“sentimentality”, digital photo illustration, 2023

This looks like a picture of a lot of trash. I essentially digitized my ticket stub collection. And the worst part of it all, my project kinda flopped! It didn’t turn out how I envisioned and it definitely is not art museum worthy. But the ultimate goal was self-reflection and I think I did a good job of meditating on the moments that I preserved.

So, this is a personal project and I want to share a brief reflection. While cleaning the room I grew up in, I needed to declutter my memories. I had shoe boxes of papers filled with fluttering remnants of trips, concerts, shows, etc. There’s a therapy session appointment reminder, the ticket stub to a couple movies, and bottle corks? They were all in the same collection of boxes. I genuinely don’t know why I saved some of it. I’m sentimental I guess.

To me, this project is about coming to terms with sentimentality and personal identity. This photo illustration is the end product of a creative meditation. I have created a milepost in my life’s narrative that compartmentalizes a particular aspect of my grade school and university years.

While my project means something very specific to me, the project medium is not an original idea. This project was inspired by Chinese photographer, Hong Hao. He creates digital scans of his personal items often resembling an iSpy book or a color blindness test. I like the intimacy that his art creates. My things, bookkeeping, a project of Hao’s, stuck out to me the most. Images of his ticket stubs and subway passes generate a narrative about his daily life. My project does not reach the same potential meanings of class and culture. To me, it presents a personal memoir open to interpretation.

I don’t know what Hong Hao chose to do with his items after scanning them, but I recycled mine.

Watch me work on it here:

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