Born in a rice paddy.
Growed in Texas.
Harvesting art by a Yankee moon.
Given this freedom to be who I choose, it is a process to identify my folk. It is not as easy as finding kin by their sameness in look. I search instead by the things people must create and perpetuate. I am finding my folk by their art and spectacle, their objects and ideas that beautifully, usefully confuse concepts of cultural distance and connection. Storytelling traditions and their gothic social mirrors call to me the loudest. I respond autobiographically as a visual artist.
My recent body of works on paper is indulgent in its increasing theatricality. It is out of my devotion to the illusion of seeing, and more critically, it is a celebration of how performance antagonizes the idealized authentic. As a whole my imagery is fluid and migrates with the events in my life. Metamorphosis and liminality are two main themes, conversant with other thoughts on how we view ourselves as both agents and products of our environments. But on an intimate scale, these moving parts and lighted stages that I make are for me to assert and populate a personal mythology. Their final performance is a passage, and in this way I find them extended from the sculptural, printmaking, or painting techniques that began them. Currently, I like to think of my work orchestrally, in that I am pursuing a composite aesthetic that incorporates prints, shadow puppetry, animation, collage, and original music.
I could have sprouted out of the ground from Southern China — that’s about all that anyone knows before I was adopted from Jiujiang and raised in the prairie oasis of Dallas, TX. As the daughter of a film photographer, I sympathized early with the need to frame the world in a soft and sinister Noir. It is upon these two foundations of my childhood, then, that I explain myself for my aesthetic:
My first flirtations with art were through printmaking and stop-motion animation. An introduction to woodcut and intaglio in high school led me to pursue a lithography-based printmaking major at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. While still in school the most impactful experience was in earning a travel scholarship which I used to study folk art and puppetry across Europe and the United Kingdom. After graduating from PAFA’ s Certificate Program in 2016, I took an additional year to complete my BFA at the University of Pennsylvania where I piqued my interests in Folklore, Anthropology, and Earth Science. Around this time my studio interests expanded to various folk rituals and theatrical traditions, and their role in social commentary. Seeking the time and community to explore these topics further for my art, I have since had the pleasure of participating in the Bread and Puppet Apprenticeship in 2018, and Officina Stamperia del Notaio’s studio residency in Sicily last summer. My ongoing series in collage theaters and animation focus on pushing my sculptural and performative tendenceis towards a unique multimedia expression.