HUNGRY GHOSTS:
Exploring Chronic Heartache and Resilience
 Marin Museum of Contemporary Art
August 10 - September 15, 2019

Curated and Produced by A Place of Her Own for
Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, 500 Palm Drive, Novato, CA

August 10-September 15, 2019.
Regular museum hours: Wed- Fri 11-4 pm, Sat-Sun 11-5 pm

Hungry Ghosts is a metaphor for beliefs that hold you back and family patterns of trauma. What happened to make your family leave your country of origin?

Opening : Aug 10, 2019,  
     Curator's Talk- 3:30 - 4:00 pm
     Reception: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Artists’ Talk: August 24, 2019, 1:00-4:00pm (artists onsite 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm)

Last day to meet the artists: September 15, 2019 - 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Artists: Angela Bau, Avotcja, Cynthia Tom, Frances Cachapero, Irene Wibawa, Julie Anderson, Lisa Rodondi,
Maggie Yee, Manon Bogerd Wada, Natalie Sacramento, Pat Zamora, Reiko Fujii, Sue Tom, Tomo Hirai
  1. Ancestral Reflections by Avotcja
Ancestral Reflections

by Avotcja
“Can you feel them???
They’re sitting in on our everything
The Ancestors are always here…they’re everywhere
Making sure
We’re making sure
Their influence is obvious every time we Open Our eyes
They need us to be aware
They gave their everything for us
They lived & died for us
They smile
Each & every time they see their lives alive in us.”

                 -With Every Step I Take, pg 194-195 @2013, Avotcja
Root To Spirit

by Pat Zamora
  1. Root to Spirit by Patricia Zamora
  2. Root to Spirit (detail) by Patricia Zamora
  3. Root to Spirit (detail) by Patricia Zamora
  4. Root to Spirit (detail) by Patricia Zamora
  5. Root to Spirit (detail) by Patricia Zamora
  6. Root to Spirit (detail) by Patricia Zamora
  7. Root to Spirit (detail) by Patricia Zamora
  8. Root to Spirit (detail) by Patricia Zamora
  9. Root to Spirit (detail) by Patricia Zamora
Focusing on the Family Tree, Root to Spirit is an artistic reflection of the healing in my family patterns, while acknowledging those ancestral hungry ghosts who are yearning for peace, for someone to say enough suffering, there is a better way forward.

Looking through the lens of creating new family patterns/healing my chakras, I will go deeper on family patterns, but from the perspective of what patterns I am putting in PLACE with my family to heal. For this project I have invited my family members to create artwork for the “PLACE Artists binder” (onsite) that shares their healing journey.

Each session of PLACE has been a safe haven to reflect and check in with spirit, meaning and transformation through the creation of art. Art has become life. My tree and its roots have been reimagined, now the work ahead is the practice.  aplaceofherown.org

Mixed media on panel

  1. Words Unheard by Tomo Hirai
Words Unheard

by Tomo Hirai
Not everything said is always heard, but where do unheard words go? 
My father is hard of hearing, but sometimes I can’t help but feel his deafness to family conversation is more an issue of distance rather than physical disability. Words, both important and mundane, go unheard at the dinner table and in the living room. They hang in the air like a fog, weighing my heart down. Eventually, even I can’t remember what I had initially said or if it was even important in the first place.
Compiling things I said to my father that he ignored, I wrote them out on tissue paper. The tissue was then layered along with mulberry paper and other paper mediums to obscure them, simulating how the words are there, but not understood.

Mixed Media 12 w x 12 h inches
Three Mirrors to Self-Awakening

by Natalie Sacramento
  1. Three Mirrors to Self-Awakening by Natalie Sacramento
  2. Three Mirrors to Self-Awakening by Natalie Sacramento
  3. Title 3
Participating in “A Place of Her Own” Residency in 2014 allowed me to revive
myself—from a place of darkness to a place of pulsing light and energy. From that experience I was able to create Three Mirrors to Self-Awakening, my art piece in 2016 that centered on the reflective process that I went through during the 2014 residency and as a workshop facilitator during the 2016 residency. 
I was able to confront the hungry ghosts that persisted: when I look in the mirror, I see my family history and patterns; my insecurities and pain; and my longings and failures. While the hungry ghosts still linger in my reflection, it is only now and through difficult personal healing that when I look in the mirror, I can also embrace my hungry ghosts.

