Green Hammock

I make embroidered drawings on recycled materials that embody a woman’s experience and life history. When I examined the marks on the US Army women’s nurses uniforms, I found traces of their hard work, their identities marked by worn holes, stains, missing buttons and torn parts. My hands discovered images that flowed from my unconscious experiences and memories of war, allowing my needle and thread to translate my own impressions.

The uniforms were found in an army surplus store near my son’s home. Years ago, after 9/11, he phoned to tell me he felt as if he had been wounded badly in the war. He had been working hard at that time as a CEO to save his Silicon Valley company. Since then I have often visited him and that army surplus store.

When I first walked into the store and looked through the piles of uniforms, helmets, canteens, shoulder packs, blankets and holding beds, my childhood memories of the Korean War were refreshed. Even today in the States, whenever I hear a tornado warning siren I am afraid and feel like running for shelter before the broken bombshells shower over me. The memory of seeing countless dead and wounded people on the street still haunts me. In my studio, my hands tell these stories through my needle and thread, memories that can still see the war going on, that can hear the mother’s scream at the loss of her son and daughter and can see the army nurse’s gracious patience and hard work.

November 2010