My paintings and collage contain varying degrees of abstraction, pattern and imagery. Literature, visual art, my tangled garden, memory and the wash of events are sources. A bird might be referenced by a graph of its song or a recognizable image; a flat shape may assume a cartoon-like presence or resemble a leaf. Images can emerge and then disappear, hidden by the competing foil of shapes, drawing and color. Nabokov wrote in his memoir, Speak, Memory “… I do not believe in time. I like to fold my magic carpet…in such a way as to superimpose one part of the pattern upon another.” The perspectives of childhood and growing into an adult are continually present. For our inner selves, what’s nearby and very distant can coexist, just as stars in a constellation appear close together but can be far removed in actual time and distance.
I grew up in a Japanese American household, where Western and Japanese objects and customs formed a contrasting collage. A 19th century cast iron lantern shaped like a pagoda sat on the hearth beneath golf trophies, Noh masks and a painting of the Golden Gate Bridge. My studio, strewn with colored papers, photographs and drawings reminds me of my mother’s sewing room with stacks of multi colored fabrics, boxes of jewel-like buttons and pinned pattern pieces laid out on the floor. An old shirt could become an apron; silk silhouettes of house shapes were “tipped” into fancy ties: small transformations were commonplace; and remnants could become new wholes.
Critic Victoria Dalkey recently wrote, “Surrogates…seem to be caught in an endless state of becoming, departing, returning, pausing in their travails…where patterns and fragments of images mix with abstract markings and, in these newest works, recognizable subject matter.”
I would like the work to be a place to meander and recall.