When I was sixteen, I visited my kindergarten, by then the building facade was already peeling off, covered with dead vines, I can vaguely remember, there used to be a mural of a Mickey Mouse painted on the exterior of the school building. By the time I visited, it had become the image of a broken face interlaced with rust and guck. The playground overwhelmed with ferns and wild grass, overturned desks and scratched blackboards are visible from the outside of the spiky fence that enclosed the whole campus.
Blurry images of myself entering this place every Sunday when I was five, collided with a deserted ruin I saw eleven years later. That afternoon I came to the kindergarten in a merely naive attempt to reconnect but eventually left with confusion and an inexplicable sense of conflict as if a gate closed, and my earliest memories are forever left hazy and muted, sealed underneath my subconscious.
I started to gravitate toward images of ghost towns, deserted shopping malls, earthquake sites and ruins of ancient empires. Maybe an effort to search for clues. This gradually evolved into a fascination about the process of destructions and burials. I started off my pieces by simply covering images (photos, maps, pornography); text (diary); personal items (music sheets); with layers of plaster, concrete, and dust, (materials from buildings and constructions) to experience what it feels like to destroy and bury, or to recreate the site I witnessed when I was sixteen.
Witnessing a site that represents innocence and early memories turned into a ruin made me realize it is an epitome that summarizes my experience of growing up in a land of lunacy and apathy as both an insider and an outsider. I witnessed people being buried, voices, opinions, and justice being denied. I witnessed histories being tampered and memories being demolished. I am excavating, in a hope to reclaim, rescue, and recover the buried but only to find dismemberment of what’s underneath that can never be completed and recovered. The process of burial and excavation is forever futile, perpetual, endless, and despairing.