proving it / what they saw
installation, print, art

art direction, concept, design, research

Proving It

What They Saw

This interactive diptych piece puts the viewer in the shoes of someone else. “Proving It” is a way to express to others the unseen hardships of being First Generation American. “What They Saw” was born out as an homage to my parents’ immigrant background and journey.

I am interested in the language of words, symbols, and objects— their ambiguity and universality. In "Proving It", I am conveying an inner monologue that might often run in the minds of first generation children of immigrants while dealing with parental dissonance. In "What They Saw", I wanted to tell my family story through the eyes of my parents as newcomers to the country. This piece was part of the Crafted Member Showcase in February 2020. 

I was inspired by the idea of the eye chart paired with an occluder as an everyday object, essential to testing our vision, but overlooked.

I studied old eye charts— the Snellen came first with its type resembling a slab serif and the Sloan eye chart came after, its type in the more geometric form, it was clean, no rough edges. I was really drawn to the first stylistic type of eye charts, but in the end decided to make this one look clean, I was more focused on the message of "In Proving It".

Being first generation in my family, I definitely think there's a weight to be carried of expectation from the people who bought us to this world while sacrificing themselves. Do what makes me happy? Do what makes them happy? 

The message itself says "Tu me vez o quizás no miras lo que estoy haciendo?" (Do you see me or maybe you don't see what I'm doing?). There's a constant need to try to explain and reiterate accomplishments whether they make sense or not, but often times their idea of accomplishment and your own can be so different.

In "What They Saw", I used a mix of Webdings and Wingdings to tell the immigration story of my parents as they both came on their own paths and the adversity they faced to finally be fated in the States.

The use of Webdings and Wingdings in this piece was approached in a hieroglyphical sense. They are small icons that alone carry a connotation of their own and paired with other icons can create a relatable and powerful visual story. Icons for nature, travel, survival, and cosmic forces are recognizable and very similiar in most cultures around the world. “What They Saw” is formatted as an eye chart and test that is named “Examen Del Inmigrante” (The Immigrant’s Test). It is these icons that represent the shared landscape of an immigrant’s brave leap of faith as my parents did. 

Crafted is collective of BIPOC creatives in design, advertising, and tech formed with the purpose of navigating our industries while building better ones.
Installation photographed by German Acosta.

* (ill-🗝️-ah)