourself? Can you hold yourself accountable? And how do you choose not to abandon yourself in relation to others? One way to honor our decay is by trusting ourselves: holding our boundaries without managing someone else’s reactions, listening to our voice even when it’s just a whisper, and embodying a knowingness that cannot be diminished.

These seven pieces have created an intimate space for quiet contemplation. A generous pause. A needed breath. Witnessing their vulnerable tending has expanded my definition and allowed me to do deeper tending. I hope you feel as held as I have while curating this anthology and that this chorus of voices gives you room to dream about what self-tending/shared tending could look like for you.

Bianca Ng, Editor-in-Chief of “On Tending”

  • All Posts
  • 1: Perception Gaps
  • 10: Willful Innocence
  • 11: Actionable Storytelling
  • 12: Before After
  • 13: Rebellious Joy
  • 14: Economies of Harm
  • 15: Root Systems
  • 16: Proximities
  • 17: The Cost of Waiting
  • 2: Labels
  • 3: Who Gets to Belong?
  • 4: You Are Politics
  • 5: Artificial Realities
  • 6: Dangerous Bodies
  • 7: In Opposition
  • 8: Power And
  • 9: What We Lose
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a soft place to land

Joanne Shih

Inspired by solitary nature walks, Joanne’s immersive digital exhibit delves into the nonlinear journey of returning to the self through their connection with nature.

eating my way home

Esther Hwi-Young Kim

In her captivating photo essay, Esther peels back the layers of memory to better understand her immigrant family’s migration, survival, and identity journeys.

Poems and Soundings

Jody Chan

Jody’s audio poems weave a multi-sensory tapestry that unpacks communal tending, self-compassion, and the shedding of self-doubt.

Inner Child

Brian Oh

Brian's painting and poem unearths the depths of connecting with his inner child through the strokes of his paintbrush in an expansive, nonlinear process.

As Told by Haruka and Heliodoro, Map of Selves

Haruka Aoki

Haruka’s poetic double-sided accordion visual narrative honors the intertwined destinies of two queer souls, inviting us to share in the relief of healing wounds together across timelines and past lives.

We Are Our Own Edens: Poems & Collage

Michelle Peñaloza

Michelle’s poetry and collage act as a bridge between beloved, departed souls, ancestors lost to undocumented histories, and unborn future lineages.

tropikal teknologies

Noelle de la Paz

Noelle’s imaginative, multi-layered piece grapples with inherited technologies, nonlinear logic, and finding intergenerational healing through the collective.

Bianca Ng

Bianca Ng (she/they) is a queer Cantonese American visual storyteller and facilitator based in Philadelphia. They began their career in NYC as a designer at an award-winning branding studio and then a Fortune 500 company before becoming the Creative Director for The Cosmos, an intentional online & offline community for Asian women. With The Cosmos, she helped produce the first large-scale summit and curated marketplace celebrating local Asian women artists, brands, and small businesses in the tri-state area. Her work has been recognized by the Type Directors Club and featured in People of Craft, Ladies, Wine & Design, and more. Currently, they’re a brand designer at Clever and facilitator at The Seventh Wave.

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