Overgrowth • 2018
Influenced by the still life work of photographers such as Edward Weston, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Karl Blossfeldt, Overgrowth is a series of archival pigment prints on silk focused on fruits and vegetables that carry ties to my Asian heritage. These are the fruits and vegetables that often appeared on my plate growing up, yet were rarely found on the shelves of generic supermarkets, in the lunchboxes of my peers, or on TV and movie screens. These items appear printed on silk, a material, global commodity with roots in Asia.
Overgrowth serves as an entry point into thinking about Asian and Asian American representation and visibility (or lack thereof) in contemporary media. Rather than pointedly photographing Asian and Asian American faces, I advocate for more nuanced portraits of our food, materialized on a textile that is integral to our history. Food is intriguing because it is intrinsic to how we exist: we use it to survive, to show affection, and to self-identify.