found photographs, cotton, tape
Bloodline is one of four pieces from Mullens' Honours thesis. The work is made up of found photographs purchased from flea markets in Saigon, the hometown of Mullens' mother. These photographs are a by-product of the war: they were left behind by families that fled the country, or were collected when families were forcefully removed from their homes. When Mullens traveled to Vietnam for the first time and found these photographs what she felt was familiarity: the images looked like the black-and-white photographs of her own mother's family. Her observation was that these photographs could have easily been, and are, her family. Mullens recontextualises these photographs through installation, linking them together with red thread as if it were some sort of chaotic family tree. As the thread loses its structure along the wall a single photograph of the artist's mother and her family sits alone. This work speaks of lost connection, but also reconnection to nationhood. While the ties to heritage may be loose, they are still present. The work acknowledges the diaspora of the Vietnamese people, including Mullens' family. Bloodline commemorates the loss of home, but also reinstates the connection to home and heritage.