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The inspiration for this piece was a story in the New York Times about an Asian man who worked on the "Death Railroad", the railroad connecting Thailand and Burma, built during WWII, under horrific conditions. When this man became weak from malnutrition and disease, rather than be buried alive as he had seen others dispensed with, he escaped death and forced labor by jumping into the river Kwai. He clung on to a piece of bamboo and floated for seven days and seven nights, until he was rescued by Buddhist monks. He was eventually able to return to his family and is still alive today.
The piece consists of paint, metal, wood, a found shoe sole, glass, string, a painted postcard, a toy soldier, raffia, and mesh fabric on canvas.
The courage of this man to have the guts not to follow the flock, and to take his destiny into his own hands is what inspired me.
August 25th, 2008
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