I have been interested in science and engineering since I was little. Every summer break from junior high school I would visit and help out at my father’s factory in Taiwan. Hanging out at my Dad’s factory is one of my fondest childhood Memories. I couldn’t stop staring at those giant mechanical devices, and trying to figure out how they worked. Every part of each machine connected to another massive machine, moving and working smoothly together, just like a human body. While studying the human form I came see it as an incredible machine. Similar to the wonder that my father’s machines made me feel as a child, the human form fascinated me. Specific parts of the human form, like the organs, brain, and the way our bodies perceive the world around us are the focus of my work.
A mechanical device such as a camera captures a photograph, a photograph has no history, but humans give a picture a story, and we put our personal memories into a picture placed before us. This picture, the moment that this picture represents becomes a memory, which is interpreted differently from one individual to another. Our brain is like a cognitive camera, and each blink of the eye captures a fragment of a memory. I want to make a connection between what we see, what we remember, and what is actually there.
The medium used for this series is found books, found maps, film negatives, resin, and archival adhesive. Old books carry with them a history that I find interesting. The histories that the books hold are not only the information within them but also the thought of where the book and maps could have been before and who owned it. I tear pages from old books and maps, glue each of the pages to one another individually, then cut into the glued together blocks of paper to form mechanical parts of different cameras. The process of tearing, skimming through the pages, gluing and sealing the pages together, becoming a block represents the process of our brain goes through while storing memories. The process of shaping, carving back into the blocks pages by pages with x-acto blade, and revealing part of the words or maps underneath the pages represent the process of recalling our memories.
Photo courtesy of the artist.