Later, Longer, Fewer, 2021
“Later, Longer, Fewer” is the translation of a 1970s Chinese propaganda poster that encourages later marriages, longer intervals between children, and fewer children as a means to liberating women. Women were to take advantage of birth control to curtail the country’s birth rate – a “benefit” that led eventually to China’s one-child policy. Given the culturally instilled value of boys over girls, “fewer” took on a new meaning.
This message suggests that women have the power and access to resources in order to make these decisions in the first place. Given how the United States has so politicized birth control, I began to work with the ironic tension inherent between the expanded opportunities available with modern health care and the systemic inequities that continue to hold women back globally.
Much of the work focuses on how women specifically embody time: the phases of the moon and the menstrual cycle, the exaggerated weight of waiting and quarantining, the slow growth of hair, the thresholds we cross and the unknown spaces we withstand, and the many “luck” objects we create to hold and use while hoping for a better future or circumstances.
The societal, cultural, and political systems women navigate are explored here through porcelain, adornment, blue and white patterns, reflective surfaces, and synthetic and human hair via installation, objects, and video. In juxtaposition, pieces explore how relegation to the domestic, mother-sphere annihilates the innocence of girlhood and locks women into a controlled space of servitude. As an Asian woman, using race as a lens further narrows the circles we are allowed to operate within.
No matter how empowered, no matter what we have attempted to reclaim, women still find themselves moving back and forth among choices dictated by narratives we did not create.
Learn more: Houston Center for Contemporary Craft