“The Truth Has No Borders” is a multimedia piece that integrates 40 years of writing, photography, music, film, and art into a single cohesive, immersive installation.
It was originally created to exhibit in a shipping container for COCA’s 30-day Storefronts [UN]contained Residency in 2016. Lately, I’ve been feeling the need to revisit this project, and fully realize my vision. But I’ve been struggling with how to convey the impact of this piece in grant/exhibition applications.
I shot this test video on-site when I only had the first two layers of paper panels up (I wanted to see how the projection & sound worked in the space.) The final installation had 7 layers of paper panels. But my dream is to FILL the room with floor-to-ceiling encaustic paper panels — a layered paper screen embedded with images of my Mom’s Korean family, that are illuminated by the projected moving imagery of my Dad’s Chagga family on Kilimanjaro.
When I brought this dilemma to Larry Calkins, he suggested building a model of the project to film. Brilliant!! And so my diorama project begins…(projection and sound to follow).
With my title banner done, and the first “layer” of paper panels with family image transfers complete, I went to the shipping container today to do a quick install. I took this short 30 second video with my phone to capture the look and feel of the piece.
I also wanted to test the sound. I will not be playing the audio from my movie. Instead, I will be playing field recordings I gathered while filming on Mt. Kilimanjaro. I have 2+ hours of Chagga women elders singing the work songs they would traditionally sing to keep their energy and spirits up. I have slowed the track down, and added a slight reverb that plays beautifully in the shipping container.
It’s so exciting to see this piece coming together!! I can’t wait to see how this space feels when I add more layers of paper to give a feeling of depth extending all the way to the back of this cavernous shipping container. The layers of paper panels are not meant to be an actual screen for viewing the film — but rather, a surface to be illuminated with color and light. The moving images of my family on Mt Kilimanjaro will illuminate the Korean side of my family, extending back generations, embedded in the paper. I have lots of paper panels awaiting image transfers…but at least the way forward is clear. It’s just work. I know I can do that.
Going thru so many family photos today, feeling profoundly still and in the flow, cracked wide open, and aware of how intertwined love and grief are for me in this moment. Really feeling the beauty and depth and value that age brings as I reflect on the complexities of our real lived lives. looking deeply into the faces of those who came before, I can see the indelible imprint of their love in Lucia’s being. Been crying on and off all day, feeling so very grateful for these creative openings….
Title banner is fused and curing. Mapped the final layout. And now, with my plan in place, it’s now a full on sprint to the finish line. 9 days to go…
Today was Photo Day – tracking down, doctoring, and printing out images of the Korean side of my family. The images in the final show won’t be this crisp. They’ll be faded, broken up, washed out, imperfect…just like our memories.
End of day: First image transfer done (my grandfather), many more family photos to go…
After a week of hacking and wheezing, I’m happy to be back in the studio for a full day of making art. Lots of catching up to do. Today I’m making the title banner for my show — using the letters cut from my journal pages. Still have a full night of fusing ahead of me…
I’ve been laid up with a hacking cough all week. But I finally made it out to the container for a quick projection test. Total Success!!! The fact that this worked, and that it looked as good as it did in my mind, is such a rush!! 🙂 I’m bringing back all my materials so I can continue working in the comfort of my own home…
Today in the shipping container, I had a photo shoot for some upcoming press about the residency. I hung some freshly waxed papers for the backdrop, and fired up some wax to lay down the final layers on my Morning Meditation panel. Many thanks to Anthony Bolante for snapping some extra pics on my cell phone 🙂
For 40 years, journal writing has been my key to unlocking my story. I write to explore the stories I’ve inherited about who I am and where I come from, and to examine the stories I am passing down to my kid.
This journal writing has also served as my gateway to art. When stories surface in my pages, I figure out the best medium to express these emerging stories, I immerse myself in learning a new creative language — film to explore Dad’s side of the family, encaustic mixed media for Mom’s side.
So today, I pulled out 40 years of journals, and then took a stencil and paper cutter to the pages to carve out the letters for my title banner…
Technically, this is Day 3 of my Residency.
Day 1 was the key hand off/orientation day.
Day 2 was a crazy shopping spree–Harbor Freight, Lowes, Michaels, BedBathBeyond, DanielSmith, DickBlicks.
Today is moving day. Relocating to a shipping container downtown is hard when you have a cozy home studio. It’s not plush, or decked out for comfort. It is an actual shipping container, complete with dust and cobwebs. I have the combo for the Honey Bucket on the fenced in premises, should the need arise. Otherwise, everything you see here in the photo–this is it. But I am excited to have the time and the space to really push myself creatively. The final installation will visually combine my film, music, art and activism — for the first time ever.
By the end of the day, I waxed and fused my first round of decorative papers. I wanted to see how the encaustic medium would affect the translucency of the paper, and how delicate/sturdy the papers would be, since they would be hanging on their own (not backed by wooden panel.)