Some pictures of the installation from below. Also here's a write up of the MA show from UCLan's press office.
Contextual statement Until recently, the process of ruminating on my own conflicted cultural heritage has driven my creative work. The mirror of introspection, however, reflects back at me the faces of those whose paths serendipitously have crossed mine: of those with whom I have shared experiences and forged relationships. This offers a point of departure for new work. This piece is built up of floating characters that make up the poem Xiangsi (Remembrance) by Wang Wei, which can be translated thus: “The red berries grow in the south, where you live. They flourish on the branches when spring comes. I only hope you will gather an armful and think of me and of the fond love and remembrance they express.” The red berries in the poem symbolise platonic love and are also known as the seeds of memories. When I was very young, this was one of the most popular of the 300 Tang Dynasty poems and the one, as a small child, I remembered most vividly because of the simple emblem of the red berry. This symbol has remained lodged in my consciousness ever since as though it would one day serve a purpose. The characters are suspended, floating in a seemingly random but ultimately readable order, and echo the impermanence and rootlessness of my life’s course so far. The books are delicate and their bindings fragile yet very durable, signifying lasting personal connections evolved from trepidatious beginnings. The script printed on the books’ pages represents a detailed textual analysis of Wang Wei’s writing which I undertook in order to better understand the ancient poem which had lain dormant in my mind since childhood. The fading ink connotes the dissolving memories of my home and my past which I have tried to recapture through the meditative process of my lithographic work. And so I have printed and overprinted the textual analysis of Wang Wei’s poem by way of reinforcing its meaning, ensuring remembrance. Through similar effort, I believe the new relationships I have forged in my life will stay with me. I will not, through lack of attention, allow them to fade. The chair, which is an amalgam of East and West, old and new, invites the viewer to sit and contemplate the piece and the disparate cultures and histories which have influenced my work, just as it represents the strangers who have stayed a while and become friends. The final character of the poem means to think, to consider or reflect. It is suspended by a single red ribbon signifying the red berries of remembrance. I have used this red ribbon to symbolise fate and the notion that there is an invisible thread that connects the people I was destined to meet. Every contact leaves a trace. Those of you who view this piece, who take the time to sit and ponder, I invite you to untie a black ribbon and take away with you one character from the poem. In doing so, you will take a piece of me with you and I hope that when you see this book again in the future you will remember this moment and my book of memories.Blanked out the windows with tracing paper. Chair with the poem on. Private view when many books have been taken. ----- Contextual report. Link to our tumblr.
I went on a 10 day artist's residency to Kurt Schwitters's Merz Barn in Elterwater, Cumbria with people from my MA course. It was interesting. We chopped our own firewood, so that was new to me. Merz barn. One of the cottage there. The resident rooster with a rabbit. Beautiful Elterwater. ----- Works done in Merz barn: We did a group installation in the cake room of Merz Barn. There were a lot of dry wood and logs, so we sawed a bunch of them and baked cupcakes and put them on top. When there were visitors, we made tea and coffee for them while they toured around the barn. -- There's a stream that flows through the land in Merz Barn and me and a couple other girls made a bunch of paper boats to flow them down the stream. We filmed the boats and took lots of photographs, here's a selected few. Haven't processed all of them yet. Little boat traveling... Into the boats graveyard. -- Brought portable printmaking supplies, did lino while I was there. It's just easier. Since there were a lot of moss there, I made moss paper out of moss and newspaper pulp! That's why they are so grey and as for why they are round... I had to use a strainer like so: Close up. I wanted to make use of local resources, so I got some rocks and made a merz book out of it. Again, using local resources, this book is made out of the handmade moss paper with some lino prints. Turkish map fold merz book. Back. Opening. Completely open. Side view. Close up side view. How it's made: Printed then folded. Printed the back as well. Glue drying. Another thing I did is making moss paint with moss and buttermilk to make a graffiti like form play. Technically, you're suppose to maintain it for couple of weeks to make sure the moss grabbed on and will continue to live on the wall but we didn't have enough time, I hope it's still there. The wall with the moss growing paintbrush on the right. Close up. More close up.
I wanted to make a book that I can keep as a physical reminder of what I had that was lost, mainly of my childhood. The house I grew up in in Taiwan had distinctive heavy wooden doors, I remember as a kid, I hated opening those doors to go home because they were just too heavy for a kid. However, those were the doors that opened up to a family, a place to rest and sheltered us in our house. We also have these traditions in Taiwan and China where we burn paper money or paper houses for the deceased so they can carry those things with them into their afterlife, while I do not necessarily think this piece is my offering for the dead but more so an offering for what I have lost and like I said, a physical reminder of what was once there. There are images printed on top of the paper in white ink further gives the feeling of what was once there and it's all fading. It is really difficult to photograph the white on white but in some areas you can see more than the others. That's the book in the sleeve. Coming out of the sleeve. You can kind of see the images on there, just barely. Close up. More close up, you can kind of see the texts here. This is my colophon page with title, technical specs and a white pencil mark of the edition number. There's also edition number and my signature on the back of the sleeve, also in white. Each panel has Japanese paper glued on the back that alludes to the traditional Asian doors but not quite it. Book information: Title: Home 10/22 Date created: April 2013 Technical specs: White lithographic ink on fabriano rosapina with Japanese paper (gampi paper) Dimensions: 6cm x 15cm x 1cm Edition of 10. Availability: Sold out