Guided by Ghosts: The Ones We Held Along the Way
In this 2019 solo show, I explored the story of Santa Cruz's destroyed Chinatowns. You can see an immersive 360 degree version of the show HERE. I created six paintings based on the region's Chinese American history and displayed them against a backdrop of archival photographs, artifacts, and primary documents that provided their broader context. I turned the gallery into a continuous 3,800-word hand-lettered timeline tracing Chinese immigration and xenophobia from the 1500's through the present, weaving in local and national history that in turn fused with my own family's immigration narrative. This timeline bled into in-progress pages from my graphic memoir, Feeding Ghosts, and ended in a replica of my studio where participants could look through the books from my research library. For my artist talk, I took attendees on a bicycle tour of important sites in the region's Chinese American history.
I wove paintings, writing, research, interviews, and a bicycle tour into a show that placed my own family's trauma within a larger migration narrative, asking viewers to think deeply about invisible wounds while educating themselves about erased history: this epitomizes how I work simultaneously across genres.