On Paper explores the visual rhetoric involved in travel, immigration and migration. Starting with a research-based process, I investigate a collection of bureaucratic documents of travel and immigration from my own archives, as well as from friends and family. Employing methods of digital manipulation, erasure and redaction, the documents are recontextualized into landscapes, abstractions, and poetry.
In Landscapes, the watermarked imagery of various passport pages are transformed through rephotography (using a scanner), and digital manipulation of scale, composition and detail. In this process, the intricate backgrounds that exist to prevent identity theft and aestheticize national iconography, become large-scale foregrounds of ubiquitous and unbound nature. In Forms, I selectively erase texts from various immigration documents to create Concrete Poetry, subverting the interrogative nature of the found words, and highlighting the physicality of the documents and their paperness. In Blueprints, all texts from the paperworks are removed, leaving only the skeletal lines and grids. Printed onto translucent blueprint paper, and they are layered to create new spatial arrangements.
By decoding the pre-existing iconographies and symbols of Homeland, my work translates them into new interpretations of place, identity, and belonging. Devoid of their original bureaucratic function and cultural specificity - On Paper becomes a metaphor for our collective transit.