This collage is part of a series of abstract works that explore the relationships between my shapes and use of figures. The harsh reality of 2021, particularly the impacts of the pandemic, requires me to have outlets where I can be playful, creative and free of the pressures of creating something with a specific outcome. The economic impacts of COVID on my studio practice has made it so that I am keenly aware of the materials that I use.
I was brought up in an immigrant household where we wasted very little and this shaped my own practices around the materials I use in my art. I always try to have intentionality around how I use my “scraps,” even when they're considered disposable. Rather than throw them away, I save them and eventually find uses for them in my collages. My goal is to honor the labor that went into cutting each piece and to honor the life that died in order for me to create art. For me to have a paper, a tree must die. I make it a commitment to use all of my materials and find ways to create beauty out of the remnants. This collage series is largely a collection of scraps and remnants.
In this collection, I was thinking a lot about how people are coping during COVID. I was thinking about the many leaders in communities of color who are doing all they can to bring relief to their communities. For example, my friend Rey Leon who is the mayor of a small town in the Central Valley, and all that he does to keep his people safe. I was thinking about how nature helps us unwind and return to our true selves.