The Burden is a work on paper, composed of two equally sized Arches Paper blocked together. It presents an intricately woven mass in the center, which is vibrant, seductive, but heavy, immovable, and perhaps intimidating at the same time. This shape itself is inspired by a Rubens’ painting of himself and his first wife, Isabella Brandt, and more specifically the shape of her voluminous skirt portrayed in the image. The shape and texture of this skirt morphed into a matter of its own, as it isolates from its original image construction. Just as the layers of fabric and societal norms in which Flemish women had to bear in the sixteenth century, The Burden is a mass so heavy, once tossed into the ocean, will forever remain at the depth of the ocean floor. The Burden occupies a psychological space which each of us carries half unknowingly, in the ocean floor of ourselves.
Leah (Yi) Huang is a self taught visual artist born in Wuhan, China. Her cross cultural upbringing has propelled her toward examining the oscillation between being both an insider and outsider. She steps back to find her own lack of difference from nor control of her environment, and touches upon a gap between desire and fear. This is an intimate space which contains both a personal palimpsest and excavation. It is often depicted through both recognizable and ambiguous figures, visual codes, and image pairings that challenge our “common-sense”.