Thursday, July 23, 2020

54. 'Spring-20 (Confined Chaos)' 2020.6 68" x 68" if arranged on a pedestal or 73" x 68" stretched flat. Contemporary cloths, cottons and synthetics

‘Spring-20 (Confined Chaos)’  2020.7  73” x 68”  Contemporary cloth, cotton, synthetics.      

Confusion reigns in the spring of 2020. 

Can watching videos of protest rallies and violent riots get interpreted as flowers on a woven quilt? 

Instead of peaceful flower beds framed by a white picket fence these flowers seem to clump randomly against lines of their own making and against the black unforgiving bars. Several different swatches of floral patterns intermix within a field of what used to be a subdued paisley pattern striped apart then rewoven.

On the alternate side, subdued deadly flowers quietly lay in wait. They seem to clump against the narrow borders. Does Covid-19 viruses float in the air like these flowers? Keep your particulates to yourself and I will keep my breath to myself and we may survive. 

Hatchtags, Social media, Zoom meetings, Drone cameras, Cell phone videos. Information/disinformation. So much social history to learn, so much to unlearn. So much change. Confusion reigns. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Art-In-Place 5/20 - 6/20. Holiday and weather permitting.

'Mardi Gras Beads Day/Night with floaters'.  61" x 69".  Covid-19 half price sale.  $400.00
20% goes to Arts for Illinois Relief Fund.    

Masks for Covid-19. Glad to be able to improvise and provide when needed. Update: passes Bill Nye's test.

a pandemic when no one knows who is infected; everyone should wear masks not to protect themselves but to protect others. If they did the same then everyone gets protected.

Friday, March 20, 2020

#53. 'Indian and Cowboys' (Route 66 With Curry) 2020.2 @ 53" x 75" stretched out. Indonesian batik, American fabric. Indonesian character is probably from a Wayang Kulit Hindu epic like the Ramayana. Western prints are of stereotypical "cowboys and indians".


53" x 50" gathered
I imagine what an Asian Indian boy might dream about growing up in the midwest with his immigrant parents. A mix of myths perhaps?

 The confusion of the two sides with two views echo the shifting of our daily reality. The Indian is from South Asia and has no reference to American Indians. It is from a batik brought home by a tourist. The western scenes are typical stereotypes on fabric that would delight a child. Both spur my imagination.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

#52. 'Ming Ho / Munn Haw (Beatrice)'. 77" x 77". Chinese brush painting, Japanese folklore, and Hawaiian flora designs. I knew mom as 'Beatrice' all my life. In her 90's, I took her to get a state ID. Only then did I find she was born 'Munn Haw' (Cantonese) and changed her name to 'Ming Ho' (Mandarin) when she married. In elementary school, she was asked to choose an English name. (Territorial Hawaii in the 1920's.) NFS

Inspired by Li Huayi at the Honolulu Art Museum. It was serendipitious to find this cloth printed with a Chinese landscape design waiting for me back home. It was printed in Honolulu. You can see little figures in the print if you look closely.

'Munn Haw' (Cantonese) & 'Ming Ho' (Mandarin) translate to Day-Night or Sun-Moon, meaning 'Bright'. Add the character 'River' and it reads as Bright River, ie the Milky Way. 

Ming Ho

Munn Haw

                          I thought I knew Mom’s name. When Mom no longer had a driver’s license I took her to get a State ID. Difficulties arose when her social security card didn’t match her old driver’s license, or her birth certificate. The clerk sent us to get her marriage certificate from another office, but that didn’t match either. Apparently, going to school in the Territory of Hawaii in the 1920’s meant being sent home and told to come back with an English name. She was born ‘Munn Haw’; a Cantonese name is on her birth certificate. She changed her name to ‘Ming Ho’ when she got married because she thought her name in Mandarin sounded prettier. But everyone knows her as Beatrice. 

Everyone has layers of identity. Mom might dress up in a silky red cheong sam for a night out, and also relax with family in a floral Hawaiian print dress. Ming Ho / Munn Haw; she will always be Beatrice to me. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

#51. 'Mauna Kea / Powehi' 51" x 46" Tutuvi prints and Hawaiian cloth NFS

During the blocking of TMT ( a proposed new telescope) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii; I wove this two sided piece. I considered changing the name to 'Gran Canaria / Black Hole'. Gran Canaria being the telescope if built on the secondary site of Spain's Canary Island. But no, this piece is about Mauna Kea. Ironically wild fires burn on the Canary Island this summer, while emotional fires burn in Hawaii.

What would Queen Liliuokalani do? Her islands were stolen in 1893. This is very much a part of the protest.

I left my home in Hawaii a long time ago. Because of the pandemic it is now a risk to travel back to visit family and friends. This new reality has me confronting the issue: is my “home” a specific geographical spot on earth? Do I identify with my past community even if I am not currently living in the community? I was born and raised in Honolulu, do I still consider Hawaii my home?

I wove ‘Mauna Kea/Powehi’ during a time of political and spiritual turmoil. Some Hawaiians regard Mauna Kea as their original spiritual home. Scientists want to build a telescope on the mount to find a powehi, i.e. a black hole. The name ’Powehi’ comes from a Hawaiian origin chant meaning “an embellished dark source of unending creation”. Hawaiian protestors want to save their “home”. Scientist want to search for a black hole that all matter is pulled through; a portal perhaps leading to our ultimate “home”. 

One definition of ‘home’ is where you go to replenish yourself. ‘Home' is not only a place but a state of mind.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

#50. 'Powehi / Rainbow' 84" x 68" Made of hawaiian and western materials. Started 4/2019 - Finished 7/2019. Read links to find out more. 1,000.

'Kumulipo', a Hawaiian origin chant.

"The current of time when the earth turned hot around
The current of time when the firmament turned counter
The current of time when the sun stood beshadowed
To illuminate the moon
The time of the night of the Pleiades
The ocean-floor slime is what gave origin to earth
The origin of the dark was dark
The origin of the night was night
The deep darkness, the deep darkness
The darkness of the day, the darkness of the night
Night only indeed!..."

Copied from 'Chanting the Universe' by John Charlot, 1983.

Sunday, March 10, 2019