How do hubris, neglect, remorse, trauma, or hope influence memory and the recording of history? How do we retain a sense of wonder through hardship, violence and injustice? Questioning concepts of origin, authenticity and processes of remembering and forgetting, I integrated objects of uncertain provenance or elusive origins (from CU Art Museum’s collection) into an account of family history as told by my mother, an ancient pair of scissors passed down from my grandmother, and a tiny old black & white family photograph. I selected the museum’s objects based on their possible association with the historical Silk Road and a personal sense of kinship. While I feel encumbered by objects, I value their significance, partly due to the fact that my parents and grandparents shed or lost most of their belongings due to political events or while having to move across vast geographies.


The undercurrent of egg MUSEUM is a series of egg tempera studies that convey my personal narrative. These studies combine imagery inspired by a small black-and-white photograph of my mother and grandmother, and a pair of hand-forged scissors passed down through generations. The hands that I depict in the egg tempera studies, showing the various uses of the scissors, are interchangeable between my grandmother’s, my mother’s and my hands. At times, my hand replaces my grandmother’s, tenderly brushing my 8 year-old mother’s hair from her eyes.



media: egg tempera on clayboard and various media
dimensions: variable
Curated by Sandra Q. Firmin.


egg MUSEUM was realized with the support of the University of Colorado Art Museum, Chia-chi Chen, Mark and Polly Addison, Virginia Bower, Carol Cleland, Yong Cho, Lori Emerson, Angie Eng, Tianlong Jiao, Laura Hyunjhee Kim, Adam Krug, John Opera, Warren Quigley, Kate Nicholson, Jack Quinan, David Shneer, Larry Strear.


The egg MUSEUM is dedicated to my mother, Chia-chi Chen, whose love for her family infuses this work.