The Creativity of Motherhood: Self-representation over a Time of Growth in Contemporary Taiwan
C Strand (external supervisor)
This year, 2003, my child is 2 years old. The period through my pregnancy and giving birth has been until now the most exciting in my life. Pleasure, anger, satisfaction, fear, worry, upset, creativity… I have had so many feelings changing all the time. Sometimes, I feel I am happier than ever before; sometimes, I feel tired out and want to give up motherhood.
As a mother, I feel the interaction between my son and me is very creative and flexible. Because I want to help his development, I feel I should frequently refresh my mind, my behaviour, my attitudes and my concepts of life in order to educate him in various ways. From my experience of being an artist, I see the creative process of motherhood as similar to artistic creativity. However, in our Taiwanese society the mother is not seen as a creative figure. The role of mother is not seen to have a connection to the role of artist and is even seen as contrary to it. There is little emphasis on the creativity of motherhood. Only stereotypes of ideal and sacrificial motherhood are presented mainly. I want to restore the balance through my practice and research.
Most of my project is the making of images. I have planned and carried out six series of artworks during my two years practice and research. I explored several main concepts in these artworks.
Firstly, self-representation is the most important element in announcing the self-determination of the mother to inhabit the world of images. By doing so, I attempt to challenge the great number of stereotypical images of the selfless mother. Although much of the imagery is made in the United Kingdom, I make particular points about self-representation in Taiwanese culture.
Secondly, I map and examine the concept of time, sequences of growth over time. This asserts the process of mother and child growing together. It also emphasises that this is a continuous project throughout my life.