Riverwalker is a wax-resist textile painting, the result of learning Javanese batik from master
artisans in Yogyakarta with the support of a Fulbright fellowship. Utilizing a vernacular craft language to
depict scenes of contemporary urban life, I adapt batik to the visual lexicon of present day Los Angeles,
where I reside, generating images befitting the richness of the cultural hodge-podge of this city while
maintaining a strong connection to my own immigrant heritage.
Riverwalker is inspired by humanitarian crises in the French migrant settlement “Calais Jungle” and along
the US-Mexican border that dominated news in 2019. The young man in the foreground crosses the
graffiti and litter-strewn L.A. River at daybreak. Backlit by the breaking sunrise of a new day, the
Riverwalker figure’s identity is not defined by his race but his conviction to continue on walking with
dignity and purpose.

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