Christina XU
Chinese American Artist

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選擇 (Xuǎnzé) - Choice

The Good Girl . Acrylic on Canvas. 8" x 10" 

The Good Girl . Acrylic on Canvas. 8" x 10" 

My boyfriend is an artist. He is a Mexican-American living in south Texas. His family values his choice to be an artist, they see it as a gift from God. I am an artist. I am Chinese-American, I grew up on an Eastern Pacific Island. It's taken my family years to accept my choice to want to be an artist, they view it as a burden, a non-profession; something that should fill the space of a hobby rather than employment. Both my boyfriend and I have made a choice to be artists but how our families react to these choices are polar opposites.  The culture of a nation is responsible for framing how the society will react to choice. 

Okay, so what is choice? 

Choice. as defined by dictionary.com, is the right, power, or opportunity to choose.

choose

verb (used with object)chose; chosen or (Obsoletechose;choosing.

1.to select from a number of possibilities; pick by preference:

2.to prefer or decide (to do something):

3.to want; desire:

 

Choice, to an Asian-American means knowing to name the option that has been granted pre-approval or pre-authorization from an elder, usually a parent. If you, as an Asian-American child, are able to, according to your parents, choose correctly, then you are a good child. It is a severe way to meddle with a child's mind, to have them oppress personal desires in order to please family expectations. This was extremely stressful for me because choosing wrong would result in shame and punishment. 

My painting "The Good Girl" is a reflection of the conflict me and many of my fellow Asian American's endured. The painting says: 

I see my true feelings and desires but I must blind or dull myself to my own feelings and conform to the expectations of my family; that makes me a good girl. 

 

Christina Xu