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The Mother As Creator; A Photographic Project Spanning 17 Years

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In ‘The Mother as a creator’, an ongoing photographic series shot in black and white, Taiwanese artist Annie Wang demonstrates the layered complexities of motherhood, and in doing so, critiques stereotypes that surround the role.

“Motherhood is a long-term process with a complex weaving of experiences”, Wang explains in her statement about the project. “This wholeness and complexity cannot be expressed solely by the generally accepted saccharine image of Mother and Child, nor by the other extreme.” In what is a beautiful ode to motherhood, and a powerful condemnation of the limitations society has imposed on it as an identity, Wang demonstrates a fusion of all elements of her life. In her own words that follow, she explains the series.

Here, I take a family photograph each year of my son and myself, and then the next year, take another image of us in front of the previous picture. Therefore, different layers of my son and I emerge on the same surface after a lengthy accumulation of detail and texture. Different stages of my son and I are overlaid; and from the different pictures, we have created a dialogue with each other in this dimension upon compressed dimension. From within these dimensions will emerge a new depiction/visualization of Motherhood.

This time-tunnel artwork has recorded my different experience of Motherhood and the relationship between my son and I for seventeen years. By doing so, it is easy to compare and observe our growth and development. The most important is that these representations will keep going to use our life and time to undermine the inflexible and stereotypical conventions of Motherhood which in their idealizations seek to allow only a single shallow plane of experience.

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All images © Annie Wang