Installation > Perfectly Cheerful

Perfectly cheerful
2008-2009

Installation: Size variable
28 paintings in mineral pigments (iwaenogu) on paper over panel, one drawing in mineral pigment (gansai), two sheets of typed text


The title derives from the text in the Medical Description of the Two-Headed Girl from 1867. The editor of the Daily Evening Bulletin of Philadelphia described the conjoined twins attitudes in "their strangely blended condition." The entire text from the same book was typed on the found old paper, representing the voice of cultural authority and medicine. In response to these voices, the verses of the two-headed girl; Millie Christine are also included in this installation.

All the figures of conjoined twins are based on historical documentation from Carmen heroicum de partu monstrifero by Jacob Locher (1471-1528), one of the earliest printed illustration of conjoined twins, as well as Yvonne and Yvette McCarther, a craniopagus (joined at the head) born in 1949. In this installation, small paintings of conjoined twins fill one wall. Their unique shapes are made more distinct by their graphic and abstract presentation. Patterns, dots, and occasionally flowers and roots inhabit their bodies; sometimes depicting romantic views on conjoinment and sometimes suggesting separate individuality. On the other wall, the drawing of a skeleton of conjoined twins reminds us of that many conjoined twins were intensely studied throughout their lives and even after their death.


Archival prints of some paintings are available for purchase. Visit the Store.

Project website for "Perfectly Cheerful."