New Jersey resident Caren King Choi (b. 1984) is a Chinese-Taiwanese-American artist, illustrator, and writer. Her artwork, which focuses on issues such as representation and family, has been included in exhibitions at the Newark Arts Festival, Express Newark, and the Newark Museum of Art. Mt. Rushmore (Nieces & Nephew is a complex, powerful work and was featured in the 2021 New Jersey Fine Arts Annual at the Newark Museum. It is part of her Red Portraits series, about which she has provided the following statement:
“Both my maternal and paternal grandparents fled China in the mid-1900s when Mao Zedong’s party took power. Since then, my family’s relationship with the mainland has been checkered with bitterness and pride: bitterness from painful memories of exile, but pride in China's lavish history. The Red Portraits series references Chinese Communist propaganda posters in the rapt expressions of its subjects and the idealized atmospheres they inhabit. The portraits, made by overlapping thousands of stickers, resolve into a seemingly straightforward image, smooth and luminescent. Up close, they look chaotic, scaly, and jagged.
The Cultural Revolution feels distant while I watch my nieces and nephews, and now my own children, grow up in the States. For them, there is only America, and yet those bitter old propaganda posters still resemble us more than anything we’ve seen here.”
Description provided by Caren King Choi (Artist)
This work is not on view.