Participating artist Chen Meitsen describes her approach to making an artwork for Intimate Transgressions.
Chen Meitsen working on her FORMOSA ORCHID series
Formosa Orchid is inspired by the trauma of Taiwanese women caused during and after the Second World War. These women endured in silence all their lives both in body and mind, the deep impact of barbarity.
With this inspiration came the desire to create Formosa Orchid - a pristine flower shape which is carefully stitched and seamed with white lambskin as symbol of sacrifice; it exposes an elegant fragility which references the female genital. The folds of ‘skin’ are splashed and stained with red and violet in an inventive composition of abstract forms, which resemble a map of furrowed scars. Hanging on a meat hook like a carcass at the butcher's, ready for consumption, Orchid reveals the suffering caused by internalised conflict and nightmarish memories on this most intimate territory.
Orchid is not a random creation or a simple reference to historical fact, it follows on from my previous body of work - Suture. That series was an exploration of trauma and included artistic research about the nature of disclosure and of the organic imprint of Memory. Responding to the psychological environment from an artistic perspective I feel deep concern about sexual violence which is so damaging and so commonplace.
Formosa Orchid is my protest against the world which is descending into a state of chaos.