“This body feels like a capsule of mysterious tales … having crossed hemispheres, sucked minuscule.” (Lye-Starks)

 

The years following emigration are filled with a prolonged tension between displacement and hope, past and present, and a swirl of adaptations of self. My work draws from my personal story as an immigrant from Singapore moving to America as an adult to become part of an inter-racial family; my family of history of emigration from China, survival of World War II. My father was a captive of war who defied many odds and survived. I think about how humans move and resettle to live and thrive, and the ways we find existence as fluid and nuanced. The journey to resettle is one through a vast space. A new land, and culture an enormous nebulous space. I think about the inherent symbols within our natural environment, bedrock, oceans, trees, plants, and micro-organisms, as a way of framing my response. In my compositions, bodies, organisms, and objects, fragment, blur, levitate and join. Cultural references and memory convey the entangled and co-existing feelings of discomfort and discovery. Drawings, collaging, multi-layered processes including analog-digital work and sculpture help me to convey the facets of evolving cultural identity. Layers and textures offer a tactile and visceral experience of the work. Watercolor, pastel, and ink are often used to instill the sensibilities of fluctuation and ephemera. Sculpture and assemblages are formed with paper, clay, and wire to express the convoluted realm of memory and transformation. Drawing is central to my practice and has made way for inventiveness – my work usually includes an element of automatic drawing. Dreamlike qualities, biomorphic forms, and uncanny juxtapositions recall Surrealism to express the subconscious realm of emigration and hybridity.