Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tiny Trifecta, Saturday, April 9
at Cotton Candy Machine in Brooklyn

Here's some news that my friend Tara McPherson will be hosting a show called "Tiny Trifecta" at her store in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn next Saturday April 9th. There will be 100 artists and illustrators' (tiny) works for sale, for $100. Here's the piece that I will be contributing to the show; a small accordion style booklet that I hand-made and silkscreen, which is part of my Sausage Series.
Again here's the date and address of the opening:
Tiny Trifecta
Cotton Candy Machine
Saturday, April 9th, 2011
7pm - 12 midnight
235 South 1st Street, in Brooklyn.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Amarillo Centro de Diseno, April 7-9, 2011
On April 7-9, 2011 I will be at Amarillo Centro de Diseno, in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico hosting a workshop and exhibiting some of my work. The image below is the poster that I made for the event, which is inspired by Xalapa, the birthplace of "Florecita," or Little Flower. The illustration is a 3 colour silkscreen that will be created by the design collective for the show - I cannot wait to see it! I thought it would be interesting to include some of the sketch work that I did leading up to the final image. Many thanks to Amarillo Centro de Diseno for inviting me, and to my great friend Yuko Shimizu for putting us in touch. Hasta pronto!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The People Underneath The Floor In Heaven
We quietly stood around my father as he poured the liquor onto the wooden floor of our dining room. We lived on the third floor of an apartment building in a suburb of Toronto, and I found it peculiar how the alcohol could drop into the mouths of my relatives who were in heaven. On the dining room table were faces of those people who I was supposed to know, those of whom I was supposed to remember. I saw within each face, parts of my parents’ faces. I could see where my own ear lobes came from, those which my aunt tugged at occasionally followed by a pronouncement of how lucky it was that I had ear lobes such as those; fat and meaty, I thought. There was a younger man too, who looked like my mother; it was my uncle who I don’t believe I had ever met. My mother told me that he had jumped into the ocean and drowned. I never quite figured out the truth, though. Over the years I would get bits of information from my parents about my family’s history, but my accumulation from their knowledge never quite added up to anything coherent. Years later, it sounded more like a parent trying to describe the definition of suicide to a child.
"He jumped into the water and then never came back."
How curious.

Laid out on the table in front of the photographs of my deceased relatives were steamed buns filled with bbq pork and curry, brightly coloured egg tarts with a flaky buttery crust, a boiled chicken that had been chopped up and placed onto a bed of boiled carrots and potatoes, and a condiment blend of soy and oyster sauce mixed with sesame oil, and green onions poured into a tiny ceramic dish. I was never told by either one of my parents why we did this – cooked food for people who weren’t here anymore, but I only kept quiet and followed my father’s lead. Candles burned on either side of the table, flanking the pictures of my uncle and grandparents which were propped up by a stack of books that supported them from behind. My father turned to us and said the words, “bai-sun,” and then grew quiet. He stepped in front of all of us, near the end of the table opposite to the photographs and lowered his head. I don't know what he said, or what he was thinking, but when he was done I could see that his face looked worn and pulled downward as if each time he did this over the years, he gave some of his breath away to my relatives who lived underneath the floor of the apartment, in heaven. I never asked him what those words meant, bai-sun, but over the years understood it to mean worshipping (gods). It was our act of ancenstral veneration, a filial respect which we would continue to pay after life to those family members who gave birth to us, and cared for us until we could take care of ourselves. One by one, each family member did the same as my father, until it was my turn. I have to confess that my father did prep me for this moment; he told me to say "doh-jeh" to those candle lit faces, and so I did "thank-them" and then asked them to remove some of the chubbiness from my ear lobes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Esme, Queen of All Lands
I'd like to keep this entry short since I've been working like a mad man for several weeks. The twitch in my left eyelid is telling me to slow down, but before I do, here's another silk screen print that I did recently. Actually, it's within a series of 10 for sale through my website, benefiting my friend's performance, choreographer Yara Travieso, and composer Jerome Begin in collaboration with the New World Symphony, designed by Frank Gehry in Miami this Spring. The name of the print is called "Esme, Queen of All Lands," named and inspired after another friend of mine, Esme Boyce, who will be dancing in the performance. Below is visual soundbite of the other artists who are involved.