Coalesce

slip cast porcelain
6'h x 22'w x 1"d
2010

Swarms are mesmerizing to watch, with their swirling movement and shape-shifting forms. They are systems in constant flux, writhing in the air until they find an appropriate time and place to land. Though swarm behavior is complex, it is basically the result of simple, individual actions, just as migration is the result of individuals traveling to seek a new home.

The objects in this swarm were cast from bones saved from making Taiwanese beef noodle soup, or niu rou mian, a comfort food from my mother’s homeland. Made into a swarm, these bones embody the immigrant spirit that is so much a part of my heritage and identity. Their frozen movement captures that moment of suspension between origin and destination, when we are in neither place as we let go of one shore to reach for another.

- Elaine K. Ng

Photo credit: Matt Weedman