at least i can still write my name
I can’t read or write my mother tongue and I can barely speak the language now at a conversational level. Even though I’ve still held on to parts of my culture through my family and the experience of growing up in a Chinese household, I can’t help but think how different my life would be and how different I might be if I didn’t try so hard to whitewash myself in my youth.
At least I can still write my name is a continuation of a series of introspective self-portraits where I evaluate elements of my past that make me who I am today; whether that be for the better or worse. The images within the series take on a performative nature to capture the disconnect and the performative feeling of both my past and my present.
The images are an exploration of why I tried so hard to denounce my Chinese heritage and ended up essentially losing it along the way. Through the past few years, I’ve started wanting to reconnect deeper with my culture and identity but it has been quite a difficult process, as I tried so hard to separate myself from it when I was younger.
Freida Wang is a Chinese-born Canadian visual artist whose work explores identity or lack thereof in the human experience. Through an amalgamation of the absurd and uncanny, she attempts to capture an understanding of existence from her own perspective. Her inspiration comes mainly from film and movement-based performance, hoping to be able to capture the moments in between that accentuate the impermanent state of being that is existence.