“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).
One painting, from start to finish, in 768 days…
This 24″x 24″ painting has undergone a surprising number of transformations before finally settling on the Broadstairs piece currently exhibiting at Northwest Encaustics. As one of the more epic #NoPanelLeftBehind pieces, I decided to trace Broadstairs back to its origins, and offer snapshots of its evolution over the past 2 years…
Most of my pieces begin with writing…whether it be part of a journal entry, passage from a book, lyric, poem. The base layers here also includes wood glue burn, yellow india ink, and several clear coats of encaustic medium.
School’s out, which means my studio assistant is on hand to scrape back the layers. Always happy to let the kid loose on my paintings. I consider this a good return on my investment.😉
My morning journal entry was all about how Everything is Connected. So I guess it should be no surprise that this would spill over into the studio…
Today is Scraping day. These wax scraps are SO beautiful!! They remind me of tulip petals. Trying to figure out how/where I can make use of these…
June 12, 2017
I found The Perfect home for those beautiful wax scrapings in another painting!!🤩 They work beautifully as beautiful blow-away tulip petals on this Self-Portrait piece I’m working on. It was just what this piece needed, an indication of how fleeting memories can be. I live for these Aha! moments…
WEATHERED & WORN
Of the 40+ paintings in my upcoming solo show, 25 are new and exhibiting for the first time.
Weathered and Worn will be part of West Seattle Art Walk in May and June.
The exhibit will be up through the month of June.
7150 44th Ave SW., Seattle 98136
MAY 9, 2019
JUNE 13, 2019
Artist Statement (excerpt)
…This body of work hangs together loosely. To me, they are more about the process, the journey of becoming. They evoke the layered narratives that we all carry—as individuals in this present moment, and as the embodiment of our ancestors’ stories spanning generations and continents. They represent new directions I am taking as an artist — using mark-making, texture, cold wax medium and organic materials to tell a story. Some of these pieces came into being fully-formed. Some were labors of love, with 2 or 3 completely different paintings existing beneath the surface.
While I am excited to share these paintings in their current incarnations, some of them will be radically transformed – melted, scraped down, carved into, painted over—when they return to my studio. But as a lover of process, I believe that even our work-in-progress selves deserve an occasional spotlight…to be seen, witnessed and considered in our current state of being…and becoming.
Backstory: Couple months ago, a friend invited me to create a piece for a project she’s working on about dimensional wax pieces. While most of my encaustic paintings are textured and could be considered “dimensional,” I really wanted to push myself to get off the wood panel and see what I could create in 3D space. She asked for a piece that reflected the themes of cultural inheritance and legacy I explored in my film, A Lot Like You.
This prompt reminded me that in April 2018, I pulled out the transcripts of family stories I collected for my film — and, with no clear end goal in mind, I started cutting up and inking the shredded transcripts…trusting that they would some day find their way into a piece…
FAST FORWARD TO 2019…
I made this short video about the “source material” for these paper chains – shredded transcripts of the family stories I gathered while filming on Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2003.
Backstory: Twenty years ago, I was reeling from the upheaval of my Saturn returns. So I rented a beach cabin and spent 4 days in silent meditation, writing about what values I wanted to guide my life choices.
I came away from that retreat having whittled my list down to nine values…values that my spirit animal exemplifies. I got a tattoo of 9elephants as a reminder of the Being I aspired to be.
The theme of 9elephants has since informed my activism and filmmaking. It’s the name of my production company. These values formed the cornerstone of our wedding vows 16 years ago, and the foundation of my parenting principles 11 years ago. And so I suppose it was just a matter of time before this recurring theme manifested in art form…
Every painting has an origin story. My initial vision for this blog was to show the evolution of pieces, from start to finish. (If I could, I would name my blog, “The Journey Is Everything.”) You can track the progress of all my pieces on my Instagram feed.
Here is the origin story of Shine On – my rusty sunflower piece, which has taken on many forms over the past year…
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…