Land of Plenty

Bounty is an irreverent visual statement on consumption and economic values in the land of plenty--the United States.
Hair embroidered on a paper towel 

Bounty (2010)
Mixed Media, 10" by 10"

"Bounty" refers to both the boundlessness of material goods and economic opportunities that the United States offers, as well as the boundlessness of waste that results from the excessive consumption of most Americans. I am particularly interested in addressing how consumerism contributes to society's overall detachment from hands-on production of the material objects they consume and possess. 

I decided to approach my examination of this cultural detachment from two perspectives: as an immigrant and as an artist. As an immigrant, I grew up in a culture where citizens were personally invested in growing the food they ate or making the clothes they wore. As a studio artist, I find great inspiration and satisfaction in creating expressive, abstract work.

I chose to work in embroidery because it is an activity that is especially common in my previous country, the Philippines. I wanted to make a piece that would show a vision of hope by treating a highly disposable consumer product--a "Bounty" brand paper towel--as if it were a valuable object, thereby giving this piece the same status as that of a valuable heirloom.

On the other hand, there is also an obvious element of absurdity in using two nearly worthless materials--human hair and a disposable paper towel--to create a work of art. I hope that this absurdity reflects what I feel are the troubling, often absurd contradictions that make up the ideals of wealth and economic promise that make up this Land of Plenty.

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