Paint Brushes

Relationship: Im/migrant

My mother bought these paint brushes when she studied at teacher’s college in Taiwan, back in the 70s. She became a teacher and served for 25 years. Her busy life as a mother and teacher did not fade her passion for art. When I was little, I sat and watched her painting with these brushes, with the smell of oil in the air. The smell was not pleasant, but I think the paintings were wonderful. I arrived in NY in 2008 with these brushes my mother gave me and started my graduate study in Fine Arts. She was a very good caretaker of things, so they remain handy even after 30 years. My parents visited me for my graduation from Taiwan. At that time, I had no idea how long I would stay in the States. And I could tell they wanted me to go home.Three years later I got married to my husband, who is also from Taiwan to pursue his career as an artist. From an alien to a permanent resident, eight years have gone by. However, my husband and I still have doubts about our future. Will we finally settle down as the first generation immigrants? Will we go back to Taiwan and start everything from scratch? I finally gave away all of my oil paints, since I don’t really paint anymore and there is no more room for extra belongings. But I still keep and cherish the brushes from my mother. Future is not certain, but just like the paint brushes, heritage is what I am given, and will be with me wherever I will be.

Year: 1970

– Szu-Wei Ho

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant