My ex-girlfriend is from South Korea and she cooked this dish for breakfast every day. Even though we are no longer together, this dish has stuck with me over the years and is a staple of my mornings. I like how it is both very American and very Asian. It is a simple but satisfying breakfast.

A generous scoop of white rice, 6 slices of fried SPAM, an over-easy fried egg, and a pile of kimchi are neatly plated on a round white plate with a low rim in this illustration by Jave Yoshimoto. The shadows in the pate are light blue. Each food item has been contoured in black ink and washes of watercolor and opaque gouache have been used to render the color and details. The texture and shading on the eggs and SPAM are done in great detail while the rice and kimchi are more simply illustrated.
Jave Yoshimoto, Mathew Tom’s SPAM and Eggs, 2021, ink, watercolor and gouache on paper, 9” x 12″.

SPAM and Eggs


    • 1/4 can of SPAM
    • 1 cup of cooked rice
    • 1/4 cup of kimchi
    • 1 egg


    1. Cut the SPAM into smaller squares then fry in a pan until crispy on both sides.
    2. Using the excess oil from the spam, fry the egg.
    3. Serve with white rice and kimchi.

Mathew Tom headshot. In this horizontally oriented photo, a mixed Chinese American man in his mid-thirties stands in front of one of his large-scale magenta paintings. He has his head tilted slightly to the left and looks directly at the camera. Mathew has short brown hair, a goatee, and wears a black turtleneck, a black and white pinstripe blazer with a wide lapel, and tortoiseshell rounded horn-rim glasses. The artist’s painting fills up the entire background with a radiant gradation of fuchsia and black, tropical plant leaves, and birds. Fragments of two figures can be seen as well through folds of fabric, praying hands, and a delicate arm.

Mathew Tom received his MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London, and previously studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  He was a fellow at the Royal Academy in London where he was awarded the Starr Fellowship. He has shown internationally in the United States, England, Wales, Spain, The Netherlands, South Korea, and India.  He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. 

This is a horizontally oriented oil painting by Mathew Tom in which the entire background is painted an intense fuschia pink and bordered by a painted frame. The main imagery on the canvas is painted in subtle black gradients and consists of an erotic scene of a seated kimono-clad woman with her legs spread apart. She is unfastening the robe of a kneeling man and the couple is about to kiss. The image is sampled from what looks to be Shunga Edo period Japanese art. Donald Duck appears on the right side of the canvas wielding a magnifying glass to inspect the couple as he reaches out to grope the woman. Vases, jugs, palm branches frame the picture. The artist describes his intention for the work as, reinterpretations of historical artworks have become a playful way for him to express his mixed, Chinese-American cultural identity. His childhood in Florida spawned an interest in pop media and how it functions as modern-day religious iconography. By juxtaposing these symbols with art historical references, Tom investigates cultural appropriation and its broader meaning in an increasingly borderless, globalized society
Mathew Tom, Looking For Love, Oil on Linen, 2019, 48” x 60”.