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Medium: plastic rice sacks, plastic name badges, newspaper clippings, acrylic, rubber stamp
Kearny Street Workshop, San Francisco, California, 2006
This site-specific installation was created at the Kearny Street Workshop (San Francisco), the oldest multidisciplinary Asian Pacific American arts organization in the United States. Two hundred rice sacks, painted in red covered one wall. On every rice sack, a plastic name badge is mounted in the center. Newspaper clippings from Chinese/English newspapers and junk mail were absent-mindedly cut out, and carefully inserted into the plastic badges. The other wall is largely white with the Chinese character of “home” rubber-stamped in the middle to form a horizontally thin long trail from one end of the hallway to the other. Each character is sightly different–some are complete characters, yet others are missing strokes. The string of characters resembles a trail of marching ants, busy foraging for food.
This installation explores the structure and transformation of the nomadic nature of an immigrant life. What is the role society has in shaping a sense of a home for an individual, and how is this sense of security swayed as the political and social climate shift? In this work, I attempt to communicate an almost incommunicable irruption situated between the sense of deprivation and rootlessness, and between longing and reality.