The birthday cake series is based on the cake I prepared for my daughter's second birthday party. My daughter was blessed to be surrounded by so many people at that event. It must have been a joyful moment for her. And it was an unforgettable moment for me as well. As a parent, I felt a special delight beyond words. This was the day I discovered that I could indirectly feel happiness through my daughter’s experiences, and I instantly decided to depict that feeling in my art.
All my works from the birthday cake series have the same theme. One is a birthday cake, which signifies the special day that only comes once a year. You can also find two goldfish, a dinosaur and a banana. The goldfish and the dinosaur are small penny-size toys, which I always put in a tub when I gave my daughter a bath. The banana is my daughter’s favorite fruit, one she has been eating since she started teething. These items symbolize everyday life.
The happiness depicted in my work is not only to symbolize special occasions, but also the small joys of daily life. Even though they are not as showy as the other elements in the artworks, I’ve also included a grape – something that my daughter once choked on. It’s there as a reminder of the possibility of danger and accidents in life.
If you look closely, you will notice that the surface of my painting is rough. The layers of color were shaved to expose the groundwork. In some works, the paper is glued, colored and then stripped. Pastels and colored pencils are used to add color and are then scraped off. Life is never smooth, rather a series of ups and downs. That is also what I wish to express in my art.