The ProCreate Project, the Museum of Motherhood and the Mom Egg Review are pleased to announce the 30th edition of  this scholarly discourse intersects with the artistic to explore the wonder and the challenges of motherhood. Using words and art to connect new pathways between the academic, the para-academic, the digital, and the real, as well as the everyday: wherever you live, work, and play, the Art of Motherhood is made manifest. #JoinMAMA

April, 2018 Art by Ching Ching Cheng, poetry by Jennifer Stewart Fueston

Art by Ching Ching Cheng

Letting go series and Build series

In my work, I am interested in the relationship between identities and spaces. The physical environment and location, along with the cultural, social, economic and political aspects of space fascinate me. In my own practice, I question how identities are defined through space, and what the notion and ideology of identity means in relation to space.

 

Letting Go series

As a first generation immigrant from Taiwan, married with two young mixed-race children, I am often being judged by the look and color of my kids in relation to mine, and this made me question my identity as well as my children’s identity in relation to its space. Space is the product of relations, and is always in the process of becoming. How I perceive my own identity in the space I created, versus how others perceive my identity in their space. In my most recent photography series, I have included my children as part of my process and practice where I explore “mothering spaces”. I started to create different environmental spaces as sculptures, installations, and photography. Having children has propelled me to question what an identity is and to work and practice more as part of my daily routine.

Adapting, resisting, transforming, and accepting are the nature of the “in-between” stages, and this process of progression has become an important focus of my work. I went to Mainland China in 2012 for the first time for a three-months artist-in-residency. This was my first time living in China and reliving in an Asian country after living in the United States for almost ten years. That experience allowed me to witness how my identity went through stages of change, and experience the process of in-between. Even though I am Chinese, and I have Chinese features, I didn’t feel like I belonged there in the beginning. Oftentimes people carry their own set of cultures and identities when they migrate, and it is inevitable that they have to adjust this “carry on” within the new environment, and also change and adjust the way they live with new environments throughout different stages and events of their lives. While on residency in China, I underwent the process of “in-between” the transition of identities, I changed the way I speak to how the locals speak I started to use the words and sentences they use. As a result of these relocating adjustments, a distinct new identity was established in the new space.

In my work, I attempt to generate an intimate and personal account for the viewers with my personal exper­ience in transitional stages of identity change. I look forward to continued exploration of the psychological identities within different ethnic backgrounds, cultures, genders, and environmental conditions with a multidisciplinary approach of drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, photography and video work. What we once were and what we have become is a cognitive representation of one’s own identity

And my hope is to encourage the viewers to further discuss the identity within the space and how their own identity changes or adapts to the space they live in.

Build series 

This is a series of works that explore identities found in everyday life from different perspectives. The works are a portrait of myself as artist, wife and mother. These sculptures are inspired by the contrast between Taiwanese and American culture.

In the past, human beings built shelters for their families. Even in some cultures today, people still physically build shelters. As long as people have the ability to physically construct a home, or virtually build a home, we are always adapting and changing our environment. At the same time, our identities are also adapting and being changed by what surrounds us.

more about the artist

Ching Ching Cheng was born in Taiwan and immigrated to the United States fifteen years ago. She received her BFA from Art Center College of Design. Ching had co-curated an exhibition “The Lanuguage of Perpetual Conditions” at California State University Los Angeles in 2016. Ching exhibited at LACMA Rental and Sales Gallery, Chinese American Museum, Craft and Folk Art Museum, 21c Museum, colleges, universities and art fairs through out the United States, and also had solo exhibitions in Taiwan and China. She attended an artist-in-residency program at 943 Studio in Kunming, China in 2011. She taught lectures and workshops at college, University, museum, non-profit organization, and private art center. She received grants in 2011, in 2015 from art and cultural center in Taiwan, and in 2018 from the city of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Ching currently lives and works in Altadena, California.

https://www.chingchingcheng.com

Words by Jennifer Stewart Fueston

Taking the Baby to See Rothko at the National Gallery

Fifteen minutes before closing seems like more time

than we’ll need to see all there is to see of Rothko’s

blocks of color, the hungry purples smeared on

canvases, the primal reds. The baby likes the moving

walkway, mobiles, flickering lights, the giant blueberry-

colored rooster crowing at the city from the roof.

I assume abstract expressionists will be a bit beyond

his comprehension, forgetting that they’re art stripped

down to form, to line and color, to oval and ochre, to

rectangle and rose. So that when his babbles echo off

the surfaces in Rothko’s room, I see he understands it

more than I will, pre-verbal, full of awe, himself another

masterpiece of bright, unsayable things.

 

Published in MOM EGG REVIEW 16

Jen Stewart Fueston lives in Longmont, Colorado. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of journals and anthologies. The forthcoming poem, ‘Trying to Conceive,’ was a finalist for Ruminate magazine’s McCabe poetry prize. Her chapbook, Visitations, was published in 2015. She has taught writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder, as well as internationally in Hungary, Turkey, and Lithuania.