Wk4 – Artist Conversation – Tidawhitney Lek

“Disposable Thoughts” by Tidawhitney Lek & Daniel A. Rivera

As I walked into the Marilyn-Werby Gallery, there was a huge quilted sheet that had individual drawing on each sheet. It turns out that the entire sheet was made up completely out of napkins. The artists Tidawhitney Lek and her partner Daniel A. Rivera collaborated to create this piece called “Disposable Thoughts.” Unfortunately Daniel wasn’t there, but Tidawhitney was able to give us insight on their creative process.


The idea to create this project was inspired by social media. According to Lek, social media is a form that permanently expresses one’s thought to the world. Lek and Rivera wanted to step away from that and have something that creates temporary thoughts. Each napkin has a random doodle on it. Tidawhitney states that combining each napkin, you can create a story. Even though these are just random drawings, you can see the thoughts that gone into each drawing at some point. Each drawing took around 6-8 hours. They doodled and wrote down their thoughts on the napkins. Each drawing randomly varies according to the emotions Lek and Rivera had during their drawing. The sewing process took around 40 hours and the installation process roughly took 35 hours. Lek states that the most challenging part was installing their piece inside the gallery. They decided to hang their art piece by fish wires instead of the traditional hanging on the wall. Their reason for putting up the piece like this was to give the viewers some engagement. You can step inside the opening that they made and look closely to some of the drawings. The art piece itself didn’t really have a theme. Lek states that, “it was more like diary wrote some depressing shit.” The original idea was to use junk materials, however, it was expensive and time consuming so they decided to use napkins.

I believe that the message was that our expressions and thoughts are never really physical. Majority of the times we see thoughts being shown is through words like on facebook, tumblr, text messages, or twitter. Lek stated that, “we live in a world that is functional, not expressive.” By doing this project, Lek and Rivera was able to confess what’s in their heads. This project showcased that there are different ways to express your thoughts and feelings. An example of how people can convey their thoughts is by; music, writing, drawing, sculpting, and many more. I enjoyed this art piece and hope to see more from Lek and Rivera.

Tidawhitney Lek 22 years old, CSULB Student, Bachelor of Fine Arts.

 Artist’s information: 

Tidawhitney’s Instagram: tidawhitney

Daniel’s Instagram: crumbs_of_a_line


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