when i saw a piece of string that i recognized was my grandma’s favorite color, i decided in that same moment that i would use it to make her a bracelet, adding three other colors to make it a blend of red with its complementary colors. when i wrapped it around her wrist that weekend, i was astonished by the juxtaposing combination of wrist pieces she now had on. a perfect tennis bracelet that wrapped around her wrist delicately and flowed ever so slightly with her hand gestures - that had been passed down through generations. vintage, timeless, sentimental. beside it was her apple watch. new, innovative, high-tech. and now there was a third edition that completed the juxtaposing trinity: my handmade bracelet that cost less than a subway ticket and was made of flimsy embroidery thread and an adjustable knot tied at the end. it shared the sentimental value as the tennis bracelet but contrasted its luxury with the simplicity of the woven bracelet.
i held on to how what seemed to be polar opposites were fitting together with ease and elegance. their meticulous structures contrasted with that of my grandma’s skin. the creased skin with tan lines from the sun and her periwinkle arteries peeking through the crevices of her bones and around her wrist beneath the bracelets. her wrist was art, so naturally, i was drawn to representing that juxtaposition with my own abstract touch.
the two opposite ends of the canvas are separated from each other by her arm, symbolizing the strength and resilience that the bloodline she stems from carries within it. the ability to divide two realms of color fighting for the center spot is portrayed with tension but the colors themselves are not quite able to overpower her arm. around it: claws. stemming from the swords that are represented by the green spikes appearing from the lower right corner. in a sea of opinions, norms, and stereotypes, society is essentially dominating the authenticity of our own minds, and the potential to nurture our creative, unique, and original behaviors and thoughts. it is the modern element of the piece that brings it together, representing the resistance against conforming to societal norms, despite the feeling of being clawed at and trapped from every direction. i painted the spikes overlapping each other with different thicknesses, intensities, and layers to create a cage-like appearance to symbolize the overwhelming nature of opinions. like a double-edged sword, they also represent the different paths that life offers and how that too is overwhelming. each path, a different thickness, varying layers and colors, unique origins - paralleling today’s modern dilemmas when making any decision.
on the opposing side, is midnight green blended with purples and blues but held together with black. the corner is composed of spirals and swirls, which can be both interpreted as serenity or chaos. where does each swirl begin? are they all connected or is each curve going in its own direction? it was something i experimented with as they needed to blend seamlessly but not interfere with the intended texture and abnormality of this painting. it parallels the mystery of her arm. where does it start and end? the answer is in the way it is perceived. finding a way to portray the ambiguity of being taken over by external sources was the aspect of this painting that the heaviness of the wrist represents. it blends into the background but that is not to say it is giving in.
the ruby red peeking through symbolizes rage and anger that is constantly emerging from every corner. the inability to control it is what makes it so notorious for the way it finds itself everywhere. It fights with serenity and calmness, depicted by how the purple always finds its way to the red, portraying the tension, between, yet again, the juxtaposition of emotions.