Creating a Garden for Migratory Grief

Sometimes being happy means learning to be sad.

Previously on view at Yeh Art Gallery as a part of “Faithful to the Mission: Art in the Vincentian Tradition” on display May 11th through June 30th.

Did you know that sometimes being happy means learning to be sad? Finally found new meaning in a previously neglected project (and maybe you will, too). Written nearly two whole years after its completion, here’s my newly fresh take from my artist statement below.

Postcards From Nowhere is a series of illustrations exploring my own experience dealing with migratory grief and mourning from people and places left behind. It is a personal extension of my work inspired by what I learned as a part of the Health and Migration project at St. John’s.

The original illustrations were repurposed from a crowd illustration assignment that I could never quite finish. Looking to make the most of my shortcomings, the illustrations in their new form rely on a series of tropical landscapes with “missing sunsets” to carry across a bittersweet tone.

This message is important to me because it allows me to express how sad feelings of grief and homesickness can exist even amongst the greenery of the “happy” tropics. In other words, as Therapist Melody Li puts it, “there is the gratitude and the grief, and they can journey together.”

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