Family



A story about a snapping turtle and her eggs.

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Several years ago, a friend and I came across a giant snapping turtle on the side of the road. She had been hit by a car, her shell shattered to pieces and organs exposed and draped across the pavement. Out of pity, we attempted to move the remains off the road into the grass, when the turtle moved her head and hissed. Seeing that she was still alive, we began to search for a means to put her out of her misery, only to see that strewn all around her were eggs. We called my dad, who came and loaded her in his car with a shovel. At home, he shot the turtle in the head and buried her. My mom protested killing the turtle, claiming that it was bad luck to kill something that normally lived so long.

My friend and I gathered the turtle's eggs, but they never hatched. For the years following I continued to reflect on this event before finally making the Family series of prints. The making of the woodcut, "Big Mama," and her rounds, coincided with my father's illness, and only in retrospect did I realize what truly drew me to this story. Already I mulled over my mother's sentiments about not killing the turtle that was already fated to die, over the idea of keeping something that could not possibly be kept, though my dad still lived and I had yet to actually lose anything.

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Title: Big Mama
Medium: Woodcut / Folio Paper
Dimensions: 28 x 48 inches
Original available for purchase

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Title: Baby Bullets
Medium: Silkscreen / Paper
Dimensions: 12 x 9 inches
Original available for purchase

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Title: Baby Bullets
Medium: Silkscreen / Paper
Dimensions: 12 x 9 inches
Original available for purchase

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Title: Baby Bullets
Medium: Silkscreen / Paper
Dimensions: 12 x 9 inches
Original available for purchase

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Title: Big Mama and her Rounds
Medium: Woodcut / Silkscreen / Paper

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