Artist's Statement

Elisabeth Vasquez Hein

As the American-born daughter of a Filipina who left her home country for a better life in the United States, I seek ways to enter into conversation with my mother’s past and persona to find the seeds of my own being. I balance Filipino and American identities, and the spaces of my home here and the home of my family in the Philippines, managing ambiguity, ritual and longing. In this process I’ve created a personal lexicon from which to understand my roots—what it means to be of diaspora, of centuries of colonization, mestizaje.

In a state of pause and of becoming, I contemplate the environments I have entered, and that are also entering me. I navigate languages of color, plants and spirits. I find myself both inside and outside, in proximity to and at a distance from, versions of myself and my mother.

This work is a journey into the mysterious and symbolic textures, traditions and superstitions that comprise my lineage and inherited purpose. Moving closer to a wholeness of being, my body enters this house of images—and is an altar for my ancestors’ consciousness.