Tulip Variant Respirator
4" x 6" x 4", 2022, Porcelain, cone 6 oxidation
As 2020 and 2021 have gone by, I’m left thinking about this past year and the intersection of the pandemic continuing with the development of multiple new variants of COVID-19 and the economy, seeded by greed. Looking at the U.S. economy and watching as Wall St. and billionaires, at the disposal of our most vulnerable people, have had their most profitable years. They continue to widen the wealth disparity into a deep chasm not seen since feudal and medieval times for the sake of synthetic profit.
A lesson in history is looking eerily similar and very relevant for our modern times, of the Dutch tulipomania in the 1600s and market collapse. These beautiful and highly sought-after tulip variants came from a virus called a tulip breaking virus, or lily streak virus, which made these bulbs wither and fade much faster than unaffected bulbs. For context, at the height of tulipomania- a single bulb could cost over 21x the yearly average wage for a carpenter. The Semper Augustus was one of the most expensive tulip bulbs recorded, displaying beautiful deep red striking in the white petals. All of this continues despite forewarnings of a major economic bubble as continuation from the 2008 crisis and soon, economic and ecological collapse.
4"x6"x4", 2020, Porcelain
Over 735 miles from California and Oregon wildfires, Eastern Washington harboured the worst air quality on the planet at the end of summer. The smoke was undeniable and suffocating as the shroud of climate change became unveiled at home. This work explores the complex relationship between humans and our environment. Protesting broke out in Hong Kong, America, South America, and around the world as people were/are fighting for human rights and a chance for survival.
As pandemics, protests, and political instability occurs, this is my response to navigating hostile environments: by trying to purify and rejuvenate them.
I made this piece from sculpting porcelain to convey the fragility of the material as a metaphor for the delicacy of our relationship to our physical and social environment. I think it is important that my work is made by hand without molds. In each flower petal is the imprint of my palms, as human touch is needed in the process of reconstruction and symbiosis with nature. We are all linked together in this world through our environment, in such a way that transcends borders, nations, language, and ethnicity.
Applied Contemporary, Form and Function 2020, Oakland CA
7' x 10 'x 5", 2020, colored porcelain, fabric, wood, glass, gold leaf
In Reconstructed Reflections, I engage with the viewer's own identity, reflected in a reconstructed glass mirror, surrounded by symbolic Chinese and American flowers, bifurcated in the middle by East and West identities. Code switching between cultures and languages comes with a cost in navigating assimilation. This work highlights my relationship to my identity in an attempt to reconcile my multi-cultural background, undergoing and overcoming adversity.