I have a file of stories and old pictures which is in a folder called "Fuel." These a growing collection of stories and images that fuel my art. They have passed on to me from my parents, grandparents, family friends, and events that I have experienced or witnessed myself. These are true events about immigration, incarceration, injustice, prejudice, trauma, family and culture. When making the larger work with soot, I would burn copies of some images and stories as if it would imbed itself into the marks. While in graduate school, a professor familiar with my art and art making process asked me if I thought my writing was also part of my art oeuvre. I have digested this thought for five years. Lately, I have begun to write more and expand on the stories collected ....and find that the art fuels my writing just as the writing fuels my art: A symbiotic creative relationship.
(Image above is me making "offerings" of copies of images, stories and names of grandparents written in kanji on paper to the fire sooting the metal for the piece Gaman from 2006. When I was quite young and attended Buddhist funerals, we would place ground incense offerings and pray. I asked my mom if the dead would hear our prayers for them. She said the smoke from the incense would rise up and carry the message to them.)