Past Projects: Identity in Photography & Video

androgyforms (made with self & white t-shirt) | 2008 | 13 lightjet photographic prints | 6.5″x20″ each

I have a childlike fascination with human bodies, both male and female…skin, hair, bulges, and recesses…Hair and clothing both cover skin. Clothing, is the cultural coverage. Hair, is the genetic cloak. Clothing and hair signify gender by revealing or concealing skin and the forms of the body beneath it. In this piece, a white t-shirt, a gender neutral adornment, becomes material to reveal and conceal the skin, hair, bulges, and recesses to make androgynous living sculptures.
fitting in: attempts #1 & #2 | 2007 | Two life-sized lightjet photographic prints

In these pieces, I perform for the camera, challenging the “roles” played in a woman’s everyday life. The work questions the rigidity of gender conventions, social norms, and institutional formalities by juxtaposing masculine with feminine, childhood with adulthood, innocence with insight, and uniformity with nonconformity. In these images, the distorted scale and awkward bodily contortions suggest my failures, (OR successes?), to “fit in.”
i’m impressionable | 2006 | 13 life-sized lightjet photographic prints

The action of imprinting upon my skin with rubber stamps parallels my mental internalization process, given that I tend to be an impressionable person. These commands, spoken in the past, reveal that my past conformity still affects my present self. Using my forehead as imprint location, harkens back to the idea of the scarlet letter, or even a billboard upon which others can view the imprinted words. I cropped below the eyes to reveal that, in the past, I could not express verbally my feelings about the orders, and that the deliverer and present viewer must stare back at me without my response.
my hair your hair | 2011 | photographs

Family portraits often expose complex interpersonal dynamics. To symbolize these intricacies, my hair becomes a wig for each of my family members. Wigs conceal and reveal identities temporarily. My ill-fitting wigs point to our differences, while at the same time suggesting the permanent connection between our common genetic information. Photography allows me to capture these momentary sculptures and to create an illusion that joins our heads to make one.
Link to Download M.F.A. Thesis below
This unedited footage was taken from a video camera I mounted on the basket of a pedestrian bike in Beijing, China. As part of the M.F.A. program at The University of Michigan, our graduate school cohort was given the opportunity to study abroad in Beijing in the summer of 2004. I decided to spend a majority of my time riding a bike borrowed from a female college student at Tsinghua University.