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2015 GAP Recipient Shin Yu Pai’s Animating Archives

Megan Gallagher

Content Contributor

Photo courtesy of Megan Gallagher

Shin Yu Pai is a poet and visual artist whose work has been featured in The Rumpus, Tricycle, YES! Magazine and City Arts. She is the author of eight collections of poetry and currently serves as the City of Redmond’s Poet Laureate. She received a Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) grant from Artist Trust in 2015 to support the publication of a mixed-media collection of poems, including her “Heirloom” public art installation at Piper’s Orchard in Carkeek Park.

As part of her work as the City of Redmond’s Poet Laureate, Shin Yu has been working on projects in response and related to Redmond as a place. Her most recent endeavor, Animating Archives, a collaboration with photographer and teaching artist Megan Bent, is currently on view at Redmond’s VALA art center.

Animating Archives features historical images of Redmond rendered as chlorophyll prints. Leaves for the exhibit were sourced from around Redmond, and Shin Yu says she was first inspired to create the exhibit while looking through the Redmond Historical Society’s digital archives.

“There were so many [images] that were really sort of curious or unusual, and archives don’t necessarily circulate very widely except to people who are very interested and deliberate in going and seeing those collections,” she explains. “I thought of it as a way I could bring renewed attention to these archives as they relate to Redmond as a place.”

Shin Yu first met her collaborator for the project, Megan Bent, at an event related to “Heirloom” and connected over an interest in each other’s alternative photographic practices. Megan taught Shin Yu how to create chlorophyll prints and developed images for the exhibit as well.

Learn more about Animating Archives here.