Bundith Phunsombatlert

Tracing Transformations: Mapping Fragments Through Oral History
Pronouns: he / they
Artistic Discipline: Interdisciplinary
Category: Brooklyn Arts Fund
Grant Year: 2024
Location: Brownsville

Tracing Transformations: Mapping Fragments Through Oral History is a new video installation that emerged from a series of interviews with senior Caribbean immigrants. The project's goal is to uncover the hidden journeys of these immigrants and their unique immigration narratives. Through these interviews, the project delves deeply into their life experiences, from their countries of origin to their arrival in the United States. Importantly, these stories are intertwined with the profound significance of specific plant cultivars that hold deeply personal meanings for the interviewees. This project blends elements of art and history by digitally overlaying blue and white porcelain pieces, reminiscent of artifacts found in U.S. museum collections, with images of the plants mentioned in the seniors' stories. Each porcelain piece serves as a symbolic representation of geographical borders, highlighting the diverse landscapes and territories traversed by each participant during their life's journey. For the video recording, as the seniors, alongside their children and grandchildren, recount their experiences, these blue and white porcelain fragments take on the role of symbols, representing their transformations and acting as a map for the audience to trace the lives of immigrants who, over time, were absorbed and transformed by their journeys into new environments.