I am interested in participating in the 1 October Memorial design process because I believe commemoration and recognition of the truth, no matter how painful, is crucial to the healing process. It offers occasions for people, either alone or collectively, to acknowledge pain, suffering, anger, and the many other complex emotions that accompany death and loss. This acknowledgement allows people to move forward. Commemoration also provides ways for the community to express its support and to collectively heal. I believe that loss, resilience, and renewal are themes that can be explored for the 1 October Memorial through an inclusive, open-ended in its design. In contrast to a design that dictates how a person should feel, I believe the proposed memorial should allow for different interpretations and emotions.
Based in southern California, I founded the design practice Studiofolia in 2010 to engage in projects that expand the conventional concept of public art. Leveraging my background in landscape architecture and public health, I examine projects from a holistic point of view, looking at how design can contribute to the overall health of our communities and environment.
The projects that I like to work on tend to be commemorative, historical, or celebrate community or cultural identity. This focus to my work perhaps can be traced back to my family's experience of being refugees in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Like thousands of other people, we had to re-build our lives and communities. Undoubtedly, I've inherited a sense of history's weight and its injustices, but I've also learned about the power of resilience and regeneration.