On Belonging: The Space In Between, 2021
Triptych // Dimensions Variable // Soil from the borderlines of states crossed between California to Virginia, porcelain, candied brown sugar, raw brown sugar, photographs, sod, celosia, oxygen, light, care // 2021. Photos courtesy of Second Street Gallery. Photos taken by Stacey Evans.
On Belonging: The Space In Between punctuates the importance of place, belonging, and care by excavating the hidden histories embedded in the land as a means of regeneration, possibility, and growth. The artist builds installations that pay homage to the interconnected histories in the soil and land from which they are created, in order to explore the dual nature of flight and migration as a means of survival and self-preservation, speaking particularly to diasporic resilience.
As a second-generation Afro-Asian woman who recently relocated from the East to the West coast, she relates personally to the dislocation and unfamiliarity of the self as connected to any one particular place or history. She delves into the nature and complexity of her blackness by addressing ideas of cultural hybridity and visibility.
Pushing away from colonized notions of land as possession or indigeneity, the artist explores the processes of movement as a practice black and brown people have used to conceptualize place, belonging, and cohabitation. Through our relationship with the Earth, this dislocation can be nurtured, as migration refuses hierarchies of possession and ecology. The ephemeral and transformative nature of these sculptures confronts temporality as outside of linear chronology, to assert that rest, regeneration, and cultivation are titular to progression.
In relation to core samples as the root of the Earth, the layers of the soil slabs and stratification of the sugar represent the components of the histories and shared experiences that our society is built upon. The artist juxtaposes a myriad of imagery within her work--historical, personal, and current-day events--to relate not only the hybridity which manifests in many different cultures and histories, but also the similarities of past and present societal structures such as the plantation system, sports, capitalism, patriarchy, commodification, and labor. The proximity of this imagery draws micro- and macro-parallels in the cyclical effect of the personal, relating to and affecting the larger world experience. The artist grew celosia from seedlings and embedded them into the soil, positioned in a place where they were subject to failure due to the lack of sunlight.