• A Blurb on “Reframing Motherhood”

The internationally recognized Taiwanese photographer, Annie Hsiao-Ching Wang, published her first photo book, “Reframing Motherhood.” With a series of photographs which heavily shows temporality and self-representation, the book comprises two art projects spanning over nearly two decades: “The Mother as a Creator” and “My Son and I at the Same Height.” These two projects have documented the photographer’s pregnancy and her son’s growth in the linear progression of time, turning every moment into a precious work that depicts the mother-son bond as they grow together, and writing a history of a mother in constant struggles of facing herself.

“The Mother as a Creator” has been displayed as a Taiwanese travelling exhibition and been invited to many large international exhibitions. “In these photos, Wang asserts her active role in the making of another life, reframing motherhood as a grand creative endeavor,” says The New Yorker. “Probably the coolest mother and child photo in the world,” praised by The Chinese publication Portrait Magazine. This project also garners appreciation from BBC who say the project can “change and transcend the cliché of motherhood.” BuzzFeed News from the U.S. see the series of photographs captivating in their impressive and powerful stories and say that they “will challenge your view of the world.

In order to let her two seemingly incompatible identities—being an artist and a mom at the same time—coexist, Annie Wang redefines motherhood in a creative and innovative manner of photobiography as she flips stereotypical maternal images to counter the idea that a mom must sacrifice herself. With its distinctive photography style of mise en abyme, the series of photographs has spanned over two decades and taken in a form of the son trying to stand at the same height as his mom does. Recording the trajectory of aging in each photo taken, the series is seen as an unprecedented work in contemporary art. Collaborating transnationally, “Reframing Motherhood” is printed in Mandarin, English, and Korean. Its design of an accordion fold book is constructed as an exhibition which allows readers, whether they read it with only one hand or stretch it like an accordion, to travel through photos’ temporality.

Except for the photographer’s artworks and her artist statements, there are also background stories of every single photo written in the back of them. Readers can therefore understand what the artworks bring to them as well as the narrative that represents Annie Wang’s long-term work—both as an artist and as a mom.

 

  • About the author:

Artist Annie Hsiao-Ching Wang was born in Taipei, Taiwan. She received her practice-based PhD in Art from the University of Brighton in the UK. She is not only a professional artist and director of Ching Tien Art Space, but also an assistant professor at the Department of Arts and Design at the National Dong Hwa University. The Chinese publication Portrait Magazine ranked Annie Wang as one of the top 25 most influential persons of 2018.

Annie Wang was invited to exhibit her work at the 2007 Manchester Photography Festival in the UK, the Yes Taiwan: 2012 Taiwan Biennial, the 2013 Ulsan International Festival in Korea, the 2018 Kaohsiung Photo Festival, the 2019 Biennial Photography of Geneva in Switzerland, the 2020 Festival Images Vevey in Switzerland and Photoville in New York. In 2018, her artwork series “The Mother as a Creator” went viral and prompted numerous reports and great interest abroad. In March of 2019, the Chinese Portrait Magazine made a special report on the matter, which garnered over 10 million views. Major publication outlets like the US magazine The New Yorker, The Journal of Taipei Fine Art Museum, the Korean PhotoArt, the Spanish Vogue, the Belgian Elle, China’s Beijing Youth Daily, and Taiwan’s Apple Daily, have all written and published lengthy and detailed reports on Wang’s works.

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