In my mixed media photo series, Baggage Claim, I use evocative objects such as woven tricolor plaid bags with personal photographs made into light boxes. The cheap carry-all bag is a symbol of migration with a checkered historical and political past. While recognized for its durability and resilience, the names associated with the bag are often derogatory, describing disavowed working-class immigrant demographics.  For example, they’re known as “Ghana Must Go” bag in Nigeria; “Türkenkoffer” (Turkish suitcase) in West Germany and “Vietnamesenkoffer” (Vietnamese suitcase) in East Germany; “Guyanese Samsonite” in the Caribbean; “Bangladeshi bags” in England; “Zimbabwe bags” in South Africa; and “Chinatown totes” or just simply “Immigrant bags” in the United States. With this work, I explore the material cultures of these objects, which are powerfully imbued with meaning and partially hidden histories pertaining to class, ethnicity, race and power. The figures are cut out leaving only the silhouettes in various landscapes. The lights in the box slowly switch on and off causing the figures to alternate between absence and presence and invisibility and illumination.  

Baggage Claim, Tent #8


mixed media: Giclée print on canvas, woven polypropylene fabric bags, wood light box on a timer

Installation view, Ogden Contemporary Arts, Utah, 2023

Baggage Claim


dimensions vary


Return to Sender, Tent #8


mixed media - eggshells, polypropylene and cotton fabric, Giclée print on paper

Imago Mundi / Benetton Foundation