About this piece:
This is the first of a new series of constructed narratives integrating forgotten family photographs, letters, and captured thoughts with the early 1900’s as backdrop and dialogue. Familiar book format was set aside in order to build and explore envelopes and their symbolism. In some cases, envelopes are meant to be opened and revealed while other envelopes and thoughts are meant to remain sealed and silent. “Seldom Seen” seeks to ask and reveal – A handmade abaca paper envelope houses two smaller envelopes. The smaller waxed abaca envelope holds a clam shell, (symbolizing lungs and a breath) and a tiny, but sentimental address. The other envelope of Japanese mulberry paper envelope reveals a tiny window reveals “depression” from the postcard inside. As you continue to open the piece, the story and Miss Wilder await you.
Mulberry paper, handmade abaca paper, family photo and postcard
Karen Chew is a book artist and painter, a longtime resident of the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work features abstracted and symbolic imagery, nuanced and constructed narratives that often reflect Chew’s cultural background and new life experiences. With years of building designer practice, attention to space, time, and emotional connection are essential elements in her pieces. Chew continues to create and exhibit new work in the Bay Area, US, internationally, and virtually. Prototypes of her work may also be hidden in the niches of mail art and occasional sidewalks.