MY BLOOD IS PROOF THEY EXIST: DEGREE PROJECT
PANEL I, MIGRATION
5 x 9 ft, mohair, wool, rayon, Kyototex metallic, opalescent slit film
In the 1980’s, the Chinese government issued the One-Child Policy in an attempt to control population. Due to a long standing cultural preference for sons, hundreds of thousands of female infants were abandoned across China. Many ended up in orphanages and were subsequently adopted by foreigners from countries in North America, Europe, and Oceania. Airplanes, a metaphor for the adoptee diaspora, streak through the composition. Barely visible in the background are a group of figures. In their arms are infants, wrapped in rose-gold threads. The houses I grew up in outside of Seattle are depicted here. Overhead, snow falls from the branches of willow trees in Daguan Park, the location where I was documented to have been found by the local police (their faces peering out from above the row of houses) in November of 1994.
An American school bus frames the second woven panel, as squirrels and bluejays dart above a row of evergreen trees. My adoptive father is depicted at the bottom, making his weekly newspaper route while pulling my sister and I in a red wagon behind him.
Inside the school bus window, a man and woman sits in a park by the river, looking into a sky filled with Chinese constellations known as 四象, or the "Four Symbols": the Azure Dragon, the Vermilion Phoenix, the White Tiger, and the Black Turtle.
(Drawings used in the final woven piece)
Reflected in the airport floor is a sea of lily pads. The lily pads reference back to my "finding spot" near Daguan Park. When I visited the park on my homecoming trip, I saw dozens of elderly women gathered on a pavilion to exercise by way of synchronized dance. With the sound of classical flutes drifting from a portable stereo, I felt like I was watching a martial arts movie in slow motion. These coordinated exercise-goers appeared in nearly every public park or square I traveled to in China.