CYJO illustrates the evolution of ethnicity for mixed blood family portraits
CYJO illustrates the evolution of ethnicity for mixed blood family portraits CYJO illustrates the evolution of ethnicity for mixed blood family portraits
jul 01, 2014
CYJO illustrates the evolution of ethnicity for mixed blood family portraits


CYJO illustrates the evolution of ethnicity for mixed blood family portraits
(above) valter family, 2010
citizenship: american, german; ancestries: african, american indian, bahamian, french, german;
languages:
english, german, french, spanish
live in new york
image © CYJO

 

 

 

endowed with a strong fascination in ethnicity and cultural identity, artist CYJO commenced a photographic series of family portraits, exclusive to parents and children who embody multiple races, nationalities and languages. new york city and beijing became the two urban hubs of focus, where the 19 families she documented each made their permanent residence. entitled ‘mixed blood’, the compelling sequence of image opens the doors into the personal living spaces of the chosen households, inviting the viewer to engage with their narratives and genealogical histories.

CYJO illustrates the evolution of ethnicity with mixed blood family portraits
huang rierson family, 2013
citizenships: american, belgium; ancestries: chinese, all western europe except france; languages: mandarin, french, english
live in beijing
image © CYJO

 

 

 

the families chosen for ‘mixed blood’ were found through chance meetings, public settings, or recommendations from friends. the process of accumulating a group organically brings a sense of randomness and sincerity to each scene, as opposed to the outcome if they had been specifically researched and chosen to be a part of the project. some surprises while capturing the portraits and questioning the individuals, CYJO describeswas meeting families that had such close relationships to a multitude of languages and more than one citizenship. I was familiar with 2 languages being used in the household having experienced it myself. but using three languages in the household was definitely a surprise’

 

‘for example, the huang rierson family (which you can see above) in beijing are american and belgium citizens. the two daughters prefer to speak mandarin to each other because it’s easier, but they speak english to their father and french to their mother. french is the language of choice when they are having conversations at the dinner table. all family members are fluent in all 3 languages.’

CYJO illustrates the evolution of ethnicity with mixed blood family portraits
doyle family, 2010
citizenship: american; ancestries: african, american indian, creole, cuban, french, irish;
languages:
english, spanish, french
live in new york
image © CYJO

 

 

 

‘what I find intriguing about these families’ CYJO summarizes ‘is that they defy the border and racial conflicts that we read about or may have experienced. although there can be some complexities that hint at the tensions and differences from the power of heritage, these portraits and narratives illustrate how their love naturally crosses boundaries.’

 

‘mixed blood’ is a traveling exhibition in china that first showed at today art museum in beijing and is sponsored by the US embassy in beijing, china. it us curated by nik apostolides and designed by timothy archambault.

CYJO illustrates the evolution of ethnicity with mixed blood family portraits
james family, 2010
citizenship: american; ancestries: american indian, chinese, dutch, english, filipino, german, irish, japanese, prussian; languages: english, french, pidgin english (a mix of english, hawaiian, chinese, japanese, and filipino)
live in new york
image © CYJO

CYJO illustrates the evolution of ethnicity with mixed blood family portraits
casarosa family, 2010
citizenships: american, italian, korean; ancestries: italian, korean; languages: english, italian, korean
live in new york
image © CYJO

CYJO illustrates the evolution of ethnicity with mixed blood family portraits
snodgrass family, 2013
citizenships: american, chinese; ancestries: german, han chinese, irish; languages: english, mandarin
live in beijing
image © CYJO

CYJO illustrates the evolution of ethnicity with mixed blood family portraits
kishimoto family, 2013
citizenships: chinese, japanese; ancestries: han chinese, japanese, xibo chinese; languages: mandarin, japanese, english
live in beijing
image © CYJO

 

 

the chandola family (image below) have indian and korean citizenships, and the children, who were born and raised in beijing speak 3 languages together. seong ae, the korean mother and vinod, the indian father speak mandarin with each other because that’s the language they can speak best together, having met in beijing. the children only speak korean to their mother and english to their father and mandarin outside of the household. when they are all together conversing, they speak in english.

CYJO illustrates the evolution of ethnicity with mixed blood family portraits
chandola family, 2013
citizenships: indian, korean; ancestries: indian, korean; languages: english, korean, mandarin, hindi
live in beijing
image © CYJO

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