Yuexi (Bella) Guo

(Shenzhen, China)

Three sets of human legs stand tall to a small figure in the center. It feels to me like being really small in a crowded space. The blue-toned color palette adds to the feeling of anxiety and loneliness for me. The center figure is curled up into a tight ball.

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.

A figure lays down on other figures. It is a bit difficult to discern, but there are the legs of others underneath the one figure that is in light, I believe. Under the waist of the main figure is a colorful marking, which I believe is a curled up person, trying to avoid being crushed under the weight of the larger bodies.
Two figures float in a beige void. They intersect but it feels to me that maybe they aren’t aware of each other’s existence.

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