Recent Works

Ceramic Skulls

"A Woman's Price"  | Artist Statement 

What do women have to do with the price of tea in China? The population of China was booming during the 1970s due to its flourishing agriculture. However, the massive growth outpaced the food production, which led to one of the worst famines in history. Millions of people starved to death, which resulted in the One Child Policy.

I stuffed used tea bags in a bird cage to show the loss of reproductive rights. The string was torn from the tea bag, just as fertility was ripped from victims of the One Child Policy. My hands are later shown in red paint to represent the blood-stained hands of the doctors who had performed countless abortions, infanticides, and hysterectomies, shown as a pile of strings. The neat stack of tea bags soon became a messy pile of waste. Even worse, many women would have their first child and be completely unaware they were to be sterilized. For the government, population control was more important than providing proper care for women. 

Additional Info:

Historical fast facts: One Child Policy started because of a massive baby boom to gain workers, but failed due to food shortage. 37 years later, OCP ended in China in 2016 (2 children) 2021 (up to 3 children)

Personal thoughts: I believe that 3D work is more compelling for the viewer, since it allows them to engage it from all sides. When I was developing the concept of this piece, I wanted to make it as interesting as possible since it deals with the subject of people and humanity. I was adopted from China, and grew up hearing the phrase, “What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?”, which means “that’s irrelevant”. I thought about that phrase and realized there was potential for me to make a statement there. I enjoy using recyclable materials, and tea bags seemed appropriate since the Chinese invented tea. So I used teabags to represent the way women were mistreated and discarded by the Chinese government. So I felt like discarded tea bags were a good metaphor for the mistreated Chinese women.  For this piece particularly, after I drank a cup of tea, I’d drain the excess tea by squeezing it out. Then I’d rip open the folds and empty the bag in my compost bin. Then I’d let it air dry. My video shows the performance for the analogy for women's health during that time. The rough and ruined appearance of the tea bags at the conclusion of the piece reinforces that message that these women were treated like trash. Repetition adds weight to the subject matter by showing the scale of the atrocity. The birdcage is an important part of the composition because represents how the women of China were trapped by the forced sterilization process, and basically treated as animals. The photos are composed to show the helplessness of the victims, and just how many there were.