“Water is precious and sacred…it is one of the basic elements needed for all life to exist.”
Anishinawbe grandmother, Josephine Mandamin who has walked around the Great Lakes, has said “As women, we are carriers of the water. We carry life for the people. So when we carry that water, we are telling people that we will go any lengths for the water.”
In “Between In and Yeon”, the body returns to the earth and emerges from it. The earth and body are separate and one at the same time. I imagine that my body, like a seed has been planted in the soil of life. The body waits quietly underneath the soil till it emerges from the surface. It will grow and endure, celebrate and struggle, until it returns back to the earth.
Hand-coiled paper (jiseung) is a traditional Korean technique that I learned several years ago during my trip to Korea. In this installation work, I immersed myself in the time consuming and meditative aspects of cutting thin strips of paper, coiling one at a time, and gluing one coil next to another to build the sinuous terrain. The work is a result of one year and 50 yards of paper.
The Villa Terrace Decorative Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI 2015
media: hand-coiled mulberry paper
variable dimension (6 ft x 13 ft)
installation view, Villa Terrace Decorative Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI2015
hand-coiled mulberry paper, 2015
between in and yeon
In “Between In and Yeon” I have beenexamining the concept of “Inyeon (因緣)”, which is one of the most fundamental concepts in Buddhism. In means “cause” and Yeon means “effect”. It refers to the view that everything in life is interdependent and interconnected.
A seed is a good example to demonstrate this relationship. A fate of a seed, which has its pre-determined property (In), is dependent on the external environment - soil condition, climate (Yeon). Much like a seed, our human life is interdependent -your own DNA, familial situation, geographical environment, life situations influence and shape our sense of being. We undergo the continuous change throughout our lifetime, both physically and emotionally; our sense of self is being shaped and re-shaped as we negotiate between fate and will, and push and pull.
between in and yeon-2
drypoint, lithograph, relief, coiled paper
In the Earthbody series, I address my on-going investigation of the rootedness/ the rootlessness; staying connected and wanting to break away; tension and resolution. The use of the human figure serves as a container of memories and history of time, continually shaping and re-shaping one’s identity. The plant form suggests growth and change, but it is also inspired by the interior of the body, and its complex intersections of tissue and blood vessels. The images bring about an element of hope, stemming from a sense of a resolve, and invite a moment of reflection.
I used digital photopolymer intaglio process, which is one of the newest technologies in intaglio printmaking, combined with more traditional etching technique for the hand-generated marks. Altering the photographic image of myself by scraping, cutting and adding, the image “becomes” the witness of the time and action.
I am attracted to the fragility and its resilience of hanji (Korean mulberry paper). During my trip to Korea in 2010, I learned the traditional paper coiling technique, called Jiseung, from a master artisan, Kim Hyemija. Upon returning, I spent countless hours coiling thin strips of Korean mulberry paper and began constructing human body parts one string at a time. When the paper is coiled, it becomes strong. I have found myself extremely engaged in this very slow and meticulous coiling process and I am drawn to its meditative and humble experience. The figurative forms that I make with the coils reference what is underneath the skin. The coiled surface reminds me of the veins of leaves or the rings of a tree trunk. Through acceptance and sustenance, we form our sense of belongs.
hand coiled mulberry paper, relief
“Sympathetic Fibers”, filled with hundreds of delicate marks, the large-scale prints are suggestive of internal bodily systems. I refer to sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for sustaining a balance of body functions under stress and keeping its vital operations in order. The prints reflect on family, body, bodily tissues, growth and my connection to nature.