In the last few years, my grandmother’s memories have been slipping away from her. I held her close to my heart, but I could feel the distance between me and her widening. I am at the periphery of her foggy world. Despite loosing her memory, she is always so happy and surprised when I came into focus. I often wonder how she experiences her world. Does she live in a colorless blurry haze to have it punctuated by bursts of kaleidoscopic remembrance?
The absence and presence of “Memory” is something I think a lot about in my recent work. I think a lot about how memories fade with time, and how memories get altered and distilled through iterative attempts to record it. My work has really slowed down, now that I paint less from life and more from memory. In the last few years, my grandmother’s memories have been fading away. I call her waipuo (which means grandma in Chinese). The absence and loss of her memory only prompted me to hold on to it more, wanting to preserve it somehow.