Fortune Seeking was exhibited at Acadia University Art Gallery from August 3 through September 25, 2011.
Each image in the series Fortune Seeking started with a fortune saved from a fortune cookie. These individual fortunes were used as the basis and creative direction for each digitally created photocollage and are embedded within each work. The relative proportion of each photograph is based on the average fortune cookie fortune dimension: 1:4.5. The finished print size is 6″ x 28″. (To see the images slightly larger on the web, visit my flickr page.)
The fortunes themselves, scraps of paper, printed with purportedly “ancient words of wisdom,” were collected from hundreds of meals eaten in Asian restaurants over the last twenty years. I cannot explain my fascination for the fortunes, or why my collecting them became something of an obsession—resulting in an inability to throw them away—but their appeal seems to be world-wide (for example, they are prized in Brazil for their seeming ability to provide lottery players with winning numbers). According to Jennifer 8. Lee, author of “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles,” they have an enigmatic history, which most likely began in Japan; and are largely unheard of in mainland China.
The mystery of their origin only adds to their fascination for me.