From The Dead

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Artist's Statement: From The Dead is a series of collages I have created, both inspired by and using found materials that I have accumulated. I was interested in exploring a themes of symbolism regarding death in several cultures and customs, and their reflections on the living. I used chinese funeral joss paper, christmas decoration, cigarettes, lcd and paint to explore these themes. Chinese Joss paper is used in funeral services in China. Traditionally, this is decorated paper burned for the deceased, with the notion that this will give the deceased ancestor prosperity in the after life. A contemporary take on this tradition includes luxury items made out of paper: everything from paper clothing & toiletries to paper luxury items such as Louis Vuitton wallets and Rolex watches, this has become somewhat of a contreversy among traditionalists, especially because of the western influence. I wanted to compare and contrast that with contemporary Western spirituality which I perceive to be a hybrid of both Christianity and TV sensationalism(I am thinking about psychic phenomena, Crossing Over with John Edwards, and the like). This encompases a desire to communicate with the dead, which holds both similarities and diffrences to the eastern notion of providing for the dead. I also wanted to explore the notion of death in context to the natural world, in the way that we tend to celebrate death's parallel's to the natural world- depicted in the last of piece of the series, this is in contrast to the first two pieces in which the notions of death are preoccupied with personification of the deceased through material possessions and communication. I used paint to depict certain symbols that exist in contemporary culture yet are unique (because they have been painted only once) to contrast with the electronic  and mass manufactured cardboard components to illustrate the cultural contrast, in terms of material. I was hoping the series would evoke an overall feeling of "cheap & celebratory."

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