As a University of Washington (UW) transit commuter, I learned while traveling to and from school; Sound Transit rail lines, campus pathways, and city sidewalks became miles of socially constructed roadways that connected me with community organizations, social services, and internships where I tested and applied my classroom knowledge. Drawing on coursework in American Ethnic Studies (AES), American Indian Studies, Art History, and English 282 (Multimodal Composition), I challenged myself to critically analyze the relationship between people and places, using Photo/Media as my medium. My From Home origin screen graphically captures the dynamic energy between land, architecture, diaspora, and emigration that I saw every day, moving left to right, from South Beacon Hill to UW.
Inspired by a traditional folding screen at the Macao Museum (澳門博物館), Macao, China, From Home graphically depicts Seattle scenes: a legend, cultural landmarks and values, and/or my daily life at the time of creation. Screens, as well as other utilitarian tools and decorations, are a form of physical storytelling and timepieces passed down from generation to generation. Reflecting on my own experiences growing up in South Seattle, I drew upon those moments, from various locations, that were particularly meaningful. This screen is a personal representation of how I view and interact with the city. A story to you, From Home.
From Home - "PRSVRNC Chinatown Gate" viewpoint
Inspired by various gates around the US and, of course, the historic Seattle Chinatown Gate in my hometown of Seattle, I created a symbol of that powerful word PRSVRNC (perseverance). This PRSVRNC Chinatown Gate, like its predecessor, symbolically represents an entrance to my home of Seattle. A simplified version of this design is used in my clothing brand, PRSVRNC CLOTHING.
My origin screen is dynamic and movable; 4 trolleys set inside an aluminum box track rail system on the gate's roof allow the From Home screen to be pushed and pulled laterally. Like a sliding door, people are able to enter and exit through my screen (for safety, this function is not available at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery). I invite the audience to enter my world, and see things from my "Emerald City" viewpoint (the other side of my origins screen).
From Home - "Emerald City" viewpoint
Adapting a previous project, 漢的屏風 – Han's Folding Screen, every single graphic element on the screen symbolizes something in my life: my house and doggies in South Beacon Hill; me sprinting to catch the 106 bus (now the 107 route); me breaking both my arms while biking on Beacon Avenue; me spending time at Benefit Park; my Popo, sister, and me waiting for the bus to go to Chinatown; the power lines along the Chief Sealth Trail; Daejeon Pavilion Park; my sister playing tennis at Jefferson Park; the shared viewpoints of our Seattle skyline from Jefferson Park and the Dr. Jose Rizal Bridge; a Cleveland High School Eagle landing in the Souf Seattle neighborhood; lion dancing and Seafair dragon runs on the streets of Chinatown; me riding the Sound Transit to UW; and my University’s four columns that represent four main features of LIFE: Loyalty, Industry, Faith, and Efficiency; and highlighting my favorite of these four pillars, Faith.
The designs were printed on a Max Metal dibond (4 feet by 8 feet, and 3 millimeters thick) by AlphaGraphics, Seattle, WA. Three of the biggest design challenges were 1) making sure people could see both sides of my screen, 2) making it weatherproof (longevity of my screen and materials used), and 3) making it portable (build at home, transport to UW, deconstruct, and exhibit elsewhere if needed).
My final product resulted from on-the-go solutions and experimentations with a variety of products and materials. I flex-sealed cinder blocks so the concrete wouldn't fragment and drop mini cement rocks everywhere. This coating also made it easier to spray paint, and much easier to handle (no rough edges). Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for a custom built frame, I built it myself. I used weatherproof PVC molding from Home Depot, which comes in standard 8 foot lengths. Fastening 2 pieces of molding together, I "pinched" the metal screen between the pieces. To connect the bottom molding to the top molding, I used 60 inch ZipTies with a tensile strength of 175 pounds. They were slender and slipped right between the fastened moldings.
For versatility in attaching and detaching my screen from my wooden gate framework, I used an aluminum sliding door box track from Orange Aluminum, CA. Putting my screen on wheels gives From Home the true functionality of a sliding screen.