Pigment inkjet print and gold leaf
Porcelain and gold lustre
Prints 23 x 15 cm
Cups dimensions variable
At Your Surface reflects upon the pressures of filial piety and the expectations of marriage put upon young women in the Chinese diaspora. Janelle adapts the symbols of 敬茶, the ceremonial vessels used to serve the parents and grandparents of the bride and groom. Shaping these by hand, she both reclaims an element of individuality and undermines the tradition of ‘fine china’ by exposing cracks and highlighting the plastic fragility of porcelain.
Low’s recent works subvert traditional printmaking processes, continually pushing at the boundaries of what can be classified as ‘photography’. Drawing on the customary use of gold for dowries, Janelle simultaneously questions and highlights the measuring of worth by obscuring the identities of the women with the application of gold leaf on the surface of the image.
At Your Surface was exhibited at MetroArts Gallery in Brisbane in 2018 as part of the group show DISOBEDIENT DAUGHTERS curated by Sophia Cai.
Disobedient Daughters is a group exhibition that brings together the works of nine female artists and artist collectives to critically examine stereotypical images of Asian women in a global context.
The artists in this exhibition work predominantly with photography and video to playfully explore the interplay between race, gender, sexuality and societal expectations. Through a particular focus on portraiture or self-portraiture, many of the exhibiting artists challenge visual tropes of Asian women, and their continued objectification and/or exoticism in popular media. While not purely autobiographical, many of the works are derived from introspective encounters and personal narratives, blurring the boundaries of public and private life.
Some of the works in the exhibition are bold and loud, others are more quiet and subtle, but together the artists in Disobedient Daughters offer a diverse and nuanced perspective on themes of everyday relations and individual life as it relates to a ‘Asian female experience.’ The exhibition does not seek to define what this experience might be, but instead hopes to offer new perspectives and possibilities for the future.
Installation image courtesy of Louis Lim.