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Family Ties

This series of paintings, titled Family Ties, was created after I underwent a series of genetic counseling sessions and began compiling family medical histories in response. These works aim to capture an essential yet unexpected aspect of my immigrant experience--uncovering connection to family who had been distant, even unknown, through our shared biology. 


In 2021, I was undergoing treatment for a newly diagnosed illness, which spurred the need for genetic counseling, given my medical history. I immigrated when I was 10 years old, and did not have many chances to connect with my extended family back home. In short, I never knew all that they had gone through. It wasn’t until I had to provide the medical history of my family that I discovered these connections. Adjusting to my new illness at the time was difficult, more so internally than physically. Coming on the heels of the pandemic, it felt even more isolating. Learning my family’s medical history, clinical and distant though it may be, offered me a sort of comfort in knowing that they had gone through (and survived) even more difficult circumstances. 


When I made this work, I knew I didn’t have their whole stories, just a small corner, but it was enough to give me a thread to hold on to while I navigated murky waters of my own. 

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