Ashley Thompson Residency Period Dec 2015 – May 2016
Painting is problem solving. Painting is realizing that behind each question lurks another question. Painting is fiercely stalking the mysteries that elude us. Painting is constantly feeling like your brain is about to explode. Painting is not forgetting. Painting is standing your ground. Painting is getting struck by lightning. Painting is falling in love. I am a storyteller. I tell stories about being a Chinese-American girl whose classmates nicknamed her Ting Ting and whose mom killed her pet rabbit and ate it for dinner (this is a true story). I tell about the number of ways I have been reminded that my mom is from China and cannot pronounce the letter L. I tell about the stupid questions grownups have asked me, like: did your grandma eat monkey brains in her native country? I tell about my mom’s traumatic upbringing during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the playdates with my aunt’s crack-head pedophile boyfriend, and my white father’s infatuation with the Far East, which led him to marry multiple tiny, crazy Asian ladies. I tell about the lonely, messy, vibrant upbringing of the displaced. Art gives meaning to experience. It provides a reason for darkness: a breakthrough is waiting on the other side of a breakdown. Making art is learning to fall laterally; it offers solutions, connectivity, and a place for what might otherwise tear us apart.
For her work visit website ashleythompson.net