Sending a Letter to Our Desires: AHL Foundation’s ‘Dear D,‘ Exhibition Explores the Intersection of Art and Identity for AAPI Heritage Month

AHL Foundation is pleased to present “Dear D,” an exhibition featuring the works of four artists who explore how desire can be used as a tool to engage with the world. The exhibition will be on view from May 3 – May 20, 2023, at the AHL Foundation Gallery (2605 Frederick Douglass Blvd., New York, NY 10030). 

“Dear D,” showcases the works of Austin Li Chang, Enzo Lee, Chucky Kim x Nak, and Jean Oh, who come from different backgrounds and use various mediums such as painting, video, and music to convey their personal experiences with desire. Diasporic and immigrant desires reveal the inner worlds of marginalized bodies and minds that negotiate their futures.

“Dear D,” – we write a letter to our desires. We make art not to passively meet our desires but to seek them out. “This letter is sent perpetually to a destination named desire,” said Jiyoung Lee, Director of Programs and curator.

Austin Li Chang intimately renders portraits of his family and friends, reflecting what may appear as innately human as the potential for understanding and desire. Enzo Lee expresses his own voice and desires through his journals, essays, poems, and large paintings. Chucky Kim x Nak explores sound and its relationship with material objects such as speakers, blending frequencies and merging the spiritual and physical. Jean Oh draws memories, observations, feelings, and identities from ordinary objects rooted in personal experiences. Oh’s process is informed by personal stories and the desire to express the paradoxical nature of human beings.

From paintings, videos, and music, the medium employed in this exhibition responds to the transformative and intimate power of desire. We hope to spark conversations about the complex relationships between desire, identity, and artistic practice through the work of Austin Li Chang, Enzo Lee, Chuck Kim x Nak, and Jean Oh.

About AHL Foundation

AHL Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization established in 2003 by Sook Nyu Lee Kim to support artists of Korean heritage working in the United States and promote exposure of their work in today’s highly competitive contemporary art world. AHL Foundation seeks to accomplish its mission by promoting the work of emerging artists of Korean descent active in the United States through exhibitions, informing and educating artists on the business side of the art practice, and building a community of supporters and art enthusiasts.

About Artists

SUSPENSION, 2022, Acrylic, Vinyl on Linen, 40 X 50”

Austin Li Chang is a Taiwanese American artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He primarily works with acrylic, oil paint, and photography mediums to depict his personal experience with the East Asian diaspora. He was raised in Houston, Taichung, and Vancouver.


Enzo Lee is a Korean journal artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Enzo first started his journey as an artist by carrying a journal during his teenage years. Uncertain of the future, he started to write down his feelings, thoughts, and experiences to study himself, hoping to gain control over his life. Over time, the habit naturally evolved into something more and became not only a form of recording but also a form of expression. His own voice, the art. Enzo published his first book of essays and poems, “Bird in Space”, in 2014. Realizing that the voice shouldn’t be limited by any specific medium, he went on to study filmmaking to learn multi-dimensional aspects of art. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Filmmaking from School of Visual Arts, and works on a permanent video journal series called “Piece of Life”. Currently there are about 140 episodes online. Since 2020 COVID, Enzo also started to explore the medium of painting and is now expressing journals through large paintings. Enzo is pursuing to develop his philosophy and artistry of using a journal as a tool to live life itself as a form of art, the “Piece of Enzo”.

People listen with their eyes, 2022, Sound Installation

Chucky Kim x Nak 

Chucky Kim is a music producer, technologist, and educator. He has Billboard-charting hits with artists such as Jay Park, Taeyang, Kai, Babyface, and Mary Lambert. Currently, he is the Head of Music Experience at Artiphon, designing new interactive instruments and experiences, in addition to serving as faculty at Columbia University, the Juilliard School, and researcher at the MIT Media Lab. Most importantly, he is a dog dad to the cutest two rescue pups in the world, Oliver and Annie. 

Nak Whether he’s playing big rooms or selecting at intimate venues, Nak (mdnghtdiningclub) connects with the crowd. The New York-based DJ/producer’s taste and curiosity for all styles of music combine with his positive energy on the dancefloor, and his fun, effortless sets always keep people moving. Nak also designs and builds home speakers and large-format sound systems — his intention is to explore and share immersive audio experiences with likeminded individuals and the community alike.

The Bruise, 2023, Acrylic on sewn canvas, 9”x12”

Jean Oh is a New York-based artist who holds a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA from Pratt Institute. Oh is the recipient of the Silver Award for AHL-T&W Foundation Contemporary Visual Art Awards. Oh’s solo exhibitions include Nars Foundation and Iron Velvet Gallery in New York, as well as in group shows such as Transitions (NeueHouse Madison Square, 2021) and Something from Nothing Art (Space 776 Gallery, 2020)

Curator Bio

Jiyoung Lee is the current Director of Programs at AHL Foundation. Her previous experience includes work as an online communications manager at the Asia Culture Center, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism as well as an internship at Queens Museum. During her career, Jiyoung has organized a range of exhibitions and programs, including AHL Foundation’s Award Recipients Exhibitions and its annual Gala, Art in the Workplace exhibitions at Bank of Hope, and ACC International Round Table (2017-2019). She has also managed AHL Foundation’s AKAA project (Archive of Korean Artists in America), where she updated its interface, developed an archival manual, and led AKAA research fellows’ projects. Jiyoung graduated from Pratt Institute (2021) with a Master’s degree in Museums and Digital Culture.