Rooms consists of photo sculptures — multi-layered sheets of acrylic with photographic collages on them — that depict rooms in residential rental buildings in New York City. The project investigates the economics and architectures of rental apartment, and reflects upon the housing dilemmas of recent transplants to the metropolis: the nomadic lifestyle with frequent relocations and temporality of “home.” Confined within a room as their only private space, residents utilize every square inch to bring out the most functionality, identity, and diversity.
Each photo collage sculpture consists of 15 to 20 layers of plastic with multiple photographic elements depicting domestic items. Together the layers in one collage represent a singular room but it is one that is furnished with objects from multiple identically shaped rooms that are stacked up vertically in the same apartment building. My process is that I visit a rental building and ask permission from residents — who live in those identical units that located one above each other — to take photos of their identically scaled rooms. Later, I take out objects from each image of the rooms and print them on multiple Plexiglasses. Then I stack those layers one behind another to create a new room, a compressed space in which illusive depth and real depth exist at the same time. The series offers a compressed view of urban domesticity, caught between the generic and the personal.