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Maggie Chang

Maggie Chang


“I think we’re seen as exotic. Our culture and the way we look is still seen as so different . . . maybe there’s something there that attracts guys to us.” -interview response of Asian-American woman

In our world of visual culture, I explore the issue of the “Asian Fetish,” imagery that propagates it, and influences it has on Asian-American women’s life experiences. The history of Asian female representation in the U.S is one of misunderstandings, stereotypes, and silence. I invite a closer viewing of the complexities beyond the images and misshaped perspectives, and I aim give the muted voices a chance to speak out. I incorporate the documentary and reflective power of photographed portraits and reference reproducibility and commerciality with silk screening. The excessively pretty layers are woven into bed sheets, evoking a sense of the Orient, the Western fantasy. Recorded interviews, share feelings and stories of Asian-American females and shed light on the not-so-pretty subject. Nevertheless, living in a global, politically correct world allows the work to wash the subject of its exotic “otherness,” and for this awareness to be raised regarding ethnic difference; thus, in turn, a dialogue can be openned for creating new, just representations.

SECTOR C: Art and Culture of Seeing
ADVISERS: Julie Davis | Karen Rodewald