Rachelle Dang


My work involves reconstructing and transforming objects from the past to address critical questions and tensions in the present.  Some of these objects are personal and relate to my upbringing in Hawaii, while other objects reference colonial and ecological legacies in the wider Pacific.  My approach draws from an awareness of the vulnerabilities of the natural world and the body.  The immersive installations are spaces of poetic and emotional resonance, addressing diaspora and uncertain journeys, protection and entrapment, loss and the recuperation of memory.  Some of my sculptures have been made directly from 18th century scientific drawings for elaborate cabinets to transport plants on long sea journeys, or through my observation of museum objects, including panoramic colonial wallpaper.  For the last several years ceramics has been crucial to my practice.  Ceramics carries within itself hybrid, cross-cultural influences and dialogues, and relates to most aspects of human life.  The fragility and preciousness of the medium imbues my work with a sense of intertwined vulnerabilities: environment, body, and material.  The immersive and sensory qualities of my installations invite viewers to spend time in introspection and critical thought.