  1. Equalescense by Lisa Rodondi
eQualeSSence

by Lisa Rodondi
eQualeSSence is an expression of my belief that knowing that the essence of my being is equal to that of others allows me to feel connected and whole in mind, body and spirit (equal sign in an inkstick painted Zen circle floating in the sky).  My Hungry Ghost, distorted thoughts of inadequacy or superiority (inkstick marks of the mathematical signs-less than and greater than), try to hold me back (raw silk wrapped paper yarn) from being who I am and my purpose. The thoughts of inequality that tear my sense of connection and belonging stem from a cultural and ancestral belief system which valued people and expected behaviors based on a strict hierarchical system according to age, gender, social class, education level, economic status, and physical attributes.  To disrupt and be released from my Hungry Ghosts, I must recognize that the essence of each of us is of equal value which cannot be diminished or amplified by outside forces.

Mixed Media 44 h x 31 w inches
Where the Light Enters You

by Frances Cachapero
  1. Where the Light Enters You by Frances Cachapero
  2. Where the Light Enters You by Frances Cachapero
  3. Where the Light Enters You by Frances Cachapero
  4. Where the Light Enters You by Frances Cachapero
  5. Where the Light Enters You by Frances Cachapero
  6. Where the Light Enters You by Frances Cachapero
  7. Where the Light Enters You by Frances Cachapero
  8. The Remember Bones by Amy Grace Lam
  9. Where the Light Enters You by Frances Cachapero
  10. Where the Light Enters You by Frances Cachapero
This work  marks my continued investigation of my inheritance as a Pilipina-American. It bears deep scars of ancestral trauma passed down through the ages, induced by centuries of colonial rule (nearly 400 years by Spain followed by an imperialist take-over by the United States at the turn of the 20th century, occupied by Imperial Japan 1942 – 1945). This inheritance is also embedded with ancestral strength, courage, fortitude, dignity and pride.
I pay tribute to all the women of my lineage, some unnamed and nearly forgotten, enduring unspeakable atrocities of countless wars and devastating aftermaths. Where the Light Enters You is my offering to reveal the dark recesses of all our her/his-stories so we and our hungry ghosts may collectively move toward healing our ancient, wounded hearts.  aplaceofherown.org
“The wound is the place where the light enters you.” Rumi

Mixed media and light

  1. Putting Myself Back Together: I am Lucky to be Alive! by Julie Andersen
  2. Putting Myself Back Together: I am Lucky to be Alive! by Julie Andersen
  3. Putting Myself Back Together: I am Lucky to be Alive! by Julie Andersen
  4. Putting Myself Back Together: I am Lucky to be Alive! by Julie Andersen
  5. Putting Myself Back Together: I am Lucky to be Alive! by Julie Andersen
  6. Putting Myself Back Together: I am Lucky to be Alive! by Julie Andersen
  7. Putting Myself Back Together: I am Lucky to be Alive! by Julie Andersen
  8. Putting Myself Back Together: I am Lucky to be Alive! by Julie Andersen
  9. Putting Myself Back Together: I am Lucky to be Alive! by Julie Andersen
  10. Putting Myself Back Together: I am Lucky to be Alive! by Julie Andersen
  11. Putting Myself Back Together: I am Lucky to be Alive! by Julie Andersen
Putting myself back together: I am lucky to be Alive!

by Julie Andersen
This self portrait reflects my spinal cord injury affecting my left side, my nervous system, 
head trauma, broken bones, massive amounts of scar tissue
and the reasons for this accident, including current and ancestral patterns. It is
a prayer of gratitude to all the therapeutic and emotional healing I have received.
Healing has been incremental due to a family system that didn’t have tools to cope and easily overwhelmed. Even if I stumble back into ancestral overwhelm, I am universally supported, loved and whole. This is a representation of a whole foibled human who is making choices to be conscious and connected. Thank you Life, Spirit and my Hungry Ghosts. Life is just beginning!
Nature is my muse, love is the creative Engine: being human is foibled.

