letters between us

2017–Ongoing
Print series

Interested in topics of loss, I found an archive of photographs of my mother, who passed away when I was four years old. I never got to know her, or speak to her; I don't even know what the sound of her voice was like. To bridge this gap between me and someone who I should be close to, I wanted to express this desire for closeness through writing, in some way. 

I took these photographs and masked them into letterforms, specifically in the Helvetica typeface. Helvetica was designed as a modern typeface in the 20th century for its legibility, and neutrality; ironically, it has become co-opted as the iconic look of capital culture–we can see this typeface used by many companies today. Wanting to destabilize this look of cold neutrality with intimate material, I masked these photographs into the letterforms, which then began a series of investigations into printmaking and printing.

I wanted to see how I could print this design in interesting ways, so I decided to utilize lasercutting in my process for the first time. I explored many trials of etching my design onto acrylic, which I eventually mounted onto wood to create my own movable type of the design.

Below are process photos of my creations. I printed one set of A-Z by hand in the intaglio process, and another set through letterpress. Words were then created with the movable type set, used to describe my relationship to my mother.