Over the last two years, we have encountered several important and critical events including the global pandemic, Black Life Matters and social justice. I have felt anxious about the current situation and uncertainty towards the future. This new series of work in charcoal and ink expresses my concerns and desires for equity and unity during this difficult time.
The inspiration for this series came from my pandemic lock-down life which has created physical and psychological challenges for individuals and families. I continue using longhair in figurative and portraiture formats to record growth and change over time as well as commenting on experiences associated with these events. During the quarantine, many people have let their hair and beard grow long enough to serve as masks or wrapped as scarfs. To me, this hairdo has become a new pandemic icon. The title of drawing “Distant Connection” not only refers to the current need for social distance, but also addresses the importance of connections such as in many virtual ways like tree roots and the relationships between lovers and families.
My meditation practice also influences my work. Meditation helps me focus and readjust to this surreal experience. It allows me to “Reset” and find a balance between life’s highs and lows. In addition, the revolutionary movements and demonstrations for social justice, such as Black Lives Matter movement, reminded me of the iconic Chinese revolutionary imagery of the upraised fist which I used to express my “solidarity” with BLM. The most recent charcoal drawings of barbed wired hair and fence are my extended ideas on border and immigration control in the US.
HAW CONTEMPORARY STOCKYARDS