Office of Leaves: Mothers Transform Environments

(click on image to expand)

Well, it's only been what--four months since I've posted anything on this blog?? My "real" website is still in process, as is the Neighbor to Neighbor project. As is life. I'm teaching a film class this fall, which I haven't done in years. As if that weren't enough of a juggle, I'm also embarking on another new project.

A few months ago I was reading Genvieve Vaughan, and net-surfing led me to the conference of the Association of Research on Mothering. I proposed an abstract for the embedded conference on gifting, kind of an embellishment of Neighbor.

Here's the link to the googledoc: Free Lunch Abstract

They liked the abstract, but had no room in the embedded conference. So they invited me to propose something for the larger conference, "Mothering and the Environment: The Built, the Social and the Natural". So I came up with another idea.  I'll use the same idea of the mobile office and set up a tent onto which the knitted leaves will be affixed or draped. Inside the tent, paper leaves with answers to the question will be stuffed in the side pockets and marking pages of books, i.e. available to be read and pondered. Crochet hooks, yarn, and blank leaves will also be available for visitors to add to the collection.

The conference is October 22, and I would love to have more leaves to display than my own. So please pass this around and contribute and ask your friends to contribute!


Hera Gallery screening

I just showed the first cut of Dear Neighbor at a screening sponsored by Hera Gallery. Thanks to Hera for putting on this event and supporting us video artists! It was a wonderful event, and many folks contributed their stories for the next version. I'll post an abbreviated version of the video below.
Neighbor to Neighbor short

If you're interested in watching the longer 25 minute rough cut, you can view the work in progress in three parts.  VIEW PART 1 then PART 2 and finally PART 3


Iraq Veterans Against the War

Click on image for link to Powerhouse Arena

I crocheted these pieces for the upcoming benefit for Iraq Veterans Against the War, 2,191 Days and Counting. Immediately above is the flyer Brian designed for my piece, and above that a flyer for the event.


Laundry Stories, video stills

Click on images to view full screen.


Laundry Stories, video excerpt

Neighbor to Neighbor

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Neighbor to Neighbor excerpt

This 9 minute excerpt highlights video from two performances, one for the Spinning and Weaving Festival in Pawtucket and one for a showing of works in progress by the Resident Artists at Perishable Theater in Providence.


Lineage, installation

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Performative installations

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Early video, single channel pieces

Land and Skin (20 min) weaves together the story of the birth of my grandmother's first child (my father) and the birth of my first son. This three minute excerpt reveals vast differences in our experiences, language and culture.

Post Partum Letter
(excerpt): this is a video letter to my mother made shortly after the birth of my older son.

Artists Statement

Lineage, video installation

My work springs from a love of stories and an unabashedly feminist sensibility. While I make video, perform and collect stories, knit and construct environments, I improvise new dynamic relationships between meaning and material stuff, personal and political, spiritual and corporeal, fantastical and mundane, individual and community.

Story offers a way to reveal and to embrace contradiction, the contradictions of a culture that lauds traditional family values yet restricts how we love one another; a culture that raises motherhood on a pedestal yet tolerates daily violence against women; a culture that simultaneously perpetuates a fascination with the “other” while obsessed with securing its borders.

One recurring theme in my work is the story of navigating through culture and identity. As an immigrant who exchanged Taiwanese citizenship for U.S. citizenship over 25 years ago, even my own extended family view me as an outsider. Raised in the United States, I can no longer fluently communicate with our Taiwanese-speaking relatives. Yet my immediate family sustains a kind of weak link with those across the ocean. The word, “family”, conjures up contradictory feelings of love, longing and grief. I strive to make cultural barriers more fluid and make art in sympathy with all border-crossers.

The border that hangs tenuously between art and life also becomes more flexible in my work as my stories weave between oral history and fantasy and as I share authorship with participatory audiences. I stage interactive experiences, keeping alive a commitment to making art more accessible and integrated with daily life.

Just prior to my most recent move, I was told of an ordinance still in the books that stated, “No persons of Chinese descent may purchase this house.” The words provoked a deep interest in the question of how a neighborhood identity comes into being. Who holds the power and privilege to make a neighborhood what it is? My current project uses oral history and community engagement to forge a collective answer to this question.