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Beth Lo

all look same

My work in ceramics and mixed media collage revolves primarily around issues of family and my Asian-American background. Cultural marginality and blending, tradition and Westernization, language and translation are key elements in my work. Since the birth of my son in 1987, I have been drawing inspiration from major events in my family’s history, the day-to-day challenges of parenting, and my own childhood memories of being raised in a minority culture in the United States. I also enjoy investigating, celebrating and sometimes satirizing traditional Asian aesthetics, including calligraphy, origami, scrolls, Socialist Realist artwork, Chinese souvenirs and toys, the game of mahjong, as well as Ming and Tang dynasty ceramics.

In the past five years I have been moving beyond making work about family to making work with family. I have collaborated with my mother Kiahsuang Shen Lo, a traditional Chinese watercolorist, and my Aunt Luo Hui Yan, an exhibiting calligrapher, who lives in Tianjin, China.  In 2004 I completed sixteen porcelain platters that serve as the illustrations for the children’s book, Mahjong All Day Long, (Walker Books, NY) co-written by my sister, Ginnie Lo. The book has been honored as the Marion Vannett Ridgeway Award winner of 2005 and one of the three Montana Book Award Honor books in 2006.