Surgical Unraveling of Whiteness
The purpose of this painting is to challenge the white aesthetic standards of beauty that are not only prevalent within the realm of fine art but also in modern society. The woman wearing white represents the white beauty standard. The surgical clamps she is holding symbolizes the action of revising what beauty means and allowing oneself to expand aesthetics to include individuals of diverse races. Diverse skin-colored hands and bright colored balls emerge from the surgery to contrast against the whiteness. Although changing one’s implicit biases about beauty is difficult and painful at times, it is important to do so in order to see individuals of all racial backgrounds as equals in terms of aesthetic standards. Ultimately, the goal of revising beauty standards is to allow society to understand that the aesthetics of all races are valid forms of beauty and are all deserving of respect and kindness. [Editor’s Note: Jane Hsi’s artwork is the cover of this month’s issue.]
Heartstrings (ver. 1)
The novelist Hermann Hesse once proclaimed that “every [individual] is more than just [oneself]; [one] also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world’s phenomena intersect, only once in this way, and never again.” To me, each person’s story is important and worthy because of the intrinsic uniqueness of each life. The quilted pieces in this painting represent the fabric of time, biology, and other factors relevant to defining life. Red string interweaves through this fabric, symbolizing how each person’s life exists at a special, non-repeatable point. Being individuals of different racial backgrounds is one of the many things that make us all unique. In this way, it is important to celebrate and to appreciate how individuals of diverse races bring different ideas and stories to society. Although this idea pertains to all races, I chose to depict women of Asian races because of my connection to Asia. However, my goals in the future are to expand this topic beyond Asia and learn more about depicting individuals of diverse races.