Root Elevation: Jaz Graf @Dieu Donné, NYC

Tuesday, September 12, 2023
5 – 7PM

Dieu Donné is proud to present Root Elevation, the works of Jaz Graf, a recipient of the West Bay View Foundation Fellowship. Jaz Graf works with materials that hold personal, cultural, and historical significance in her hand papermaking and mixed media practices. As she explains, her interest in paper is rooted in “telling a story of Thai civilization along the banks of the river…” – one that explores the histories of fiber growing along those banks, of ancestors’ ashes flowing downstream, of images found at sacred sites, and of paper effigies burned in ceremony. Graf creates forms in paper made from Thai mulberry pulp, incorporating silks from family members as well as fabrics from the robes of Buddhist monks. The artist is deliberate and intentional about the materials she uses, paying homage to the past and her heritage while creating tangible links to her identity in the present. 

In a new body of work centered around palm leaf manuscripts, Graf plays with and disrupts expectations surrounding gender roles in society. She considers the manuscript as a vessel of collective knowledge, but also as an extension of the body. For the Panung Manuscript series, Graf created multicolored paper panels screenprinted in pulp with patterns pulled from her grandmother’s panung (long skirt). This act of inclusion is honorary yet subversive, as women were forbidden to handle many sacred texts. In merging her ancestor’s body into the structure of the book, Graf broadens cultural and historical narratives.

Curated by Eliana Blechman.

Opening reception on
Tuesday, September 12th from 5:00 pm-7:00 pm
FREE and open to the public