Found Objects in wood boxes
FLYING LESSONS. Inquire Within

by Cynthia Tom
  1. FLYING LESSONS. Inquire Within by Cynthia Tom
  2. FLYING LESSONS. Inquire Within by Cynthia Tom
  3. FLYING LESSONS. Inquire Within by Cynthia Tom
  4. FLYING LESSONS. Inquire Within by Cynthia Tom
  5. FLYING LESSONS. Inquire Within by Cynthia Tom
Growing up with a Chinese culture that values the son, but negates the daughter, Cynthia Tom uses art to unravel and address embedded feelings of being invisible and unnecessary. In China, during her grandmother’s youth, she had to horrific job of killing her baby sisters as they were born. This was not unusual and the unspoken trauma continues for generations.

Each dress form, in this painting, represents the voices of the thousands if not millions of females who have generationally been eradicated through adoption or infanticide, and those who have been or are being abused, neglected and silenced. 
This painting is an affirmation that women (past, present, future) rise. Rise in feelings of love, forgiveness, admiration, respect and POWER, shifting from being invisible and unnecessary to loved, vital and empowered.  aplaceofherown.org

Acrylic on canvas/ mixed media sculpture
9 w x 8 h feet

  1. The Yellow Swing -- In Memory of Sue Tom 1926 - 2018
  2. The Yellow Swing -- In Memory of Sue Tom 1926 - 2018
  3. The Yellow Swing -- In Memory of Sue Tom 1926 - 2018
The Yellow Swing

by Sue Tom
Searching for A PLACE OF MY OWN has been somewhat elusive for Sue. It is a skill she feels she doesn’t easily possess. Her father traded her for opium, beginning at age 6. The dealer liked little girls. It ended when she was sent to a tuberculosis sanitorium at age 12. Tom learned to put a lid on her wants and needs.

“Through art, at 92, I now feel free to share the stories. I found my voice and can now tell the stories of my rather trauma-filled childhood. I am proud to continue defining my place, participating since the first-PLACE exhibit in 2009 at the de Young Museum). It’s never too late to make art that comes from our hearts. It keeps me young. The swing is about play.”  Sue passed on January 18, 2018, making collages until the end. aplaceofherown.org

Medium: Popsicle sticks, tree branch, monopoly toys.
In Memory of Sue Tom
1926-2018
Facing Fear

by Reiko Fujii
  1. Facing Fear by Reiko Fujii
  2. Facing Fear by Reiko Fujii
  3. Facing Fear by Reiko Fujii
  4. Facing Fear by Reiko Fujii
  5. Facing Fear by Reiko Fujii
  6. Facing Fear by Reiko Fujii
Art making has provided Reiko Fujii with a therapeutic process of introspection.  By using a slow, deliberate approach to working with a wide variety of media, oftentimes taking years, she explores deeply personal material and shares her inner process to reveal her unique and, yet, universal human experiences.  Utilizing the transformative aspects inherent in creating “conscious” art is an important part of her growth and outreach to the community.

“Facing Fear” is an ongoing rumination on Fujii’s Hungry Ghost that has haunted her during her life.  By re-visiting her 1995 porcelain self-portrait, she has allowed herself another opportunity to delve more deeply into her fears and contemplate how to deal with them.

Through artful examination of this Hungry Ghost, along with the support of Cynthia Tom, Maggie Yee and her “A Place of Her Own” Sisters and Brothers, Fujii has been able to lessen and deal with unnecessary, fear-provoking influences in her life.

  1. “Detained Alien Enemy” (detail) by Reiko Fujii
  2. “Detained Alien Enemy” by Reiko Fujii
  3. “Detained Alien Enemy” by Reiko Fujii
  4. “Detained Alien Enemy” by Reiko Fujii
  5. “Detained Alien Enemy” by Reiko Fujii
  6. “Detained Alien Enemy” by Reiko Fujii
  7. “Detained Alien Enemy” by Reiko Fujii
  8. “Detained Alien Enemy” by Reiko Fujii
"Detained Alien Enemy"

by Reiko Fujii
“Detained Alien Enemy” illuminates bottled-up memories of first generation Japanese and Japanese Americans whose lives were interrupted by their unjust imprisonment in American concentration camps during WWII.

