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Student Artwork – Gender and Sexuality

Student Artwork

Melissa Luen ’18

“anxiety (fault lines) is a painting about my struggles with finding myself and where I belong. Going from a multicultural neighbourhood in the Lower East Side to a PWI such as Connecticut College, I dealt with a lot of internal confusion, and often felt starved of my cultural heritage and comforts. It deals with the anxiety that comes with being taken out of your home environment, from reinventing and rediscovering your identity. anxiety deals with two questions I dealt with frequently: Who am I? and Where do I belong? It often felt that the more I navigated these questions and the more I explored my various identities on my own or in classroom spaces, the more fractured I become. I soon came to realize that, ;earning identity theory and social theory was not going to help me heal; we can only theorize our hearts, bodies, and souls so much before realizing we can start by simply caring for them.”

“an allegory about myself is one of my personal favourites. The inspiration from this piece came directly from the dilemma that multiracial and nonbinary people always experience when they are faced with the questions of “what race are you” and “what gender are you” on various forms. Being made to choose between one of your racial identities over the other, boxed into a singular gender, being forced to alienate yourself into an ‘other’ … these are the issues I wanted to address and reconcile with in my paint. The pink chrysanthemums that float between two indistinct planes represent love and honesty. The colours juxtapose the feelings of confusion with the radical joy that comes with finding oneself. “

Guerrilla Girls Gone Wild, 2019

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