Update on 50|50 Show: Weeks 5 & 6

42 paintings done, 8 to go! If you've been following my 50|50 project, you'll know I've been doing a bit of catch up to make the July 27 deadline. So real quick, here's the latest installment - Finland (left) and Oakland (right):

Week 5 - Finland (left) and Week 6 - Oakland (right)

One of my brothers lives in Finland so I've been there several times. Always in the summer when it never gets truly dark, the sky is a stunning blue, and it's (nearly) warm enough to go swimming in the many lakes and/or the sea. We spend time in Helsinki, Laitila and surrounding areas. 

Week 5: Finland - Helsinki, Laitila and surrounding areas.

I moved to Oakland after graduating from university in Berkeley (the 2 towns border each other). It was a pretty formative time for me as it was the first time I wasn't in school, the first time living on my own and I had my first studio (in downtown).

Week 6: Oakland, CA

This is also when my fascination with windows began. Wandering around Oakland, I noticed that many of the windows had grills on them, similar to the safety systems in Pakistan and Vietnam where I grew up. At a time when I was questioning my future (as most recent college grads do) and trying to reconcile my past (as a global nomad), it was comforting to find something familiar in these windows. At the same time, they reminded me that I was an outsider, something I'd been struggling with for years (usually whenever anyone asked me, "So where are you from?").  At the time, I was caught up in the idea that one is always either looking in or out of a window, so there's always this barrier preventing one from joining in. Now, I think the fact that we can look through and see "the other" creates opportunities for dialog; but that's a different series. 

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If you missed the last couple of weeks, you can catch up on my blog. You can see my progress on the final 8 via Instagram. These paintings will be on display at the Sanchez Art Center August 28 through September 20. More details here