Juxtapose Painting

Juxtapose. What a word to describe the life of a TCK. This week, Emily Sark shares her artwork with us and talks about how art has helped her put her story pieces from “opposite worlds onto a singular canvas.” She hopes “to deepen understanding of third culture kids and cultivate empathy in those who engage with [her] art.”

Mountain Memories 60” x 48” Oil on Canvas

Growing up overseas, I gained a lot of perspective and experience with multicultural settings. I spent the majority of my developmental years in China, in a culture different from my parent’s background. This experience has not only given me an appreciation for cultures different from my own but also a deeper understanding of grief, culture shock, and cultural norms and differences. Art making was a major resource for me when I processed the grief of moving back to my passport country after 15 years in China and had to wrestle with my complex identity as a third culture kid. 

Remembering 48” x 60” Oil on Canvas

I am fascinated by the transformative power of painting, particularly its ability to juxtapose opposite worlds onto a singular canvas. My creative journey begins with deconstructing and reassembling photographs to create abstract landscapes. Just as I am not fully a part of American culture or Chinese culture, these landscapes are not fully one place or another; rather, they are somewhere in between. This format offers a unique lens through which to view the TCK experience of constant homesickness and the desire to feel a sense of belonging. I hope to deepen understanding of third culture kids and cultivate empathy in those who engage with my art.

Wonder 48” x 24” Oil on Wood

Emily Sark


Emily Sark is an American artist who was raised in China and the United States. She earned her BA (Art Therapy)  from Converse University in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Her work has been featured in The Bascom: Center for the Visual Arts. She currently lives and works in Columbia, South Carolina. 
Website: https://emilygsark.wixsite.com/website
Instagram: @esark_art



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