Tracy Lang: Tsunami Papers

Tsunami Papers explores the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan.

Native legend of the Puget Sound includes a powerful supernatural spirit - A'yahos, responsible for shaking, landslides and rushing water. In key locations along the Seattle Fault there are markers to warn of unstable land and tsunami vulnerability. An example would be the Spirit Boulder at the mouth of the Duwamish River.

The mural-sized collages are inspired by the art of the late artist Paul Horiuchi. They are printed with woodcut and disparate shreds are woven together creating storyboards of natural disaster.


Tracy Lang | Process Loop from Aaron McKnight on Vimeo.


Art mediates arguments I have with God. The dull weight of traditional constructs rub against my feral sensibilities. I feel the need to shape my journey, to create something larger than myself, a world all my own. When I carve an edge I can reduce the world to simple forms and eliminate confusing contradictions. Printmaking is a way of collecting time, marking our days with blades and ink.

I am inspired by Japanese woodcut prints, the order and form and history. The German Expressionists also inspire me. I am looking for a place where there is fluidity with extra chaos held together with repetition, like a tangle of sticks on shoreline, capturing the moment just before decay. I am fascinated with colors in mildew, rust, and shredded graffiti which I have "matrixed" for backgrounds for new woodcut prints.

My designs are of Spartan lushness, to bind impressionist values with definitive marks cut into a surface, an eddy built by invisible stones. I use rhythm and competition to fracture the images like glass, only then to coalesce as a jigsaw puzzle. I abide by classic realism pushing it to abstraction with size. Nautical charts, mazes, and antique documents are the skins stretching over bone. The sand dune valleys that run between each image have become my entry into personality and physical presence. Making art is a fixing ritual — tossing spears into an empty field near the ancestral gate. Memes peek out from the forest whispering secrets.


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