Integrating painting, traditional craft and digital media, my work is about the invisible boundaries and relationships between culture, architecture and individuals’ perception. Two experiences have shaped my work greatly - immigration and motherhood. I am interested in ways in which we move through public spaces, create domestic rituals, construct personal space, and establish intimate connections influenced by history and culture. The resulting work is a kind of ‘fractal geometry of human experience’.
I am currently interested in how strangeness is born out of belonging in domesticity and nationalism. The concepts of the threshold, marriage, hospitality, and attachment to cultural identity are considered in my work, which include paintings, installations and interactive performance. I am developing new works as a series of physical encounters/ sessions/ mini-rituals. Together, the works form a collection of public intimate memories.
In 2005-07, I worked on a research project and a series of paintings that traced the links between the utopia of Soviet Constructivists, and the iconic glass skyscraper of the capitalist architecture, with direct connections between works of Melnikov, El LIssitsky, Mies Van Der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright. The paintings preserve the loneliness within the buildings based on the socialist ideals of organizing life, utility and minimalism. The promised equality and openness, transparency and lack of historical reference uproots individuals and displaces them out of any cultural alliance, thus ideology becomes a unifying force and direction. How does this socialist context affect interrelation between individuals, and what emotions and memories do these buildings contain?
I further became interested in how ones’ identity is formed based on alliance with groups, nations, fads, and ideas. How is this identity formed through artifacts, fabric and rituals? How do these alliances create an exclusionary culture?
Belonging feels so innate, it shapes the contours of our lives, but it is not neutral and it is belonging that creates strangeness. I am interested in creating an open narrative through immersive performance that challenges feelings of comfort and familiarity and provokes intimate connections with others without language.
When does one seize to be a stranger and becomes one with a group, a movement, or an ideology? Who benefits in this process and what aspects of the self are lost? And why one yearns to feel as a stranger all over again as is seen in the mass popularity of travel and tourism and attraction to exotic cultures?