Naturalized

Sculptural Poem #1

This project is part of a new series of sculptural poems that continues my investigation of the power of language as a container of emotions. For this series, I have picked text that is an ambiguous word or a fragments of a phrase. The text could be interpreted in different ways based on the subjectivity of the viewer. For me, the words are distillations of thoughts or feelings or experiences that I am mediating through formal concerns such as typography, color, texture, and material significance.

This series is also an exercise in paring down to the essentials, to the core, and an attempt at finding the “more in less.” Also suggesting the fractured nature of language, these words are broken or interrupted at seemingly random but very intentional points. For example, the Naturalized work is installed broken at three points – natur/aliz/ed. This word plays with the multiple meanings of the word “naturalized” to explore the process of naturalization that immigrants experience to become citizens of a country. The work grapples with the question that if after becoming a citizen one is naturalized, was one unnatural before? The scorching refers to cremation rites and death, and in this context, it is about giving up one identity and taking on another. However, the scorched wood also suggests themes of nature, natural disasters such as forest fires, and environmental issues.