Artist: Carmina Correa
Exhibition: A Beach In Symmetry, A Breach In Symmetry
Media: sugar piece: sugar water, corn syrup // confession booth: found objects, acoustic film, construction grade materials
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery East
Here’s a little bit about Carmina Correa! She is a lovely Filipina from Anaheim. She is currently in her senior year of undergrad here at CSULB. She is working on getting her BFA in Sculpting. After graduation, she plans to work as a fabricator, where she will use 3D printing and new technology. On her free time, she would play (and practice) competitive video games which is super awesome because I know a handful of people who also like to do the same. Sadly, she gave up video games for art (which isn’t so sad actually, since her art is very cool). We made conversation and she had said, “There is critical thinking in art that could be used in science” which is a very unique way to of thinking to relate the two subjects. Carmina found her interest in art when she was at a very young age.
This form of art is very different from what I have been used to seeing. Carmina’s sugar piece was made of sugar, water, and cornstarch. There was a large contrast in her piece because there was granulated sugar scattered all over the bottom of the pieces, not having a particular shape or design, whereas the starch pieces were very symmetrical. The starch pieces were perfectly cut, despite a large crack on the first layer. There was also a contrast in color. The starch pieces were green and blue, whereas the granulated sugar was plain white. Carmina also had another piece in this gallery which was a confession booth. This confession booth was isolated in a corner, and the entrance was a little hard to find. Inside of the confession booth, there was a hole where a wide variety of stuffed animals and religious items were stored. The stuffed animals (as well as a pillow) varied from many different cartoons. The childhood toys that were playful highly contrasted with the seriousness of the religious items, like the Santo Nino and the candles. The confession booth also had acoustic film around the walls.
The sugar piece was created because Carmina is a Type 2 diabetic. Carmina wanted to acknowledge her health using this sugar piece. With these pieces, she wanted to take things that were “uncomfortable” and reinvent them into things that would be more comfortable. The reason why her confession booth was so isolated in the corner with a hard entrance to find was because she said that is how it usually is in churches. Carmina said that with confession booths, because they were so hidden, you would never really know when people would enter or exit it. She said that confession was always such a weird thing to her. It took her 2 weeks to put everything together, but her and her gallery mates (2 others, totaling to 3 people altogether working on this gallery) the whole summer to collaborate and come up with a unifying theme. They had conversed about what pieces they would put together in the gallery. Carmina said there was a void within her ethnic background. Being Filipino, there is the history of the Spaniards colonizing the Philippines for many, many years. This piece was a way of acknowledging that. Carmina also stated that she makes her art for herself, which I really admired.
When I walked into this gallery, I didn’t know what exactly to think. There were so many different aspects put together. When seeing the sugar piece, I was curious as to how it could have been created. I didn’t notice the granulated sugar when I first looked at the sugar piece, but when I walked back around to it, I then noticed. The confession booth resonated with me because growing up Catholic, I have done confession many, many times. Though, I have never actually gone inside of a confession booth like this one. I come from a Filipino Catholic church that served over 5,000 families. 5,000 families means an extremely large amount of kids going to church school (called “C.C.D.”). Because of the numerous amount of kids having to do confession at the same time, priests from around the area would come to my church and would have their own little areas around the church. Confession was never only done in one closed room. The candles and the Santo Nino were very familiar with me because my family has many just like it on our little altar at home. When Carmina spoke about how the sugar piece acknowledged her being a type II diabetic, it reminded me of my uncle who is also diabetic. He has been struggling with it for many years now, which made such a beautiful art piece have a sad thought in my mind. Overall, Carmina’s pieces in this gallery were very unique.