this series began back when i was living in taipei, taiwan around 2008. one day, i noticed these floating cotton-like things all over the city. upon closer examination, it’s embedded with seeds inside. i ran all over town to collect them. while in portland, oregon, i began to collect more and more seeds as i walk about town and country. eventually, i was able to figure out how to incorporate them into my paintings! the title of this series is peripheral, because, these seeds each have the potential to become another plant, but it’s often considered weed or trash, crushed. in a way, it’s also like my own little seed bank. i embellish the box so one day, even if the seeds have disappeared, the memory is still there. the titles are based on the location these seeds are found.
this is a project i’ve begun in the spring of 2010, the 1st few paintings’ color choices were inspired by colors of soda packaging that we c everywhere. this is a series based on squares, the idea of movement inside a square stage. this series will have variation in size from 6”x6” (approx size of my hand) to 6’x 6’ (what my dream height is). after much thought and talk-over, the series is finally aptly named “cell” after the idea that cells r self-contained but also expands and grows. the smaller of this set of paintings are painted with single element from the typical full patterns. then as the single-cell grows and mutate, they form patterns.
i’ve always been fascinated by the idea of waste. things that r man-made had its uses n then tossed out. the flyers that we c floating around like trash after its past its usefulness. the candy wrapper that once wrapped around the precious sweetness is now a pc of trash for the landfill. i’ve done installation pcs where my partner n i collected discarded leaves from all over town, but in the end, it’s also tossed back into the landfill when the install was over.
in 2006, i was living in taipei at the time, i noticed that these white cottony things were flying all over my neighborhood. it turned out, they exploded from the tree pods nearby, carrying within the cotton r the seeds from the tree. i stopped my bike n began collecting them, running thru traffic of scooters, bikes, pedestrians. it was a full bag of tree lint that i had collected over the next few days. the original plan was to keep the lint n place it inside a shadow box frame. i sorted out all the seeds from the lint but it wasn’t until 2010 that i actually did something with these tree lints.
this past couple of yrs, i’ve picked up all kinds of seed pods from all sorts of plants. in urban setting, these seeds that carries the hope and dreams of nature became part of the human waste. this spring, i began collecting them in large quantities, not knowing what i was to do with them. then, i realized, my painted lines and the pods make perfect partners. i hope by collecting the seed pods, i can share with the viewers their beauty n ingenious methods of transporting themselves.
i often get distracted by things around me n forget to spend more time in my studio (or i’m traveling elsewhere…) which is why to this day, my square painting series r nowhere near done! this week, i promised myself i’d try to do 1 drawing per day, unless i’m in studio, like a drawing diary. no matter if my hands r not steady that day, or i’m just drawing badly, i’m going to do it. i’m keeping it also in squares.
a friend in france looked at my drawings and said they reminded him of l’arabesque, the arabic style calligraphy. what i find interesting is that “arabesque” is also a position in dance, bringing together my influences quite nicely. this page r more of the arabesque in painted form. they take much much longer than the drawings to do and r scaled up much larger than the drawings.
2010 drawings: shown in sopa gallery (s. pasadena)
i’m separating these drawings from the rest becuz they were part of a group show in south pasadena, where i’m a member of the small independent SOPA gallery. When i moved to portland, oregon btwn 2009-2012, my lines have lengthened. perhaps it’s the influence i feel from the environment there? it’s is the “details,” u c when u focus in or (zoom in) on the lines of the leaves or tree trunks. Oregon is such a green state with lots of wide open spaces and tall trees. Even the ppl here seemed taller. The lines I drew here simply went along with the ways things were. The pace of life here vs taipei is nearly opposites, so i slowed down and took lots of walks there and took notice of the small details in nature all around me.
i hv always been fascinated by the idea of beeswax (encaustics)… it is the oldest medium in easel (portable) painting, even b4 oils, etc. it was not a very efficient process because one needs constant heat in the the process of painting, so the art has been lost for quite some time. due to modern technologies, artists have began exploring this method again since the 70s but gained most popularity in the 90s til now, esp in the NW regions. i started learning how to use this medium as well n find its textural quality to b totally fascinating. here r just a few beginning pcs…