Our world is one constructed from stories-fuelled by mysticism and wonder. And the human civilisation itself inspires these stories, waters them frequently, watches them grow. Truth is not the prerogative here, because within interpretations lie the truths of each individual and, time and again, history, cultures and stories repeat themselves. A lot can be garnered from understanding the myths and legends of a particular culture. Unfortunately, such stories often aren't readily available or pose enough interest to an audience familiar with the immediacy of a fast-paced society, with cultural differences further widening that gap. Such is the basis of my project-a long-running series of large scale prints depicting fables and tales from different cultures, condensing long stories into a collection of images that can potentially reinvigorate child-like intrigue. By returning to traditional printmaking techniques the rawness of such stories can be illustrated, and the slight imperfections with each reiteration is akin to the slight differences one would find through each 'retelling'. Going into the future, I'm working on expanding both the number of stories I'm exploring and the printmaking techniques I can use to depict them.
I'm working on a collection of large scale prints depicting the myths and legends from various cultures, adding to the many tellings and retellings of traditional fables and legends throughout time and history. The first print-Moon Bright-is a 50 x 100 cm collage of Chinese creation myths using various etching methods to show different textures and patterns, each representing slight variations in the stories told through different cultures that hold dear similar yet unique stories throughout the generations.
A lot hinges on the storytelling method. Creating images to tell stories allows for a wide range of interpretations, with the aim to expose these stories to a wider audience. The mysticism of these stories, in part, rests with the language and cultural barriers that limit how they can be told. The title of this piece is an indication of this: the literal translation of 'moon' in Chinese into English becomes 'moon bright' rather than just 'moon' itself. Such differences, as slight as they are, can accumulate to become major cross-cultural misunderstandings. Pictures, to an extent, are able to temporarily transcend such barriers and garner firsthand interest without the high threshold of thorough language and cultural understanding. And such innocent misunderstandings have the capability of opening up new realms of communication and the sharing of ideas and ideologies.
Moon Bright 2020, Ink on paper.