Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Gum in action

Gum prints in motion!  Here are two test prints with three layers of gum each:  Yellow, Red, and Blue.

It is now officially summer semester and I am elbows deep in gum arabic and water trays.  After hearing one great recommendation in paper, I've spent this past week and a half testing Arches Platine.  I admit that I was a bit hesitant and slow to step up to this seemingly thin and fragile paper.  Man, was I wrong!  Platine just happens to be the more refined and well behaved cousin of the previous Arches I was using, Arches 140lb hot press watercolor paper.  There's no turning back now.

I've also streamlined my prep.  When I used to come in and work, I would weigh out and mix my pigment and gum per "serving" and for each color I needed to use.  Needless to say, it has grown tedious and cumbersome.  So I figured out the ratio of pigment and gum that I needed in bulk.  I poured it into some empty and clean kombucha bottles and shook!  It was an almost instant gratification.

I am also currently taking a web design class and it's very empowering for me to be able to post such things like these .gifs for you all to enjoy via my ability to code in HTML.  Hopefully by the end of the semester I'll have a fully functioning website up in order.  We shall see...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Spending one's life trying to find one's way home

Một Cõi Đi Về.

Taken from a Vietnamese song, it translates into "spending one's life trying to find one's way home".  This past Wednesday I [finally] went and saw Dinh Q. Lê's exhibit at SF Camerawork.  The exhibit showcased Lê's large 12'x14' piece of stitched together found vernacular photographs.  Lê describes how his family had to flee from his homeland to America with little time and of great importance.  Like many other Vietnamese Refugees, they had to leave most of their physical possessions behind, including sentimental photographs.  Lê eventually journeyed back to Vietnam in hopes of finding those family momentos, shifting through boxes of old found photographs in secondhand stores before realizing that in some ways, these found photographs were photographs of his family -a people torn by war and away from their homeland.  

And so he takes the photographs, adopts them for his own kin, and creates a newly formed sense of memory, of home. 

(You can still catch the tail end of the exhibit.  It's up until June 22!)