When reduction is used to eliminate everything, a person becomes singular; what is left to exist is a vision of oneself alone. Solitary affects one’s coherence while it only gives the ability to hear. Abruptly this sense becomes intensified to such a level that it could equate to a superpower. What remains is only to hear and speak, which then denies the possibility of person and place. With vision masked, how does one’s realization begin to believe in what is concealed? -- Words. Words are chaotic because they can never be framed nor measured. Words are infectious because they live inside us and can spread from person to person. Words are mobile because we can have the ability to carry them within ourselves. Words are also flexible and strong because over time words regenerate and revive through transmission by another, which carries out their message as if designated runners to relay on and pass the baton to the next. Through continuous and receptive actions using spoken words, which eventually turn into a routine, the body begins to heat up till the point where consciousness can be revealed. These practices of action create what did not exist prior, like a light towards an obscure dark space uncovering what has been hidden.
My family is part of this movement of German Lutheran immigrants to Pennsylvania, whose religion, Lutheranism, is one of the largest branches of Protestantism and a word-based faith; therefore, my home never displayed any icon, which resulted in a boundless heavy impression of God on me. It is said that “seeing is believing”; however, when we contemplate belief as faith, we need to trust and obey the love for our devotion. To question the idea of belief with Lutheranism’s invisibility, and also with a touch of dark humor, I used the concept of Fraktur documents, which are the folk-art manuscripts of my home in Pennsylvania, USA, used to record births, deaths, marriages and baptisms.
While use of documents is implied through Fraktur folk-art, I am also exploring the thought of preservation on fragility, and furthermore asking what it means to hold on to something.
We keep all sorts of things; we dispose of others, especially what is seldom sustainable. Yet, why preserve what is already so delicate, if not to hold a cue from the one’s initial yearning?
Layers have been built up over time, wrapping around one another like a tree showing its growth rings. After firing what is left is an object so vulnerable and cold that cannot linger to exist unaccompanied. Encaustic paintings consisting of wax were used to maintain a painter’s brush strokes in the ancient era; with this impression and knowledge, I have introduced wax into the object not only to preserve it but also to provide it with a natural warmth.
I used four elements for the creation of these works: Ceramic, Wood, Wax and Felt. Ceramic can have a cold and hard feel to its touch, and when one puts the word “fragile” in their mind, the sound we can hear is easily imaginable. The role of wood is to give a primitive platform for these works, while wax is used for warmth and conservation and felt lining for insulation and quietness. The combination of these four elements together gives the reader of my works the sense of intimate silent study.