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Yesterday is Here

This 32 x 2.5 foot scroll chronicles the changing relationships between man, animal, the environment and the self. Read right to left, it explores many different thematic elements through its own visual narrative, which uses size and placement, fluid groupings of transforming figures and repeated imagery to lend weight and significance to its story and characters. The figures depicted move through and transmogrify into both their environment and each other, turning from human to animal to vegetable and joining with the landscape itself.

I came up with the idea for the piece while studying in Japan. There I came across several scrolls from the Edo period and earlier, including "The Scroll of the Frolicking Animals" and "Night Parade of 100 Demons." Aside from being captivated by the skill and fluidity of the drawing, I noticed that the scrolls couldn't take place over a single moment like western painting, as the characters interact with each other. However, I realized this could be taken further. The Edo scrolls contained small stories but had no overarching narrative. Having been a fan of comics specifically and narrative art in general I set out to combine the formats, using tall verticals throughout the composition as panel borders and indicating the passage of time both through repeated yet changing figures and changing settings and times of day.