The front glass panels have fused images of scrutinized envelopes my mother and grandfather received while in the Crystal City Alien Enemy Detention Center, Texas. Every letter they received was opened, censored, stapled back together, and stamped “Detained Alien Enemy Mail Examined.” The translucent images, inside, reveal vague photos, mostly of children. Magnified through jars, they become clearer upon opening the glass door:

Lasting ramifications of the U.S. government’s incarceration of 120,000 innocent people without due process, during WWII, is apparent in families and descendants of the former prisoners and society in general. The injustice of the US’s incarceration of other innocent ethnic groups continues and haunts us to this day.

Mixed Media Installation
4 x 3.5 x .5 feet
On My Own

Facing My New Reality: She is Not Coming Home

by Maggie Yee
  1. On My Own  and Facing My New Reality: She is Not Coming Home by Maggie Yee
  2. On My Own by Maggie Yee
  3. On My Own by Maggie Yee
  4. On My Own by Maggie Yee
  5. On My Own by Maggie Yee
  6. On My Own by Maggie Yee
  7. On My Own by Maggie Yee
  8. On My Own by Maggie Yee
  9. On My Own by Maggie Yee
  10. Facing My New Reality, She is Not Coming Home by Maggie Yee
On My Own
Revelation of my Hungry Ghost lead me to my mother. My parents forbidden marriage was beginning to fall apart after I was born. Recalling the earliest memory of being close to my mother started in my crib. I’m accompanied by a mobile that pose questions to her. After she left our home my young mind couldn’t comprehend the heartache I felt because I missed her.

A small box accompanies the main installation. Peering into this box reveals a scene that took my breath away. The lost love a daughter will never get from her mother.

Overpowering my Hungry Ghost reminds me of the strength that I mustered as a child to be brave, independent and know that real love can be found in many other people.  (Please read my full statement in the Hungry Ghost Binder of Artists.) aplaceofherown.org

Mixed Media Installation
8 w x 8 h x 2 d feet

Facing My New Reality: She is Not Coming Home
This small box reflects my feelings as a little girl who did not have control of her world.
The scale of the enormous truth bears down on one so little. Looking into this box you’ll see me peering into a window. My mother is in her blue wedding dress with her new family as they gather in the house. She is joined by her daughter, new step children, while her husband plays with their son. She use to call me “Babe”.  I understood what my next step was to be… I repeated to myself, I am strong, I am healthy, I am not afraid.

Wood Box Mixed Media
4 3/4 w x 5 1/4 d x  5 h inches

  1. TRIP-LET(ting Go) by Angela Bau
  2. TRIP-LET(ting Go) by Angela Bau
  3. TRIP-LET(ting Go) by Angela Bau
  4. TRIP-LET(ting Go) by Angela Bau
  5. TRIP-LET(ting Go) by Angela Bau
  6. TRIP-LET(ting Go) by Angela Bau
  7. TRIP-LET(ting Go) by Angela Bau
  8. TRIP-LET(ting Go) by Angela Bau
  9. TRIP-LET(ting Go) by Angela Bau
TRIP-LET(ting Go)

​by Angela Bau
In clearing out our family home in 2012, we discovered that my father had kept all of my mom’s clothing, since her passing in 1974, at age 44, including her beautiful qipaos; he’d also kept all her documents. My mom, an active Catholic convert, escaped from Shanghai, under the Communists, at age 21, never to return. Catholic connections landed her in England, via Hong Kong & a Vatican passport, where she studied and started teaching. She married my Chinese father in Japan, had us children in Hong Kong, and we all immigrated to the U.S. as refugees. She found support in her faith and religious mentors. Both she and I did not share our adulthood with our mothers; the 3 of us are intertwined by this. We two also share the same name in Chinese, “An”, which means peace. The mahjong pieces of 4 directional winds, represent our life journeys of gain and loss.

