Reconstruct • Reform • Redefine

Sauman’s mixed-media works are constructed with traditional Chinese joss paper, wire, and hand crafted canvas structures. Joss paper are sheets of coarse bamboo paper, often painted with gold or silver pigments. In traditional Chinese deity or ancestor worship ceremonies, joss paper are folded into shapes and then burned to ensure that the spirit of the deceased has lots of good things in the afterlife.

Five years ago, Sauman began by folding the joss paper into different shapes, questioning the traditional ways of folding the paper. Then she began to combine and construct different kind of materials together. She started adding pigments and using jewelry wire to attach them to canvas structures. As her experiments with the joss paper progressed, Sauman found the new materials forced her to reconsider the form of her work. The texture of the joss paper did not work well with the oil glazing technique she had been using, leading her to switch to acrylic medium.

In addition, the work became sculptural and was no longer restricted to the the two-dimensional surface. As a result, Sauman started learning woodworking skills in order to design and build support structures that could be fully integrated with the folded joss paper. Her entire process has redefined the meaning of the joss paper. She felt it was more important to be able to look at the nature of the material itself, as opposed to the religious significations assigned to the joss paper by tradition.

SAUMAN CHOY Mixed Media Mixed Media
Whirl
2010
Mixed Media
10"x16"

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