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Mountain Waits: Art from Memory

Creator:
Published:
June 13, 2024
June 12, 2024
Watch this video about Fr. Martin's immigration art that uses the image of mountains to share his memories.

At 20 years old, Father Martin fled Communist Vietnam to reunite with his family. To capture that journey, he wrote down all he could remember in the past 40 years and created this artwork, each watercolor a cataloged memory.

Fr. Martin shares, "That is 500 sheets of paper. I painted 3,000 mountains. The repetition, that image of a mountain surrounded by the water watching over me when I was leaving behind a life that I have known for so long and I had nothing. I had nothing but hope."

Video Transcript

Father Martin: Space and time. We humans exist in two dimensions, and in this work actually, I combine that together.

Father Martin fled Communist Vietnam when he was 20 years old. To reunite with family, he snuck out in the cover of the night. From a small fishing boat, he watched his home fade away.

Mountain Waits

Hello? Oh, my goodness. I'm back from shopping. I'm late. Oh, my goodness, welcome to The Art House. Let's go through here. I'll show you this. I wrote down every details that I can remember for 40 years in almost 3,000 anecdotes.

Producer: 3,000?

Father Martin: 3,000. And then I record my life in there and I copy them into this. This is pretty much the kind of “software” of that work.

Each watercolor is a cataloged memory.

That is 500 sheets of paper. I painted 3,000 mountains. The repetition, that image of a mountain surrounded by the water watching over me when I was leaving behind a life that I have known for so long and I had nothing. I had nothing but hope. To look back as if I can look at our life without any hindrance or limitations, to see things as they are, people as they are, which I don't think we have that access today. It is truly a prayer, a prayer that at the end of life, we'll have that opportunity to look at life just between you and God, and just say, "It has been a wonderful journey." And I think that all of us will have a chance to do that. That is the work.

Creators:
Grotto
Published:
June 13, 2024
June 12, 2024
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