59 Wareham Street, Floor 5
Stories are everywhere. I love to collect stories. With the stories I collect, I transform them into new stories, either through my art or through my writing.
My work is about memory and how memory transforms the stories I tell through my work. When we look back on a memory and inspect it closely, we can remember details that we may have missed in the moment of the actual happening. We can also infuse the memory with our desire for how that moment ought to have transpired, thus altering the story. With the distance memory gives us, we have the freedom to shift the focus of the incident and have the ability to play with perspective and the negative space that surrounds the main focus. Thus, my work become spaces where I can capture and sustain those moments of emotion and movement that are gone after the moment has passed.
Perhaps because I grew up watching children on the streets of Nairobi transforming metal cans into toy cars or rolling up plastic bags and twine into soccer balls, I am constantly drawn to transforming rejected materials into something new. I have also tried over the years to merge my art and my writing, the two processes always complimentary, yet running parallel in my life, refusing to come together.
It is through paper-mache that I have been able to fuse the writing and the art and to transform my rejected materials into something new. Over many years of writing, I had accumulated stacks of manuscripts. Rather than throwing them out, I began tearing them into strips and forming them into shapes through paper-mache. The manuscripts that I had rejected to be edited and corrected were reborn, here into birds, to tell a new story. I find the repetitive process of creating multiple birds meditative and healing. Each piece is created as an individual sculpture that is part of a larger installation.
When I was six years old, my family moved from Seoul, S. Korea, to Nairobi, Kenya. It was then that I first learned the value of creating images and connecting with people through art. When one loses the ability to communicate with words, images become so much more important and valuable. While that time in my life where verbal communication was almost nonexistent was short, it left a lasting impression on me. I received my MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently live in Boston, MA.