"Cauldron" is a cross-cultural contemplation on sustenance. Juxtaposing imagery, text, and sculptural objects in a layered visual language drawn from the sensory density of vernacular Chinese visual culture, the installation creates a dynamic space containing multiple diasporic narratives—a cauldron for sustenance, rather than the infamous melting pot. A series of increasingly larger charcoal drawings of a bowl of rice invoke the traditional Chinese symbol for sustenance and livelihood as sacrament and daily renewal, rising from my own cultural history. A series of color drawings of the potato—the Euro- American symbol of sustenance which however originated in pre-columbian South America—metaphorically narrates the immigrant experience.
Behind the rice drawings, calligraphy on red walls quote a neo-Confucianist morality text about right living, in subtle play between irony and affection. Behind the potato drawings, custom wallpaper referencing 17th c. blue-and-white Chinoiserie export porcelain is made with potato prints that repeat: "YOU" "EAT" "POTA" "TO" "I" "EAT" "POTAH" "TO", in a variant of the Cole Porter song. Inspired by my Catholic schooling in Colonial Hong Kong, rice-bread, each incised with a word from the Lord's Prayer, is interspersed between the drawings: "Give" "Us" "This" "Day" "Our" "Daily" "Bread" between each rice bowl drawing, and "Forgive" "Us" "Our" "Trespasses" between potato drawings.
Drawing installation, dimensions variable. Charcoal on paper, color pencil on paper, silkscreened wallpaper with hand calligraphy, potato-print wall paper, rice bread, Hydrocal sculpture.