Yuexi (Bella) Guo

(Shenzhen, China)

Self-portrait: Trapped embodies my five-year journey studying in the United States. Over this time, I have tried to escape from the cage formed by people’s opinions and criticisms and the limitation of my current society’s identity. 

The little girl in the middle of the three paintings is me or perhaps anybody, while the sculpture-like giant figures represent pressure, judgment, or disciplines created by numerous individuals in the society. 

In the first two paintings, unbreakable walls formed by the giant figures trap the girl in their shadow. However, the giant figures are scattered in the third painting. She seems to be able to escape the shadow anytime, but instead, she is again trapped by darkness, now representing her fear and cowardice building an invisible wall that prevents her from walking into the light.