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Greeted, Michelangelo

5 years ago, a client reviewed my work, “Her method somehow reminds me a bit of the concept of Michelangelo carving the extra stone away from the already-exisiting soul of the sculpture.”

I’m over 40. When I look at this self-portrait, I am curious how I would look like when I’m 50 and I look forward to it. It empowers me, motivating me to exercise regularly to stay in shape. I feel I’m at my most confident state. I accept myself and how I look, something I couldn’t do when I was younger.

As a woman over 40, I think it’s important to show people women over 40 are courageous, beautiful and resilient.
As an Asian woman, I’ve been subjected to verbal harassment since the day I set foot in Europe. While living in Europe, I wanted to hide and disguise myself, I want to be free from all the disgusting harassments.

This self-portrait challenged me in many ways. The easy way was hiding, show it to no one. If Hilma af Klint didn’t hide her paintings, didn’t specified that her work should be kept secret for 20 more years after her death, the entire world of art would be different today. To quote Seth Godin, “ I don’t think her art was a breakthrough, I think it was selfish and cowardly, because she hid her art from the world. And she did it because she was afraid and she hadn’t had enough trust in herself and us to have said, “Here, I made this.” Because not only would she have changed us, but we would have changed her, and the art would have been even more extraordinary.”
It dawned on me that I shouldn’t hide my work. It took me years to understand this.

I had to break the new ground in order to grow as an artist, but I was afraid of my friends and family’s reaction. For this, I had a war within myself. I wrote a note to my friends about this:
“I’ve just finished the exhibition printing yesterday for Canon Pro Exhibition. The series I am going to exhibit is my new work and it’s very challenging for me mentally. I have a lot of fear. The series is about women over 40, the art of female form. It includes my self-portraits and very nude looking ones. I love my work of artistic nude but I always find it hard for me to show to the public because I know I have to face judgements and harassments. But I know I have to face it eventually, otherwise forever hiding, I would never grow. I want to tell you this because I need to prepare you my friends, I don’t want you to get a shock when you see the photographs.”

“Art is something we get to do for other people.” I love this quote from Seth Godin who is a great teacher who taught me many things and has great influence on me. What he said gave me courage.

EXIF:Camera:Canon 5D Mark II Lens:EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM Shutter speed:1/160, Aperture:F6.3, ISO:160 , Focal length:67mm

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