Amy Chen

不合适 (painting)

不合适 (painting)

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oil paint and india ink on rice paper


For my installation, I painted myself unable to fit in a qipao, a traditional Chinese dress, in a dressing room. Not only do I literally not fit in the dress, but I also do not fit into the culture or even a culture.

The faint gold necklace is a nod to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” in which an albatross dangling around one’s neck symbolizes a burden and penance.

The medium is deliberately oil paint on rice paper, a clash of two different painting styles and formats, much like the clash of cultures that I feel. I juxtaposed a western paint with an eastern painting format and looked at different styles of figurative representation when deciding how to paint this.