The Mother as a creator
母親如同創造者 / 10 B&W photographs, 2001-2018 and going on
Like an artist, the Mother is wise in her creation. The Mother not only creates a life, but also a continuous matrix of experiences between Mother and Child. Motherhood is a long-term process full of a myriad of complex feelings. This complexity cannot be expressed solely by saccharine images of Mother and Child, nor by the image of the Mother Incarnate willingly sacrificing herself for the sake of her children. All of these stereotypes of Motherhood are for me a tedious, unavoidable harangue which offers me no consolation. It is from this I derive the original motivation for this series.
Since getting pregnant in 2000, I had been burdened with pregnancy pains and the fear of losing my sense of self, and so I attempted to use art creation to preserve my sense of self during motherhood. From recording how in the beginning the Mother had lost her sense of self, to the notion of constantly creating, I attempted to reconcile my role as both Mother and artist to express a complex, diverse, and creative Motherhood. I am confident that “The Mother as a Creator” series, which took twenty years, not only proves that the Mother can maintain her sense of self, but also that creativity can overturn many of the myths associated with Motherhood.
Starting from the first self-portrait taken in 2001 on the day before I was due to give birth, my son and I would take a new photo together in front of the previous formal family photo every time we had a common life experience. Thus, the different life stages and appearances of my son and me come together to form a single layer. These Mother and Son photos which at different stages of life are overlaid, and from which we created a dialogue compressed into one peculiar space. From within this dimension emerges a complicated, fragmented and diverse recording of Motherhood.
Through this continuous creation and self-reconstruction using time-tunnel artwork, I not only recorded our perseverance and the accumulation of our experiences, I also make it such that we can clearly observe how we grew and developed over twenty years. Most importantly, it is through living and the passing of time that the representations of the many diverse notions of female self-reconstruction can challenge the one-sided and inflexible stereotypes which have traditionally been held towards Motherhood.