“(Ting) renders Mother with great love and tenderness in her mixed-media ‘Compass-Ion.’ She is fluid, in motion, infinite, …ingeniously constructed the piece as a spiral, a vortex, converging at the altar.”
Dory Hulburt, The Horse Fly
I was born into a household with three women who had bound feet: Great Grandmother, Grandmother and Sixth Great Aunt. We lived together in an old house in Shanghai with a garret where all the children slept. One of my earliest memories was the excitement on the morning I was finally allowed to pick out my own bar of brown sugar from the secret jar, from which all sweetness flowed. Another was my stepping onto the sill of an open window, a cool wind on my face; I reached toward the patch of blue-grey sky, willing to fly. Voices behind me screamed, “No! Stop! Do not move!”
Those words became the mantra for most of my upbringing. They were to prevent me from being struck by whatever misfortune might be waiting in ambush. In order to keep familial peace, I became adept at being still, and learned to thrive in stealth and silence. Imagination was my window for escape…
When I draw and paint, I am that child from long ago, filled with wonder, unbound by gravity. Curiosity to experience the new drives me to churn stillness into motion, and forge action upon the static. Everything, mundane or esoteric, inspires me. When colors and contours engage dynamically and emphatically, they crystallize life’s elusive meanings and transitory moments, inviting empathy and harmony. This is liberating and restorative work, and I am happy to answer its call.
A persistent feeling of sublime urgency makes doing this work impossible to resist. On this seemingly arduous venture, I am honored to be among many who are skilled in the art of tenacious acceptance… We just lean into the wind and keep on trucking.