Eastern and Western
Shuxian's project explores the cross-cultural romantic relationship between partners from Eastern and Western countries, with a particular focus on heterosexual couples in which the women are Chinese and the men are European. The main focus of the project is to look at how society is becoming more accepting of the merging of cultures and how the culture changes by interacted influence. In China, she worked as a wedding photographer and would often make pre-wedding images. With Shuxian's experience, she adapted this commercial approach in her project and combining it with a surreal representation of each couple as one face, she highlights the similarities and differences between their cultures.
The influence of global culturalization has become a current topic over the years. Shuxian wanted to analyse the cause and process of culture-change of eastern countries, especially in China from the perspective of history and contemporary society. Therefore, the participants are couples in an intercultural relationship including her and her partner.
Shuxian wants to enable people to know different cultures through pictures instead of other people’s claims or subjective reporting. As she is in a cross-cultural relationship, her project is more convincing to her audience. Her project reflects her own personal experiences combined with those of other mixed couples. She wants to let more people know the benefits of cross-cultural communication and redefine the view of those people who do not accept intercultural relationships in society. She is from a traditional Chinese family, and her parents do not interact with foreigners mostly. Therefore, she thinks her parents have a similar opinion to other traditional families who do not accept that their children stay with a foreign partner. Surprisingly, when she brought her partner to meet her parents in person in China, they did not refuse him but prepared everything for his arrival. She thinks their traditional concept has been changed unconsciously since she was studying abroad. It proves that if they had not interacted with her partner, they would not have real experience to convince them to accept her partner. She believes there are many examples like this, of people’s assumptions about westerners coming from someone else's words or stereotypes.
The idea of choosing this topic is a social concern issue and it is also fascinating. It widely covers the historical background, political change, and the influence of global culturalization. It represents this series of matters by photographing mixed couples in her project. Because she combined her personal experience through this project, presenting her own intercultural relationship among it, resonance might happen between the audience and her. The photomontage series is the main section of this project and represents her concept through abstract visual photographs. Because she has an art foundation, and she likes painting and decorative design, these factors interact with her photographic style. Besides, her five years of pre-wedding and wedding photography experience is an advantage to work with the couples in her project. Therefore, these beneficial factors drove her to start this project.
Based on Shuxian is also an artist, so it drives her photograph to tend to artistic style. She combined the visual research of the various artist with her ideas which are her emotions of a relationship that inspired her to draw this painting.
The other inspiration is from her partner. He always tends to use the word ‘compatible’ when describing their relationship. His word inspired her to create this picture where she combined half of their faces into one frame. Due to their faces being different shape she tried to collage them together into one picture. In the following images, she used the same method but with other multicultural couples.
The image of a couple with different ethnic background in surrealistic style.