"Borrowed Landscapes" gets its name from an East Asian landscaping technique (借景=shakkei) in which distant scenic elements, such as a mountain or a lake, are incorporated into the design of the garden. In these carefully composed spaces, background and foreground are flattened to form a 2D composition, like a painting.
Subverting traditional landscape painting, these mixed-media Borrowed Landscape collages depict what at first glance appear to be views into a tropical rainforest; instead they are staged, cropped-in views into botanical conservatories found in Brooklyn, the Bronx or Kyoto, complicating our assumptions about what is interior and exterior, natural and manufactured, original and copy, native and foreign. Mimicking the pieced-together quality of these constructed biomes, the technique of collage draws attention to the illusionistic quality of image-making itself.
The series also serves as a visual metaphor for the human experience of migration and cultural displacement: camouflage can become an act of survival when learning to adapt to a foreign environment. Like the transplants at a botanical garden, learning multiple customs and languages and assembling a self from pieces of knowledge native and new is similar to the process of collage: of rebuilding a whole from improvised and cobbled-together pieces of our own borrowed landscapes.