Pillar of Salt

Pillar of Salt: Illuminated History in Writing is a series of illuminated crowd-sourced written history in the shape of light sculpture, honoring individual’s intentions of advancing gender equality. The project is supported by Halcyon Arts Lab Social Impact Residency (2018-19).
In the course of 9 months, I partnered with Hirshhorn Museum/French Embassy, The Goethe-Institut DC, Flow Yoga Center, Corcoran School of Arts and Design and the Smithsonian Freer|Sackler Gallery and launched a series of interactive installation, activating existing physical space to engage, empower and mobilize the communities. 
Participants were invited to respond to the prompts through an intention setting writing ritual: To advance gender equality, what are you doing well? What can/will you do better? I collected the commitments, and used the paper pieces to construct light sculptures, during which process illuminating individual’s personal relationships with existing gender stereotypes and their intentions to contribute to building a future of gender equity.

T h e   C o m m i t t m e n t s

What are you doing well? What WILL you do better?

"I have to learn to forgive myself before I forgive others."
"I know my beauty is not tied to my site and I defy anyone to reject the love I have for myself."
"I will commit to keeping learning more about marginalized groups in order to expand my empathy & deplete ignorance towards groups of people who have seen different experiences than my own."
"Volunteer to help people register to vote - because every vote counts."
"Not put down members of my community for better opportunities."
"I would have listened when she told me she was uncomfortable."
"I will make a greater effort to demonstrate my love and support to my gender non-conforming and trans family."
"I will listen more than I speak. Even when I feel slighted, I will try to understand others’ perspectives before I contribute."
"I eat when and what I want."
"I want to live in LOVE! Not Fear!"

Read more written accounts on Pillar of Salt's social media and sign up for monthly newsletter here.

I feel that I as one person, do not have the impact alone that is needed to move/bring this issue into broad daylight. We must not forget that women & minorities are not the only ones harassed, and the men that are (harassed) do not feel validated sharing their stories.
We must not forget that women & minorities are not the only ones harassed, and the men that are (harassed) do not feel validated sharing their stories.
I hope to design a better world than the one I have found.
I want to make it more than ok for men to express their emotions, I want it to be seen as strong.
I have to learn to forgive myself before I forgive others.
I commit to being unapologetically messy and taking up space in male-dominated places.
I will protect more. I will join the demonstrations against injustice and inequality. No more excuses about weather or tiredness.
I commit to making everyone comfortable. Everyone deserves to be heard and seen, to be loved and respected. Joy should be natural. Fear should not. I commit to building a safe place.
Kinder self talk.

B y   T h e   P e o p l e   F e s t i v a l
June 15 -  23, Autoshop Union Market, Washington DC

The exhibition, Pillar of Salt: Illuminated History in Writing, aims to provide a visual archive of this endeavor, showcasing 6 light sculptures built with the written commitments previously entrusted to the project in the year of 2019. These one-of-a-kind sculptures were constructed through a labor-intensive process of laminating 12 layers of thin strips of paper onto wooden forms, creating organically curved surfaces to contain the light within. Here, paper is the recording medium of abstract thoughts as well as the constructing material of the sculpture, functioning on both metaphorical and physical levels.
Human Essence: The Essence of Human is Light

During the exhibit, visitors are welcome to sit down on the meditation cushions or utilize the reflective corner if they would like to contribute new entries onsite. Visitors will also have the chance to experience Human Essence, an interactive light sculpture installation located in a semi-private area behind the curtain. Two flat light sculpture panels mirror the silhouette of the person standing in their front, and fill the person’s contour with light -- “human essence” -- regardless of the person’s age, gender, racial background and emotional status. The future of gender equity involves people of all genders. As one submitted commitment stated: “I commit to believing that everyone is doing their best.”

T h e  J o u r n e y