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I propose to create ceramic slip cast fruit sculptures made from produce collected from different local neighborhood markets and grocery stores in San Francisco. The produce can range from the more ‘exotic’ like jackfruit and bitter melon, to the more commonplace fruits like bananas and oranges. I will then use alginate to create a fast mold of the produce, which allows me to create a replica of the produce in plaster. This plaster prototype allows me to continue working for a prolonged amount of time without the fruit changing state. I can then create a slip-casting mold of my plaster prototype, allowing me to create multiples of the produce in clay. Due to the nature of the process, the fruit sculptures end up being slightly smaller than the original produce. After being made in clay, I plan on coating these fruits with a solid glaze color. The final product of ceramic fruits is intended to exist as small sculptures in people’s homes. With every fruit sculpture, I plan to include a small card that has a migration map of the fruit it was based off of.
Fruits are loaded with meaning and memory across all cultures. I grew up in Miami, Florida, a city of Cuban exiles, and the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants. My parents would always seek out the few markets where they could buy Taiwanese produce, and it would mean a lot to them since it was their way of recreating familiar tastes of their homeland. These local markets are important because they are often the only place to find specific types of imported produce that would otherwise not be available in mainstream markets. These markets and their produce represent a migration of people, of traveling from a place of origin to crossing global borders. I am interested in this tradition and history, and how this past continues to color contemporary life in San Francisco. These fruits and produce simultaneously act as symbols and reminders of a geographical past, as well as ordinary objects of sustenance.
The images I have included show slip cast fruits that I have already made, and other works that relate to my exploration of culture and identity.