Flourishing in the lag time
2018 Chingada Gallery - Portland, OR
The DMZ is a place where wildlife flourishes. This space has been touched by the hands of meaning. That meaning repels visitors, and those who enter tread cautiously. It is an elusive in-between space. And if you are there, you accept the terms that you don’t really know.
Although it is without order, it is not without structure.
Outside of that zone, there are objects that are defined as whole. The wholeness is defined by an order of heavenly decree: L’homme moyen. Stray too far and you don’t know what is up or down, a twig or a landmine, yourself or everything.
Flourishing in the lag time is a collection of cast objects that examines the means in which identity is created, defined, and perceived.
Following the armistice of the Korean War, Bbudae-jjigae is a stew that was created by the surplus food scrounged from US army bases in South Korea. Common ingredients included instant noodles, Spam, Vienne sausages, American cheese, kimchi, scallions, mushrooms, and tofu. Spam was considered a luxury food item because of how scarce meat was at the time. It is now as inextricable from Korean culture as American imperialism.
The simulation of objects reflect colonialism as recreating an original to an existing body. The result is an unsettling similarity, but a little different. As a departure from the modernist approach of form-follows-function, these objects reject bodies categorized to their function.
In this zone, objects contain complicated functions of instant, undefined, and disposable bodies.
2017 Furthermore Space - Portland, OR
Same same, but different is like using a simile to describe something.
It describes the futility in translation of meaning and how I relate to the world through objects of my experience. Objects that sit between us and reveal the same same, but know it will always be different. How much can I make same same same until it all doesn’t mean anything at all?
By mining common and historical objects, I push my identity outside of colonizing methodologies that impose a priority of originality, completeness, and orientation. Through the misuse of plaster molds and castration of function, these objects capture the identity of the object in flux. Without same same, we have curt definitions of what is without ambiguity. I deconstruct the world where things are categorized into neat boxes. The world where we know exactly how much to pay for heritage, humanity, and heaven.
Horns of the rock altar
Through the generous support from the Nat Turner Project, this installation was in the 3rd Floor bathroom at the Falcon Building of PNCA.
“I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits” – Annie Dillard
By tweaking expected function through materiality, Horns of the rock altar meditates on the parasites that exist in our sacred spaces. Sacred sites are ubiquitously demarcated by nested precincts of increasingly private grounds. A place for private contemplation held within a private institution; its points of access are key card, security guard, elevator, and an unlocked door. The hallmarks of intimacy.
As a maker and consumer I fill these spaces with objects; parasitic objects that close the loop of consumption and waste that divert water like a pipe. Objects that question the edges between myself and the parasites in our sacred grounds.
Photos: Mario Gallucci
As a reflection on the loss of identity in the fecundity of insects, this installation consists of objects that relate to each other and the viewer through the act of gazing and being watched. The holes at the top of the slip cast tops act like eyes that gaze upon the viewer. The mirrors are arranged to reflect the tops and to leave out the reflection of the viewer's eyes. The three mirrors have three panels, reflecting the Pixel Totem #1 in the corner, which is made of three sets of three panels that making three squares. The center hole of Pixel Totem #1 gazes at the viewer.
Hidden in the reflections of the three mirrors are 3 Asian men that refer the image as object: Lee Ufan of the Mono-Ha movement, Ken Watanabe as the actor who play the decoy of R’as Al Ghul in Batman Begins, and Kien Shih who played the villain in Enter the Dragon.
In “Banana Stand,” I explore the metaphor of the banana as an object.
Bananas being yellow on the outside and white on the inside has been used to describe a westernized Asian losing touch with their cultural heritage. AsianAmericans have been called the “model minority” because they have adopted white american culture.
As an eraser, it's a reflection on the deterioration of the form as it erases mistakes. As a rubber banana, I discover the joy of throwing it against a wall. What is the resistance of black graphite being erased on white paper? Why do I allow meaningless constructs it bear meaning to my identity? How do I get graphite off of everything I own now?
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