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Wood

Wood

Liu’s wood sculptures are assemblages of wood pieces salvaged from a carpenter’s shop in Los Angeles, which she sanded to resemble stacked stones worn with age, such as those found in cairns that are erected as trail markers or tokens indicating safe passage. Liu stacked the wood fragments on tall rods that function like spines, adding unexpected handmade touches along the way. My Darling, an improbably tall and asymmetrical tower crowned by a long plank, at the end of which is an axe head-shaped piece of wood, painted white and cocooned in string secured with nails, is in reference to Congolese fetishes she saw on a trip to Africa in 2007 (see texts on Velocity and Protection). The small wood fragment speaks to Liu’s childhood, and memories of feeling vulnerable and marginally safe. In Before You, Liu hammered loose pieces of wood into a rectangular box painted bright red, then sawed off the ends of the wood to create a smooth and stratified surface. She left one space empty as a kind of pause, indicating a state of incompletion. She then mounted this system onto a long metal rod. The effect is that of a totem pole, with gaps, imperfections, and layers suggesting complex histories.

Written by Jennifer Field

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Wood