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Artist Statement

Unable to transition my gender due to pressure from family and society, I repeatedly paint myself as a woman. Through painting, I explore my own feminine energy, my desires, and the beauty of the feminine. 

 

In my recent works, the female figures exist in the forest or the water, which are metaphorical safe spaces where I can be myself. Often times, the figures are nude to celebrate the body and to convey the idea of the safe space where intimacy is possible. 

 

In a similar and opposite way to the penis envy described by Sigmund Freud, I came to desire to have female breasts that I myself lacked, yet I feel that the male sexual organs are like an alien octopus latched onto my pelvis. From a young age, I pretended to dislike girls, even though I wanted to become a girl myself, whom I would draw secretly as me (and throw away in fear of being found out.)

 

The racialization of beauty that is addressed by Shirley Anne Tate is another important topic for me, and it is the social and cultural process of making white beauty the iconic beauty. This is seen in Japanese anime that depicts Northeast Asians with white features, as well as Hollywood movies.

I try to find the cure with anti-racist aesthetics, which seeks the original beauty prior to racialization. Through painting, I find a middle ground between anti-racist aesthetics and my own racialized aesthetics by seeking a hybrid kind of beauty, in which I depict myself with faces that are truer to Northeast Asians' appearance and ample breasts and hips that are said to be rarer among Northeast Asian women. Furthermore, I am not in favor of light, pale skin that is a traditional definition of Northeast Asian beauty. The contradiction between the body and the face lends hybridity to my work and situates my paintings within the hybrid aesthetics of the East and the West. 

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