Final Project Statement:
Paper can be both soft and rough, sharp and round, 3D and 2D. It can create shadows, but be almost as paper thin as a shadow as well, as light as a feather or as heavy as rocks. However, there is the idea that paper is usually fragile–”paper thin,” “delicate,” “falls apart easily when wet”–not the strongest material. Paper can become anything, so long as it is still paper. But paper also cuts. In this space, the space is compressed by paper and filled with paper–the precise angles of the paper cut through the air, while the rough edged paper compresses the space, cushioning the blades.
For the artist, the process of going through the corridor evokes the experience of encountering microaggressions during one’s lifetime. Papercuts hopefully also might remind users to think of how they themselves experience microaggressions. Paper creates intricate and sharp shadows, inspiring distraction and danger.
Microaggressions are like papercuts. To use a metaphor, a single paper cut might sting a little, but overall is not a large deal, but a multitude of cuts over a long period of time does much more than sting, even if the first cut was innocuous–just as with microaggressions.
Whenever I finish a project, I am struck by the realization that my initial, starting questions are generally the same. How does space affect mood, memory, senses–is it personal or collective? How do time, memory, mood, senses affect space? How does a space represent identities? How does my own identity intersect -through race, family status, class, gender, nationality, ethnicity etc–how will it be received by different people, of different identities? For someone who knows that I study architecture and cultural anthropology it may seem clear as to why those questions are the first to pop up into my head, since it is impossible for me to separate my art from the other fields I study. The questions that arise in those fields are often the same questions that inspire my art. I am passionate about these things, about both social justice and architecture–and how they intersect– I think about them every single day–so how could these topics not appear in my art, if not drive my art?
Mid-Term Project: Papercuts
Microagression: a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group. Generally, these happen every day, whether the person who microagresses, or the person microagressed against notice at all.
This installation uses paper and string, each of which have contradictory characteristics and attributes. The materiality of paper can be seen as soft or fragile, yet it can cut skin and with enough paper, create substantial structures. String also is seen as fragile: a simple cut in one string would make the entire roof collapse, however, string is also a bonding agent, and weaves and in this installation, holds all the paper up. Paper and string also can take on many shapes and textures allowing the viewer to attribute their own thoughts and connotations to them. In this installation, the artist understands the shape as omomori. Omomori are Japanese Shinto amulets, each with the ability of holding different and significant meanings, but other users of the corridor might interpret the shapes as something else.
For the artist, the process of going through the corridor evokes the experience of encountering microaggressions during one’s lifetime. While there are several hidden symbols and imagery on the papers that capture the artist’s personal experience with micro-aggressions in Siena, walking through Papercuts hopefully also might remind users to think of how they themselves experience microaggressions. Paper and string create intricate and fluid shadows, inspiring distraction and disorientation. Similar to the hidden symbols, one might not see microaggressions at first. While one paper in one’s face may be only an annoyance, a storm of paper poses more of a disturbance— as the damage of accumulated microaggressions can be. Microaggressions are like papercuts. To use a metaphor, a single paper cut might sting a little, but overall is not a large deal, but a multitude of cuts over a long period of time does much more than sting, even if the first cut was innocuous–just as with microaggressions.
Luoghi di Fuga: Notebook Project:
Intro Unit Project: Multi-sensory Materiality
Intro Unit Project: Tempo Zulu
An objective of my stone is to bring native pedestrians’ attentions to their surroundings while walking around Siena.
I find it curious how city dwellers can stay in their own world, on their phones, while simultaneously. tourists around them are looking everywhere but are also absorbed in their own worlds, oblivious to people trying to get by. The removal of the stone, and in its place, an inscription, is to be a physical alert and written reminder to look. Look up, look around, but not at anything in particular.
(The sketches of my stone says “Gaurda Scopa” but it should just be “Guarda.” I didn’t translate the Italian correctly. It is in Italian because it is for the people living in Siena, not the tourists.)
Intro Unit: Points of Entry Project
Walls are made to protect, keep out and create clear boundaries–but walls also inadvertently keep people within as well. Upon seeing Porta Tufi, I was struck by how little people there were, passing through. This large gate sitting upon the bottom of the hill, really is only the middle of a much larger hill, but the wall separates the city and the outside creating the illusion that the hulk us at the bottom of the hill. The gate serves as the passage way to the outside but it still makes me curious as to why more people were not there. It made me think of how many people see out of the city (any city) but rarely leave the city. As a newcomer to Siena, I still do not know everything in the walls, but I wonder if by the end of my stay I will know the outside as well? At the college that I attend there a similar topographical location to Siena- atop a hill, inside walls with the only exits being gates- but even there people rarely venture out of the gates. Will I get to know the hillsides placed on post cards of the Tuscan hillside, representative of Siena? The ones that people buy to show that they were there, even though they physically never were? Will I ever become less than a tourist?
Mia Yee, USA
My name is Mia Angeline Yee, and I am from Boston, Massachusetts. I enjoy singing, cooking, and exploring new places. I am also a junior at the College of the Holy Cross, majoring in Architectural Studies and Anthropology, and minoring in Studio Art. Within all three of my disciplines, I am very interested exploring how space and memory, nostalgia and loss all affect one another and how they intercept in architecture, landscape, art, and people. Much of my art, as well as my study in anthropology, pertains to exploring identities, including my own, such as the intersection between race, class, family dynamics and disability. My art also reflects questions and struggles I have had with my own ethnic identity, ethnically both Japanese and Chinese, but also American, and constructing for myself what it means to be Asian American. Although I do not have a primary medium, I enjoy painting with watercolor or gauche, working charcoal and collage and paper. Here at Siena Institute of Art, I am excited to explore more of my own art and I am looking forward to working with ceramics and silversmithing, as they are both things I have never done before.