Burning is an exploration of memory as I create and burn books made of Chinese incense paper, critiquing ritual and belief, and the relationship that binds them.


2023, New York

Ashes vanish into thin air, echoing the memory of that one winter afternoon when I stood on a Hong Kong rooftop and burned my very first book. Leaf by leaf, another book is consumed in the fiery embrace, its journey to the afterlife sealed in flames.

Rituals pass from one generation to the next, their meanings rewritten with every iteration. Once a traditional Chinese act of filial piety to convey messages to the departed, burning incense paper has evolved into a symbolic expression of remembrance, forging connections from the past with generations to come.

I have no message to convey, nor any person to address. But I trust that each act of burning manifests new meanings, reinforcing the link between my actions and beliefs, birthing new rituals with their own purpose and intentions.

As I repeat the burning process again and again, I ask myself these questions:

Are ritual and belief connected or is there dissonance? How do they evolve together or fall apart?

Are beliefs solidified through repeated inertial actions or do our beliefs inform our actions?

What becomes of the rite if the message is never conveyed?

Does burning become a one-way transmission of messages, or a two-way meeting across time and space?

I can only fathom what this rite will become as I unravel new meanings, one book at a time. With every book that disappears, new meanings are solidified. For now, I can only ask open questions that lie between existence, rites, and beliefs, our present reality and the next — separated by nothing more than a leaf of paper and the strike of a match.











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