Chapter 5: Endless | The Enemies Project

Large Scale Prints Abstracted From Crisis

How do you respond to crisis?

Chapter 5: Endless | The Enemies Project

The Mass Graves of Kashmir

Endless is a set of B&W large-scale prints abstracted from the numbered, anonymous mass grave markers I photographed in Kashmir.

What is beauty? How is it found from darkness? I know that people do it. I experienced it in countries from Africa to South Asia. In Kashmir, among women who had lost their husbands to the Indian Security forces and in Rwanda where people had seen their entire families slaughtered. Still, some people manage to find beauty in life again.

I created these pieces with influence from Japanese calligraphy (Shōdo) which i studied in Japan in my early twenties. Shōdo is one of the oldest art forms to move towards total abstraction. The works often lose legibility in search of beauty. And yet, buried under the simple black and white abstractions are meaning – sometimes poetry that is filled with sadness, but often a simple beauty born from forgiveness and a desire to move forward

The mass graves I photographed went on and on. The numbers were uncountable. This series is an effort to find that beauty beyond that meaning. The reality is still there. The images are abstracted directly from photographs of the number plates from Kashmiri mass graves. For just a moment, this is an effort to focus on the beauty in life that lies above the harsh reality. Many of the women I met who had lost their husbands have moved on with their lives. They have found beauty again, even while they do not deny the sadness of their loss.

——— About The Enemies Project ———

This is one chapter in a larger project called “The Enemies Project.” In an effort to blur the distinction between art and life, I traveled to conflicts around the world seeking to unite current and past enemies. Read more about the project here.
Video: “ENEMIES – My Search For Light In Terrible Conflicts,” TEDx San Antonio, 2013
Video: “About the Enemies Project”