Blue Fan #1, #2, #3, 2017
Aesthetic of Surfaces Series
Chromogenic Print
18 x 18″
Edition of 5

Blue Chrysanthemums, 2017
Aesthetic of Surfaces Series
Vinyl
Size variable

Aesthetic of Surfaces is a series of photo and vinyl installations featuring Chinese brocade silk and collections of Chinatown objects that depict floral patterns. From times of antiquity to contemporary commercial markets, film, and fashion, these patterns are seen as expressions of Chinese femininity. In recent years, motifs echoing Chinese floral brocade have emerged in the world of high fashion, and then gradually trickled down to retail clothing and accessories. Camouflaged in a loud reoccurring floral motif, The Aesthetic of Surfaces reflects on the markers of Chinese femininity in a globalized context. How are these motifs produced, made, sold and worn? What are the distinctions of high or kitsch taste? And how are these symbols then interpreted through the Western lens where East Asian femininities are often hyper-exoticized? Rejecting colonial orientalist views, the installation utilizes flowers as a vessel for diasporic feminine markers to bloom and take up space.

Installation photos by Morris Lum.
This project was made possible with the support of the Ontario Arts Council.