Displaced Fruits

PhotographerPhotographer: Patty Yung-Chen Tseng
PrizeBook Proposal (series Only) / Fine Art
Entry Description

“Still Life of the 1980s Taiwaness” and “Still Life of the Westernised Chinese” are a still life diptych that depicts with stereotypes of the Strawberry Generation and westernized banana. The moldy or smashed fruit is suspended on a string or superimposed in front of a stage. The monochromatic stage consists of lines running across from different angles. The lines simultaneously lead the viewers’ eyes and give a sense of restrain, which implies underlying social structures that are guiding people towards a restrictive direction. Since the diptych plays within the vanitas visual language, viewers may feel obligated to uncover what strawberries and bananas stand for. The moldy strawberries play within people’s expectation of the youth of Taiwan as the bursting bananas that show the “whiteness” of Westernized Chinese figures. This explicit disclosure of cultural stereotype may affront and entice the viewers to wonder the reason behind this bluntness. Overall, this diptych presents an awkward visual space where the dimension feels odd and flat with an uncanny negative space. The composition is to make the fruits appear displaced. As one observes the photographs, one may first wonder the significance of these over mangled fruits and then feel the uneasiness of the composition. This is the same uneasiness as a person who is forced upon these stereotypes. Being an immigrant can be a difficult position, one’s sense of self can be wavered and challenged by different aspects, for example, cultural habits and language. Hybrid identity allows one to piece all these fragments and experiences together to create an authentic identity which is not bounded or restricted by any social stereotypes.