I am a Korean adoptee and was raised in the American South and Midwest by white parents. Assimilation was thought to be better for adopted children at the time and grew up with a general ignorance about my Korean heritage and culture. It wasn’t until I got older that I became aware of all the delicious things that I missed out on growing up. This recipe for chapjae was the first one that I learned to make at home and is a regular staple of my cooking. Eating Korean food was my first step into the exploration of my identity as a Korean-American and served as the launching point for my future artistic and personal growth. Loving Korean food helped me love a part of myself that I didn’t want to always embrace growing up.

 A round white bowl is filled with a busy composition of the noodles, vegetables, meat, and egg that make up the ground pork chapjae. The page surrounding the bowl has been left blank.The shadows in the bowl are subtle washes of blue and black watercolor. The chapjae is illustrated in detail contour and painted in browns with pops of orange, yellow, and green for the eggs and veggies.
Jave Yoshimoto, Jarrett Min Davis’ Ground Pork Chapjae, 2021, ink, watercolor and gouache on paper, 9” x 12″.

Ground Pork Chapjae


    • 1/2 pound ground pork
    • 1/4 ounce shiitake mushrooms
    • 1/2 onion, finely diced
    • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
    • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 bunch of spinach
    • 2 tablespoons dry white wine, sake or chun-ha (Korean sake)
    • sesame seeds
    • 1 package Korean sweet potato glass noodles


1. Mix together soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar to create a sauce.
2. Boil a large pot of water for noodles.
3. In a large skillet add canola oil and brown ground pork (add chun-ha to tenderize) over medium high heat until it starts to brown and add 1/3 of the prepared sauce. Remove ground pork when thoroughly cooked.
4. Add lightly beaten eggs, cook and dice and remove from skillet.
5. Add and cook onion, shiitake, and carrot until onions are translucent and add pork and eggs for 3 minutes and turn to low heat.
6. Cook noodles according to directions (DO NOT OVERCOOK).
7. Add cooked noodles and spinach and the remaining 2/3 of the sauce and mix thoroughly until spinach is wilted.
8. Serve and top with sesame seeds.

Jarrett Min Davis headshot. This is a close-up black and white selfie of the artist at what looks to be an art opening. Behind Jarret is a wall of artwork hung in a grid and 7 other people are looking at art or engaged in conversations. Jarret is a Korean American man in his mid-forties with short black hair. He wears narrow rectangular wire-framed glasses, small silver hoop earrings, a white collared shirt, and the brim of his black hat is visible in this cropped composition.

Jarrett Min Davis was born in Seoul, South Korea, and adopted by American parents at the age of two. He was raised in St. Louis and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Dayton in Ohio. He then went on to earn a Masters of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art and Design’s Hoffberger School of Painting in Baltimore. He currently resides in Amesbury, Massachusetts, and teaches in the Studio Foundation Program at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. He has exhibited work nationally and internationally with recent exhibitions in Boston, Baltimore and Bangkok, Thailand. He was recently the Artist-in-Residence at SACI: Florence, Italy. Instagram @jmindavis

This is a horizontally oriented oil painting of a surreal post-apocalyptic landscape. Four masked figures are in the foreground--two wear gas masks, one a bejeweled face mask, and the last figure’s face is covered in a gold metallic mesh. They are dressed in army green and tan jumpsuits. One figure carries an automatic weapon and is draped in rounds of ammunition. The figures are surrounded by floating egg forms that have distinct planar shifts, which make them look like gems or perhaps blank human head forms. Three large rock formations are portrayed in the midground. A mountain range, stone wall, and crumbling architectural elements are in the background. The entire scene is bisected with intermittent transparent strips of color that recall digital glitches. Here is how the artist describes the meaning of the work: My paintings are post-apocalyptic paintings of possible non-linear narratives constructed from pieces of the past, contemporary and future. The work reflects my own experience of being adopted from Korea, combining the Eastern landscapes of Asian painting with the traditional oil painting techniques of early Flemish and Italian painting. The subject matter depicted reflects my own interest in science fiction themes such as nuclear apocalypse, human adaptability to a changing world, digital imaging, time travel and identity. The work is about these contrasts and juxtapositions between the past and future, heightened color areas and neutral colors, East and West, traditional oil painting and digital imaging, realism and abstraction of some forms and what we consider natural and artificial. The paintings are not about absolute dividing lines between these themes but rather about the images existing in a grey area between these absolutes. Making sense of these images isn't about the resolution of the narrative but the continued journey of seeing these themes and subjects collide and re-combine in unexpected ways.
Jarrett Min Davis, Exploration of the Terrain between the Time We Were and We Were Not, 2016, oil on panel, 30” x 40” x 2”.