Elizabeth Briel

China Obscura is a series of window paintings, metaphors for the screens culture creates - decorative and at times structural barriers that let selective information into and out of a protected space. Every culture is a universe of traditions, both codified and fluid. When we look at another culture not our own, we bring our assumptions and history which prevent us from seeing it clearly.

Though these images are from places inhabited by people who changed the course of Mainland China's history in the past century, China Obscura explores outsiders' perceptions of 'the foreign' vs insiders' familiarity, rather than the legacy of the personalities involved. Words written by, about, and to these personalities are appropriated by the artist and printed by sunlight into photosensitive Cyanotype chemicals which have been painted onto handmade paper. The images are all one of a kind, and are not prints, but individual paintings.


For more information about the artist, please visit her website.