Arts·Paper Cuts

From their grandmother's words at an airport, Cat Lamora creates an iridescent paper landscape

"She pulled me into her arms and she said, 'May you become a big bowl so that you may hold the mountains of your home in your heart.'"

'She said, "May you become a big bowl so that you may hold the mountains of your home in your heart"'

From their grandmother's words at an airport, Cat Lamora creates an iridescent paper landscape

2 years ago
Duration 5:26
'She pulled me into her arms and she said, "May you become a big bowl so that you may hold the mountains of your home in your heart."' Filmmakers: Arnika Tamatoa and Jess Hayes.

This video is part of our new series Paper Cuts, in which you get to be hypnotized by artists doing incredible things with paper, scissors, glue sticks and X-Acto knives.

Cat Lamora immigrated to Canada from Korea. Why is that important? Because living as an artist in Toronto, they're constantly returning to the folk tales, stories and words from elders that they carry from childhood.

Lamora says, "In Korean traditions, a lot of our knowledge is passed down from the elders to the children orally. So we're taught stories; we're told folk tales. Songs are gifted to us by them. I think when I was younger, I didn't have as much of an appreciation because I didn't understand what a wealth of knowledge, what a wealth of inspiration it was — but with age and being away from home, I think I'm finally seeing just how beautiful it is."

Cat Lamora gluing a small piece of her new work "To Become a Big Bowl". (CBC Arts)
I think my grandmother would be very proud — she always said that she saw me coming back to the roots. She said, 'Deep-rooted trees are the ones that grow tallest.'- Cat Lamora
(CBC Arts)

Working with various papers, an iridescent layer and memories of their grandmother, Lamora is creating a new work called To Become a Big Bowl. In this video made by filmmakers Arnika Tamatoa and Jess Hayes, you'll see how Lamora travels through Korean tradition to make a large container that gently holds mountains — a reference to both their grandmother's advice and a famous painting that brings good luck to its viewers.

"I think my grandmother would be very proud — she always said that she saw me coming back to the roots. She said, 'Deep-rooted trees are the ones that grow tallest.' And hopefully I am respecting her wishes to some degree by reaching deep for my roots."

Follow Cat Lamora here and check out all of the other pieces in our Paper Cuts series!

(CBC Arts)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lise Hosein is a producer at CBC Arts. Before that, she was an arts reporter at JazzFM 91, an interview producer at George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. When she's not at her CBC Arts desk she's sometimes an art history instructor and is always quite terrified of bees.

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