I am interested in the interplay between confusion and curiosity. I explore this relationship by striving to create dream-like images in my art pieces, most often using paint.
Dreams combine logical situations and ideas in a way that makes them illogical and confusing. For example, you could dream of being in your living room, and opening the door to find yourself suddenly in a supermarket. I want to recreate this sensation of both confusion and curiosity in my art work. I have attempted to do this by painting portraits with effects such as dripping paint or cut-out faces. I have also previously drawn images from dreams I have had. For my most recent pieces, I started by creating collages as a creative exercise. This allows me to play with layering, as well as with unusual proportions and pairings of subject matter. I then use this collage as inspiration or as a reference to create a painting.
I am constantly trying to understand how my personal experiences shape the way I view the world around me. Being mixed-race, multi-cultural and bilingual, I often struggle with the notion of my identity being “in-between”. Instead, I want to highlight the fact that I am a combination of many things; not a watered-down version of each ethnicity, but a person with a combination of multiple cultures and layers of identity. This is why I tend to focus on layers within my work— I believe it helps to convey how I understand my own mixed identity.
I am often inspired by the works of artists such as Joanne Nam, Audra Auclaire, and Ana Godis. Their ability to create faintly eerie scenes that seem directly out of dreams is what I aspire to have. I would like to combine their illustration like qualities with the painterly realism that I practice in order to create such scenes. I am also inspired by the creative storytelling in animated works such as “Over the Garden Wall”, “Adventure Time”, and movies by Studio Ghibli. These animations combine a cute and quirky drawing style with uncanny tales. This feeling of a familiar, pleasing style merged with a strange subject matter creates a dream-like quality as well. These artworks prompt me to consider creating scenes that look like they are from fantasy stories.
My undergraduate career has been full of experimenting and finding what inspires me most. In the future, I would like to continue focusing on layering within my artwork in new ways. I have always understood painting as a cumulation of layers, and since elevated this idea through the use of collage. Next, I would like to work with painting on different layers of resin or other clear material to add more depth to the paintings. I think it would add a third dimension to my paintings, without it becoming sculptural.