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Bruce Wang Citizen Wang Studio
Chinese Inscrutability

Article By Bruce Wang @

That Chinese are inscrutable is a myth that is only now beginning to die. Why is this prejudice dying? Because more and more Chinese actors are winning significant roles on the Stage, TV and Film. For the last year and more I have taken the great Master Rembrandt as inspiration and photographed myself at differing times of day and with varying lengths of hair. Chinese waiters and waitresses are inscrutable because of the stress and antisocial conditions that they have to work in--little is known about their facial expressions and personalities when they finish work and go home. The whole point of taking selfies for a year is not just Narcissism but seeing the passage of time and the ageing process, Because I am the star of my own selfie I do act up and try to summarise all the feelings I have had that day. Going back to the Chinese waiters, the Caucasian person probably just can't see beyond the almond eyes and black hair. In fact taking multiple selfies elevates the portraits into Art and the viewer is forced to see the Chinaman in front of them as a work of Art and therefore unlikely to be inscrutable.