These photomontages had a long hibernation period and eventually became part of a book entitled “Our Spirit Life”.* My mom passed away in January 2002 and then a decade later in the same month, in the same hospital wing, my father passed away. Both times boxes of family photos came into my possession. Over the years, I’d written poems and done tribute pieces of art for my parents, but I’d been intending to do something with these inherited photos in particular.
Going through them again as I prepared a slideshow for dad’s wake, lines of a Laurie Anderson song kept coming to mind: “when my father died it was like a whole library burned to the ground.” Indeed, knowing how much of my insular upbringing has vanished, interweaving photos of skies and landscapes, cityscapes, from my own collection, I created these montages as a memento mori for the life which was, yet also as an acknowledgement of how much it is encapsulated as a living story within me.
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