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My glass figures manifest the words I leave unsaid in my intimate relationships to avoid communicating verbally. Self-disclosure is a crucial part of any intimate relationship; in my culture, revealing your true thoughts is a dangerous act that exposes your weaknesses.  This personal dichotomy is made public in my current glass sculptures, where my insecure feelings and complex thoughts hide behind cartoon figures made of delicate glass. The nature of glass blowing requires trust and teamwork. Working in this strongly connected and intimate community reminds me of home. Glassblowers build trust and dependence in the hot shop, where non-verbal interactions dominate. This dynamic evokes memories with family, and it is how I feel most comfortable expressing my pride and struggle. 

I am currently exploring another aspect of my identity that deals with my cultural background as a Hong Kong artist. Hong Kong’s identity is neither British nor Chinese. It continues to struggle in the middle. It is not one or the other. In my work, I have repurposed the figure of  Lo Ting (盧亭), a half-fish, half-human mythological character that doesn’t belong to the sea or land, as a metaphor for the ambiguous feelings of Hongkongese. My love of children’s books inspires my Lo Ting, as they often simplify complex emotions through seemingly innocent and artless narrative structures. 

My Lo Ting is a series of glass works in which the character of Lo Ting metamorphoses from a mythical character into a contemporary Hongkongese. I am utilizing Lo Ting in my glass sculptures to tell Hong Kong history from my perspective. Lo Ting was one of the mythological characters that took place in the Hong Kong area. Its frustration and sadness are expressed through crying, and its tears magically transform into valuable pearls. Lo Ting’s emotions are a melding of nostalgia for the seawater and promising expectations for life on land. Unfortunately, Lo Ting experiences a feeling of isolation despite his ability to navigate both land and sea. His “in-between” status and experience mimics my feelings about the vanishing of Hong Kong localism, a recent observation since being in the United States, away from home.


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