Artist’s book, scrolling book made of hand-dyed bedsheet, iron-on fabric prints, threads
12′ x 8′ x 8′ (installation)
Artist’s Book, handmade paper of clothes, threads, photo on mixed media paper
13″ x 13″ x 3″
(in the collection of UCF Special Collection)
Forest is an installation of scroll books, and it is my longing and nostalgia for my hometown, my loneliness of being away from the most familiar space. Homeland is the root of my identity, and it impacts me in many ways. I come from a small town that is surrounded by many blue and green mountains in China, waves of mountains. There are streams and rivers, sewing the town together. The place is slightly different than what I remembered after leaving my hometown for so many years. I intend to build a piece that contains my memories of my home and an expression of emotions to evoke my longing by experimenting with the materiality of the book.
The bedsheets are hand-dyed, trimmed, and assembled into scrolling book, and it becomes a forest made of aqua scroll books, a forest of faded memories, and a forest of moments crossing each other. The audience can walk through the books to share the memories recorded in the books. The different moments that happened on the pages are memories shifting unconsciously, like disconnection and forgetfulness. The use of Chinese and English in the text can create a dilution between the pieces. Allowing the audience to experience the narratives by crossing over the fragments and flashes from the falling scroll books to create their own visions of the storyline. The two languages are not direct translations, they are two individual storylines but in a similar mood. The Chinese viewers can read Chinese; the English audiences can read English and an additional story for people who are able to speak both languages. Hometown is an epitome of my life in China, it is more than just a location. Language deficiency has caused misunderstanding and miscommunication during learning English as my second language. I enjoy the pronunciation and different meanings of vocabularies and misspelling often create a new purpose for the words. This piece includes family, friends, the history of who I am, the foundation of a continued me. It is a group of things being familiar, a longing of belongings.
Revisiting my hometown after years, there is a familiar and unfamiliar, connection and disconnection, similarity and difference crossing over memories and reality. I have noticed that I am changing, the place is changing; I am developing, the place is developing at the same time. We change simultaneously and subconsciously, and I am relieved to see the development and improvement that is happening in my hometown and the growth of China. As the root of my identity, it continually strengthens and completes me as an individual.