As a typical inhabitant of downtown Chicago, I am a commuter and a transplant, which inspired me to explore the significance of nomadic identity. I walk around downtown Chicago with a portable, cedar deck backpack with green plastic-molded chairs attached. The deck is a symbol of the space that is both public and private; both home and outdoors. I set up in front of public and private buildings, institutions, and parks, offering myself and my space as an interactive piece of sculpture; architecture with no walls.
Instead of carrying my home with me, I carry an extension of the home; the deck. In its normal context, the deck extends the private home into public. I extend my deck into public space to make it a symbol of the private. This so-called public space is traversed by the commuter and tourist, while home to the homeless.
This piece also addresses my dual ethnicity in opposition to the American melting pot. I am ambiguous in my racial appearance, and have found myself able to slip in and out of these identities. For this piece, I shave my head to reference the Buddhist monk and wear a Hanten-a traditional housecoat typically worn only indoors.
The portable deck also functions as a vending platform from which I offer free head and neck or hand and arm massages. These experiences allow me to connect to people on a personal, physical level. I am further interpreting ideas of public and private space through an activity that is commonly both a paid service and an intimate form of communication.