No Trespassing: Sacred Land, Installation (Photographs, Sand, Cedar, Mulch, Ornamental Grass, Shells, Wampum, Rocks, Soil, Wood, Twine),2023*Installation photos by Stephen Jeong
No Trespassing: Sacred Land serves as a heartfelt tribute to Chappaquiddick Island on Noepe. It is also my first ever deep dive into installation art. On view now at the Trolley Barn Gallery in Poughkeepsie, New York until November 10.
While many idealize the island as a playground for presidents, a setting for reality TV, and a trending TikTok destination, it’s crucial to acknowledge the forgotten history of its residents – past, present, and displaced. I’ve created an idealized space, envisioning a reality where our connection to this land is unhindered. Unfortunately, the truth is we must navigate numerous obstacles to access the sacred spaces on Chappaquiddick, originally stewarded by our people. This body of work is my reclaiming of that space, urging viewers to confront the barriers we face. It’s a reminder that this land is ours, yet we’re perpetually seeking permission. The central photograph’s framing mimics the windows of New England cottage-style homes prevalent on the island, connecting with my previous series, “Not Your Vacation Home,” featuring similar iconography. The four black-framed photos on Chappaquiddick pay homage to the four directions and the circle of life, reflecting my constant contemplation of ancestral ties. In witnessing loved ones transitioning to the afterlife, I carry their spirits with me, emphasizing the intricate interconnectedness of everything.
This is more than a place; it’s our home. This is sacred land