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"What I have come to understand is that my work is essentially an exploration of the wounded self:  How does a fighter dance?" —— YIN MEI

I am part of a generation of artists who lost their childhood to the Chinese Cultural Revolution, who experienced a world gone mad: Our elementary school teachers ejected from the classroom, factory workers hauled in to conduct class. Our parents—if on the “wrong road” politically—publicly humiliated, forced to admit to trumped-up “crimes” against the People.  Red Guard factions fighting in the streets, each proclaiming righteousness in the name of Chairman Mao. Beatings. Executions. Suicides. Five thousand years of Chinese art and culture tossed in the garbage heap. From this, a generation of survivors—and of fighters—my generation was born. But from this, how does one make art? How does one deal with memories that burn in the brain, that haunt one’s waking hours, that tattoo images of rage beneath one’s skin? For me, the trauma of my early years has led, not toward social engagement, nor toward abstraction, but toward the unmapped provinces of my own heart.

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