Imagining Val Travel

Event has passed (Sun Sep 16, 2012 - Sat Nov 3, 2012)
Glama-Rama Salon & Gallery
10:00 am - 7:00 pm (closed Mondays)


Tofu’s site-specific installation of mixed media art made from travel-related ephemera. The installation infuses the space with the soul of an imaginary, long lost travel agency.

Opening Reception - Sunday, September 16 from 6pm - 9pm

Imagining Val Travel – Artists’ Statement

I have always been interested in history, from the big moments to the everyday. I have a special fascination for San Francisco history. I even like to research places in my neighborhood. For a relatively young city, San Francisco has a rich, layered history. It is also a city full of ghosts. It made me wonder about the space at 304 Valencia. What was there long before Glama-Rama?

Now, just imagine what it was like on Valencia Street at Glama-Rama when they were renovating and setting up in their new location. Imagine a trip to a dusty, dark basement and finding a forgotten corner. There might be box filled with discarded items from a long gone tenant. Imagine Val Travel.

Ask yourself, could a former travel agency be haunted? What sort of ghosts would be there? I like to think it could be a place of pleasant and happy spirits. The positive energy left behind would be from the years of customers coming by to plan and anticipate exciting adventures. A salon and a travel agency are both places that fulfill dreams and make our lives more glamorous. It could be no accident that Glama-Rama found a new home in that space.

With this mind, I wanted to create a new series of travel themed, mixed media pieces using travel-related ephemera. The installation at Glama-Rama Salon & Gallery is infusing the space with the soul of an imaginary, long lost travel agency. The installation pays homage to all travel agencies as they have all but vanished from our urban landscapes.

I often reuse and repurpose old bits of paper, everything from maps to postcards to stamps to photographs to magazines to various travel ephemera. Recycling is only part of the agenda. Even though I may destroy certain items to reuse them, there is a side of historic preservation with my work. Rather than tucking something in a box or drawer, I prefer to permanently add it to a piece of art. The work may have aesthetic value, but it also can serve as a time capsule using items that would otherwise be lost or forgotten. Many of the items I use are being rendered “obsolete” in our digital society. Snapshots, postage stamps, tickets stubs are among things that are vanishing from our day-to-day lives.


  1. Glama-Rama Salon & Gallery
    304 Valencia Street , San Francisco, CA