I spent hours over a boiling pot mixing my own version of ink using ancient primitive hand-made ink stick-making techniques which came with technical, physical and emotional challenges. In order to become intimate and comfortable with the material, I wanted to become it, be it, and inject all that the ink represents into me; history, heritage, roots, childhood, discipline, time, desire for an awakening.

Ink 'flesh' slugs are made using higher water contents in my ink mixture and allowing them to dry in molds. 

My earliest art lessons were in Chinese painting and calligraphy. It was by repitition, immitation to practice the traditional techniques. In my youth, I wondered what any of it had to do with me, being an American girl. The etiquette surrounding the continuous years of lessons affected me, informing my unconventional, experimental and inventive approach to this material.

Ellen Jong © 2020