Photos by Elastic Lens Photography.
Trinh Mai: That We Should Be Heirs
That We Should Be Heirs encourages participants to engage in the lost art of letter writing as a method of alleviating burdens and promoting healing. By putting hand to paper and joining one another in this collective activity of personal letter writing, we can share in this intimate process of privately documenting the stories, hardships, and triumphs that connect us all.
Letters written by immigrants and families of immigrants are encouraged. Letters handwritten in participants’ native tongues are welcomed and encouraged. Writings by survivors are encouraged. This project includes on-site activities and off-site workshops during which participants will be asked to write letters to themselves and/or others to pay respect to those who have shared in our heartaches and the approaches we’ve found to quiet our pain.
All writings will be rolled and bound with string, and therefore, will remain private as part of the installation. That We Should Be Heirs aims to offer a hallowed space for the participants to release their burdens and their fears into the art. As more letters are received, the installation will continue to evolve. This project focuses on one of the most profound commonalities that we all have—our desire to heal, our constant search for new ways to alleviate our burdens, our hope to gain victory over fear, and the consistent need to let go of the things that have a way of hardening our hearts.