Degree Show-Immoral Daughter

When I made this painting, I was just shifted my focus to memory narrative again, and this time I wanted to express the uncertainty of childhood memories, which continued my previous obsession with mirrors and exploration of self-identity. Immoral Daughter is trying to create a confession conversation with my parents.  I want to paint puberty me looking in the mirror. Personally, I thought it's a bit inappropriate to judge those childhood memories of parents with an adult mentality. Most of my work comes from manipulating old family photos. Unfortunately, this time, I did not find similar photos from my childhood. I refer to the screenshot of the movie, "The Squid and the Whale," which is a story about the family conflicts of middle-class in New York. 

"Immoral Daughter" 2020

Size:80x65cm

Acrylic, oil, mix mediums on canvas

I like this picture of a child in the gaze. This ambiguous doubt is exactly similar to express my current state of looking for self-identity within my practice. As an Asian who paints her face with a Western-like facial structure, rather ambiguous, slightly disturbing. It's more like claiming for the childhood me. I'm an adult now. Do you know what that means? 

It‘s a bit annoying for most artist s to admit the similarity within their practice. Somehow Balthus and I share the same interest in the pubescent female subject. We all believe that the subject of the child to be a source of raw spirit. It may unsettle to the audience's eyes within the adolescent sexuality context while for myself it's just projected subjective interpretations of psychological vulnerability into here. Here, I deal with these unreliable memories, and painting can be an unreliable witness in that respect.

"Immoral Daughter" 2020

Size: 90x 102cm

Acrylic, oil, mix mediums on canvas

I as an Asian artist who has a strong link with my identity and cultural background. This is my early memory of my parent's anniversary photo and I found a strange trace of cutting around my dad's body. I choose to use embroidery. Though the embroidery is an act of love and care, remind me of affectionate motherhood, here in my work, becomes the very opposite of violence and indirectly of rebellion. Simultaneously become an artistic and personal tool for me to express myself both as a producer also the offspring of my parents. 

 

The repetitive stitching on the canvas is a brutal dialogue of a fixed relationship between my parents and my memory. It’s nothing about conformity in here; it’s more like a subversion to subvert my memory of them. The past memory within the family sphere is private and personal. At the same time, my role is complicated, saw this invisible crack and pain between them between my past memory. Taking from Parker, ‘the art/craft hierarchy suggests that art made with thread and art made with paint are intrinsically unequal: that the former is artistically less significant. But the real differences between the two are in terms of where they are made and who makes them.’ Right, on an emotional as well as a practical level, this has been an obligation for me to rehabilitate the relationship by stitching. The sort of emotional ‘reparation’, while also act as in a ’transformational’ capacity. To my mind, it‘s also about aggression and destruction. 

However, during the work, I feel a tiny bit of moral threaten. The subject within the family sphere is so private and personal, while the artifact is open and provocative. Then this is going all the way back to the intention of work Immoral Daughter. I doubt me become a grownup gives me the right to judge my parent's marital relationship, or maybe in their eyes, I still an adolescent girl not familiar with the ways of the world. It’s obviously sinful to the Chinese traditional culture though I inhibited the initial idea in Britain. This sort of independent feeling evolved me to think like Western? Yet this is being said that Immoral Daughter is confession work salute to my memory to my parent

A provisional timetable for the project

March

  1. Looking for inspiration and fabric materials

  2. Research on narrative, memory 

  3. Start rough sketches 

April: 

  1. Tutoial and make canvas 

  2. Talked to technicians  and looking for inspirations in the meantime

  3. Stretch canvas and put foundation on

  4. Buy different fabric materials 

  5. Socializing with peers to get some more ideas

  6. Start painting 1

May

  1. Sewing fabric materials on test canvas 

  2. Apply rabbit glue on test canvas

  3. Sewing fabric materials on canvas 2

  4. Apply rabbit blue on canvas 2

  5. Doing research find similar artists also using painting dealing with memory and narrative 

  6. Start painting 2

June

  1. Install both paintings see how they interact with each other

Budget

  1. canvas 25£

  2. farbic  20£

  3. rabbit skin 15£

  4. painting material 50£

 

Degree Show-Alex

Claire Michel, Zebra Zhang, Miki Xu, and I did a performance in February. We sat in a line and acted in one character. We invented one character with multiple personalities called Alex, whose experience could reflect the main themes in our art practice - memory, trauma, family, dream, fiction, etc. This character switches from different ages, gender, personality, and background from time to time. They are all dressed in blue denim jeans and a red top. Alex’s four personalities wake up one by one and tell his or her story to the audience. 

The first Alex (played by Minqi Xu) is a rich widow who started to find out some dirty secrets in her dream after the death of her husband. The second one is a young man (played by Xinan Yang) who was suffered the maltreat from his parents and was sent to jail because of stealing food for his sisters and brothers. The third Alex ( played by Claire Michel) is a woman who narrates the desperate car crash that killed both her son and her husband on her anniversary day. The fourth character ( played by Zebra Zhang) is a creepy man who tells his bus journey on the way to the Royal Academy. 

We intended to perform again on the degree show, and invite more people to join and create more characters as we all working with the narrative. Whereas within this pandemic it's not gonna happen as we planed.