Mulberry paper, ink, window film, tracing paper, tulle, thread, wire, joss paper, spirit money, incense, qingtuan and chrysanthemums at the Angel of Grief, Stanford
Diasporic Tombsweeping is an installation that excavates tethered histories of migration in Chinese America. Calligraphy scrolls raise a monument out of poems carved into the barracks of Angel Island Immigration Station in Exclusion-era San Francisco. The fragile translucence of paper invokes tenuous solidarities in a community shaken by mass violence. Based on the artist’s collaboration with a physician providing psychological first aid to survivors of the Half Moon Bay shooting in January, this installation explores collective mourning, memory, and survival. The Angel of Grief, a tribute to Jane Stanford’s brother, transforms into a new Angel Island—not for isolation but remembrance of the migrant farmworkers and laborers who built the transcontinental railroad, as well as Stanford’s campus itself. Viewers are invited to burn joss paper, a Tombsweeping Day ritual that brings ancestors comfort in the afterlife.