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Scattered Thoughts

... clutter my mind as I try to make sense of my place in time, land, and family...

Scattered Thoughts (Series Title)

 

Idyll Memories, 2021

Offerings, 2021

Memories of Old Hepu, 2021

Small Gestures, 2022

Terrace Skies, 2022

There Is No Unit of Measurement, 2022

 

Digital photography compositions, available as limited edition prints. Printed with archival pigment on paper.

Please contact me about availabilities. Prints also available through the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair store.

We had family we didn't know even existed. Our branches had separated half a century ago, nurtured by the soils an ocean apart, then brought back together by that type of serendipitous happening where dust besets rock to become an avalanche.

 
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Idyll Memories, 2021

Archival pigment on paper

My grandaunt's home, my grandfather's place of birth, is surrounded by a patchwork of eucalyptus plantations. Some are frequented by farmers, others only by townsfolk who've marked down with stone and mud the resting site of those who've passed.

Under the sweltering heat, we trod along the forest floor, kicking up dust as we passed. Soil and ash perfumed the air we breathed.

 
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Offerings, 2021

Archival pigment on paper

Thinking back, now in the comfort of my own home, I realize how complicated a relationship I had built with 'eucalyptus.' It's one of the first childhood scent memories that I associated with peace and calm, with some vague notion of elevated beauty. A small vial of eucalyptus essence sits beside the diffuser in my living room. As a scientist, I am also aware of its more than complicated economics and problematic harvesting practices—practices taken in the warm southern Chinese provinces. Yet, as I write, I'm smiling on the pictures I took of these wondrous forests in a land my ancestors called home. Though these trees weren't even here when my grandfather last walked these grounds, they now stand guard where his parents, his aunts and uncles, his brothers and sisters, and his cousins close and distant are buried. These canopies set against the hazy sky are, for me, the image of safe harbour and of rest for family I have never known and never will. On this thought, my mind is tranquil, but not at peace. There is a tenuous sanctity under their canopies that I fear disturbing.

 
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Memories of Old Hepu, 2021

Archival pigment on paper

My grandaunt lived in a small shingled house. Outside the living quarters, everything was exposed to the elements, including the kitchen. There, bees had moved into some cupboards. My grandaunt decided to keep them so that she can gather honey. I wonder if the smoke from the wood fire stove helps to keep the bees relatively docile despite our comings and goings.

 

Small Gestures, 2022

Archival pigment on paper

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Traditions and rituals come and go. Those with lasting power linger and travel across generations, bending and changing to slip through the fine filters of time and human intervention. Being divorced from the past is a very different thing from abandoning ones past. Am I? Want I? Will I?

 
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Terrace Skies, 2022

Archival pigment on paper

If I do not till this land, how do I lay claim to it? I've taken it—just memories of it. When I open my arms wide to let it free, I find it has latched itself tight to my heart. When had it lay claim to a part of me? My arms spread wide, it embraces the skies.

 
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There Is No Unit of Measurement, 2022

Archival pigment on paper

My mind is scattered with memories not belonging to me. It will take a while for me to sort through them.

I will come back to them.