Treat Yourself, 2022
In the wake of the horrors of the Atlanta Spa Shootings and the deaths of 39 Vietnamese human-trafficking victims inside a transport lorry in the UK, the nation (and world) was confronted by a series of difficult conversations and images.
In this installation I want people to feel uncomfortable—to inhabit a space of discomfort through the juxtaposition incongruous elements in the work. These works definitely make plain the darkly ironic quality. Within the intensity of my own response, as an Asian American woman who lives in intimate proximity to this horror and fear, with family members working in the salon industry, I was reminded of the image of Christ washing the feet of his disciples. I thought of painters like Hausbuch and Tintoretto, who were both fascinated by the scene. I thought about how, as a society, we clearly haven’t understood this lesson of humility and service — we don’t know what it means to wash one another’s feet—just like we haven’t comprehended the meaning of ‘love thy neighbour’. Only some are doing the washing.
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