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In The Details

This is the exterior of the Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles.  You can see a reflection in the door of the La Brea Tar Pits across the street.  Tar has been seeping up from the ground for tens of thousands of years.  Bones from animals such as mammoths and saber toothed cats have been found in the tar dating from the last glacial period.  Pictures of the tar pits in a future post.

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The exhibit inside the museum was maybe one of the most uniquely beautiful I’ve ever seen.  Artist Binh Pho spent one year in a reeducation camp after the fall of Saigon, seven days floating in a small boat in the gulf of Siam, and eight months in a refugee camp on a deserted island outside Kuala Lumpur before arriving in the U.S. He makes intricate  wood sculptures using dental tools.  I took photos of some of the details on the large pieces.  So many of these individual details could have stood on their own as works of art.

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The color was added with acrylic, but so often looked metallic.

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Some of the pieces were a collaboration with glass or metal artists.

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All the pieces together told a fantasy adventure story written by Binh Pho.

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Well, my small creative contribution seems even smaller after seeing that, but I guess we make “art” in our own way with the skills that we possess, and what it brings to our life.  Often just for the sake of satisfying the yearning to create.  So with that idea in mind, I’ve been finding myself sitting with a “sketchbook” and “sketching” more.  Still a long way from my intention of loose sketching.  But here’s a couple.

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And one more stitched acrylic and applique.  Still need to put a backing or border on the applique.

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No post would be complete without an LA weather update. We had a couple days of cool air, that even brought a ten minute down pour.  But today we are back to 90 – 105 degrees.  A photo taken before our ten minute storm last week.

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Details can be seen in different ways, depending on the situation.  The details in a sculpture or painting can make a huge visual or textural difference.  But in life, what sometimes appears worrisome or trying, is in fact a minor detail that doesn’t really make any difference at all.  When I read Binh Pho’s story, I was reminded of that again.  And everyday when I read about the unimaginable challenges of the world’s refugees.