multimedia installation; single channel video, soft sculpture, hand upholstered recliner, 2015-2017

Hometown Hero (Chink) presents a rarely depicted view into the tensions inherent in being Asian American within the American South and I found that electrifying. Art is most compelling when it gives voice to new stories. Making this all the more special, art fairs, which tend to be more akin to a really expensive street fair than a museum experience, don’t often have room for works like Estabrook. Thus, the work’s very existence makes SPRING/BREAK a welcome outlier in the expanse of Armory week.

Emily Colucci, from ARTFCITY, State Of The Union At SPRING/BREAK

 installation view of  Hometown Hero (Chink)  at SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2017

installation view of Hometown Hero (Chink) at SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2017

installation component, Hometown Hero (Chink): Main Street, Lexington, Virginia, 36" x 60" upholstery fabric and polyester batting, 2016

Hometown Hero (Chink) is an installation consisting of three parts: a single channel video, a custom upholstered recliner, and a fabric-covered room furnished with other upholstered items. By utilizing chenille upholstery fabric for the treatment of the entire space the installation seeks to inform the viewer's sense of touch while subverting the expectation of comfort. Each object and surface is soft, inviting the participant to touch and linger in the space. The video playing on the television monitor, Twinkies, Wasps, and Avatars, attempts to deconstruct and reconcile the dual identities of Asian American and Southern American. Meanwhile the large recliner, with its looming imagery of the Confederate flag, dominates the space. It sits facing the television, acting as a physical stand-in for the casual racism inherent in the desire to return to an idealized fictional version of America - the wish to “Make America Great Again.”

The work reveals hidden personal histories, allowing others to peer into a space that many like me occupy: a state of psychological exile, of in-between, of longing yet never belonging. By challenging the notions of heritage, Southern nationalism and “traditional” American culture, I hope to facilitate honest conversations regarding race, otherness, assimilation and indoctrination.

installation component, Hometown Hero (Chink): General Lee Pillow
15" x 11"
upholstery fabric and polyester batting, 2016

installation component, Hometown Hero (Chink): Born & Bred Beer
5 1/2" H x 3" Diameter
upholstery fabric and polyester batting, 2016

 installation component,  Hometown Hero (Chink): Pillow Rifles  6" x 40" x 3" upholstery fabric and polyester batting, 2016

installation component, Hometown Hero (Chink): Pillow Rifles
6" x 40" x 3"
upholstery fabric and polyester batting, 2016

 Still from  Twinkies, Wasps, and Avatars  TRT 11:31 Single channel digital video, 2016

Still from Twinkies, Wasps, and Avatars
TRT 11:31
Single channel digital video, 2016

 installation view of  Hometown Hero (Chink)  at SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2017

installation view of Hometown Hero (Chink) at SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2017

 installation view of  Hometown Hero (Chink)  at SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2017

installation view of Hometown Hero (Chink) at SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2017