The chronicle of cells
“Even after he died, his beard still grew out”
My father said on the phone when he was announcing my grandfather’s passing.
To be accurate, it is not that his beard was still growing out but it is the cells inside his skin that came to the surface as his skin dried out. It was at this moment that I started to reflect on the journey of cells underneath our skin that carry memories of my grandfather.
Each of the pieces is made of multiple cells and within a series, each piece as a whole represents different forms of cells.
The first piece is linked to my grandfather’s early loss of his mother when he was 5.
The second piece was his childhood routine: swimming in the polluted green river.
The third piece is his lifetime passion and joy for American pop music.
The fourth piece represents the quality family gathering that my grandfather was always passionate about, especially with his grandchildren like me, my sister and my cousins.
Finally, the last piece - which is unique because of its interactive and detachable form - is the farewell ritual that I came to terms with the death of my grandfather.
By allowing each cell to be off from the surface, I finally accept his leaving.
Text by Jeae Han