But It Pours
No Longer Available
Ballpoint pen, digital print
19.5 x 107"
No one, including me, knew what to make of a Black Southeast Asian growing up in Sri Lanka. I was a spectacle. I took up space, but in ways I didn’t want to. The finger pointing, jokes, and stares told me that being Black wasn’t just different, it was “less than.” I needed then, and still do now, a story of Blackness that broke the lie. A story that shone bold and bright regardless of what the world said.
My art tells such stories - stories of people who know who they are, and take pride in that knowledge. They are me in a sense, but in ways I am still learning how to fully be. They are aspirational self-portraits, standing out in the world, but comfortable taking up space.
"But it pours" is a continuation of using hair as a tool for self-reflection and internal exploration in my work. I often draw parallels between the time and care spent detangling my own curls and that of scribbling in the textures that make up my character’s hair. Hair, to me, is a reflection of the self, a way to slow down and process my inner being. Like me, it has good and bad days and responds well to love and attention. It is also unexpected, unruly and at times even frustrating. In the shared gaze of recognition with other Black women, hair is a point of connection, a way to say “I see you, I am you - we are both here and now.”