Rightnowish: Vivian Xue Rahey and 'The Disneyland for Nails'

3 min
Vivian Xue Rahey, owner of Pamper Nail Gallery. (Pendarvis Harshaw/KQED)

The work of Pamper Nail Gallery owner Vivian Xue Rahey caught my attention a few months ago, when I saw an Instagram photo of someone's nails: on each finger were images depicting the transatlantic slave trade.

Like, how in the hell do you tell a story that deep on a canvas so small?

Vivian Xue Rahey, owner of Pamper Nail Gallery, displays her latest nail art.
Vivian Xue Rahey, owner of Pamper Nail Gallery, displays her latest nail art. (Pendarvis Harshaw)

When I asked a friend about Vivian's nail salon, she affirmed that it's one of the top places in the Bay Area to get your nails done. Since then, I've followed Pamper Nail Gallery's work, and I've seen elaborate nails with sea-glass flowers, Nickelodeon characters, aliens, ice cream cones—even Nipsey Hussle. A 2018 article referred to the shop as the "Disneyland for nails," and it's easy to see why.

I recently visited the shop in Fremont to talk with Vivian about working within the confines of nails to create high-end wearable artwork.

To hear all about it, click the link above.

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