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My mother often tells me that I am a listener. I agree. I listen more than I talk because everything around me has so much to say, especially the materials with which I work. Except they won’t talk until I initiate. Some of the more stubborn materials make me work a little harder. Rough and dry to my touch, wood was so aloof when we first met. Misunderstood perhaps, we got into a friendly scuffle to end up splintered and bruised. Aware of our thresholds now, we quickly made a truce. I value fights like this because it’s the friction between us that provides the necessary warmth in my works. I let the materials—the grain of the wood or the weave of a cloth—lead the conversation, not
wanting to miss anything. I was in it for the stories. As a token of appreciation, I share with them my stories too.

Preoccupied with listening to these materials, it is no surprise that I sometimes neglect listening to the voice that already exists within this living and breathing body of mine. Hence more recently, I have been trying to listen to my body through exploratory dancing and rituals to rediscover myself amongst the noisy chatter of the materials around me.

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