CHI PAO (Chinese Banner Dresses) is a mixed-media installation that addresses gender stereotypes in conventions of femininity prevalent in Chinatown.
These Chinese style dresses incorporate film stills from the 1940s – 1950s that evoke the post World War II era of Hong Kong movies, where Western and Eastern notions of romance met highly stylized emotions associated with dramas, family struggles, sacrifice, self denial, and virtue that middle class citizens may question as they seek a renewal of their own heritage and fantasies.
In Chi Pao, film still images are juxtaposed with my own version of middle class portraits, posing contemporary gestures with past models of global Asian pop culture.
The alluring photo dress monitors the evolution of the Chinatown voyeur inspired by Hollywood glamour, fast food, and everyday fashion. These transformed images reveal a deja vu sensation of how time flirts with Chinese American values.
Nina Kuo is a New York based artist whose work has been exhibited and published nationally. Her numerous exhibitions include Artists Invite Artists and Bad Girls at the New Museum in NYC, Visual Narratives at the Wunsch Art Center, Manchu Pigtail at China 2000 Fine Arts in NY and Chi Pao at the Center for Photography in Woodstock, NY. Kuo has also exhibited her work as a member of the Asian artist collective, Godzilla. She is a recipient of numerous grants and awards including a Light Work Artist Residency, New York Foundation for the Arts Catalogue Grant, an Artist travel grant (to China), and a New York State Craft Alliance Grant. Her work can be found in many public collection including the Library of Congress, Washington D.C.; Brooklyn Museum of Art in Brooklyn, NY; Franklin Furnace Archives at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, NY; and the Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY. Kuo participated in the Center’s residency program in July 1999.