The themes in my work stem from a longing for a distant past. They are inspired by migration, separation, assimilation, family history, and cultural identity. Hearing conversations between friends and family, I grew a curiosity for a sense of self within our stories as immigrants or children of immigrants. Through my work, I search for comfort in the in-between and unravel what that space consists of. In-between places, in-between people, in-between experiences, and in-between cultures. Straddling two worlds, origin country and new one, there’s a constant struggle between identities that immigrants face. This in-betweenness has become its own culture and a way for me to identify myself with as I try to understand my relationship with these experiences. I continue this conversation with various mixed media as I work with the intersections between painting and sculpture. A major component of my work also relies on the relationship between objects and memories. More specifically, how those memories can be demonstrated through image layering and manipulation of the object.
I focus on the transparency between each layer and create depth that considers and accentuates the original qualities of the object. The transparency and blending of images alludes to the experiences of immigrants living in America who are not “fully” American and struggle with the complexities of their identities; they attempt to retain a link to their heritage while feeling like an outsider. The references are from family photos that hold the history of a group of people who are assimilating to new environments. These images vary from everyday scenes, portraits, landscapes, and religious iconography.
With my work I hope to connect with those that also feel as they belong to two worlds yet neither at the same time. I want to challenge the abstract notions of identity and place and bring awareness to the beauty within the in-betweenness. I believe this is an important conversation to bring forward in art as the immigrant population continues to grow within the United States. Not only for awareness but to continue building the platform for different demographics to see themselves and the experiences of their families.