Personal Reflection Week 3

Thoughts on gender this week. There is always a division between feminine and masculine, public and private, professional and personal self. Yet, who imposes such boundaries? Sometimes if you wish to create a work of art the two worlds overlap with social consequence. Sylvia Wilson demonstrates in her article (2006) Fragments: Life Writing in Image and in Text the identities of teacher, researcher, and artists are entwined through pedagogy and research. Life writing reflects the essence of teaching and artwork articulates such lived experiences.

Sylvia and Shen Chao-Liang.  Please take a moment to read Sylvia’s review of our interview here.

Wilson’s notion of the fluid spaces between, art practice, teaching, and identity echo the work of photographer Shen Chao Liang. His work documents ordinary people and brings to light the beauty present in normal everyday happenings. This week it was fantastic to be able to sit down with him and discuss his work over coffee at COZY. Many thanks to Sylvia who helped facilitate and translate our interview. In my quick snapshots you can see the intensity and sensitivity to the human condition in his eyes.

Gender, love, connections, and femininity, are fluid. This week I also remembered how when I was younger I always made the first move with guys.  This sounds funny but it is true and my love life suffered accordingly.  It took awhile for me to realize that men were separate from the various different projects infusing my life and I could not pursue them with the same gusto and enthusiasm.  Sometimes in life you just have to let things be and let things happen in their own time.  There is peace and beauty in that.

Which makes me feel that despite my love of clothes, art, and various trappings of femininity there are large parts of my personality that are masculine.  I’m a tough cookie and like to take the lead.  I’ve never understood women who have not wanted to better themselves are content instead have their husband’s career be the focus.  Perhaps I am too independent or self-reliant.  Maybe it’s because I’ve always known that if I want that Gucci handbag it’s going to have to come from my own bank account.

As I am writing this personal reflection I am listening to M.I.A.’s Paper Planes from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack.


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