The funerary rites in Taiwan are unique within the greater Chinese culture but consistent within the context of the original Chinese immigrants who went to Taiwan — they had not intended to stay permanently. For those who were unable to return home while alive, their bones would after death. Thus evolved the burial practice — after seven years, the dead are unearthed and placed in an urn, waiting for an opportunity to return to their homeland. Written in the voice of a woman dead for seven years, Fatherland is Gocco printed and burnt on Rives Lightweight, cover in Chinese handmade paper. 17 x 89 x .5 centimeters. Created 2006.
Born and raised in Taiwan, Shu-Ju Wang settled in Oregon after stays in Saudi Arabia, California, and New Jersey. Trained as an engineer, she started taking classes at Oregon College of Art & Craft (then Oregon School of Arts & Crafts), and had her ﬁrst solo exhibit at the schoolís Centrum Gallery in 1996. In 2000, she left the high tech industry to become a full time studio artist working in painting, printmaking, and artistís books. With one foot ﬁrmly rooted in the Paciﬁc Northwest and the other in the artistic traditions of East & Central Asia and the Middle East, Shu-Ju paints a portrait of her sometimes wonderful, sometimes unsettling, ﬁrst generation American life. Website at www.fingerstothebone.com.