Debbie Y.J. Lin (dbyj), Canada
Fine Tooth Combing Through My Short Term Memory (FTCTMSTM), 2018
Mixed media on paper and wire and found wooden frame
Multi-channel video and sound 5 minutes 28 seconds
(from left to right)
1. fragments of OC.
2. letter from my self to myself, two times through, remembering differently
video + sound
five minutes 28 seconds multi projection & sound
in situ installation
1. in between chaos and calm
Fine Tooth Combing Through My Short Term Memory (FTCTMSTM) is an ongoing [dbyj] series exploring the artist’s lifelong theme of peace-seeking (#findingtranquistreet) and transcribing the transience of thought through mindful, methodical and meditative practices in remembering and prolonging memories. Structured in her original literary expression, Biblical text and historical writings from Oswald Chambers from the the devotional “My Utmost For His Highest,” (FTCTMSTM) fuses and threads the inner linings of the artist’s memory of her grandmother, their collective fading, and the warped and fragile momentitos. Through repetitive manipulations of upcycled mixed media, (FTCTMSTM) depicts a state of floating and wading in an ocean of fragmented dreams, words and visual shadows, as the artist attempts to stay in her grandmother’s gaze.
My grandmother took the last boat in 1949 of May to flee to a foreign island of Formosa. At age three, my mother took me to Canada where I could draw d-shaped windows and pumpkins in any color Crayola could make. Fast forward to right now, I am here today because they dared to cross those waters. Mi abuelita is the original artist in the family, although never having the proper opportunity to realize it in a ‘professional’ way, she made a living and life through each hand-knitted pattern and taught me the beauty of life through creative stitching. Memories of her Nivea scented cheeks next to mine as she made noodle soup from scratch in the humid afternoons of her first floor apartment, I would see us, birds eye view, me, a toddler, and she, the beauty and strength she always is —- me, lagging because I did not enjoy walking and she, gently scolding because she was tired too. As her memory began to fade, I began to grasp tighter to ours. As she forgets hers, I preserve ours. Like the way I watched her comb her hair in front of the mirror, I fine tooth comb through my own mind to salvage, scavenge, and save all that remains:
when you see me smiling at you i know, you know, it's me.
that we are as near as any two people could be.
in the few seconds of clarity, you sense our closeness, even if you no longer have the words for me.
i know, from your eyes, from your hands, you feel my heart surging to hug yours.
in between chaos and calm i find you.
my heart, mi abuelita, 我可愛的婆皮
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