They Watch You Thrive, 2020,
Self-Portrait with Screen-Printed Soft Sculpture
In this installation and self-portrait, I conjure the imagery of Japanese folklore monsters known as yokai to imagine the spirits of their queer and Asian-American ancestors looking over present and future generations with joy and fierce protection. The installation is filled with the hopeful, staring eyes of hyakume, Japanese folklore creatures known for their multiple eyes. Teeth and synthetic hair pieces reference futakuchi onna, a shapeshifting female yokai with multiple mouths hidden in her hair. The soft sculptures extend from the ceiling to form a forest-like environment of cascading hair extensions and monstrous forms. Through the juxtaposition of spirited eyes and vicious sets of teeth, I summon audiences to embrace the wakefulness of their ancestors and their protective auras while exploring the liberation of folkloric fantasy.