My body of work re-evaluates childhood memories and familial relationships as an adult. These works act as a kind of “reunion” of sorts for me to these past relationships. I am inspired by Chinese paper cuts that were not only used for decorative purposes, but were also used to express one’s hopes and wishes for the upcoming year. The circle composition is very popular for these paper cuts and is also why I’ve chosen the circular shape since it represents fulfillment and reunion.
I am also inspired by the Chinese Zodiac, a twelve year repeating cycle of animal signs. My family heavily believes in them, which has left a great impact on me. In this body of work, I’ve used the zodiac animal equivalent for all my family members and myself to illustrate the past memories I’ve had with them. I have also decided to depict all these memories among the natural world, as it’s been a space of comfort and safety for me since my childhood. As I recontextualize these memories, displaying them through the means of flora and fauna makes it a more comforting process.
The process of sketching and carving out the block allows me the time to walk through the specific memory I’ve decided to depict for that piece of linoleum. It helps me reconnect with whichever family members were involved in that memory but also makes me wish and hope for alternatives in that memory; what I wish could’ve happened instead or what could’ve been added to the memory to make it more of the way I had wished it had happened. These capsules of memories act as a way for me to move forward in accepting these past familial memories. Each work becomes a harmonious utopia that can never truly exist, made up of current thoughts and past memories that lead to a bittersweet feeling.