Emotional Baggage is an installation consisting of three sculptures; two of which are made with borrowed bedsheets from roommates and friends, and one made with fast fashion clothing on a wooden laundry rack.
As for the sculptures using bedsheets, these are knotted together and suspended in air using fishing wire. The difference between the two bedsheet sculptures is that one of them is weighed down into a knotted bundle, whereas the other is weighed down using gravity and the natural agglomerative weight of the sheets. Despite the weight of the sheets pulling the sculptures towards the center, they are slightly hovering over the ground, reflecting the human struggle to stay grounded.
The main theme I strive to convey in these sculptures is the inability to emotionally let go of the past, whether it’s people or memories, and feeling the weight of this increasing burden over a lifetime. Each bedsheet, as it is a material going through intimate skin-to-skin contact over a period in someone’s life, represents a previous life stage that is no longer used or needed, but is still relevant into shaping someone into who they currently are. I need to return these bedsheets to their owners in an unaltered condition, despite being old and stained. Knotting serves as a prehistoric way to attach at least two separate items to prevent these from pulling apart. The knotting is also done in an unplanned, yet intuitive way that emphasizes the emotional pulling, torsion, and draping of the sheets. By engaging the viewer not only through vision, but also touch and smell, I hope to convey a familiar and corporal intimacy that has accompanied everyone from the start of their lives.
Similarly, the sculpture of fast fashion clothing on the wooden laundry rack also embodies the sinking weight from the inability to let go of one’s irrelevant past. I previously owned these articles of clothing as a teen, which convey a cheap juvenile look I no longer vibe to. Yet, they evoke nostalgia from remembering the events where I wore each clothing which each serve formative learning experiences. However, in contrast to bedsheets, fast fashion clothing is meant to be used briefly as they are impulsive and emotional purchases. They are thrown away when they fall apart or fall out of style. Cumulatively, this creates a lot of waste that is heavy, and the weight of the material is entirely a product of unethical human labor in developing countries. Each thread, as part of a whole fabric, was handled by an unknown worker who is part of a whole population of garment workers suffering harsh labor. I strive to convey the difficulty of letting go of memories and emotions and contrasting it to the ease of discarding physical materials, at the expense of marginalized laborers and the future of our planet.
I started forming sculptures out of sheets and clothing, guided by my feelings at the moment and intuitively tying them together to make tight and suspended shapes.