Saturday, April 24, 2010

LA018 13

(Paper pulp, horse hair, Barbie dolls)
Inspired by the traditional Chinese fairytale about a woman’s transformation into the first silkworm, Barbie dolls are painted black and covered with paper pulp and horse hair to represent this metamorphosis. In rural China, where silk was cultivated, a silkmoth existed solely for human consumption. If it was allowed to live its full cycle, it would die immediately after pairing and eggs-laying. Otherwise, the cocoon would be boiled for the silk filament and the pupae eaten as protein. In some ways, the moth’s cycle of child-bearing and sacrifice and the lack of “self” and “choice” reminded me of how women used to live. Here, the Barbies are awakening and breaking out of their traditional mold.

The number thirteen purifies; it symbolizes the passage on to a higher level of existence, the eternal return. It is also representative of Mary.

LA017 From the Moment

(Mixed media on handmade paper)

Title taken from the lyrics of a song from Bob Dylan’s album “Time Out of Mind”. Perhaps time isn’t always relevant.

LA016 Winds of Change

(Mixed media on handmade paper)

Title taken from the lyrics of a song from Bob Dylan’s album “Time Out of Mind”

LA015 A Million Years

(Mixed media on handmade paper)

Title taken from the lyrics of a song from Bob Dylan’s album “Time Out of Mind”.

LA014 Lay Anode

(Mixed media on handmade paper)

Anode” was coined from the Greek word meaning ‘way up’. A sacrificial anode is one used in cathodic protection where, in order to protect other metallic components, it is dissolved. To me, love is the secular ‘way up’ – to achieve enlightenment.

LA013 La Mano

(Mixed media on handmade paper)

Had Mozart’s “Là ci darem la mano” running through my head. Somehow it reminded me of a Chinese poem written by Su Wu, a general in 100 B.C., to his wife before leaving for war.

LA012 The Cinnamon Tree

(Mixed media on handmade paper)

Incorporated into the image are Chinese symbols for “Moon Rabbit”. In Chinese/Buddhist mythology, there once was a rabbit who, because it could only gather grass and didn’t want to cheat/steal to collect food for a hungry old man, threw itself into the fire so the man could feed on its flesh. The old man turned out to be a god, who spared the rabbit and sent it to live on the moon, in the shade of a cinnamon tree that could never be felled. Coincidentally, there’s a similar Aztec legend about a self-sacrificing moon rabbit.

LA011 Yuánfèn

(Mixed media and silk on handmade mulberry paper)

The closest equivalent to the Chinese expression “Yuánfèn” is Carl Jung’s “Synchronicity”. It is the "binding force" that links two persons together in any relationship. A Chinese proverb says, “It takes hundreds of reincarnations to bring two persons to ride in the same boat; it takes a thousand aeons to bring two persons to share the same pillow.” In the painting, the square represents the four corners of the world, the circles - also pronounced the same in Chinese as "yuan" - symbolizes completion. The tapes that hold the panels together are the invisible ties that bind us together. That you are here, looking at this painting, reading this text, means there's "yuan" between us.

LA010 Unbound

(Mixed media on watercolor paper)

The text from Loteria (Mexican bingo) translates to “He who is born to be a flowerpot will never leave the corridor.” Unless we were born to be flowerpots or chained prisoners in Plato’s cave, there’s no reason for us to stay in a darkened chamber seeing only distorted realities.

LA009 Dulce de Lethe

(Mixed media on watercolor paper)

Alternate title: “Sweet Beginnings”. In Greek mythology, Lethe (Λήθη) was a river of Hades; also known as River of Unmindfulness, souls were made to drink from it before incarnation, so they would not remember their past lives. The image also represents Samsara, which is the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.

LA008 Why Not Us?

(Piñatas; Mixed media on watercolor paper)

A donkey and a horse both stripped of their frou-frou Piñatas coats. The writings are from the Heart Sutra, a Buddhist scripture which describes the liberation experienced by the God/dess of Mercy, while attaining prajna (wisdom).

LA007 El Corazon

(Mixed media on handmade paper)

Words taken from Loteria (Mexican bingo), the translation is “Don’t miss me, heart, for I will return in a truck.”

LA006 First and Last

(Mixed media on handmade paper)

Alpha and Omega. Lemon and Orange. Beginning and End.

LA005 On a Delay

(Mixed media on handmade paper)

I’ve been feeling like there’s something in motion and potentially chaotic in process, that I’m going to find the answer I’ve been searching for. While the question runs over and over in my head, this piece represents the restlessness of the wait.

LA004 Day Alone

(Mixed media on handmade paper)

I was alone in the studio when I made this...

LA003 The One

(Mixed media on handmade paper, embroidery thread)

The symbols of “Sun” and “Moon” in Chinese are incorporated into the image. They are also symbols associated with Our Lady of Guadalupe.

LA002 Seventeen

(media on handmade paper, embroidery thread)

The number represents Cosmos’ tendency to karmic liberation. It symbolizes the junction between the material world and the spiritual world, and is the rule of Balance.

LA001 Lady Aeon

(Mixed media on handmade paper)

Through the Chicago Artists' Coalition, I have been awarded a works on paper residency at the Merchandise Mart. It is my goal to begin and complete this new works on/with paper series during these 6 months.

This was the first of the series, inspired after one late night at work, and created the same day, Aeon: "eternity", "heaven", "the one", “Kalpa”… This first piece of the series of the same title dedicated to both Guan Yin (the Goddess of Mercy) and Our Lady of Guadalupe is about grace, mysteries, faith, hope, virtue, and the journey/process of love.