The Skeletons in the Closet
2021 - 2022
As a Hong Konger, my identity has been shaped by Chinese familial traditions and moral standards influenced by Confucianism, which emphasizes collectivism over individualism. A key aspect of my art practice has been to explore my self-identity through a gendered perspective.
In 2016, I experienced the trauma of my grandma’s passing. I began to question my role and the issues of gender in family relationships. 24 Paragons of Filial Piety 二十四孝, a set of the Chinese Yuan dynasty folk tales concerning acts of loyalty performed by the children for their parents, provided the visual metaphors for my project. In this work, I perform different bodily gestures and “inappropriate” acts to push against the institution of the ideal Chinese family. Gestures like playing with eatable food and showing obscene hand signs to others are considered rude, especially in my Chinese family, but also in most other cultures. I also put my naked body in front of the camera in a subversive attempt to express my gendered experiences. Using the aesthetics of surrealism in these photo collages, the project aims to create a subversive fantasy that would never be possible in real life.