Date of Submission

Spring 2022

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

An-My Le

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Outside the Sixth Street Garden, someone scrawls graffiti across a sign, and another person comes by to clean it up. The weather exposes it to corrosion; we witness this quiet, secret molding of evolution. Quietness gets transformed into excitement, and new imaginings emerge. I’m looking to agitate the bond between the real or physical, and its attached reflections.

I want to understand better what happens in the else-ness of my relations-- the ways I recognize you or them when we aren’t in contact. I might see you sleep, not awake, and what does it mean to look at you in that way? I want to know if I’ll recognize something new in the inner worlds and orbits of window smears, the valleys of my dads’ eyelids, and the hidden faces of my friends’ elbow creases. I want to know so I can feel wrong about how I understand and explain the world to myself. I want to know so I don’t feel so convinced that I know them; newness breaks and exposes me. In the vehicle and veins of the imagination, we see branches becoming wrists, knuckle hairs into personal histories, and signs into portals. I’m searching for vignettes of disoriented landscapes where realities become etchings, and in turn, my photographs speak to imagined memories more than lived ones.

With eyes shut and backs turned, secrecy is only left to appreciate, to make sense of. When you throw away clarity, what is left of perception? One’s kept thoughts can only be best understood by the scribbles and writing of t-shirt creases, and slithering of hair curls. Language becomes sculptured; it transcends into significant markers of bond and relation-- how I remember.

Leaves become secrets, become vortexes. In the cracks of tree branches, and the carefulness of their dancing, we find unsolved language, emotions to invent, and memories to imagine. Running and dancing trees look like aching and slouched copies of me; nothing seems completely still. Silence transforms into spectacle, information into history. We read the curving of trees like quotations and brush strokes. There’s writing in them, on them. The trees themselves are writing. The trash cans on the street corner are writing in each scratch, dent, stain, bump they accumulate, grow and build. What is it saying? What are they saying? What words are they trying to speak? What new reality, new life are they attempting to bring to the surface? What is it they’re trying to tell me? Can it not speak? Worry, worry, fear, fear. I hope I understand.

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On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

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