Falling of Heaven
2010 to Present
When I was a child I used to spend hours looking up at the sky through the blossoming branches of the cherry blossom tree that grew in my front yard. I was in awe of its beauty. I thought that was what people meant when they said that heaven was too beautiful for humans to comprehend. Subconsciously, I built up a complex mythology around the tree: in my heart the tree was sentient, an immortal monument, and a gateway to another world
When the tree started dying, it was jarring and heartbreaking. Cracks started rupturing through the trunk and branches. One day in the spring, while the tree was in full bloom, one of the five main branches fell, leaving a huge chasm in the trunk. The tree continued to grow leaves and flowers, but one fourth of the leaves were always dead. The tree spread wide, then furled inward like a rotting leaf. Its death lasted for nearly a decade before my parents took it down.
This book is an exploration of that mythology I created as a child, and how it evolved when the tree died. When I started these paintings, the actual details of the tree were fresh in my memory. As my memory fades, my image of the tree is embellished with the fantasy I created around it. This book is a record of that transition. Each painting is like a diary entry; together, the pages are like words in a chant.
Acrylic on paper, each page 8.5 inches high by 6 inches wide