My desire to learn about my ethnic heritage, combined with my fear of losing it, has led me to familiarize myself with paper cutting. While reading excerpts from the semi-fictional biography Diamond Grill, I connected with the author, Fred Wah, who describes the difficulty he had fitting in with other kids. Wah had a feeling of dissonance with both the Chinese Canadian and Caucasian Canadian communities because of his mixed background. As a kid, I often felt different. I am a second generation Chinese Canadian and did not grow up in a very traditional Chinese home, so I didn’t “belong” with the other Chinese kids here and often felt disconnected with my peers of different ethnicities. Since reconciling myself to my heritage, I’ve had a desire to learn more about it and carry on the customs that my family already practices. Many of these pieces are either connected to my family or are influenced by them.
From August 7th to 30th, void will be showing paper cuts and photographs by Jireh. Reception: Thursday, August 7th, 7 - 9 pm.
Paper cutting is an art form that began in China as early as the 6th century AD. The only materials required are a pair of scissors and paper. These simple requirements make the medium accessible to a wide range of people. Instead of scissors, I use an x-acto knife. The design is drawn on the paper with a pencil and then the knife cuts away what will eventually be the negative space. Since the finished product is very delicate, the cutting must be controlled and precise, with lines often needing to be gone over twice or more.Tree and Bike