'The Surface of Your Land', asks a question of belonging to a land. It is a question of interpreting and identifying a place as your own.
From 2017-2022, I lived in a rural town named Sterling in Central Kansas. There I learned about the history, culture, and agricultural systems of Kansas. As I've come to cherish living in rural America, I questioned how a minority and immigrant like myself can value living and working in rural towns while fully belonging to the land. This question branched into assimilation, nature, and a culture of a place.
American regionalism, a movement depicting scenes of rural America, has been my main influence on my paintings. My paintings are characterized as traditional regionalist paintings, in which I use egg tempera, a medium often used by regionalist painters. I use egg tempera as an apparatus to reference the heritage and history of Regionalism.
The subjects of my paintings are agricultural structures in rural Kansas. I observe structures that are designed purely for their functions with no intention of visual appeal. Their indifference fascinates me. They parallel nature in a way that their shapes are purely for their function and the structures create forms and shades that seem almost organic. The subjects in my paintings expect no attention but exist in indifference—unintentional beauty.
Living in rural America as a minority, there is a constant state of heterogeneity and alienation I feel. My paintings act as my instrument for belonging to the land that I live in. I seek to make a new mode of expression through modifying traditional techniques.
The landscape of Kansas I create is a portrait of myself, a new American portrait.