I have seen a lot of people around me pass away in the last few years. A few weeks ago, I lost my best friend. In the wake of these losses, I fear that I have not maintained a proper communion with loved ones.
A few years ago, I faced a friend who was lying down in a casket. That moment, multiple emotions passed by, accompanied by these images: my friend’s face, the casket, her life, and a silk thread, which is a Korean token symbolizing the extension of one’s life. I thought about reincarnation. I decided to create my own ritual and celebration, in order to have communion again with the loved ones whom I’ve lost. Since last year, I’ve been working with a similar concept, using pottery as a meditation on each person I have lost in my lifetime. While I form each person’s piece, I continually think of them, talk to them, and try to capture part of their essence in each clay body. My grandmother was a very calm and peaceful spirit, so her piece reflects her energy. For a talkative friend whom I have lost, the piece makes noise when it is shaken. For a year and a half, I’ve been making a ball to represent a face, then attaching a square form to the top, symbolizing a casket.
As this idea develops, I am planning on incorporating these pieces, each representing a loved one, with a silk thread that hangs from the ceiling. The silk thread will connect each piece (and each person) to an extension of life in another, unknown form. By doing this, I am able to connect again with them.