mei xian qiu 梅仙秋 • United States
Mei Xian Qiu is a Los Angeles based artist. Born in the town of Pekalongan, on the island of Java, Indonesia, to a third-generation Chinese minority family. Partially as a result of a growing sense of restlessness, her family moved to the U.S. escaping the genocide inflicted on the Chinese and looked for a new life.
She embraced her heritage and set about finding out about it -- including visiting China several times. While in China, she notes that stereotypes about the Chinese people are pervasive, and a majority of Chinese have shed their cultural heritage in favor of a more Western aesthetic.
As part of that journey, she moved from painting to photography to help her express her motivations and message.
The result is at once prescient and provoking. Whether one can recognize the people's identity (sometimes mixed race), their personality comes through first, followed by objects and symbols that create questions about our understanding of their cultures.
Despite the often surrealistic nature of these tableaux, one empathizes with the subjects of the photographs. Placing our prejudices onto our initial view of the work, we find ourselves asking some important questions. These questions, form the basis of Mei Xian Qiu's extensive body of evocative, personal, yet worldly work, and illustrate for us how it can sometimes be all about our self-view.
Scroll over images to read artist inspiration and story of an individual piece of art.
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