Last week I completed Series 2016-21. While I expected this work to be finished weeks ago, the universe – as it often does — had other plans for me. Originally I intended to use the Joomchi techniques of slashing, crimping and manipulating the mulberry paper to create the many negative spaces I enjoy seeing, with the calligraphy taking a backseat to the overall texture of the piece. Nevertheless, a certain force I cannot explain began to pull me in a direction that resulted in the calligraphy becoming the distinct focal point of the artwork.
At first I resisted. I was attached to my original vision and struggled against this unseen pull like a swimmer fighting a riptide. But when I finally surrendered and went with the current, I was able to listen to my inner voice and receive the message it was sending.
Soon I came to understand that the calligraphy I was putting down on the paper represented a communication between people having difficulty relating to each other, but still trying to find common ground. Following that train of thought, the handmade twine came to depict the feeling of frustration when communication breaks down or is rejected by the other party.
As discussed in a previous blog post (“Where I Find Inspiration” – September 8, 2016), my inspiration usually comes from the medium of the mulberry paper itself. Up until now, I have given all of my Joomchi artworks simple numeric titles because I prefer the viewer to make their own interpretations. Obviously this latest piece is different. The inspiration came from a place deep inside my soul long before I started to lay out the paper. Consequently this artwork has a name: “Message Home”.