I made this installation at the end of my sophomore year of college. I had taken Chinese Calligraphy as an Art Form with Professor Ying Li, and was interested in the many uses and derivations of the line. I was exploring my relationship with my learning disabilities – ADHD, and a number of rare cognitive discrepencies and delays – and how I use the line to explore and express the way I see my world. I named it UNDERWATER, because that is sometimes how I feel. I read two times as slow as the average adult, and when I hear words, it often takes a few more seconds for me to process them than most. Finding out about my disabilities, I wanted to learn how to live with them in a new way – like a fish, I wanted to be able to live underwater. I have been drawing ornamental designs since I was 12. People often ask me about their ‘obsessive’ quality. The reality is that I’m not obsessive – it’s the opposite. They help me relax, and they focus my mind. In school, my most difficult classes were always math. I wanted to see if I could express my understanding of numbers by exploring the visual pattern of their symbols.
Over the summer, many of the drawings were damaged in a flood in the storage. The installation was over, but I felt that many of the drawings had reached a new form. I hope to re-install it with an added layer of this expression of being underwater. I used traditional Chinese ink, markers ink pens, and 3D-printing pens, which I also used as stencils for spray painted elements. The walls were set up so that different sections were dark, or light, as the fish swam toward the center.