The Origins of Pound Cake Man Edit
Pound Cake Man (also written as Poundcakeman, Poundcake man, Pound cake man, depending on PCM's mood) is a genetically engineered Hensorian being created by the Surgeon General as a present for Orgobus Enik the self-proclaimed Emperor of Everything.
The Surgeon General designed him to be the ideal henchman. For years Poundcake man believed his creator's and owner's lies: that he was nothing but a violent criminal, a brainless "thug", meant to serve his intelligent owner.
He was sent across the universe to gather the force energy that destroys true feelings, this energy is manifested everytime a person hides their true feelings by "saving face" or when the truth about a person is exposed and they are ashamed of their true self and "lose face", the energy forms into a floating orblike creature known as a Globbernaut also known as False Faces.
Poundcake man traversed multiple galaxies but mainly worked within Cathexis 9, the same galaxy that the Cosmic Womb is located in. Everyday Poundcakeman would go find Globbernauts and pound them and eat them. Once ingested the globbernaut would be redirected from the stomach into the distribution center and then be shot through one of the many globbernaut dispersion tunnels and emerge as part of Poundcake Man's body. From each face he consumed Poundcakeman would absorb some of the skills, memories, knowledge and superpowers of the detained Globbernaut. From time to time, the self -proclaimed Emperor of Everything would call him back to his castle to have DNA samples taken from the Globbernauts and for their languages and cultures to cataloged and analyzed for future use in his agenda to colonize the universe.
Luckily, in 2015 AD, Poundcakeman was attempting to gather globbernauts in the Cosmic Womb, but alas, they are incredibly scarce in Space City (the capital of the Cosmic Womb). Angry and tired, Poundcake man had a seismic tantrum in the middle of Lady K's forest. Lady K, caretaker of the forest and its creatures, contacted professional imaginary friend Nina Blue and her magic floating helping hands to calm him down. Nina Blue used her special powers to reach into his mind and free him from all the limiting beliefs the Emperor had brainwashed him into believing. Poundcakeman began to cry tears of relief, for he was free from the mental chains of judgment and brainwashing he had endured for years. He tells Nina Blue how he had been told for years that he was born into a life where he was told everyday that he was nothing but a brainless henchman, a criminal, a thug, but deep down inside he had big dreams,t hat he felt he didn't deserve. With his heart finally awakened and he realizes that he has spent his life being someone who he is not. He tells Nina Blue, that he doesn't want to punch faces, and that deep down inside he has always dreamed to be graceful and to be a gymnast, like Simone Biles (his hero). He also explained that he didn't want to hurt people, he wanted to help people, he had seen tens of thousands of cultures during his travels, worlds of people he'd like to befriend. From that point on Poundcake man has done his best to never to let anyone else define who he is.
After saying all of this the Globbernauts cheered. Poundcakeman apologized to the conglomeration of faces that had become one with his body, and offered to release them from his being. A few decided to leave to carry on their own missions, but many decide to remain a part of him. Many of the Globbernauts explained that they very much enjoyed sight seeing throughout the universe, and now that he was going to stop punching faces, they would like to stay and continue to travel with him.
For the most part, Poundcakeman, has kept his promise to not punch faces, he did try boxing for a bit, but bothered the Globbernauts. So these days, Poundcake man gets his pounding urges our by pounding other stuff, like pizza dough, monkey bread dough, and evil robots. He continues to travels across the universe learning from the best gymnasts in the Universe, while he and the Globbernauts make a living as intergalactic translators (Globbernauts speak a variety of languages).
Behind the Scenes of Discovering Truth Will Make Me Free: The Liberation of Poundcake Man. Edit
The Character Himself Edit
This character began as a digital doodle, that became a digital ipad animation, for years he was very real to me, but for others they hadn't ever seen him in any of my video art or paintings.
Four years after he was created he finally got a body, in the form of a puppet, he was included in a video art piece shot in 2018 and also made his debut in his own painting called "Discovering Truth will Make Me Free: The Liberation of Poundcake Man". The words I included in this piece are lyrics from a song Fred Rogers would sing on his television show.
While preparing for a video shoot, I watched a number of seasons of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and I was moved by this man's ability to remain steadfast in his efforts to make space for people to express their anger, fear, sadness, and frustration. Fred knew that what helps people grow and live well is not denying one's feelings but instead allowing people the space to express and feel their feelings. When we express our feelings in responsible ways, we learn more about who we are, and when we find the truth inside of us, we can find a true freedom from within.
The story of Poundcake man embodies many of these concepts. He was told he was "born to be a bad", genetically designed to be a criminal, a thug, a villain, and for a long time he believed it was only through finding someone who allowed him to express his true vulnerabilities, dreams, and desires that he could become free of the limiting beliefs that others had defined him by.
Globbernauts, False Faces and Saving face Edit
The Globbernauts (also known as False Faces) that he pounded, are inspired by two phrases I heard often while visiting Korea "saving face" and "losing face" both are terms that are connected to keeping up appearances (one referring to a successful attempt, the other unsuccessful). In 1983 I was adopted from South Korea, and reunited with my birth father in 2007, in 2008 I found my birthmother. For years I diligently did my best to study Korean and visit as often as I could. A few years ago, while spending my in Summer Seoul, attending a Korean language college course, I found out my birthmother wanted to keep me separate and for the most part a secret from her husband (technically my step-father). During my Summer studies, she went on vacation with my two half brothers and her husband and did not invite me, when I saw her next she wanted me to look at photos of her fun family vacation. I knew from that point on, saving face meant more to my birth mother than being my mom, holding back my tears, I could feel my heart breaking.
Often people would explain away her choices by telling me she must be trying to save face or she is afraid of losing face. Since I first visited Korea I would hear these explanations used to comfort other Korean adoptees whose parents refused to reunite with their children, or parents who could only meet once and would not welcome them their abandoned children back into their lives. It got me thinking...look at all these people trying not to lose face or trying to save face. And that made me made me wonder... what the heck are they saving up all these faces for?! And where the heck are all these saved and lost faces? I liked the idea that they were just floating around in the universe, aimlessly drifting from planet to planet, lost and alone. And so it seemed to me that the Poundcake man would be a perfect character to "deal" with these false faces. That is when I decided to make him the collector and official pounder of these false faces. Although I have forgiven my birth mother and I love her, it is through story telling and art making that I have been able to best process my feellings about what had happened.
Poundcake man and my Birth Father Edit
My birthfather was a boxer, he is a funny, talented and loving man. He is a passionate person whose isn't scared to share his feelings. And, he is very proud of his daughter and has welcomed me fully into his life. I think Poundcake man at his best is like my birth father. When he heard of my birthmother's choices, he confronted her. ".You can't just be her mother when it's convenient for you. You should welcome our daughter, and be her mother always or not at all!" I remember finding such comfort in how he naturally he smashed through the cultural norms of saving face, to get to the truth of the matter.
As I mentioned earlier, I often find myself using my art to organize my feelings about the things I've experienced, or to be close to those who are far away or are no longer on this planet. When I create work with Poundcake man in it, it's a nice feeling, kind of like a part of my birthfather is here with me the studio, and I take comfort in that feeling.