For My Parents



A commemorative series, following my dad's passing in March 2009. This work was completed in spring 2010.

Click to read full artist's statement

Grief is an endeavor to preserve what has already been lost, from saving empty jars to keeping the ashes of a loved one above his old bed. In my most recent body of work, I seek to record stories that capture these moments of grief as an attempt to preserve my own loss. I think of how my dad kept our late pet rabbit in the freezer when he could not bear to bury him; of how he asked my mom to keep his old car forever when he knew he was dying; of how I kept a bag of apricots he gave me in my freezer, though I didn’t touch them for over a year.

But through recording these memories, I inevitably build new associations and stories that become the backdrop for this suite of woodcuts and pamphlets. A dog disappears beneath a swarming flock. A newborn rabbit nestles in the feathers of a gutted chicken. Though sorrowful, these images isolate moments of togetherness that emphasize how not only the works’ characters but also the memories they stand for guard over one another. The process of woodcut, too, carries a tone. Whereas painting consists of covering a surface with layers, woodcarving is the act of cutting away to arrive at the final image. While the prints are secluded and still, the accompanying pamphlets are shareable and thus movable, thus giving many people the chance to read the stories associated with this work. In this way, my stories develop according to and are reinforced by the experiences of others, so my prints are the result of both change and preservation.

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Title: Roxy
Medium: Woodcut / Folio Paper (teastain color)
Dimensions: 38 x 50 inches
Original available for purchase

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Title: Roxy - Wall Installation
Medium: Woodcut / Various Papers
Dimensions: over 8 x 5 feet
Original available for purchase

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Title: Keeping
Medium: Woodcut / Somerset Velvet Paper
Dimensions: 31 x 41 inches
Edition of 10, some originals available for purchase

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Title: The Last Day I Saw My Dad Alive
Medium: Woodcut / Folio Paper (antique color)
Dimensions: 38 x 50 inches
Edition of 10, some originals available for purchase

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Title: Pink Baby
Medium: Woodcut / Folio Paper (antique color)
Dimensions: 38 x 50 inches
Edition of 10, some originals available for purchase

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Title: Pamphlet Series
Medium: Various Papers / Japanese Book Cloth / Book Board
Dimensions: 31 x 41 inches
Original available for purchase

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Title: Pamphlet for "The Last Day I Saw My Dad Alive"
Medium: Cream-colored Frankfurt Zerkall paper / ink jet
Dimensions: 6 x 3 inches (closed), 8 x 6 inches (open)
Original available for purchase

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Title: Pamphlet for "Pink Baby"
Medium: Dark Blue Fabriano Ingres Paper (cover) / Soft White Mohawk superfine paper (interior) / ink jet
Dimensions: 5 x 3.5 inches (closed), 5 x 7 inches (open)
Original available for purchase

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Title: Pamphlet for "Roxy"
Medium: Gutenberg Laid (tan book paper) / ink jet
Dimensions: 3.75 x 3 inches (closed), 7.5 x 6 inches open
Original available for purchase

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Artwork of Jenie Gao

Title: Pamphlet for "Footsteps"
Medium: Green-Grey German Ingres paper / laser jet
Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 inches closed, 2.5 x 10 inches open
Original available for purchase

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