Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thoughts on the DNA piece

I think I'm finished:

Again, this piece is a response to an exchange with Artist X's piece, titled "Pacific Rim."

Stop reading if you prefer to interpret things for yourself.

It started with a color coded DNA sequence (mine). My mitochondrial DNA puts me in Haplogroup D, which is shown crossing over the Bering Strait into the Americas. Nothing surprising there, but I was surprised that the map did not show the group going into China/Japan/Korea as well, which of course it did.

Over the DNA sequence, I layered a fish that was half Northwest Coastal Indian salmon and half Chinese carp (with a lotus fan tail) with a map of the Pacific Rim. After that, I put down some waves, which I did not like and backed out (at least insofar as it is possible when you work in gouache).

Today, in went two figures—one of a coast Indian and one of a Chinese, holding what looks like a net but really is a very long umbilical cord. (That it also looks somewhat like a bridge is intentional.) The text is the letter my mother wrote to my American mom prior to sending me to the US. The circular space between the tail and the body of the fish is meant to evoke earth.


Michael5000 said...

The resemblence is striking.

Also, it's awesome.

Jodi Renshaw said...


margaret said...

Beautiful work, Shu-Ju. I hope to see it (oh yeah, and YOU) in person.