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Ornamentalism, 2018

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This series of work was inspired by Professor Anne Cheng’s work, “Ornamentalism: A Feminist Theory for the Yellow Woman.” She made a critique on how limited our conversations have been on the issues relating to the representation of Asian female bodies in the western world, and offered another frame to examine the representation: ornamentalism. This idea that Asian female bodies are not simply reduced to objects, but that they are the objects, specifically the ornaments, is profound for me. The ornaments on my skin are photographs of trees on campus. It is even striking to myself that without these ornaments, my nude self portraits have little evidence indicative of my Asian identity. However, the ornament itself can, without a fail, speak for a certain Asian femininity. Not many conversations on this topic have been made on campus, and I hope that this project can make people think and question the issues around the representation of Asian female bodies more critically.

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