Japheth Asiedu-Kwarteng – I Miss You Dada
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Stoneware, Kente cloth, and American Flag
28″ x 18″ x 13.5″
“Inspired by Kente cloth — expanding its symbolism both in writing and in artworks — in my works, I explore the communicative potential of the language of fabrics and fibers to discuss issues of separation, fear, rejection, love, nostalgia, racism, appropriation, and the other complexities of the diaspora.
The combination of my works as my diary uses a monumental visual language to commemorate my memories, mixed feelings, and traumatic experiences. It is my appreciation, made material, of possessing multiple personalities while living in dual worlds: my identity as a transnational.
I Miss You Dada (2021), for instance, speaks to my experience of possessing dual identity and being a stranger to my family and my current space in the US. It speaks to my shock of seeing my son run from me because of my long stay away from home—missing his birth and the first twenty months of his life.
I identify with Kente as a revered cloth of royalty, which always sends my thoughts home to my young family. These thoughts of my family and conversation with them influence how I name my works. I reflect on their pain and struggle with my absence while I make these works.”
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