Dave Young Kim (b. 1979) Acrylic Paint
Funding provided by Margaret Leong Checca


This mural celebrates the journeys that diasporic communities have undertaken when leaving their homelands to find new places to nest. Muralist Dave Young Kim’s A Momentous Moment in Time of Passage and Landing imagines over 30 birds traveling together in harmonious flight. Each bird pictured here is an official national bird from Asia and the Pacific Islands, representing the diverse communities who now call Southern California home.

Kim explains that the message in a flock of birds moving together towards a common goal—seeking a new home, settling in, and finding resources for survival—is universally felt. Through this common experience and undeniable history, we are connected. These shared experiences are the basis of the human condition.

Kim’s vision aligns seamlessly with the USC Pacific Asia Museum’s core mission to promote intercultural understanding in the service of elevating our shared sense of humanity. Through the amplification of local voices and narratives, this mural serves as a poignant testament to the diverse cultural legacies within the local AAPI community and affirms the museum’s steadfast commitment to them.

Bird Identification


Dave Young Kim (b. 1979) was born and raised in Los Angeles. He received a BFA in Studio Art from the University of California, Davis and an MFA in Studio Art from Mills College where he worked closely with renowned painter Hung Liu. Kim’s paintings engage with the intangible quality of home and explore themes of nostalgia, war, conflict, and displacement. By interpolating cultural motifs into personal and larger histories of struggle, Kim explores the unifying search for belonging across disparate conditions.


Funding for the mural was generously provided by Margaret Leong Checca, whose steadfast support for USC Pacific Asia Museum seems boundless. Leong Checca has served with great enthusiasm as board chair, interim executive director, and dedicated patron, guiding the museum through transitions and transformations. USC’s arts and humanities initiative Visions and Voices also provided funding for portions of the mural project and related programming.