"Mapping of Memory"
Solomon Dubnick Gallery, Sacramento, CA.
My work is always a search for a visual lingua franca with which I can clearly
communicate to the viewers some very basic notions concerning life. In these
new works I have created visual metaphors for the way memories are filtered,
rearranged, or even fabricated. Even though some of the obvious (or obscured)
markings may or may not be familiar, my hope is that the viewer will recognize
something of her or his own experience of remembering, perhaps at a more abstract,
nonverbal level of awareness.
There are three interrelated series. The Map of Memory and Foot Journey series
employ grids and sky atlases, which can be read as mental maps for locating
the past, the new, and the unknown. The drawings in these two series are based
on the human body parts that signify freedom: the foot and the brain.
The Book of Zero series explores the mathematical and philosophical concept
of zero. It consists of forty-nine parts, each of which reiterates the image
of a circle, a zero. The zero symbolizes both nothingness and the primal energy
of everything. Behind each zero, there are multiple layers of hidden words,
chiseled marks, and obscured collaged images that represent the historical
tapestry of memory. The encaustic medium I use imparts an opaque interior
luminosity that also alludes to memory. Some of the collage elements are personal
- directly borrowed from my father's daily calligraphy work.
From Yellow River to Golden River is based on the interpretations of the concept
of river as a primal element for nurturing cultures and the evolution of their
societies. Each river possesses its uniqueness; all rivers serve humankind
and connect us to other places. These works are celebrations of my Chinese
ancestors' perseverance. Both Yellow River and Gold River are concepts profoundly
intertwined within my own origin and identity, but the river is also a symbol
of commonalties that transcend ethnic barriers.