Mixed Media: Vintage Dress, Mother’s ephemera
Wandering Home

by Manon Bogerd Wada
  1. Wandering Home by Manon Bogerd Wada
  2. Wandering Home by Manon Bogerd Wada
  3. Wandering Home by Manon Bogerd Wada
  4. Wandering Home by Manon Bogerd Wada
  5. Wandering Home by Manon Bogerd Wada
  6. Wandering Home by Manon Bogerd Wada
  7. Wandering Home by Manon Bogerd Wada
  8. Wandering Home by Manon Bogerd Wada
  9. Wandering Home by Manon Bogerd Wada
  10. Wandering Home by Manon Bogerd Wada
  11. Wandering Home by Manon Bogerd Wada
  12. Wandering Home by Manon Bogerd Wada
  13. Wandering Home by Manon Bogerd Wada
  14. Wandering Home by Manon Bogerd Wada
Wandering Home creates an open space for recovery of missed time and
connection with both loved ones and with oneself by ‘calling them home.’ It is a
place to pay homage to personal hungry ghosts that one wishes to release. The title of this piece is a play-on-words with returning home and a home that may exist in multiple
locations as well as at different times in one’s life. This collaborative, interactive piece was inspired by spirit houses found in Southeast Asian countries, situated outside people’s homes and businesses to offer shelter and appease ghosts from haunting the living. The photos on the jars were gathered from PLACE artists, as self identified hungry ghosts. We invite you to write notes and leave them behind. With the intention of illuminating our hearts’ resilience, we invite you to honor and let go.

  1. Excavation series by Irene Wibawa
  2. Excavation Series by Irene Wibawa
  3. Excavation series by Irene Wibawa
  4. Excavation series by Irene Wibawa
  5. Excavation Series by Irene Wibawa
  6. Excavation Series by Irene Wibawa
  7. Excavation Series by Irene Wibawa
  8. Excavation Series by Irene Wibawa
Excavation

by Irene Wibawa
This series of work is based on my family story. I began making these after I finished  A Place of Her Own program in 2016, but its effects continue to reverberate in me long after the program ended. I thank the artists I met through Asian American Women Artists Association, who have made their art based on their family stories firmly placed in historical context for being my role models.

In 2016 I found old family photos that had been forgotten. Since then, I continue to research our family stories with my parents and other relatives, spurred two family reunions, travelled to two other countries, began an online group that includes about 25 other relatives living in 5 countries, and made 25 artworks to date.

Using vintage photos, found objects, light, shadow and boxes, I illustrate my family stories as ethnic Chinese living in Indonesia and how the history of Indonesia, immigration and emigration have shaped our myths and truths about our lives.

Mixed Media
Variable sizes
The Bird

by Irene Wibawa
  1. The Bird by Irene Wibawa
  2. The Bird by Irene Wibawa
  3. The Bird by Irene Wibawa
  4. The Bird by Irene Wibawa
  5. The Bird by Irene Wibawa
  6. The Bird by Irene Wibawa
  7. The Bird
  8. The Bird by Irene Wibawa
  9. The Bird by Irene Wibawa
  10. The Bird by Irene Wibawa
The Bird is a re-imagination of Tan Tjien Nio, my great aunt, the 8th child in a family of 14. She never married, nor had children, and died long before I was born. The relatives who knew her have little information about her, and some say that they're not supposed to talk about her. All I know is that she was a quiet woman, and she was institutionalized in a hospital in Lawang in eastern Java, Indonesia, perhaps for being delusional. She died in either late 1950s or early 1960's in the institution.
I re-imagine her as The Bird so that she can fly away and be free and live in her truth. The top of the cage in which the bird is imprisoned has broken and transformed itself into plants, as a symbol of growth and hope. In this bird and the plants, I hope to heal the wounds of the silenced. In the broken cage, I wish for the captive to be free.

This is dedicated to those were held captive, felt imprisoned, and silenced.

Mixed Media
6 h x 3 w x 3 d feet

A Place of Her Own proudly produces for Marin Museum of Contemporary Art:
Hungry Ghosts:
Exploring the Intersections between Heartache and Resilience
Combining intuitive art with truthful stories, women explore ancestral trauma and resilience. 

“HUNGRY GHOSTS” includes artists of multiple generations, ethnic backgrounds and gender identities, highlighting how an artistic exploration of ancestral family patterns shines a light on the monsters in our closets, turning them to dust bunnies, providing epiphanies necessary to heal and thrive in community.
Exhibition sponsored in part by California Arts Council, Do A Little and individual donors.

Program Workshops sponsored in part by San Francisco Arts Commission, Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition, Do A Little Foundation, SF Realtors Association and individual donors. 


Special thanks to community partners AAWAA (Asian American Women Artists Association), Boys and Girls Clubs of SF and J-SEI.

We thank you for visiting.