With the support of curator Alejandro Castellote and the Ministry of Culture's Madrid office, Taiwanese artist Hou I-ting (侯怡亭) will be spotlighted by the Official Section of the XXII International Festival of Photography and Visual Arts — PHotoEspaña — from July 11 through Sept. 15 in Zaragoza.
Taiwan is a country with post-colonial characteristics, capable of merging cultures from all over the world, thus contributing a transversal, analytical, and enriching perspective for the contemporary artists who are reviewing the collective memories of various societies around the globe.
To this effect, the early works of Hou used self-portraits to reflect upon the paradoxical contrasts in Taiwanese society that can be attributed to different external influences. Her PHotoEspaña exhibition, which is aptly named "Weaving Identities," combines embroidered photographs with video and installations.
The guiding theme of "Weaving Identities" is the identity of women. The use of vernacular photography archives and hand embroidery underscore the influence of stereotypes present in the education system and in the representation of what is considered to be feminine in the art world.
Calling upon the public to question the traditional roles that society assigns to women, this exhibition comprises 24 photographs and a video made by Hou between 2009 and 2017. Many of the works are on loan from Taiwan's museums and will be exhibited for the first time in Spain.
Born in Kaohsiung in 1979, Hou uses her art to explore female labor conditions under shifting socio-economic systems from the past to today. Another set of her embroidered photography pinpointing the two sides of the Taiwanese economic miracle will be on view in Arles, France this summer as part of the Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography & Film's annual summer exhibition.