About the Artist: My grandparents fled communist China with my father when he was 13. They made it safely to the island of Taiwan where they found stability and opportunity. My father wanted a similar opportunity for me (minus the escape from communism). So, at the age of twelve, I immigrated to the United States in pursuit of the American dream. California received me with open arms and I assimilated eagerly.
Learning a new language while the culture was thrust in front of me meant I was operating with a limited understanding of my new world–literally one word at a time. This painfully slow learning process dominated perhaps the fastest period of change in my life, and created an instinctive tendency to see things in fragmented parts before I could understand the big picture. In a similar fashion, my creative process relies on a conditioned need for repetitive attention in order to abstract meaning from a world experienced as a whole.
Wedging clay, shaping the wall of a cylinder, or constructing a kiln brick by brick. These creative process closely parallel my experience of piecing a new vocabulary together in a new environment. Similarly, in my current work I construct multiple evolving tetrahedrons with hundreds of toothpicks into an installation to study time and space.
Installation, as a way to carve space as a sculpture, is an exciting and investigative process. The individual objects within the installation formally reference the DNA and seashells. Morphing into each other through space implies a subtle theme of identity reacting to changes in a new environment. I imagine abstractions of our own identity carving through a space and captured in a time. Each singular sculptures represent a segment of the evolution that the identity is going through; like a single frame taken from a roll of film. In this analogy, a single snapshot is like the individual objects, the roll of film is like the group of objects together, walking through the installation space is like shooting a short film. A possible version of this short film might tell a human story; that at the core humans are machines built to carry and replicate our genes. We grow and develop new forms of shells in order to survive our environment, as we do so, our DNA survive us through the evolution in our environment.
The process of growth and change is a paradox that has become a dominating theme in my life. Through this process we experience excitement, wonder, and perhaps subtle insecurities of humanity. Awareness of how our environment shapes us, particularly the connections and tension between people and things reacting to their surroundings, often reveals core characteristics we share regarding who and what we really are.