BY: JASMINE SHAW
Image List (In Order)
- The Great Wall of China, 2020, Archival Digital Print, 25in x 25in
2. Sunset Passage, 2020, Archival Digital Print, 25in x 25in
3. Beijing Nail House, 2020, Archival Digital Print, 25in x 25in
4.Temple of Heaven, 2020, Archival Digital Print, 25in x 25in
5. Hutong, 2020, Archival Digital Print, 25in x 25in
6. Frozen Summer Palace, 2020, Archival Digital Print, 25in x 25in
7. Winter Pinjiang Houses, 2020, Archival Digital Print, 25in x 25in
8. Pinjiang Houses, 2020, Archival Digital Print, 25in x 25in
As a Chinese adoptee, there are many unknowns. Piecing together intangible things
such as identity and memory is often difficult. Most people are able to recall stories their
parents tell them that structure their understanding of personal and cultural identity.
Growing up in the United States and separated from the place of my birth, my identity is
shaped by the mixed families, environments, and communities I live in.
When my parents adopted me, they documented their journey through photographs that
were used to create and embrace memories. Those photos anchor my efforts to piece
together memories of who I am and inspire my search for personal and cultural
connections. My parents also traveled with an adoption group and we have maintained
contact with the other adoptees’ ever since. Documenting my fellow adoptees has given
me a space to understand and share our experiences.
I was fortunate enough to visit the major cities of China in the winter of 2020. Although I
was not able to visit the specific orphanage that I was adopted from, my search for a
sense of belonging in China revealed many mixed emotions. The broken pieces and
misaligned images create a new personal history, while the scratches and light leaks
are symbolic of how I process adoption. Visual harmony and connection are also found
between different environments that may not relate at first glance. These images
highlight the struggles I face in relating to my Chinese-American identity.
About the Artist:
Jasmine Shaw is an emerging artist that is extremely passionate about Photography
and Design and its story-telling power. Her work examines her Chinese American
identity through the lens of adoption and other overlooked communities. She explores
her identity through photographing environments, family members, other Asian
Americans, and Asian adoptees. Her work reveals the dynamic aspects of experience
multiple cultures and breaking down preconceptions of culturally mixed identities is an
important aspect of her art. She enjoys shooting in film and digital formats.
Connect with Jasmine: