-- Artist statement
I focus on the relationship between my mother and me, exploring the complicated and contradictory emotional connection that we have shared, from birth till now. My work began with the first letter my mother wrote to me, in which she mentioned that she was helpless and unwillingly sent me away after I was born, and the situation was closely related to the historical problems associated with Chinese social background. I interviewed people of similar age with similar situations realizing that the basic conflict between my mother and me, in fact, can be seen as a microcosm of the conflicts between Chinese parents from the 1950s and their children from the 1980s. By comparing different relationships between my mother’s and my own experiences of growing up, I finally understood that when I immerse myself in the grief over the fact that my mother never sees the real me, I now realize that I never see the real her exactly. In the process of creating this piece, the production of images relied on the words, yet it was completed as it broke the words’ limitation. In the exploration of the relationship between my mother and me, I tried to use symbolic images to dissolve the confinement of the single-sided memory and languages, extract my mother and me as forms of individual from a mother-anddaughter relationship, return to the fundamentals of personal and social relationships, and review the passivity and the isolation that pertains to individual development in the scope of family and society.
Jiatong Lu 吕近⽉ is a mixed media artist and photographer based in New York. Born in 1988, she grew up in Northwest China and graduated with an MFA in Photography, Video and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts. Rooted in her own growth experiences, her work focuses on family, childhood trauma, self-identity, and gender issues, questioning the legitimacy of the disciplinarian culture that is deeply rooted in patriarchy and the traditional Chinese social structure. Jiatong is a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Photography from The New York Foundation for the Arts.