Biographies

Hataya Tubtim

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I am an artist who is interested in people and their existence in the places they inhabit. I am fascinated by spontaneous empathy, how homes are built, how relationships broaden our humanity, and how our ‘self’s’ are created through any of these processes.  I wonder if communities can really transcend our immediate spaces (both internal and external) to form that global village that I heard of.

In 2008, I began work in the San Joaquin Valley, on a project called Laton Live! Reunion/Reunión. Under the guidance of Suzanne Lacy and in collaboration with 8 other artists, (and other guest artists), we spent 9 months in Laton, Ca, talking and working with community members and initiating various projects. The work culminated in a spring, nighttime festival celebrating and remembering the town’s history and culture.  Although I have lived most of my life in California, that was my first experience in the rural Valley. At that time, my closest point of reference was my father’s roots growing up in rural Southeast Asia, and the impressions I had when visiting my family there.  After these reflections, and the completion of the Laton project, I have had the opportunity to return to the Valley. I, and my collaborator, Michelle Glass, have been working in Arvin, Ca since fall of 2011.

My practice originated in the studio through drawing, design, and painting, and has migrated to public spaces.  More recently, I have experimented with performative activities, but I continue to examine the ideas I encounter through traditional processes.  As I reflect on my experiences, I hope to discover more about my connections to others.

–  February 2013

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Michelle Glass 

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I am a Public Artist working in Social Practice. I am compelled to work in this field because this type of art is about the human condition.  It is my belief that reciprocated experience can only be found in the spirit of Place, which is much more difficult to obtain from an object alone.

My work is deeply rooted in my personal history. As a child, I lived in East Los Angeles, before moving to the rural town of Moorpark, CA.  Growing up within these two perspectives, I became aware of contradictions among rural, suburban, and urban environments, the wealth and poverty of communities, and racial barriers. My work strives to build equity and social justice and is relevant to the challenging issues we face in our modern times, including human rights, education, poverty, health, and the environment.

I am intrigued by inter-connections of  time and place, the physical world, land, the body, and the dialogue that occurs among them. In the landscape there is no beginning or end only a continuum of place and time. Land is tended through growth cycles by generations of people.  By creating site specific land/art installations in the landscape, the subtleties of materials will weather over time. Time is not captured but observed.

Working in collaboration with members of a community allows me the ability to release ownership of the object into the environment. The story becomes a collective one that allows for a continuous weaving onto the text of the land. The work of art becomes part of the everyday. The cycles and the personal narratives that come together form the whole, creating the history of place. Our story is implicit in the everyday , through an interweaving of archetypes made up of past generations, modern society, and future generations to come. We are all interconnected and interdependent where time and place are experienced simultaneously.

De Colores: A Community Story Project, is a series of narrative works as told through the collective voices of the people that make up the community of Arvin today. Through the works their stories will be shared and serve as temporary markers in history that will speak to those that choose to listen. This project is an attempt at creating a sense of time in the here and now.  Their connection to the land will be reflected in the work through light and shadow, changing seasons, and sense of place. These make up part of their experience of being.

– April 2013

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