Julieta Hsiung


Oil painting on canvas 50 x 70 cm


Aizhu is a 51-year-old retired woman, a clean freak. The first thing she does when she wakes up each day is dusting off last night, and she's always happy to replace out-of-date items around the house. But in her bedroom, there is an object that has vanished over the course of 10 years, accumulated from dust and is in the center of the field of vision, but has never been taken care of.


'You can guess who I am. Am I a duster, a European-style table lamp, or a book that records the wild stories or motivational articles that rarely open on the nightstand? I am the recorder of this family's changes, and my existence is older than their daughter. I am a printed and framed copy of a 50*70 centimeter size of a wedding photo. ´


Marriage photos have become popular in the mainland since the reform and opening up in the last century, and have become a must-see for newlyweds before marriage, which records the hopeful vision of each newlywed for the married life, and when we re-examine them in current times, they become emotional objects that record the years and the changes in aesthetic trends.

On the eve of my 25th birthday this summer, I had a conversation with my mom about my age. She talked about her romance with my father, she got married at 25 and showed me the photos they took before the ceremony. I stared at the faded surfaces of the photographs, the blurred false backgrounds, and was lost in my own thoughts. Thus, an oil painting for replacement purposes unfolds in front of us. The two people in the painting are in a deep space composed of dark colors, illuminated by the light source in front of them, and the messy orange brush strokes of the dress extend into the infinite space below the canvas, and the negative space between the two is a blue abyss.


J: “Mom, what does age mean to you? What things should a woman do at twenty-five?"

Aizhu: “You have chosen a different path than me, I think you should know the answer to this question better than I do.”

J: “I don't think women who sacrifice their careers for their family come second. The most important thing is to have the right to choose, and in the past generation, many women made their life decisions very quickly, but they were not told that the marital status linked to another person was still not a safe path, and they did not even know where their passions are and what they are good at.”

Aizhu: “I think this is what we've been avoiding talking about all along, the tragic group portrait of a 50-year-old Chinese woman. ”

J: “I want you to know mom, you're the best mom in the world. You've always been my favorite person. ”

Aizhu: “You are the hope of my life. I hope you can go far on the path that I was never able to try. ”


J: “But, mom. The age issue still bothers me. I know I've been lucky enough to be on the path I want, and I know age only matters when you're a block of cheese or a bottle of wine. But I still feel like I can't enjoy the presence of every age I grow, and I feel like I'm already very old all the time. ”



The paintings slowly developed their appearance in an endless summer, stroke by stroke with a viewer's observation of a married relationship, I slowly painted their portraits with nostalgia and reflection, until a certain moment, I was no longer sure if the face that emerges in the painting is mine or hers.


XXV Oil painting on canvas 50 x 70 cm Details