I am currently creating a new body of work in the medium of collage. The project started when I was placed in charge of the shimmering screens drop-in art activity at the Asian Art Museum (November 2010). After working awhile with the provided collage materials, I noticed that my “shimmering screens” were taking the shape of dystopian cityscapes à la Blade Runner.
The Joseon dynasty palaces found in the AAM’s photography brochures became the perennial pieces to these works. I found a lot of interesting details in the Korean palace architecture that could be transformed to fit in the context of science fiction. From the beginning, the found images formed the path of the picture. There was never a plan or a preliminary sketch that guided these compositions. They simply grew.
More recent works in the series, present conflicts between nature and man-made structures. These landscapes are presented to be hostile and uninhabitable. I feel that the fractured skies help communicate this idea. If I had chosen to paint these landscapes, the construction of the ruined atmospheres would have been more of challenge.
When I completed the last collage entitled “Roots” above, I felt that the series would soon end. By the time the last collage was completed, there were only five or six Korean photography catalogs left for use. Throughout the making of these works, I was mindful of errors and corrections. These issues are less severe when I’m painting a picture. The seemingly limited materials forced me to be more critical of where the pieces were to be pasted. Recently, my boss let me take an entire box of the catalogs from the AAM. Looks like the series will go on.